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Any place sorta new-ish on Oahu that I should try?

Heading to Oahu next month for 2.5 weeks after a 2 year absence. What's opened since then that I should try? Any food/any price range. So far I have Whole Ox Deli and Salt on my list. Thanks.

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  1. La Cucina (Italian) & Kona Kai (sushi)

    1. Yuzu (Japanese) at the Ala Moana Hotel.

      1 Reply
      1. re: AlEridani

        Thanks to you both. Looking those up now.

      2. Don't know how long it's been open but we enjoyed Indigo (Asian fusion) in Chinatown, Honolulu.

        1 Reply
        1. re: letsindulge

          It opened in 1994 (same year as my first trip to Oahu) and is on my list.

        2. Was Tiki's at the Marriot there when you were here last. I'm trying to remember how new it is. Azure at the Royal Hawaiian is probably new since about then, and if you want to be extravagant LaMer at the Halekulani has reopened. I don't personally know anyone who has been, but talk on the street is very favorable. Was Morimoto (at the Modern/Ilikai) open then? Mostly good reviews, some people seem to feel it is a bit pretentious and overpriced - hey, it's Waikiki.

          I'm probably alone in this, but I was a little disappointed in Whole Ox. Whatever they serve that day is wonderful, but whatever it is, thats pretty much what you get. Not a large menu. If you don't like eggs, forget about breakfast there. If you are expecting a full on New York deli, this is not it. If you like well prepared food in a very casual setting and are open to whatever they are serving that day, you probably won't be disappointed.

          EDIT ADD: The new Nico's is also new since you were here. I really like it, although others say that Uncle's across the parking lot has stepped up their game and is good competition. Not as upscale (very casual), Fresh Catch in Kaimuki (in the Old Pizza Hut by 7-11) is also very good for fish. Great poke, fresh fish, or to eat there.

          12 Replies
          1. re: KaimukiMan

            Yes, I've been to Tiki's a few times and it's also on my list. I haven't been to Azure but the reviews here seem kinda iffy. I will read them again. I'm still on the fence about La Mer. I've only been there once and thought it was a very pleasant dining experience but wasn't wowed. At that price point, I like to be wowed. I forgot about Morimoto, thanks. I'm pretty open to eating whatever so will probably be OK at Whole Ox.

            Keep 'em coming, everyone!

            1. re: KaimukiMan

              Just saw your edit. I'll probably end up going to both Nico's and Uncle's :) Thanks for the suggestion of Fresh Catch.

              1. re: PattyC

                There is also a Fresh Catch in Kaneohe, very good. Did you see his "DDD" episode?

                1. re: manomin

                  No, but I just found it on youtube.

                2. re: PattyC

                  just my opinion, but i've never been impressed with uncles. no doubt they have super fresh seafood, but its pricey and nearly everything i've had has been executed amateurly to bad. Some things at Nico's are tasty, some of the stuff is run of the mill. Their furikake ahi is so freakin good and cooked perfectly to order every time, i dont think i'll branch out anymore. but the new space is great, especially during the afternoon.

                  I like "Salt" in Kaimuki quite a bit, thats about a year old.

                  1. re: fatstern

                    I'm definitely trying Salt. Thanks for your thoughts on Uncle's and Nico's.

                    1. re: fatstern

                      Had an early lunch at Nico's with some friends on Sunday before their flight home. Ordered the furikake ahi and catch of the day (already forgot what it was). The furikake ahi was definitely the tastier of the two. Nice space and good pre/post HNL stop.

                      Heading to Salt tonight.

                      1. re: PattyC

                        Good dinner at Salt last night. Ordered the pork rillette, rabbit, tako, fried oysters and beet salad with the rillette and tako being our favorites. Pic of the tako and oysters. My husband said he felt like the oldest guy there though ;)

                         
                  2. re: KaimukiMan

                    Went to Whole Ox for a late lunch yesterday. I was initially disappointed that they were out of the porchettaboutit. Ordered a landsberg instead and the roast beef was soooo good. Planning to return to try breakfast.

                    1. re: PattyC

                      I'm going tomorrow, I really like the burger too. I've had both that you mentioned as well as a sloppy joe, love their salads too.

                      1. re: manomin

                        Had the foie benedict at Whole Ox yesterday. Hard to face the hotel buffet after that ;)

                         
                    2. re: KaimukiMan

                      was treated to uncle's today, had the signature poke tower - sashimi grade poke, ahi tartar, guacamole over rice with some tortilla chips. the combination worked well, although some of the chips were too salty - minors. i would highly recommend it. prices were on the higher side, but under $20 for most entrees. zagat rated as very good to excellent.

                      have not tried nico's yet, but heard the prices are better.

                    3. The spot to eat in Kapolei is Thai Lao, about a year old.

                      34 Replies
                      1. re: Joebob

                        Great, I could use more recs out this way. Part of our time will be spent at Ko Olina and don't want to drive to Honolulu every day. We'll also go to the Roys there and maybe try Ama Ama for lunch.

                        1. re: PattyC

                          Weakest of all Roy's. Haven't tried Ama Ama. Please report.

                          1. re: Joebob

                            I agree about that Roys although my dad was there in July and thought it was better than it had been in the past so I have hope :) Will definitely report back!

                            1. re: PattyC

                              I was there in August had a wonderful meal, the food was top notch. The service while good was not as stellar as the Waikiki location unfortunately.

                                1. re: manomin

                                  Roys Waikiki is in a whole different league than any other Roy's I've been to and with my beloved Diva running the show and sometimes Roy in the house, its a great winning combo!

                                  1. re: Beach Chick

                                    Do you think it's better than the Hawaii Kai one?

                                    1. re: PattyC

                                      In my humble aloha opinion....YES!

                                      1. re: Beach Chick

                                        I concur with Beach Chick. I have loved everything I've had there. I probably said it before but it's great that in addition to the Roy's Classics on the menu the chef of Waikiki has his own page with his creations, I love his food!

                                      2. re: PattyC

                                        Not a chance.

                                        I stay across the street from Roy's Waikiki, have been several times, but still drive to Hawaii Kai when I want the best of Roy's.

                                      3. re: Beach Chick

                                        We have NOT done Waikiki, but have felt that the Phoenix/Scottsdale, and the Pebble Beach/Spanish Bay were both better than Hawai`i Kai, or the Maui locations. We dined at the Kaua`i location, after a storm, and then after a move, so would hate to grade them on our visit. The Waikola, Big Island location was once good, but the last time there, it was filled to the gills with conventioneers, who were all shouting, and carrying on, so we had a rather bad experience - the food and service were good, but overall, they got graded way, way down that visit.

                                        Hunt

                                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                                          Funny, we have never liked the mainland locations (been to Pasadena, downtown LA, Pebble Beach and maybe one other) but have enjoyed our meals at HK although it has been a while since we were last there.

                                          1. re: PattyC

                                            That IS interesting.

                                            Over the years, we have had three locations in Phoenix, but two have closed. Luckily, the final, remaining version (Westin) is the best. Pebble Beach was great, and so was one other Mainland location (brain cramp, as I cannot recall the location) were very good.

                                            In Hawai`i, Hawai`i Kai was barely OK, both (original) Maui locations were less so, and Kaua`i was up and down, but one visit was just after Iniki, and with a recent reopening. Big Island was good, but went downhill quickly, when their great exec. chef moved "up" to corporate. Ko`olina was good, but we only did one lunch, and never diner, so I must hold out my rating - very good lunch, but do not know about dinner?

                                            Much might depend on "the night," or on the exec. chef during that moment in time.

                                            I have never had bad, but some have been much weaker, than others.

                                            Also, on the Mainland, we have definitely not dined at all locations.

                                            Just some Roy's observations,

                                            Hunt

                                  2. re: Joebob

                                    Had lunch at Ama Ama yesterday. It was nothing special. Don't think I'd go back.

                                    There's construction at the the future location of Monkeypod Kitchen with a sign saying November 2012 though based what I saw I think next month is being optimistic ;)

                                    1. re: PattyC

                                      We thought Ama Ama was lame until we tried Makahiki for lunch today.

                                      There's also a sign at the Island Marketplace shopping center for a Yuzu coming soon. However I saw no construction activity.

                                    2. re: Joebob

                                      Dinner at Roys Ko Olina was pretty solid last night. Better than I remember it being and definitely better than the mainland ones I've tried. Don't know if it's as good as Waikiki or HK. Service was good too.

                                      Lunch is still pretty weak both in terms of food and service. The difference between night and day was literally night and day. It felt like two different restaurants.

                                      Pics of my king crab gyoza and trio of treasures.

                                       
                                       
                                      1. re: PattyC

                                        That is good to know. As mentioned above, we have only done a quick, light lunch, but that was pretty good.

                                        Mahalo,

                                        Hunt

                                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                                          Bill - I had the most fabulous meal Saturday at the Waikiki Roy's. Just wonderful. Unusual in that the birthday girl wanted only appetizers and we had a completely fabulous meal for 4 people. Service was excellent. Interesting that the exec. chef was working the sushi station and had his sous working the line. The whole evening had excellent flow and perfect timing and execution of dishes. This is an example of why Roy's works. Folks exchange jobs and it still shines, giving others a chance is what it should be all about. Looking forward to my birthday meal there next month!

                                          1. re: manomin

                                            That is great news.

                                            We have yet to go, though we stay, just across the street - too many places, and too little time.

                                            Hope to rectify that situation, though possibly not by the Dec. trip.

                                            Mahalo,

                                            Hunt

                                            1. re: manomin

                                              Aloha!!
                                              Roys Waikiki rocks it.
                                              Don't do mainland Roy's but O'ahu seems to shine.
                                              $300 rt.on Hawaiian Air...GTG
                                              ; )

                                              1. re: Beach Chick

                                                I know that you have been known to travel to AZ, but have you done the Roy's at Desert Ridge in Phoenix/Scottsdale? How did it compare to the Waikiki restaurant?

                                                Just curious,

                                                Hunt

                                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                  Aloha Bill..
                                                  The only Roys I go to is Waikiki...its that good and sometimes, if I'm in the area, I'll hit up Pebble Beach for drinks to see the bagpipe guy.
                                                  Back in the mid 90s, the Roys in Napili was pretty good.
                                                  Strictly, a Roy's O'ahu Chica.

                                                  1. re: Beach Chick

                                                    Ah, "the bagpipe guy!" When the marine layer is coming in, and one knows that they will likely "prang one off a deer the next morning at Poppy Hills, the bagpipe guy is welcome.

                                                    Next time in these environs (Phoenix, AZ), I would enjoy reading of your trip to the Desert Ridge (J W Marriott) Roy's location. Maybe we can do Roy's Waikiki in Dec., but it will have to be for lunch.

                                                    Aloha and mahalo,

                                                    Hunt

                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                      Bill - lunch is fun at Roy's, sitting at the bar or bar area. The menu is their "Classics" as well as a really good burger and lots of sushi offerings. I love to sit there and people watch.

                                      2. re: PattyC

                                        Give Brick Oven Pizza a thought. I tried it once and was very pleased. Haven't been back out that way in a while.

                                        1. re: KaimukiMan

                                          The Man came to Kapolei and he didn't try Thai Lao?! (Insert incredulous remark here.) KMan, you don't know what you're missing!

                                          1. re: Joebob

                                            No doubt, but I was with a friend who is suspicious of anything he doesn't consider 'American food' - apparently pizza is American. I will put Thai Lao on my list for the West Side.

                                            1. re: KaimukiMan

                                              Gee K-Man he sounds like my late FIL. He also didn't like "white food" which meant white sauces and such. Of course he'd eat Alfredo so go figure!

                                          2. re: PattyC

                                            Had lunch at that Roy's, and it was good. We have dined at many Roy's, both in the Islands, and on the Mainland, and that one did not let us down - but it WAS only for lunch.

                                            Please report, mahalo,

                                            Hunt

                                            1. re: PattyC

                                              Glad you liked it. Thanks for the feedback. What did you have?

                                              1. re: Joebob

                                                Pad thai, pad se-ew, garlic shrimp, garlic whole fish and evil jungle curry. We liked it all.

                                                1. re: PattyC

                                                  Glad you got the deep-fried fish in garlic oil sauce; my favorite dish. Good choices, all, as is the roasted eggplant salad, laab, green curry, etc., etc.