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Jan 15, 2012 06:55 PM

Help! Need delivery options and 2 special dinner suggestions near Royal Hawaiian...

Hi hounds, I need your help! We will be in Waikiki at the end of Feb. I am tagging along while my husband attends a 4day conference. He will be committed to work dinners for majority of that time so I need a few delish options that will deliver to the hotel. I am pregnant which makes me a little less adventurous (i.e. I normally adore sashimi, poke etc but that is off limits boo!) We will have two days together once the conference ends so I need your thoughts on Alan Wong's, Nobu, Morimoto, Azure.. We also love saimin, does anyone know of any places nearby? Thank you so much!!

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  1. There is a restaurant delivery service called Room Service in Paradise...check their website. They don't have any of the fine dining places on their list, but some of their choices might be worth considering, such as Spices, Phuket Thai, or even CPK.

    I would expect the concierge at the Royal might have some good suggestions for delivery other than their own room service, but I see on their website that Azure, which is highly regarded, offers in-room dining, which might be just what you want for one of those evenings.

    I'll leave it to others to argue the merits of Alan Wong's, Roy's, etc...lots of posts here to consider. As to saimin, the new food court at Shirokiya in Ala Moana Center has an ongoing series of offering different examples of the most famous ramens from different parts of Japan on a rotating basis...that goes all day, so you could get that for a lunch and still do fine dining in the evening if the business meetings offer the opportunity.

    The ramen at Goma-tei in Ward Center is quite popular, and convenient to Waikiki. Not exactly saimin at either of those places, but good saimin is getting harder and harder to find. Another good place for ramen is Mr. Ojisan on Kapahulu, and for home-made udon, Jimbo's on King St.

    1. Not so much saimin nearby, but in the Royal Hawaiian Center is Ezogiku for ramen. For actual great saimin you need to travel a bit. I think Dillingham Saimin and Palace Saimin Stand are the best although lots of places have good saimin.

      Of the restaurants you've listed, Alan Wong's is the only one I'd bother with. The other spots I would look at are La Mer and Orchids at the Halekulani, Chef Mavro or Roy's. All are pretty close. If distance isn't an issue. I can suggest more.

      If you aren't eating raw fish, why Nobu and Morimoto? Not that they would be my first pick for sushi in Honolulu anyway, I'd go to Imanas Tei, Mitch's Fish Market and Sushi Izakaya Gaku before them, maybe even Yohei Sushi.

      If you want Japanese that isn't sushi, look at Okonomiyaki Chibo Restaurant and Restaurant Suntory in the Royal Hawaiian Center or Ichiriki, a Japanese nabe on Piikoi Street by Ala Moana or Gyu Kaku on Lewers for a Japanese yakinuku style restaurant. There is also Tonkatsu Ginza Barin on the Beach Walk for tonkatsu.

      The biggest thing to consider in delivery is how well it will travel I think. Not fancy, but I'd consider something like Thai, Chinese or Vietnamese. The only place from that service that was mentioned that I would order from is Phuket Thai. How about a nice pizza from Round Table or a pastrami sandwich from Giovanni Pastrami? :) (or just order from Azure)

      1 Reply
      1. re: scottca075

        I will second the recs. for Alan Wong's, La Mer (very fine-dining), Orchids and Chef Mavro's.

        Of the various Roy's, I like the Mainland versions, at least the Phoenix and Pebble Beach restaurants, though they are a different management group - still, have always been better than any that I have tried in the Islands (have not been to the newer Waikiki branch, so am only commenting on many others).



      2. I'd second Macaraca's idea of using Room Service in Paradise. They've been around for a while and they have a high end restaurant like Yardhouse and enough of a variety.
        I grew up on two local styles of saimin. The local type mentioned by scotta075 and the type produced by local Chinese restaurants. I'm not a big fan of the Zippy's Restaurant chain, but you can get theirlocal style saimin called a Zipmin at their Kapahulu Ave. location, close to Waikiki.

        1. for saimin close to Waikiki, Sekiyas on Kaimuki Avenue across from Kaimuki High School is likely to be your best bet. and where else would you get the saimin/hamburger combo?? still unless you are an avid walker it is not walking distance (approx 2 miles) from Waikiki. Sekiyas serves 'old hawaii' style japanese and japanese crossover food. definitely off the beaten trail for tourists.

          1 Reply
          1. re: KaimukiMan

            One of my personal favorites Kman. I think it's been there since the 50s when family owned drive Ins were popular? Not too many of them are left especially when KC Drive In closed a few years ago. Sekiya's fried saimin is supposed to be one of their signature specialties. Don't really care for their regular saimin though but like you mentioned, it's probably the best in the area. While you're there, might as well drop by Leonard's and pick a few piping hot malassadas and sit outside to down a couple...I have never heard of anyone who disagreed.

          2. For a nice evening with your husband, I would recommend either Chef Mavro or Alan Wong. I have not been to the fancy restaurants in Waikiki that ocean views, but I'm from San Francisco, and so I based my decisions (before Azure existed, and now we're hooked on Mavro) on going somewhere that had food less like what we have at home. Alan Wong winds in that department, but the ambiance is really not so good. We found the room, furniture, etc. to be pretty yucky. The food, however, was delicious -- very interesting, in a good way, flavor combinations that went way beyond the stereotypical "fusion fare" that's so passé on the mainland. We ate way too much and felt awful afterwards, though! The food at Mavro has also been delicious whenever we have been there, though not every dish has wowed us flavor-wise (most have, though). Everything has always been cooked and prepared to perfection, too. What really sets Mavro apparat for us, though, is the much nicer ambiance. It feel much more like a romantic spot and has more of a fine dining feel. You won't see the ocean from either of these restaurants like you will at some of the places right on Waikiki.

            5 Replies
            1. re: pickles210

              Alan Wong, Chef Mavro's and La Mer (Halekulanai) have been constants on our trips, for many years. We found La Mer, when Chef Mavro was there, prior to Chef Granier, and hit Alan Wong's within about 3 mos. of his opening.

              Relative to "ocean view," I would opt for La Mer, BUT we find the tables overlooking the House Without a Key, and the live show below, to be even better. Have done both, and the Pacific can wait. I know where I want to sit!

              This is meant in no way, to diss any other "ocean view" restaurants, but having done many (most?) of those, they are my favorites - hands down.



              1. re: Bill Hunt

                Great comments everyone. Thanks so much! Any opinions on Michel's to enjoy the sunset?

                1. re: tschaf17

                  I've had good luck with Michel's of late, but friends who live there are still not convinced it is all the way back.

                  As to the sunset, I'd check where the sun sets in Feb, I don't think it is off Honolulu, I'd think it would be more like Haleiwa in Feb.

                  1. re: scottca075

                    Sunset at the end of Feb will be around 6:35 pm, and just a bit south of due west (@ 260 degrees) , so you should have no trouble seeing the direction of the sunset from anywhere on the waterfront in Waikiki. From Haleiwa town you will be right at the edge of horizon visibility over Kaena Pt...from anywhere farther up the North Shore toward Kahuku you should have a clear view over the ocean. Of course, it all depends on the weather, which is never a sure thing, but generally not a problem.

                    1. re: macaraca

                      yep, in the summer you get north shore sunsets (sunset beach) but from late november through march the sun sets off waikiki, then moves towards ewa beach and the waianaes as the callendar moves through the summer.