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Sep 13, 2011 10:28 AM

Help with good eats in Oahu


My fiancee and I will be in Oahu October 2-7. Our first time to Hawaii so we're really excited.

I need some suggestions for some great places to eat. More specifically, dinner places.

We'd like to take in as much traditional Hawaiian cuisine as we can during our short stay. Not so much interest in touristy stuff (we do have some, like Leonards, that we plan to visit).

We'll be staying in Waikiki, but will have a car rental so driving around the island is not a problem. Would prefer not to have to search high and low for parking though.

From other threads, we've decided to visit a few places already:

- Alan Wong's Restaurant for dinner (already have a reservation)
- Helena's Hawaiian for lunch
- Romy's Shrimp Truck for lunch (can anyone suggest something else to do up on the north shore?)
- Nobu for dinner (have a reservation, but not sure if we will be keeping it)

We typically eat dinner 6-8PM, and have noticed that many of the popular greasy spoon places are only open until around 5 or 7PM. We'll probably visit these places for lunch. What we're missing is more dinner options. We LOVE seafood, and are hoping that the seafood is fantastic in Hawaii. Can anyone suggest a good seafood restaurant? Even better if it's prepared in a traditional Hawaiian way. VERY good sushi would also be nice. We have Nobu listed, but I'm wondering if it's more of a fusion than true Sushi.

Any help would be appreciated!

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

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  1. For sushi, I LOVED Imanas Tei on my last trip. It was so good, we went back for a second dinner there and still talk about it. We had the best hamachi sashimi I've ever tasted there. YUM.

    Imanas Tei Restaurant
    2626 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96826

    1. Sasabune, Mitch's, Izakaya Gaku, Sushi ii would be good choices for Serious Sushi.

      As far as up-scale dining goes we really like Le Bistro (S), Azure (S), Michel's, A/W, Suntory and Yakiniku Hiroshi (waikiki). (S) denotes very fresh fish.

      Yakiniku Hiroshi
      339 Royal Hawaiian Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

      Suntory Restaurant
      2233 Kalakaua Ave Ste 307, Honolulu, HI 96815

      Le Bistro
      5730 Kalanianaole Hwy, Honolulu, HI 96821

      1. Head over to Kaimuki and look into Town, Salt Kitchen and Tasting Bar, 12 Ave Grill, 3660 on the Rise, and Ninniku-Ya Garlic Restaurant.

        There is also Orchids at the Halekulani, the Hau Tree Lanai, Apartment 3, Libby Manapua, Boulevard Saimin, Ramen Nakamura, Yotteko-ya,Pho 777 Vietnamese Restaurant, Green Papaya and Mitch's.

        For sushi I'd look at Sushi Izakaya Gaku, Yohei Sushi Restaurant or Imanas Tei Restaurant.

        Libby Manapua Shop
        410 Kalihi St, Honolulu, HI 96819

        Yohei Sushi Restaurant
        1111 Dillingham Blvd Ste E1A, Honolulu, HI 96817

        Imanas Tei Restaurant
        2626 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96826

        Hau Tree Lanai Restaurant
        2863 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

        Boulevard Saimin
        1425 Dillingham Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96817

        Green Papaya
        1518 Makaloa St Ste A, Honolulu, HI 96814

        Ninniku-Ya Garlic Restaurant
        3196 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

        Ramen Nakamura
        2141 Kalakaua Ave # 1, Honolulu, HI 96815

        Sushi Izakaya Gaku
        1329 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96814

        2199 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815

        6 Replies
        1. re: scottca075

          Thanks, guys.

          Decided to make reservations at Town and also Sasabune. Both sounded awesome, and offered reservations so those aided in my decision making.

          Think I've got most dinners figured out now. Can anyone offer up some great lunch options?

          Thanks again.

          1. re: ultimate4g63

            Town will not be in the same league with your other choices (we normally only go to Town for lunch which is ok). Azure , 3660, Plumeria or Michel's would be much better.
            Lunch @ Nico's is an experience. Go early or after lunch, it's very busy. Restaurant Epic is also good for lunch. If you just want a great Hamburger go to Wolfgang's for their special $10- it's a deal.

            Restaurant Epic
            , Honolulu, HI 96813

            1. re: ultimate4g63

              I think all of these places are also open at lunch, Orchids at the Halekulani, the Hau Tree Lanai, Libby Manapua, Boulevard Saimin, Ramen Nakamura, Yotteko-ya, Pho 777 Vietnamese Restaurant, Green Papaya, Mitch's and I would also throw in the House Without a Key, the food court at Shirokiya and the Royal Garden for dim sum.

              Some are actually better for lunch than dinner and what ever you decide I would not miss the House Without a Key for sunset cocktails or the Banyan Court (Moana Hotel) at sunset either.

              1450 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814

              1. re: ultimate4g63

                For lunch I would recommend Jimbo's on S. King St. for the homemade soba noodles and lots of other really good noodle and soup dishes...far better than Boulevard Saimin with the day-glo tempura and tired broth. At one time they were very good, or maybe my tastes have changed....

                Nico's at Pier 38 for really fresh fish and healthy sides, served on styrofoam, but still delicious, and right on the fishing pier.

                Jimbo Restaurant
                1936 S King St Ste 103, Honolulu, HI 96826

                Boulevard Saimin
                1425 Dillingham Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96817

                1. re: ultimate4g63

                  Sorry that I did not read the full thread, prior to responding with my "fine-dining" list.

                  For lunch, I will second (or third?) Town.

                  We have also enjoyed lunch at the Kahala Resort, though the exact restaurant's name escapes me at this moment.



                2. re: scottca075

                  We have only done Orchids for the Sunday Brunch and for regular breakfasts. However, in our recent stay at the Halekulani, we were tempted by several trusted employees to do dinner at Orchids, and especially at "table number one." Next trip, we will definitely try them, maybe replacing Mariposa, which is very good, but not at that "ultimate level."

                  As for Hau Tree Lanai, we have had quite a few great meals there, and the sunsets are not to be missed. Some complain that it is a "tourist restaurant," but that has never been our impression, even when crowded. They have just always come through with very good food, and flawless service in an ideal setting.


                  1450 Ala Moana Blvd # 2101, Honolulu, HI

                  Hau Tree Lanai Restaurant
                  2863 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

                  2199 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815

                3. Wifey and I ate at Nobu last week and enjoyed it quite a bit. We went more for the fusion dishes but they have plenty of traditional dishes if you prefer.

                  It's on the expensive side so beware, especially if you go wild with the sushi.
                  They validate parking at the Parc hotel too.

                  I've noticed that people in Hawaii tend to eat dinner earlier. Or at least the fellow tourists do. We were seated about 7:30 and the place was about 2/3 full on Friday night. However a lot of tables finished soon after we were seated.

                  1. I think Morimoto would be better than Nobu. Both have the same approach but Morimoto has a few more creative dishes, I feel. You can go for lunch, more relaxing.