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Feb 22, 2012 07:18 AM

Headed back to Honolulu

We did an extensive study on Chowhound a year and a half ago for our visit to our son in Honolulu. Has anything changed, such as previous stars falling or closed or new entries arriving on the scene. We are especially looking for suggestions within walking distance of the Aloha Tower.

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  1. There really isn't much within walking distance of Aloha Tower. Your choices are pretty much limited to Chinatown, Aloha Tower, or Restaurant Row.

    1. Are you talking about the condo high rise vs. the marketplace?

      On Lewers, you can catch breakfast at Moose's on Lewer's..they have a 2 for 1 coupon in the back of the 101 things to do and saves you about $10 and the breakfast is pretty good..

      1 Reply
      1. re: Beach Chick

        ah, you mean the Aloha Towers condo? The difference a single letter makes is significant. That would make more sense than the marketplace.

      2. If you mean the area around the Aloha Tower Marketplace, I cannot comment over the last 18 mos. Going back, Scott's was good, but they have been gone, replaced by a "cookie-cutter" themed restaurant.

        In other areas, East of Aloha Tower, one major closing/reopening was the Bali by the Sea, at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. At one time, it was good, but is now a "steakhouse," and I have no experience with it.

        I agree with Killersmile, that around the Aloha Tower Marketplace, one is a bit limited.

        In Chinatown, Indigo has proved good, over the years.



        1. It would be a big help if you specify whether you are looking for recs for downtown or Waikiki.

          1. My son actually lives at 1088 Bishop and you can see the Aloha Tower (no "s") from his balcony, so I figured that would be a central monument to use as a starting point. Last time we ate at Indigo, Little House and Chai's. It is really nice not to have to drive. There was also a French Bistro across the street from Indigo but we couldn't get a decent table last time. Are there still two Alan Wong's and is one better than the other?

            2 Replies
            1. re: bleen68

              don't really think there's much great food at aloha tower besides Chai's.

              how about a chinatown food tour?
              that tour is kinda pricey, but its pretty good (did it many yrs ago) -- besides that intro, i frequent the markets etc and i know my way around pretty well, always take visitors on a brunch tour > i'll do it for much less if you're interested ;) lemme know! i'll send you my contact info...

              Duc's bistro does solid, if kinda boring french/vietnamese fare

              for lunch, maybe hit up Bruno's Forno? (might be open for dinner?) believe it or not, a lasagna joint in chinatown. really good, sharable small lasagnas, housemade noodles. not the giant multi-layered ricotta globbed meaty disasters that are typical american lasagnas. these are refined, tasty, even light lasagnas. 4 or 5 kinds. can buy a decent bottle of vino as HASR wine around the corner (BYOB), share a salad and some lasagna...nice lunch. same guy also runs Mix Cafe, a lunch joint downtown that has really nice sandwiches with house roasted meats, nice salads, couple pasta dishes.

              hit up otto cake in chinatown for some cheesecake - all he does, great stuff.

              brasserie du vin is an always solid french bistro/wine bar....tuesdays i think are half-priced bottles

              lots of stuff open downtown during lunchtime on weekdays, but i dont work down there or make it too often - maybe some folks have some favorite weekday lunch haunts (besides Mix)? Oh, in the Hawaii state art museum (HISAM) is a cafe called 'Downtown'...same guys own a great resto called "Town" in Kaimuki. can do sit down or cafeteria style lunch here, all super fresh, local ingredients. meditteranean inspired fare with a local twist. good stuff. plus, museum is free.

              hmm, bangkok chef up nuuanu is, solid counter service thai food out of a converted garage.

              you should pick a vietnamese joint in chinatown for some pho (beef noodle soup) one day for lunch. pho to chau will have a line out the door, but i dunno, the neighboring ones are just as good. maybe.

              into coffee? Beach Bum Cafe -- that guy uses only hawaiian coffee and "microbrews" it all to order.

              there's hukilau, on bishop. people like it, i've only been once, thought it was ok. hawaiian-style kicked up sports bar grub.

              out of ideas for now....


              1. re: bleen68

                fatstern's list is pretty good and covers most of the options available. Let's see, to add to that list there is Hiroshi, Vino, & Kinchan Sushi in Restaurant Row/Waterfront Plaza. Soul de Cuba and J.J. Dolan's on Bethel Street. Maybe you could hit up the Eat the Street food truck gathering on the last friday of every month for some variety. To Chau is usually too crowded so I end up at Cuu Long instead.

                Hiroshi's Eurasian Tapa's
                500 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI

                Cuu Long
                175 N Hotel St Ste 2, Honolulu, HI 96817

                Soul De Cuba Cafe
                1121 Bethel St, Honolulu, HI 96813