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Adventurous family looking for chowhound worthy food maui/oahu

We are travelling with a 5 1/2 and 7 year old. They are well travelled and behaved children that love lemon water in wine glasses to fish taco trucks! We have been to cali/arizona and florida in recent trips that we got some great recomendations from this board and have never had a bad meal yet!!!

We are not looking for high priced romantic meals since kidlings in tow but CHEAP AND CHEERFULL ie great views. beach front. happy hours.unique places. set menu specials for early dining. For some higher priced meals that are must see perhaps a lunch there. Also like adventure to GPS a location and end up at a truck or hidden gem ..WE are in Hawaii 2 1/2 weeks so health reasons and pocket book we cannot eat 3 meals out a day.. WE plan on having breakast almost every meal at our condo except a breakfast or brunch if nice maybe twice. Take out to the beach is great too!!!

We are staying in Kanapali area in Maui and waikiki Banyan in OAhu. We plan on staying in at our condo some nights and having bbq by poolside as well (costco members so plan on picking up meat/etc to make some nice meals as we love to cook and try new cuisine)

IThus far on my list
Maui
Hula grill barefoot (maui) as here nicer then oahu and Dukes (happy hour)
Long Boards (sunset and $20 early bird dinners)
Star Noodles
Aloha mixed plate
Ululan's shaved ice
Plantation House at kapalua golf course
Sansei happy hour sushi
Jawz food truck
Maui tacos in kihei
Geste Shbrimp Truck in Kahului

Waikiki

Jimmy buffet (drink only to say i went here)
Giovannis Shrimp Truck
Cholo's mexican
Leonards bakery- masalada
Rainbow DRive inn (DDD)
Nicos (DDD)
Serg's in maroa on east manoa street (taco tuesday :O) )

7 year old just recently tried sushi (california spring rolls only thus far) so open to try some sushi japanese restaurants
Enjoy seafood. mexican. italian and casual comfort foods..

Happy hours and sunsets with appy specials is key!!

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Plantation House Restaurant
2000 Plantation Club Dr., Kapalua, HI 96761

Star Noodle
286 Kupuohi St, Lahaina, HI 96761

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  1. If you enjoy Mexican, you will not enjoy Cholos. Fish tacos at Luibueno (nearby) DURING HAPPY HOUR are a much better buy (half price).
    Consider Fatty's in Waikiki. Not great Chinese, but fun.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Joebob

      ohhh beach chick..... Im looking for my food travelling buddy...

    2. I would look at these places Salt Kitchen and Tasting Bar, 3660 on the Rise, House Without a Key for cocktails, Orchids Restaurant, Alan Wong's, Helena's Hawaiian Food (DDD), Gaku and Imanas Tei, Yotteko-ya Kyoto Ramen or Ramen Nakamura, Ah-Lang Restaurant (Angry Korean Lady), Green Papaya, or Hale Vietnam for Vietnamese and Keo's or Pae Thai for Thai food.

      Don't miss the food court at Shirokiya Department store and I'd stop at Safeway by Leonard's to get some poke and lomi lomi and if you are staying in a condo, lau lau and Kalua pig.

      Costso in both Maui and Oahu has an awesome poke bar and also carries Hawaiian food.

      Some places missing in Maui are Honokawai Okazuya, The Gazebo or Sea House for breakfast, Mama's Rotisserie, Maui Tacos is in Napili Plaza too and maybe Ba Le at the mall where Safeway is.

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

      Sea House Restaurant
      5900 Lower Honoapiilani Rd, Lahaina, HI 96761

      Pae Thai Restaurant
      1246 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96814

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

      Hale Vietnam Restaurant
      1140 12th Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

      Helena's Hawaiian Food
      1240 N School St, Honolulu, HI 96817

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

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

      Shirokiya
      1450 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814

      Napili Plaza
      Napili Smoothie Cafe, Napili, HI 96761

      4 Replies
      1. re: scottca075

        Scott have you been to the SAturday farmers market near Banyan? If so anything good there ?

        Is the Shirokiya Dept store different then the International market place? and how so food wise?

        lau lau and kalua pig what is this???????????????????

        I have read about the poke bar in costco thanks for reminding me got it on list now.

        Scott wasnt it you that had said that hula grill is nicer in maui then Waikiki? or was it Dukes? We do have more time in Maui

        I have looked into a sunset Room without a key dinner? any peticular night better then the others?? and children are allowed?

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        Shirokiya
        1450 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814

        1. re: palmtree38

          Lau lau is, next to poi, the most typical traditional dish of the ancient and modern Hawaiians. Now usually steamed, was originally baked in an earth oven, therefore wrapped in inedible ti leaves which are removed before eating. Inside, there is pork and salted butterfish, wrapped in edible taro leaves. Sometimes you can find a chicken version instead of pork.

          Kalua pig is also typical Hawaiian fare...originally from the whole pig roasted in the imu (earth oven) as is still done at tourist luaus, but often what you will find today is treated with liquid smoke.

          The Shirokiya food court is very different from the Intl Market Place...many different food stations, virtually all Japanese foods, many in individual pieces or in set bento boxes including rice. IMP has a variety of vendors each selling different cuisines.

          From the post below, if you want a real ethnic experience, hit Chinatown around lunchtime and check out all the produce, fish, meat, noodle vendors etc. Maunakea Marketplace is set inside the block bounded by Maunakea St, Hotel, River, and Pauahi, and has one section for vendors and one section is a food court, full of mainly Filipino and Vietnamese places, but maybe a couple of Thai, Japanese, and one faux Singapore Chinese place. Probably the most inexpensive of all the places mentioned...certainly cheaper than comparable things in Waikiki, Ala Moana, or the food trucks, although the quality may not match Shirokiya...

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          Shirokiya
          1450 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814

          1. re: palmtree38

            If you mean the Farmer's Market at Kapiolani Community College, we go every Saturday we are in town. It is great. We usually couple it with an early morning hike up Diamond Head as they are right next to each other.

            Probably was NOT me on Duke's and Hula Grill as I am not a fan of their (TS Restaurants) dining rooms for dinner, but I love their bars for lunch or Happy Hour. For the money you pay for dinner at Hula Grill in Honolulu you can be at a better restaurant.

            Kalua pig is Hawaiian carnitas or pulled pork to explain it the simplest, Laulau is meat and fish steamed in shredded taro leaves surrounded by ti leaves. Lomilomi salmon is salmon where salt is massaged (lomi lomi) into the fish and mixed with onions and tomatoes.

            Shirokiya is closer to Harrod's than the International Market Place.

            House Without a Key, do read the Charlie Chan novel of the same name before you come :) As to when to go, find out when Kanoe Miller is performing and keiki's (children) are always welcome.

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            Shirokiya
            1450 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814

          2. re: scottca075

            Hi Scott. Wondering if you can share your thoughts on how the Angry Korean Lady compares to the Korean food in K-Town as I believe you are from SoCal?

          3. Manukea Food Court + Chinatown Oahu should be a must for this family.

            1. If you are in town Tuesday at lunchtime you should head to the Food Truck roundup near the Medical School, just off Ala Moana Blvd between downtown and Ala Moana shopping center. there are 5-7 trucks offering a variety of things...Camille on Wheels is highly regarded...their chicken pot pies always sell out early. From there you can walk a block to the oceanfront park to enjoy your lunch and a great view, and the kids should enjoy that area. I think there is a playground on part of it, but would need confirmation on that....but the Children's Discovery Center is also nearby.

              For a Waikiki dinner (or lunch) there is the Diamond Head Market and Grill, corner of Monserrat at Campbell, with very good take out...walking distance to Kapi'olani Park and the quiet part of Waikiki Beach.

              It might also be fun to take the crowd to the new Japanese food court upstairs at Shirokiya near Macy's in Ala Moana Shopping Center...doubt there is anything like that anywhere on the Mainland....again you could take your selections across to Ala Moana Beach park to enjoy the sunset...one of the best sunset views on this side of the island is from the walkway around Magic Island there.

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              Shirokiya
              1450 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814

              4 Replies
                1. re: Joebob

                  We will be there on a tuesday!!! perfect.. WE have had some tasty vittles at some great trucks in San diego (mexican/seafood)

                  Look foward to all these ideas.. we are not well experienced in the asian fare at all!! Willing to give a try but will be lost on what to order :O)

                  1. re: palmtree38

                    anyone else tried the food trucks on tuesday??

                    Also the shrimp trucks which ones do you prefer? Drive to north shore or other to get the best one!

                    Any DDD locations that you enjoy?

                    1. re: palmtree38

                      I haven't been to all the DDD spots, but Nico's is good, Rainbow Drive-in is a local classic and Poke Stop is pretty good too, but not sure I'd make a trip out to Waipahu just for it, you can get good poke lots of places like Tamashiro Market, Yama's Fish Market, Young's Fish Market, and Mitch's Fish Market.

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                      Mitch's Fish Market
                      524 Ohohia St, Honolulu, HI

                      Young's Fish Market
                      1286 Kalani St, Honolulu, HI 96817

              1. Y'all might like Opal's Thai truck in the gulley across from McDs on the N. shore. Closed M & Tu. take out and take to a beach.