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Family Honolulu vacation

m
meleyna Mar 6, 2011 10:41 AM

My family (including a three year old) will be staying in Honolulu for a week. We will be staying on Waikiki, but I do have family I will be visiting in St. Louis Heights, Kailua, and Pearl City areas (we will have a car). My cousin is in the industry, and suggested I hit up these places:

Cinnamon's
Boots & Kimo's
Blue Hawaii Lifestyle
Yotteko-Ya
Hanks Haute Dogs
Tonkatsu Gina Bairin
Olive Tree Cafe
Chef Mavro
Azure
Alan

I was told Chef Mavro is a can't miss, but I'm little concerned about my boyfriend, who is definitely not a CH. Azure will be convenient since we'll be able to walk back to our room after drinks rather than having to cab it. My boyfriend is happy to humor me go wherever I choose, but I want him to enjoy himself as well. (He doesn't eat fish and isn't crazy about Asian flavors, which I understand limits a LOT in Hawaii.)

I'm open to suggestions for everything, but I'd like more suggestions for casual "local" places for lunches with the family. I'd also like more options for nice dinner places that aren't necessarily "fine dining." Relatives will most likely be asking to keep my son, so while kid friendly is nice, it's not a requirement. (He is generally well behaved, and if we take him out we'll go on the earlier side of dinner service.)

Thanks for the help!

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Chef Mavro restaurant
1969 South King Street, Honolulu, HI 96826

Olive Tree Cafe
4614 Kilauea Ave Ste 107, Honolulu, HI 96816

Yotteko-Ya
1960 Kapiolani Blvd Ste 214, Honolulu, HI 96826

  1. m
    meleyna Mar 9, 2011 11:17 AM

    Thanks for all the help. My biggest problem now is narrowing down what I HAVE to have (ex: that poke musibi from Hoku's).

    Any bar suggestions? Anything from hotel bars to divey stuff is fine.

    Looks like we'll be sticking to plate lunches for noontime meals. After being gouged with tourist rates everywhere I'll have to save my pennies for dinner. Unless *looking* local qualifies for kamaaina...? ;)

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    Hoku's
    5000 Kahala Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

    1 Reply
    1. re: meleyna
      KaimukiMan Mar 9, 2011 01:39 PM

      there was a recent thread on bars in Honolulu. you might want to do a search for that.

      to save money stay away from waikiki at mealtimes, followed by ala moana center.

      other than that, do your best to grin and bear it. no sense ruining your vacation because you are resenting paying tourist prices. but you are going to find that even outside of the tourist areas, honolulu is not a bargain when it comes to food.

      here is a thread on dive bars. <http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/762303>
      (no...that has nothing to do with scuba or snorkels)

    2. m
      meleyna Mar 6, 2011 07:06 PM

      Great! Town and 12th Street look right up BF's alley. Did some more digging around--how are Hoku's and Bali? Pineapple Room's menu also looks fairly BF friendly...

      -----
      Hoku's
      5000 Kahala Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

      4 Replies
      1. re: meleyna
        KaimukiMan Mar 6, 2011 07:32 PM

        Hoku's is always good, ok beyond good. It will push your budget, but you get what you pay for.
        The Pineapple room is a little run down (go figure) but the food and service are way above what you expect for a department store restaurant.
        Haven't been to Bali by the Sea in forever, Hunt is the man to fill you in on that.

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        Hoku's
        5000 Kahala Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

        1. re: KaimukiMan
          manomin Mar 6, 2011 08:24 PM

          Bali by the Sea has changed into a steakhouse. Which makes me wonder (not like I'm going to look at the website) if Village Steak and Seafood is still there.

          I just had a most marvelous dinner at Baci in Kailua. Lovely pillow soft gnocchi a nice shrimp appetizer (touted as charcoaled but didn't notice evidence of grilling) and not "The best appetizer on all of Oahu" as the server claimed. Still the dinner was serviceable and nice. It was really really crowded and I was glad we had reservations. Yesterday I had lunch at town and dinner at Roy's Waikiki. It was a most stellar day of dining tonight I am having Boston's Style pizza. Not "Boston's North End Pizza' but that's another story.

        2. re: meleyna
          russkar Mar 6, 2011 08:22 PM

          Plumeria Beach House is our preference over Hoku's. Same Hotel different vibe. If you enjoy wine take a nice bottle (not on their list of course) $20- corkage.

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          Hoku's
          5000 Kahala Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

          Plumeria Beach House
          5000 Kahala Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

          1. re: meleyna
            j
            Jazzaloha Mar 8, 2011 10:14 PM

            Pineapple Room is an Alan Wong restaurant, and it's a little more casual. Still, I think I'd go to Alan Wong's original restaurant. It is pricey, however and there will be Asian influenced cooking (but I'm sure there will be one or two items without heavy Asian influence).

            If you're craving, I'd consider Italian (unless you have a lot of good Italian places) at Assaggio's or Paesano's (same place essentially). For about $25 or less, you get huge portions and a solid food. I'd stay away from their straight pasta dishes and go with the chicken or seafood dishes. They also have some good combination plates, too. Nice atmosphere, but not too formal.

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            Alan Wong's Restaurant
            1857 S King St Fl 3, Honolulu, HI 96826

          2. KaimukiMan Mar 6, 2011 05:08 PM

            russkar is right on the money in his comments.

            do remember that fine dining here refers to price, not attire. If you want to avoid the whole suit and tie thing, then you can relax. LaMer used to require it, but I'm not positive if they do any more.
            There are a bunch of places to eat in Kaimuki/Kapahulu (near your relatives) that are on the upper end but not outrageous including Town, 3660, 12th avenue grill, Ninniku-ya, Cafe Miro. These places are not bargains, but they won't break the bank (Cafe Miro is getting up there).

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            Cafe Miro
            3446 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

            2 Replies
            1. re: KaimukiMan
              russkar Mar 6, 2011 05:36 PM

              K-man is right on the $ too with some of our favorites on Waialae toward Kahala. We've been to all except Ninniku-ya and we will be there soon.

              1. re: KaimukiMan
                j
                Jazzaloha Mar 8, 2011 10:10 PM

                I was going to mention Town and 12th Ave Grill. Not too expensive (under $30 for an entre) and good food without dominance of Asian flavors. (I'd describe the food as New American Bistro). The other three places are decent-to-good, but avoiding Asian flavors will be challenging at those places.

                Oh, after Town or 12th Ave. you could go to Cafe Laufer for coffee and dessert (I'd skip dessert at Town; 12th Ave can be decent). Cafe Laufer also has solid bistro entres, but a limited menu (call for the specials).

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                12th Ave Grill
                1145 12th Ave Ste C, Honolulu, HI 96816

                Cafe Laufer
                3565 Waialae Ave Ste 107, Honolulu, HI 96816

              2. russkar Mar 6, 2011 11:07 AM

                Chef Mavro is very good but a waste for a non-foodie. Azure is always good and same for Michel's (both on the Sand).
                Olive Tree is a favorite for a basic dinner, byob.
                Soul is good for Hearty American, next door Sabrina's (Italian) is good.
                Nico's is one of our favorite regular spots for lunch (fresh Fish & Pork & Hamburger dishes).
                Hank's is ok if a expensive hotdog is your thing?
                Liliha Bakery and Wialana Coffee Shop are good for Breakfast. Also Original Pancake House on Dillingham.

                -----
                Chef Mavro restaurant
                1969 South King Street, Honolulu, HI 96826

                Olive Tree Cafe
                4614 Kilauea Ave Ste 107, Honolulu, HI 96816

                The Original Pancake House
                1414 Dillingham Blvd Ste 107, Honolulu, HI 96817

                1 Reply
                1. re: russkar
                  Bill Hunt Mar 6, 2011 04:59 PM

                  I agree, re: Chef Mavro's. Though we love it, if one is not pretty much heavily into food (and wine with food), it might just be an expensive evening of "so what?"

                  Enjoy,

                  Hunt

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                  Chef Mavro restaurant
                  1969 South King Street, Honolulu, HI 96826

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