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Adventurous Family chowdown in Waikiki

Ok here is my list for Waikiki .. Please feel free to add info or delete some chosen restaurants as we probably wont be able to cover them all!

NORTH SHORE
Giovanni's Shrimp Truck or Romy's but leaning to Giovanni's as I believe better reviews?
Matsumoto's shaved ice in Halewiea
Cholo's or Luibueno (might skip both mixed reviews)

WAIKIKI AND AREA
Ailana Shaved Ice
Nico's (DDD feature) what is your favorite plate/food order from here please?
Rainbow Drive inn ( already have menu and highlighted top food here)
Helena's Best hawaiian food (any fav item you could suggest?)
Leonard's Bakery- Masalada's
ShoreBirds (grill your own meats (buy one get 1/2 second entree coupon from many magazines) (HH 12-5) $3.50 mai tai.
Serg's Taco Tuesday $2 fish taco's all others $1.50 (On East Manoa Street)

OF THE THREE BELOW WHICH ONE DEF HIT? CAN WE TAKE ONE OFF CHOW LIST ??
ME Korean BBQ great take out (katsu chicken. kalbi ,bbq ribs )
Fattys Chinese Food
Ah Lang (aka angry korean lady) BYOB and cups :O) 725 kapiolani blvd

Safeway by leonards buy poke, lomi lomo and lau lau and kalua pig for condo for take out
Costco good poke. seafood and other items to grill at condo as well as groceries.
The Shirakiya Food court
China Town at lunch time
Manukea Food court suggested a must for our family to browse around
Tuesday's Food truck round up. 5-7 trucks hit camile on wheels for great chicken pot pies(sell out early)
Farmers Market Saturday at Kapiolani College

Happy Hours (**def will go)
**Rumfire at Sheraton (HH 4-6pm best mai tai's)
**ShoreBird at Outrigger Reef (HH 12-5 and 4-7
Moose McGillacuddy's
Top of Waikiki (HH 5-7 $4 martinin/wine/beer and $7 pupus) revolving restaurant
Yard house beachwalk mon-fr 2-5:30pm 1/2 off pupus and reduced beer/cocktail prices

-----
Leonard's Bakery
933 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

Top of Waikiki
2270 Kalakaua Ave Ste 1800, Honolulu, HI 96815

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  1. Aloha tree..
    Love love love O'ahu and the food is off the chain good..

    I would add for breakfast the Moose's with their 2 for 1 coupon in the 101 booklet in the back..saves $10+ and for breakfast, it was quite good...only breakfast.
    Happy Hour...Hula Grill and Duke's for the everyday HH is excellent and the mai tai for $4 and the calamari is addicting and so good for $6.

    Have a beer at the Mai Tai bar at my beloved and fave Royal Hawaiian hotel
    Have drinks and app's at House without a key.
    Dinner at Roy's in Waikiki...food is some of the best and not in the same caliber as any of the other Roy's, IMHO, Diva, the GM has so much Aloha and she will embrace you and your family..

    International Market across from the Outrigger Waikiki has great cheap food and you can get some of those sarongs..Hawaiian sarongs aren't the same as the gorgeous traditional Tahitian ones, but they'll do..

    Best pineapple slices fresh at the truck at the parking lot of Diamond Head..OMG for $3

    I'm sure the beloved K-Man and the other great Hawaiian posters will chime in..da best!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Beach Chick

      Do you go to the Mai tai bar at sunset or anytime of the day for a beer???do you order pupus here or just a drink and move on? I can see looking at the menu the beer is ordered compared to their $14 mai tais :o))) .....

      IS hula grill /dukes the same on oahu as is Maui? AS going to both islands.

      Drinks and apps at house without a key do you make ressies for the evening entertainment here? WAsnt sure if you had to order dinner to watch the musicians at sunset ??

      IS Roy's similar to George's on the cove as far as class/cuisine/ price tag? not looking to spend $150-200 on a meal with kids in tow.

      1. re: palmtree38

        Royal Hawaiian Mai Tai Bar is nice at Sunset or all day, lol. Pupu's @ Rumfire then RH.
        Duke's - Hula's are same.
        HWOK doesn't require dinner, Pupu's are good.
        Roy's is not similar to G @ the Cove. We normally order Roy's Appys and it's always good.
        Don't for get my Pau Hana Suggestions in Royal Hawaiian Center, they are all cheap and above average. Pizza & Meatball @ IL Lupino, Steak Sliders @ Wolfgangs, Sushi Rolls, seared mushrooms, etc @ Doraku.
        aloha

        -----
        Royal Hawaiian
        2259 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96815

        Pau
        , Kamuela, HI 96743

    2. Luibueno's is one of the only reasons to go to the N.Shore, I would skip the Shrimp Trucks.
      Nico's absolutely
      Rainbow nothing special, substitute Liliha Bakery which is a 1000 times better.
      Helena's is ok along with Leonard's
      Shorebird is a tourist trap and the Mai Tai's aren't good.
      Serg's is ok but I would substitute Tropic's Bar & Grill (fantastic dive bar TT) $1- ea
      Ah Lang is decent but pass on the rest of that group.
      Safeway or Costco isn't the place to buy the best Poke.
      Tamura's or Alicia's would be first choice for fresh (not frozen) Poke. Expect to pay $12-15 per lb.
      Chinatown Cultural center has several strong choices for Dim Sum. Tai Pan, Legend's , etc. Mei Sum around the corner.
      Pass on the Tue Taco Kako Truck event from 11-2p, nothing special.
      Farmer's Mkt Sat @ KCC is a Zoo so go @ 7am to avoid the major lines or skip it unless you just have to see it. There is a new scaled down version @ Ala Moana Mall Top Parking level near Sears from 9a-1p which is much more accessible.
      Happy Hours:
      Rumfire is nice their Mai Tai's aren't (Best REAL Scratch Mai Tai's are @ Royal Hawaiian or Lewer's Lounge).
      Other good HH's (Pau Hana) , Wolfgang's , IL'Lupino, Doraku all in the Royal Hawaiian Center.
      Skip Yardhouse and go to Roy's which never disappoints. aloha

      -----
      Royal Hawaiian
      2259 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96815

      6 Replies
      1. re: russkar

        DArn Russkar I can see your not so keen on my hot chow list here... :O(

        Tropics bar and grill has a speical now on hot deals hawaii.. $6 for $12 of fare at lunch time.

        1. re: palmtree38

          Correcto about the discount deal but TT is a far better deal there. $1 per item, unbeatable. Practice your Pirate. Shiver me timbers

          1. re: russkar

            Do you have a link to this TT??? as i dont see unbeleatable happy hour pricing when i did a google :O)

            practice your pirate????

            1. re: palmtree38

              @Palmtree: Tropic's Taco Tue (TT) doesn't have a link. HH pricing is $1- per item, Tortilla Soup might be $2-
              Dive Bars are like where Pirates hang out so you should learn to speak Pirate for easy communication but not required.

              1. re: russkar

                what day and times are HH at this place?? and its it that much of a dive that should not bring kids here?? The Tropics location that I googled looked like it was in Hilton hawaian village is this correct??

                pirate chat?? hmmm

                1. re: palmtree38

                  @Palmtree: Nope it's not the one at HHV. The correct one is below.

                  (TT) is Tue, 5pm sharp. Kids will be fine for short visit.

                  Tropics Cafe Bar and Lounge
                  1020 Auahi St
                  Honolulu, HI 96814
                  (808) 591-8009

      2. Re: Matsumoto's vs. Ailana for shave ice. Interested in your comparison of the two. Another place in Town for shave ice is Shimazu Store. For convenience, Ailana has opened a new place in Waikiki, 2250 Kalakaua.

        Re: Rainbow Drive In. It's been my go-to plate lunch place for years. Get the Mixed Plate.
        Yes to Leonard's
        The Shirokiya Yataimura is a one-of-a-kind experience. When you get there, take time to look at all the options. Stop for those unique only-in-Japan spots, like the place that makes 5 different kinds of specialty rices, including sekihan (red bean rice) and the kuriokowa (chestnut) rice. Make your selection after you have seen it all.

        The Maunakea food Court is a great way to be introduced to the food of Hawaii. There are better choices elsewhere, including hawaiian, Korean BBQ, Chinese, Philipino. but no place else that has everything in one place like this.
        For poke, lau lau, etc, I would opt for Young's Fish Market.
        I think you will enjoy Shorebirds.
        Re: Giovanni's, it's good, but also has really long lines.

        -----
        Shirokiya
        1450 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814

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

        1. Nothing like actually setting down a list to bring out the true feelings. Overall I think your list is great. It has a good combination of newer places as well as those that if you miss your friends will say 'waddaya mean you didn't even go to "x" for their "y".

          russkar's comments in particular strip away decades of local favoratism that may or may not be justified. After all, just because a place is a local institution doesn't mean it's still great. For example, I love Rainbow Drive-In. I've eaten hundreds of meals there over the decades, i hold fond memories of a multitude of friends and dates and all the rest there. If you want me to swear that I can't find better food someplace else, i'm not sure i can do that. On the other hand, the fact that it is an institution, that it has been an integral part of so many peoples experience (residents and tourist alike) also gives it a certain standing in the where to go lists. If I go to New York, i wanna hit Carnegie Deli, if I go to San Francisco I wanna have Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista, and if I'm in Honolulu, then rainbow is probably on my list (ok, it is on my list, but y'all have seen my list and its kinda long...LOL)

          4 Replies
          1. re: KaimukiMan

            @K-man: I like Rainbow drive in, just think Liliha Bakery is far better.
            As far as decades of local institution goes.
            Rainbow started in 1961 and Liliha Bakery started in 1950 and is open 24/6 to meet the demand.

            1. re: russkar

              wasn't intended as an attack on your reply and i'm sure you know that. i very much appreciate your insight. i never think of liliha bakery for 'plate lunch" type food, because while what they have is good, it is a limited menu for that food type. Beef Stew/Curry depending on which day it is, Fried Mahi, and Hamburger Steak.

              Yes, Liliha bakery IS an institution. I've had many many midnight meals there, but usually its more along the lines of a midnight breakfast , their true forte, than a midnight dinner.

            2. re: KaimukiMan

              I think K-man nails the attraction of many of the places I like, like Rainbow Drive-in, etc.

              No one would say Safeway or Costso has the best poke, but to decide what is the best poke in Honolulu is like asking who has the best pizza in NYC. There is Ono, Alicia's, Tamura, Yama, Tamashiro and on and on, but if you are going to Leonard's, Safeway is right there, or going to be in Costco already, it is okay, both do a nice with their pokes.

              I would drop the tacos and keep Me's BBQ, Ah Lang and even Fatty's. The food is good at all, great prices and they are all fun, local experiences.

              I like Roy's Hawaii Kai much better than Roy's Waikiki, but then again I haven't been to Roy's Waikiki in a couple of years because I was like 'enh' my first two times there.

              The two most important places for cocktails to me are the House Without a Key at the Halekulani and the Banyan Court (or what ever it is called these days) at the Moana Hotel. These two more than anyplace else scream Hawaii. When I was a keiki in the late '50's, early '60's, we used to go to the Moana every week to watch them broadcast Hawaii Calls. The House Without a Key at the old Halekulani was my parents favorite haunt.

              Duke's Canoe Club and Hula Grill are basically the same food as the places on Maui, neither is a fave for their main dining room, but I love Duke's Barefoot Bar in Waikiki, especially for lunch or Happy Hour and love all the TS Restaurants Happy Hours and of course, Hula Pie.

              And on a really weird ending note, for reasons unknown, people from the Philippines are Filipino and eat Filipino food. Wouldn't you think they'd either be from the Filippines or that they are called Philippinos and eat Philippino food? Who came up with that one?

              -----
              Halekulani
              2199 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815

              1. re: scottca075

                Yes Costco and Foodland not the BEST poke but we are far from poke experts so for one stop shopping getting other grocery items this will work out for us..

                house without a key is this first come first serve? as im sure they take reservations for guests having dinner not just drinks?? I will look at their website to see what time their entertainers perform at.

            3. Ah Lang is good for the Spicy Wings alone, but why was Opal's Thai Truck not on the N. shore list?

              5 Replies
              1. re: Joebob

                Joe bob is the spicy wings the only thing you like at Ah Lang? or one of your favorite items..Do you bring your own beer in here when you dine??? Do you really bring one of the angry korean lady too????? :O)
                Not read posts on a Opal's thai truck do tell?????????

                Thanks KaimukiMan... I guess my list is small compared to yours??? :O)

                Ogawak.. yes will compare and give my opinion on returning.. I got those two suggestions reading up on shaved ice threads and these two looked like they were the top two in slurping! and mixed plate and loco moco and chili/rice on the list..

                1. re: palmtree38

                  We like the Chive Pancake @ Ah Lang among other items. We always take the Angry Lady Korean Sake.

                  1. re: palmtree38

                    Opal's offers Thai street food W-Sun. in the gully across from McDs in Haleiwa.

                    Personally, I thought the chive pancake had too much chives at Ah Lang.

                  2. re: Joebob

                    I just saw a show on food network on Opal Thai truck on Friday.. The food looks great and family run.. We love thai food... Anyone been and what was your chow experience????

                    1. re: palmtree38

                      palmtree38, don't overthink/plan your trip. Remember, this is Hawaii. 'Nuf said.

                  3. We just came back from a week in Oahu and went to half the places on your list. :)

                    Nico's - two thumbs way way up. We went there twice. Definitely get the furikake crusted ahi (served med. rare by default but I liked rare even better). We also got the daily special fish both times - excellent. You have a choice of either macaroni salad - very good, quite peppery or green salad with their special dressing. I'm not a big salad person but I loved the salad, especially the dressing. It is also made with arugula and other nice mixed greens.

                    We tried to go to Helena's but they were closed for a week because the owner's wife just had a baby. We went to Ono Hawaiian Foods instead very close to the Leonard's main store and it was fabulous. The owners are so nice and friendly too.

                    Kahuku shrimp trucks - We tried Giovanni's in Haleiwa town as well as Fumi's and Romy's in Kahuku. This was a Friday afternoon and there was barely any line at all at all 3 locations. Giovanni's had large shrimp, but Fumi's has a more garlicky sauce (tried Garlic Butter Shrimp at both). So both are recommended. We tried the prawns in garlic butter sauce at Romy's. The sauce was not nearly as flavorful as the other 2 trucks (majorly needed salt and wasn't very garlicky). The prawns were huge, but we only got 3 on the plate. I think you're better off going with either Giovanni's or Fumi's.

                    Shave Ice - Matsumoto's is an institution so no-brainer there, but you might also want to get one from Aoki's just one block down the street for a direct comparison. I recommend you spring for the reusable plastic holder for 25c. I braved my first one with just the default paper cone and it was a total mess. I admitted defeat and got a holder.

                    In addition, if you go out east from Waikiki at all, such as on the way to Hanauma Bay or Roy's Hawaii Kai, please consider stopping at Uncle Clay's House of Pure Aloha on W. Hind in Aina Haina for a shave ice. They make all their syrups in house with natural ingredients and fruit juices. No artificial colors or flavors (by contrast, the coconut syrup at Matsumoto's and Aoki's is bright pink?). We tried mango, lychee, coconut, lilikoi, watermelon, and guava there over 2 visits and every single one tasted just like the fresh fruit. They even have natural li hing mui powder which was delish.

                    Poke - We tried 4 varieties of poke from Costco. Our favorite was the blue marlin poke with sea asparagus. Least favorite was the limu poke. Also consider the Poke Stop with stores in Mililani Mauka and Waipahu. Our favorite there was the sweet onion ahi poke, also kimchi tako, and a mussel salad.

                    At the Shirakiya food court, don't miss the takoyaki (grilled squid balls) and the specialty rice stand. And save room for taiyaki (fish shaped little "waffles" with sweet filling) for dessert. You can ask for ones made hot and fresh with your choice of filling (we tried the custard).

                    -----
                    Ono Hawaiian Foods
                    726 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: madoka

                      Thanks for sharing madoka.... Hope you had a fab vacation and not going through too many withdraws!!!! fine tuning list and cut out romy's thanks..

                      Did you have any favorite happy hour establishments??

                      1. re: palmtree38

                        Oh yes we had a fabulous time - can't wait to go back! We are experiencing serious withdrawal for those Leonard's malasadas and missing our daily poke fix.

                        In terms of Happy Hour, I had both the Royal Hawaiian's Mai Tar Bar and Halekulani's House Without a Key on my list but somehow never made it to either (We didn't stay in Waikiki - we were out in Ko Olina at Disney's Aulani). I did walk by the Mai Tai Bar one evening and it was hopping. The atmosphere is very lively, and the space is not that large, right off the beach. Also, there is another Mai Tai Bar at the top of Ala Moana Center, it's an independent establishment and not to be confused with the one at the Royal Hawaiian. The HWOAK at Halekulani looks a lot more laid back and relaxed than the Mai Tai Bar. They also have live traditional Hawaiian music every day (except Sunday) with hula dancing by a former Miss Hawaii. I think this is from about 5:30pm to 8pm. If I were to pick only one, I would probably choose the HWOAK.

                        -----
                        Royal Hawaiian
                        2259 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96815

                        Ala Moana Center
                        1450 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814

                        Halekulani
                        2199 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815

                        1. re: madoka

                          how did you like the new disney Aulani???

                          This will be our first time to hawaii!! spouse went as a teenager but that was moon's ago....
                          Never tired poki so will have to see what its all about :O)

                          1. re: palmtree38

                            Aulani is gorgeous. No one can beat Disney on creating themed environments, and the Imagineers did not disappoint. The architecture, interior design, landscaping, cast member costumes, pretty much every detail is based on elements of authentic Hawaiian culture and art, not only with respect for the history of the islands but also reflecting contemporary Hawaii. It is not kitschy or cliche at all, but just really beautiful and meaningful. The pool area is amazing too, and the rooms are very nicely appointed (we stayed in a Disney Vacation Club 1-bedroom). The one disappointment was the dining. Their signature restaurant was nothing compared to Roy's Hawaii Kai and Alan Wong's while being at the same price level. The buffets were pretty good, particularly the Asian offerings. I had an excellent pork and butterfish laulau at the dinner buffet which was a big pleasant surprise.

                            If you like sushi/sashimi, you will love poke. :)

                            It was my husband's first time to Hawaii also. I'm sure you and your family will love it. Try to let yourselves slip into island time and hang loose. Don't rush but enjoy your surroundings, the atmosphere, and the aloha spirit of the local people as much as the attractions and activities. We didn't get to do everything that was on my list but that's ok, because i know we will be back. :)

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

                    2. I don't claim that this list comprises everyone's favorites or the best food, but it covers a lot of it. compiled originally because i got tired of the "I don't know, where do you want to go" game.

                      AMERICAN/FUSION - Finer Dining

                      Alan Wong’s, King Street

                      Duc’s Bistro, Chinatown*

                      Hau Tree Lanai, Waikiki*

                      Hoku’s, Kahala

                      Hy’s Steakhouse, Waikiki*

                      Ninniku-Ya Garlic Restaurant, Kaimuki

                      Orchid’s, Halekulani
La Mer, Halekulani

                      Roy’s, Various Locations (HiKai best)

                      3660 On The Rise

                      AMERICAN/FUSION - Nicer

                      Buzz’s Steakhouse, Aiea, Kailua

                      Duke’s, Waikiki*

                      Jameson’s, Haleiwa

                      Mariposa, Ala Moana
                      Pineapple Room, Ala Moana
                      Plumeria Cafe, Kahala

                      Tiki’s, Marriot, Waikiki

                      Town, Kaimuki*

                      12th Avenue Grill, Kaimuki

                      AMERICAN/FUSION - Everyday

                      Big City Diner* various locations
                      Henry Loui’s, Mapunapuna

                      Kakkaako Kitchen, Ward*
                      La Mariana Sailing Club, Sand Island*
(now questionable, gone downhill)
                      Murphy’s, Downtown

                      Side Street Inn, Kakaako & Kapahulu
                      South Shore Grill, Diamond Head/Kapahulu

                      BREAKFAST KINE PLACES

                      Eggs ‘n Things, Waikiki

                      Koa Pancake House, various locations

                      Liliha Bakery*, Liliha/Kalihi

                      Original Pancake House, Ala Moana*

                      Wailana Coffee Shop, Waikiki


                      BURGERS, SANDWICHES, & SUCH

                      BaLe Sandwiches, various locations

                      Burgers on The Edge, Kapahulu

                      Da Big Kahuna, Airport* (better before 2pm)

                      Hank’s Haute Dogs, Kakaako

                      Kua Aina*, Haleiwa and Ward
                      La Tour, Nimitz

                      Moose McGilycuddy’s, Waikiki

                      Puka Dog, Waikiki

                      Teddy’s Bigger Burgers*, various locations

                      W&M Burgers (wed-sun, lunch only) Kaimuki

                      CHINESE
(there are dozens more)
                      Dew Drop Inn, Lower Makiki

                      Duk Kee, Kaimuki*
                      Golden Duck, King Street

                      Happy Days, Kaimuki*

                      Little Village Noodle House, Chinatown
                      Mini Garden, Chinatown & Beretania

                      On On, McCully*

                      Royal Garden, Ala Moana

                      DIM SUM

                      Happy Days, Kaimuki

                      Legends, Chinatown

                      Mei Sum, Chinatown

                      Panda Restaurant, Keeamoku

                      Royal Garden, Ala Moana

                      FILIPINO

                      Jolibees (fast food) Waipahu
                      Max’s of Manila, Iwilei
                      Thelmas Waipahu

                      HAWAIIAN

                      Haili’s, Ward
                      Helena’s, Kapahulu

                      Ono’s, Kapahulu

                      The Willows, Moiliili (setting great, food... meh)

                      INDIAN

                      Cafe Maharani, King St.
                      Himalayan Kitchen, Kaimuki*

                      ITALIAN

                      Assagio, Various
                      
Pizzarina, King St.*

                      Verbano Waialae.* (&maybe King St.)

                      JAPANESE

                      Gyotaku (various)


                      Irifune, Kapahulu
                      Morimoto, Waikiki

                      Sekiyas, Kaimuki (local style japanese)
                      Utage, Kapalama* (also Okinawan)

                      Yamagen, King St.*

                      KOREAN

                      Gina’s, Market City
/ Kaimuki
                      Sorabol, Keeamoku/Lower Makiki

                      Choi’s Garden, Lower Makiki

                      Cafe Million, Lower Makiki

                      LATE NIGHT PLACES

                      Byron’s Plate Lunch, Airport Area
                      LikeLike Drive-in (not so much any more)
                      Sanoya, noodle/ramen, King St. 

                      Sorabol (24/7) Korean, Keeamoku

                      Zippy’s (24/7) Various Locations

                      LUNCH ONLY PLACES (or breakfast/lunch) 

                      Cinnamon’s, Kailua
                      Honey Glazed Hams (tue-sat), Moiliili

                      Monarch Seafood, Lunch Take Out, Kalihi

                      Yama’s, Moiliili (Lunch)
                      Waioli Tea Room, Manoa


                      MALASADAS

                      Agnes’ Portuguese Bake Shop, Kailua
                      Champion, Beretania St

                      Leonard’s Kapahulu

                      MANAPUA

                      Char Hung Sut, Chinatown

                      Libby Manapua, Kalihi

                      Royal Kitchen, Chinatown* (baked not steamed)

                      MEDETERRANEAN

                      The Fat Greek, Kaimuki

                      The Greek Corner, Moiliili

                      Olive Tree, Kahala

                      Pyramids, Kapahulu*

                      MEXICAN
(not Hawaii's forte)
                      Azteca*, Kaimuki

                      Diego's Taco Shop, Moiliili & Aiea
                      Luibuenos, Haleiwa

                      Mexico, Liliha/Kalihi

                      Serge's, Manoa
                      Wahoo’s Fish Tacos, Ward

                      PLATE LUNCH
                      Bob’s bbq, Kalihi

                      Byron’s, Airport

                      Grace’s Inn, King St.

                      Mitsu-ken, Liliha/Kalihi (closes 2pm)

                      Rainbow Drive-In*, Kapahulu
                      Sugoi’s (closes 3pm or earlier), Kapalma

                      Tsukenjo’s, Kakaako

                      Zippy’s, Various

                      SAIMIN/RAMEN

                      Dilligham Saimin, Liliha

                      Ezogiku, Moiliili

                      Forty-Niner, Aiea (plate lunch also)
                      Goma Ichi, Keeamoku

                      Goma Tei, Ward Centers
                      Ichi Riki*, Piikoi
                      Old Saimin House, Kalihi (odd hours)
                      Palace Saimin, Kalihi (odd hours)

                      Sanoya, King St/Makiki

                      Shiro’s Saimin, Aiea

                      Sekiya’s Kaimuki*

                      SEAFOOD & POKE

                      Alicia’s Market, Kalihi Kai
                      Fresh Catch, Kaimuki&Kaneohe
                      Kincaids, Ward

                      Nico’s*, Kalihi./Nimitz(till 5pm, or earlier)
                      Poke Stop, Mililani Mauka

                      Sam Choy’s BL&C, Nimitz
                      Tamashiro Market, Kalihi
                      Young’s Fish Market, Kapalama

                      SUSHI/SASHIMI

                      Genki Sushi (various)

                      Kats Sushi, King St/Makiki

                      Mitch’s, Airport
                      Nobu’s Waikiki

                      Zippy’s (Kahala & Aiea Only)

                      THAI
                      Chai’s (Thai inspired), Aloha Tower

                      Champa Thai, Various locations

                      Keo’s, Waikiki

                      Pae Thai, King St./Makiki*

                      Spices (Thai inspired), Moiliili

                      To Thai For, Kaimuki*

                      VIETNAMESE/PHO

                      Cuu Long, Pearl Kai Center
                      Hale Vietnam, Kaimuki
                      Ha Long*, Dillingham/Kalihi

                      Pho Mai, King St./Makiki

                      Pho97, Chinatown

                      Saigon, Kaimuki

                      VEGAN/VEGETARIAN

                      Hale, Kapiolani (makai of Walmart)
                      Loving Hut (King & Pensacola)

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                        K-man: Very nice List above:
                        Finer Dining:
                        AZURE, MICHEL'S, LE BISTRO
                        Finer Sushi:
                        Sasabune, Izakaya GAKU, Kona Kai, Morio's

                        1. re: KaimukiMan

                          Regarding La Mariana Sailing Club - As big fans of tiki culture, we went during our trip (Sat afternoon) to pay homage to this true vintage tiki bar. As much as the decor is spot on with tikis everywhere, shell pendants, blowfish lamps and glass floats, the place can now be described as "shabby chic tiki-style". The staff are very nice and probably have been there for decades. The view from the lanai tables overlooking the harbor are very pleasant. But some of the booths look like they haven't been refurbished in a very long time, and the drinks are mediocre at best. The menu can also use an update. Basically, only go if you want to see a true vintage tiki bar/restaurant and imagine its heyday. I hope they can spruce it up some without losing its genuine charm.

                          -----
                          La Mariana Restaurant & Bar
                          50 Sand Island Access Rd, Honolulu, HI 96819

                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                            Is Ninniku-Ya Garlic still open? I had heard they were closing.

                            I would also add to Finer Dining, La Mer and Chef Mavro.

                            To Nicer, Indigo and I'd put Azure down there too, not a top tier restaurant.

                            To Ramen I'd add Yotteko-ya Kyoto Ramen , Ramen Nakamura, Tenkaippin Ramen, Matsugen, Taishoken and Kiwami Ramen.

                            For Japanese (not sushi) I'd add, Chibo Restaurant, Suntory, Bistro a Un, Ichi Riki, Tokkuri-Tei and Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin.

                            For Chinese, Fook Yuen.

                            For Sushi I'd add Imanas Tei Restaurant, Jinroku, Sushi Izakaya Gaku and Yohei Sushi Restaurant.

                            For Seafood/Poke I'd add Yama Fish Market as well.

                            For Filipino I'd add Mabuhay Cafe & Restaurant and Jesse's Bakery.

                            For Plate Lunch, Regal Diner and a little love to Like Like Drive-in.

                            For Korean, So Gong Dong Restaurant, Me & My BBQ (for quick, simple, cheap).

                            Breakfast da kine, Anna Miller's.

                            Places not mentioned else where, Chuck's Cellar, the Chart House, Happy Hour at Morton's, Hot Pot Heaven, Curry House Coco Ichibanya, Shokudo and Epic.

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

                            La Mer
                            2199 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815

                            Mabuhay Cafe & Restaurant
                            1049 River St, Honolulu, HI 96817

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

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

                            Regal Diner
                            1960 Kapiolani Blvd Ste 115, Honolulu, HI 96826

                            Tokkuri-Tei
                            611 Kapahulu Ave Ste 102, Honolulu, HI 96815

                            Chuck's Cellar
                            150 Kaiulani Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

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

                            So Gong Dong Restaurant
                            1960 Kapiolani Blvd Ste 210, Honolulu, HI 96826

                            Kiwami Ramen
                            2250 Kalakaua Ave Ste Ll102, Honolulu, HI 96815

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

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

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

                            Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin
                            255 Beach Walk Spc 1, Honolulu, HI 96815

                            Curry House Coco Ichibanya
                            98-199 Kamehameha Hwy Ste B1, Aiea, HI 96701

                              1. re: russkar

                                Ok Im not even going to look at those two other BIGGGGGG LISTS.. :O)
                                restaurant overload..!!!! ... My list was put together after reading through many threads of restaurants mentioned serveral times. We just wanted to try as many of the well talked about restaurants that are chow worthy we shouldnt miss out on our vacation to Waikiki...

                                1. re: palmtree38

                                  hahah, good. as mentioned before, i thought your list was GREAT, an appropriate mix, and appropriate to the amount of time you will be spending here. You asked if my list were bigger...so...

                                  As for items mentioned by Scott (and seconded by russ) they probably all belong on an impartial list. About half of them are not on my list because I haven't been there recently, and the other half because of a particular experience I may have had there, ranging from not so great to omg, never again. A couple of them were on previous iterations' of my list but were removed for one reason or another (sometimes with deep regret.) And in looking over them, a couple could be added to my list. (please note that i do have Ichi Riki down under ramen/saimin instead of Japanese)

                                  I have tried to keep my list to something i can print in two columns, two sided on a single sheet of letter size paper and still be large enough to read in 'normal' lighting without having remembered my reading glasses.

                                  But the palmtree38 list is a very very good one, I'm pretty sure we all agree on that.

                                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                                    Well thankyou Kaimukiman!!! I will drink to that !! for a family with younger children I think we are doing well! Dont see mcdonalds or Denny's on our list :O) In fact kids refuse to eat at ROTTEN RONNIES..

                                    I appreciate everyone's help and suggestions..
                                    Thanks again!!

                                    1. re: palmtree38

                                      just for reference there are two Denny's in Waikiki and (according to the website) only three Mc Donalds, a big draw down from the height of the McBoom of the 1970's/80s when there were a reputed 23 McD's in Waikiki.