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What foods might I miss moving from DC to Oahu?

0225eiluj May 20, 2013 04:34 PM

I'm absolutely thrilled to be moving to Oahu this summer. In terms of restaurants, I'm wondering what types of food I'm LEAST likely to have good luck with in Hawaii (if any). I need to know what to eat til I'm sick of it here. :-)
I'm looking forward to embracing all that Hawaii has to offer and don't plan on longing for a particular east coast food. Any ethnicities not well represented in Hawaii restaurants? (I will admit that I don't do Ethiopian so I'm not too sad about leaving that behind. And I've already started ODing on Trader Joe's goodies!)
Thanks in advance.

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  1. j
    Joebob RE: 0225eiluj May 20, 2013 06:29 PM

    #1 absolutely, MEXICAN. Then followed by any European specialties you enjoy e. g. Scandinavian of any kind, Hungarian, the Greek isn't very good either, etc. Then South American and African.

    10 Replies
    1. re: Joebob
      indelibledotink RE: Joebob May 20, 2013 06:35 PM

      i second the motion, though does dc even have good mex?

      russian, eastern european aren't represented at all.

      i haven't had a decent cubano here, although when i was in ny, the good ones were hard to find despite a plethora of cuban restaurants.

      what are some of your favorite chains?

      1. re: indelibledotink
        0225eiluj RE: indelibledotink May 20, 2013 07:03 PM

        Ooo good call on the Mexican. Sadly, I think the closest DC comes is "decent" Mex. I do enjoy Rosa Mexicano, if you're familiar. I will definitely hit them up before we leave.

        Hmmm.... luckily I'm not too big on chains. Other than Popeye's (because why on earth make your own fried chicken when there's Popeye's), I can't think of any we frequent. Oh, and Chipotle, of course. I certainly wouldn't consider that authentic, and I can easily replicate my favs from there.

        I've been on an Indian kick lately, but I think I've seen a sufficient number of places on Oahu to get a fix, no matter how authentic.

        I will be sure to get some Greek and South American, as well-- thanks!!

        1. re: 0225eiluj
          indelibledotink RE: 0225eiluj May 20, 2013 07:39 PM

          we have popeye's and churches is good too, they only made a comeback to the islands within the past few years. unfortunately there are no chuches'/whitecastles here.

          there are a bunch of greek places. indian and even egyptian/mediterreanean/greek.

          no chipotle. maybe you could start a franchise, i here only good things about them.

          there used to be some brazilian restaurants, dunno if they are still around.

          1. re: indelibledotink
            roro808 RE: indelibledotink May 20, 2013 09:39 PM

            There is a Brazilian/Portuguese resto. in Honolulu's Chinatown -- Adego Resto. I see some CH review on it.

            1. re: roro808
              KaimukiMan RE: roro808 May 22, 2013 07:04 PM

              I think Adego is a pop-up, but I'm not sure.

              1. re: KaimukiMan
                roro808 RE: KaimukiMan May 22, 2013 07:20 PM

                Adega -- on Pauahi St. - used to be the location of Mei Sum (?) dim sum. She moved a block away.

                1. re: roro808
                  KaimukiMan RE: roro808 May 22, 2013 07:29 PM

                  thanks roro, i will have to put it on 'my list'. Been a long time since "Lisboa" closed on King St. Aside from Portuguese bean soup not sure what i would order at a Portuguese restaurant any more.

                  1. re: KaimukiMan
                    roro808 RE: KaimukiMan May 22, 2013 07:41 PM

                    The restol is run by Brazilian brothers, I believe.

                    1. re: roro808
                      Joebob RE: roro808 May 22, 2013 11:27 PM

                      And is not supposed to be very good. They offered 1/2 price Living Social discounts about a month ago, I believe.

            2. re: indelibledotink
              melpy RE: indelibledotink May 24, 2013 03:08 AM

              I don't believe Chipotle franchises. We looked into trying to open one and it wasn't an option at the time.

      2. j
        Joebob RE: 0225eiluj May 20, 2013 10:10 PM

        P. S. BBQ, although you probably can't get anything decent in DC either. Stop in Austin, TX on your way here, drive around the Hill Country, and get your fill.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Joebob
          sal_acid RE: Joebob May 21, 2013 05:00 AM

          If that's your idea of BBQ. :-)

        2. h
          honu2 RE: 0225eiluj May 21, 2013 11:10 AM

          We don't do southern cooking, including Cajun, well or extensively in Hawaii. As far as I know, there are no Peruvian chicken places either. Falafel and kabobs are also missing in action.

          If I were in your shoes,before leaving I'd be sure to go to a good Jewish deli (though I don't remember there being any in D.C.) and eat a lot of soft shell crabs, which you can't get in Hawaii.

          6 Replies
          1. re: honu2
            indelibledotink RE: honu2 May 21, 2013 03:17 PM

            although i don't usually go mediterreanean, we have them here. 'da falafel king' gets raves from yelpers, and the local greek places have followings.

            southern cooking is easier to replicate at home, but we don't have a lot of restaurants.

            although, i must say regarding mexican, that Serges' is VERY GOOD, if not SUPERB. i love Serges' and don't know why i didn't think of that when first posting.

            1. re: indelibledotink
              killersmile RE: indelibledotink May 21, 2013 03:59 PM

              I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to da falafel king.

            2. re: honu2
              killersmile RE: honu2 May 21, 2013 03:54 PM

              The only place I know of that does peruvian chicken is Horeo's Chicken in downtown.

              1. re: killersmile
                indelibledotink RE: killersmile May 21, 2013 04:35 PM

                thanks for the tip, i never heard of horeos. arfe they exclusively peruvian?

                what distinguishes peruvian chicken from, say huli chicken?

                1. re: indelibledotink
                  killersmile RE: indelibledotink May 21, 2013 05:07 PM

                  Their sign says peruvian/argentinian cuisine. I haven't had the chance to try it yet. The one time I went to try it, they were sold out of their chicken already.

                2. re: killersmile
                  honu2 RE: killersmile May 21, 2013 06:56 PM

                  Horeo's is in a difficult place for most to access; it's off the basement courtyard of the Heald College building at the corner of Bishop and Hotel St. in a space that has seen numerous tenants. It's only open for weekday lunch with a limited take-out menu, so unless one works in the vicinity it's not worth the hassle of finding parking and a place to sit. The spicing is different from huli-huli chicken and it's not smoked.

              2. c
                curiousgeo RE: 0225eiluj May 21, 2013 12:44 PM

                Half smokes with chili from Ben's, good Southern cooking, Portuguese and Lebanese fare. Agree about Mexican, although there are a couple of halfway decent taco trucks now.

                1. t
                  thistle5 RE: 0225eiluj May 21, 2013 04:50 PM

                  Anything you can get in DC, you should be able to get in Hawaii, & if you cook for yourself, you're ahead of the game- the only problem might be the higher cost of groceries. Have fun on, & around the beach! If you really want to suffer, eat lots of halfsmokes 'til you leave.....

                  1. Bill Hunt RE: 0225eiluj May 21, 2013 08:36 PM

                    The first thing that comes to my mind is great Southern & Low Country Cuisine, like Vidalia. Next would be full-gamut French, like La Paradou (when open). However, there ARE some nice FR treatments, but with atypical ingredients. Carolina (fill in the blank, whether Eastern NC, Western NC, Eastern SC or Western SC) BBQ will be missed.

                    You will not find ramps, and will be hard-pressed to locate "stone-ground grits."

                    OTOH, you will have seafood items, that you might never have dreamed of.

                    There will be missing ethnic offerings, but likely some that you never thought of.

                    You will likely never find a Philly Cheesesteak (that matches the original), but then even in DC, one would have to search. AZ Frybread will be nowhere to be found.

                    My suggestion is to explore new cuisines, and treatments, and do NOT try to recreate "home." Since moving from New Orleans 30 years ago, I have yet to find a perfect NOLA Seafood Gumbo, outside my wife's kitchen. Such is life, and I can fly to NOLA, when I have the time.

                    Enjoy, and much aloha,


                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Bill Hunt
                      indelibledotink RE: Bill Hunt May 21, 2013 09:11 PM

                      new eagle cafe does a great phiilly cheesesteak using prime rib.

                      1. re: Bill Hunt
                        manomin RE: Bill Hunt May 22, 2013 12:27 PM

                        Au contraire my friend. Fry Bread in all it's authenticity can be had probably one time of year for sure at the Thomas Square Pow Wow and maybe also at the one in Kapiolani Park. I've been to them and I know. Being Native American myself I can attest to this being authentically delicious! :-) And New Eagle does have a great Philly Cheesesteak as mentioned by Indelibledotink. Also in Windward Mall there is a place with really good Philly sandwiches.

                        1. re: manomin
                          Bill Hunt RE: manomin May 22, 2013 08:38 PM

                          Interesting. I would not have anticipated a very large population of Navajo, Zuni, or Hopi in Hawai`i. OTOH, who would have anticipated that Phoenix, AZ would have a large enough Polynesian population, to have an annual festival, and who would have thought that the winners of the Makahiki Festival would have been living in Aurora, CO, USA, ready to perform for my 50th birthday.

                          We DO live in a very multi-cultural world.



                          1. re: Bill Hunt
                            manomin RE: Bill Hunt May 22, 2013 11:46 PM

                            Hunt, many many tribes make that fry bread my Oneida tribe does as do many many others. It tastes just wonderful and could pass for the Navajo as it has become to be known. It is a most amazing world we live in! :-)

                            1. re: manomin
                              pilotgirl210 RE: manomin May 23, 2013 02:05 PM

                              I was raised in Central Oregon among the Warm Springs Indian Tribe and a dear friend gave me her fry bread recipe. There's nothing like it when it's hot and fresh. Just might make a batch over the long weekend. Shame on you all for making me hungry for it :=) Getting ready for bathing suit weather and fry bread has a kabillion calories!

                              1. re: manomin
                                Bill Hunt RE: manomin May 24, 2013 08:37 PM

                                Great news!

                                Mahalo for sharing. I stand corrected.


                        2. s
                          shake N baik RE: 0225eiluj May 22, 2013 02:10 AM

                          I just spent 3 days in Honolulu and I have to say that I am envious of your move. Honestly, I don't think you'll miss many things from DC. I've eaten out a ton in my 10 years in DC and the only thing I would miss is neopolitan pizza at places like Menomale in DC or Pupatella in VA. I've been loving the influx of ramen and Japanese places in DC but Honolulu has better. Perhaps crabcakes?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: shake N baik
                            Bill Hunt RE: shake N baik May 22, 2013 08:43 PM

                            Going back some years, I had the best Crabcakes, of my life (growing up on the Coastal Gulf South, near New Orleans), on the North Shore at Ola. However, and as fate would have it, my wife's Crabcake was spoiled, so totally inedible. They were from two batches - one great, one bad. Such is life.

                            Still, MY version, the good one, was head and shoulders above ANY version that I have had in the entire Tidewater Region, or even New Orleans, during Blue Crab season.

                            Too bad that both of us did not get the batch, that I did.


                          2. KaimukiMan RE: 0225eiluj May 22, 2013 07:13 PM

                            Well Joebob hit the most misssd thing, and Hunt gave a highly relevant reply.

                            You will miss whatever it is that is special to DC. Moving here 30+ years ago from the San Francisco area I still miss 'real' sourdough. But heck, if i moved to LA or Seattle I'd miss it too. Do remember that Hawaii isn't a bread place. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that essentially you can't buy a great loaf of bread anywhere in the state. Good bread yes, great bread no. We also lack a decent deli. Fill up on pastrami sandwiches, you wont find anything resembling a typical east coast deli, but again you would be hard pressed to find one in LA or San Francisco either.

                            We have some really good asian food, we have more than decent italian, but what we shine brightest on is fusion. I think what you will miss most is having a choice of where to go when you want something special, but you can find many things.

                            I know DC isn't an inexpensive place to live or to eat, but you will still suffer from sticker shock when you get here.

                            29 Replies
                            1. re: KaimukiMan
                              roro808 RE: KaimukiMan May 22, 2013 07:25 PM

                              No worries -- whenever you move away from your "hometown", you will always miss something that you are used to. Be brave and explore new things... you won't find a better poke than in Hawaii, nor huli-huli chicken. Heck, my son ordered laulau Zippy's and shipped it to Ohio!! I missed food that I used to eat while growing up in Asia, but what the heck..

                              1. re: roro808
                                indelibledotink RE: roro808 May 22, 2013 07:41 PM

                                what asian foods do you mean?

                                1. re: indelibledotink
                                  roro808 RE: indelibledotink May 22, 2013 07:53 PM

                                  A real good strong Indonesian food... Used to have Bali Indonesia resto. on Kapiolani, but was prepared to the mild local taste ... and now ... no more. Even the ones in SF or LA area have been diluted down. But, I rely on my own kitchen to producetr such wonderful feast to my tasteThankfully, I can find needed spices either in Chinatown or Asian market. About the closest taste is when I visited Australia where there are lot of Indonesian/Malay population paired with those wonderful Australian wines.... :)

                              2. re: KaimukiMan
                                indelibledotink RE: KaimukiMan May 22, 2013 07:39 PM

                                kman, there are some great breads to be found here! great harvest in kahala is one, and i've had great nom noms at other places, though i am not a bread fanatic.

                                1. re: indelibledotink
                                  KaimukiMan RE: indelibledotink May 23, 2013 01:22 AM

                                  Sorry Indelible, I don't agree about Great Harvest. It isn't bad, but it's not great bread. Same with BaLe. Good, but not great. And with our climate it is almost impossible to get a good crust if the bread has been out of the oven for over an hour.

                                  1. re: KaimukiMan
                                    indelibledotink RE: KaimukiMan May 23, 2013 01:29 AM

                                    i have the same feeling, but about ny pizza anywhere out of nyc.

                                    there are some other bread bakeries around, though.

                                    1. re: KaimukiMan
                                      honu2 RE: KaimukiMan May 23, 2013 11:12 AM

                                      I think there have been great strides in the quality of breads available here in Hawaii in the last 20 years. Though I can't state the same for their other breads, BaLe's finnish rye, pumperknickel and light rye are excellent. Patisserie's lavosh is great. The LaBrea brand French and Ciabatta breads available at Times and Foodland that you finish baking at home are excellent; you should give them a try.

                                  2. re: KaimukiMan
                                    Joebob RE: KaimukiMan May 22, 2013 11:52 PM

                                    When I want dark bread to put under herring in sour cream or lox or liverwurst or a strong cheese, I can buy German black bread at Down to Earth or Whole Foods and whole grain bread at Costco. Also, the baguettes at Costco are quite good when fresh, for white bread. Can't get a decent hard-crust, boiled bagel though. But no-knead bread means it is easy to make your own now, or so I've heard.

                                    Yes, Asian fusion is our lode star, and I sadly agree about Jew-food delis too. But it is nice to have Whole Ox.

                                    I have no idea why, but it seems about the only place you can get ordinary (everywhere else) corn tortillas for tacos is Mercado de la Raza. Perhaps the salt water on the trip over does something to them?

                                    1. re: Joebob
                                      indelibledotink RE: Joebob May 22, 2013 11:58 PM

                                      i have not found, although have heard of, plain poppy seed bagels here, along with fresh scallion cream cheese. that was my go to breakfast in brooklyn.

                                      1. re: indelibledotink
                                        Joebob RE: indelibledotink May 23, 2013 09:57 AM

                                        Costco's "onion" bagels (I call them everything.) are mostly poppy seed, but, not being boiled before baking, have a soft, rather than the requisite cement-like, crust of the true bagel, but they toast nicely, and the scallions from the farmer's markets here are lovely for make-your-own-fresh flavored cream cheese.

                                    2. re: KaimukiMan
                                      killersmile RE: KaimukiMan May 23, 2013 11:42 AM

                                      In my mind, Christopher Sy makes great breads, but I guess it isn't easily accessible for most and they sell out quickly. http://www.breadsbybreadshop.com/

                                      1. re: killersmile
                                        KaimukiMan RE: killersmile May 23, 2013 08:55 PM

                                        it looks like i will have to give this a try. I can probably hit both Breadshop and BaLe at the farmer's market this Saturday.

                                        1. re: KaimukiMan
                                          killersmile RE: KaimukiMan May 23, 2013 09:40 PM

                                          That's what I usually do, although I already picked up his brioche at the Wednesday Blaisdell farmer's market.

                                        2. re: killersmile
                                          indelibledotink RE: killersmile May 23, 2013 09:54 PM

                                          gorgeous website.

                                          ks - what types of bread have you tried?

                                          1. re: indelibledotink
                                            killersmile RE: indelibledotink May 24, 2013 01:54 AM

                                            Usually they have the city, country, & brioche and lately croissants on Saturday. He used to also have mini baguettes, but he hasn't made those in months. I've tried and like all of his loaves. Which one I buy really depends on what i'm planning on using the bread for. I think the least successful is the croissants, but my mom likes them. To me they are too dense and aren't flaky enough.

                                            1. re: killersmile
                                              KaimukiMan RE: killersmile May 25, 2013 01:09 PM

                                              I did manage to get to the KCC farmer's market this morning (in spite of the fact that a friend was buying drinks last night.) I got a loaf of the Breadshop Country bread. It was, as promised, a very good loaf of bread. Nice sourdough flavor, nice chewiness, nice substantial crisp crust.

                                              I would have liked to put it in the oven for a few minutes to re-crisp it slightly (the price of living in a humid climate), but unfortunately the loaf was already slightly burnt (no, not brown, this was charcoaled edges) so I didn't dare re-crisp it.

                                              At $7.50 for a loaf it isn't a bargain, but considering the quality of bread for a dollar or so less, this is worth it once in a while. Wish my waistline would let it be once a week or so . . . sigh.

                                              1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                Joebob RE: KaimukiMan May 25, 2013 02:19 PM

                                                My dear departed wife taught me how to crisp bread: heat oven to 425-450F. Put bread under the water faucet briefly until it is wet all over. Immediately put in the oven and bake for 10 min. or so. Crust will be crisped without burning.

                                                1. re: Joebob
                                                  KaimukiMan RE: Joebob May 25, 2013 03:26 PM

                                                  sounds like a great method . . . but since the bread was already slightly burnt I'm not sure I would have tried it. Next week. LOL

                                                  ps: half the loaf disappeared for breakfast (half of that plain, half waited till i got home to have butter on it), the other half of the loaf was wonderful with peanut butter for lunch.

                                                  1. re: Joebob
                                                    roro808 RE: Joebob May 26, 2013 02:45 AM

                                                    You can do the same thing with old regular toasting bread -- sprinkle some water before toasting and it's good as new... no more stale bread.

                                                  2. re: KaimukiMan
                                                    killersmile RE: KaimukiMan May 25, 2013 04:58 PM

                                                    Glad you enjoyed it. His country and city loaves do turn out with slightly burnt ends and top (not all of the time, but most). A price I guess for using the pizza oven at Prima to bake his breads. I too always have a hard time resisting breaking into the bread immediately and devouring half of it.

                                                    1. re: killersmile
                                                      KaimukiMan RE: killersmile May 25, 2013 06:02 PM

                                                      yes, a good portion was gone before I reached home - all of what 16 blocks away?

                                                      1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                        KaimukiMan RE: KaimukiMan Jun 3, 2013 09:21 AM

                                                        This saturday I bought a loaf of both the city (white) and the country (wheat) again. In so many ways very very good bread. But again - especially the country loaf - was burnt on the top, then ends and the bottom.

                                                        So what arguably could be some of the best bread I've had in decades would be called excellent, except for one thing. It was improperly cooked. It was burnt. Thats not a small thing. It makes it almost inedible. If I'm paying $7.50 for a loaf of bread, I don't expect it to be something I would have to cut 20% of the loaf away if I were going to serve it to company. I'm certainly not going to serve burnt bread to guests.

                                                        So I go back to my original comment. We just don't have good bread in Hawaii, certainly not on Oahu. And yes, I sent Christopher Sy a note to that effect. I don't like to talk bad about someone behind his back.

                                                        1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                          KaimukiMan RE: KaimukiMan Jun 6, 2013 12:43 PM

                                                          I did get a response back from Christopher Sy. He offered to refund my money, and he explained why his bread is the way it is. I'm not in total agreement with him, but it's his product he gets to sell it the way he believes it should be sold. I can't argue with the passion or dedication he obviously feels for his product.

                                                          1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                            killersmile RE: KaimukiMan Jun 6, 2013 01:33 PM

                                                            Good to know you provided valuable feedback especially if there were problems with the bread. I agree that for the price, you don't expect to have problems with it. My last country loaf only had one edge burnt, so it had barely any effect on the bread. Did he give a reasoning why he could not make adjustments so that it does not burn? It is concerning if it is a fixable problem that he chooses not to address, rather than something out of his control. Oh well, if you ever do find a great bread be sure to post about it so others can enjoy as well.

                                                            1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                              indelibledotink RE: KaimukiMan Jun 6, 2013 02:50 PM

                                                              why is it the way it is?

                                                              1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                KaimukiMan RE: KaimukiMan Jun 6, 2013 07:56 PM

                                                                Basically he feels he has to bake it as much as he does to bring out the flavors, that we are awash with underbaked bread and missing out on a lot of flavor. In order to bring out the richness of the bread it must be cooked enough that some of it is slightly beyond brown. I'm paraphrasing his words. Basically he feels the way he bakes it is correct, that it tastes better if some of it is burnt, that it adds a flavor dimension. His words below.

                                                                " In fact, you may be surprised to know that some charring is not entirely unappealing to many (myself included). I find it adds character to the loaf and acts as a counterpoint to everything else that's going on in our bread."

                                                                I agree that it adds a flavor dimension, its just not a dimension that I enjoy. I agree that much of the bread that is available is underdone. I just think he goes too far in the other direction. Clearly one of the two loaves I got on the second week was among the more 'well done' loaves. Mind you he gave me a very extensive half page of small print explanation of his bread, his processes, his passions, and why he does bread the way he does. Including all that here would not be appropriate, it would in essence be a way of the subject answering. Suffice to say it was extensive and well written.

                                                                Essentially what he told me is that I've gotten used to the equivalent overcooked spaghetti, its time to learn how wonderful al dente is. That steak is better rare/medium rare than well done, and barbeque had better have some black spots on it. I'm just a philistine.

                                                                1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                  killersmile RE: KaimukiMan Jun 7, 2013 12:00 PM

                                                                  Lol, thanks for your explanation. I too like a little char, but not burnt. If I had to cut away 20% of my loaf I would not have been happy.

                                                                  1. re: killersmile
                                                                    indelibledotink RE: killersmile Jun 25, 2013 01:27 AM

                                                                    new bread bakery opening in shirokiya soon. supposed to have ono European breads via Japanese bakers.

                                                                    1. re: indelibledotink
                                                                      killersmile RE: indelibledotink Jun 26, 2013 11:50 AM

                                                                      Yeah, they are supposedly open already, probably soft opening with grand opening supposed to be july 3. Brug Bakery - German style bakery via Hokkaido. I have yet to try it out, but will next time i'm at Shirokiya. Supposedly they will bake bread throughout the day for freshness.

                                              2. k
                                                kathryn RE: 0225eiluj May 22, 2013 09:01 PM

                                                When is the move? I would also eat lots of local farmers market produce but only the kind will be hard to find in Hawaii. I'm thinking heirloom stuff. Like apples, cherries, blueberries, peaches, plums, apricots, which need a cold season in order to grow. In addition to ramps, what about stuff like fiddlehead ferns, fava beans, other vegetables that flood east coast farmers markets right now...? There's probably a handful of vegetables that also don't do great in Hawaii.

                                                I'm also guessing that lobster rolls will be hard to find. Or east coast oysters.

                                                8 Replies
                                                1. re: kathryn
                                                  indelibledotink RE: kathryn May 22, 2013 10:43 PM

                                                  we have fiddleheads here. koreans use them quite a bit, maybe at palama or queens supermarkets. hawaiians eat them too, but perhaps they are a diff variety? to me they're gross and i read a study that said they were potentially toxic in large amounts.

                                                  i like crabcakes, but even when they are good, i feel as if they could have been better, so i never order them nymore. perhaps because you only get two per serving?

                                                  1. re: indelibledotink
                                                    honu2 RE: indelibledotink May 23, 2013 11:20 AM

                                                    Fiddlehead ferns from Oregon are available at Whole Foods. But there are locally grown ones here too (like in my back yard and at farmers markets) but we call them different names. The Japanese call them "warabi" and that is the most commonly used name. "Pohole" is one the two Hawaiian words. I can't remember the Korean term and the other Hawaiian name.

                                                    1. re: indelibledotink
                                                      Bill Hunt RE: indelibledotink May 24, 2013 08:43 PM

                                                      I have not had any in Hawai`i, but we seek them out in the Southeast on the Mainland. Just returned from Blackberry Farm (Walland, TN), and had them in maybe three meals.

                                                      Growing up in Mississippi, we had them all around, but I never thought of eating them. Ah, such is the life of a youngster.

                                                      Will keep my eyes peeled in HI, to see what might appear on my plate.



                                                    2. re: kathryn
                                                      0225eiluj RE: kathryn May 23, 2013 12:37 PM

                                                      Oh produce! In my excitement of all that WILL be available practically year round, I forgot to think about what won't be available. I will eat my weight in strawberries and peaches before I head out in August. Thanks!

                                                      As for all the other suggestions-- thank you everyone! I'm looking forward to embracing everything I can get in Hawaii, so I just want to be able to be done with what I can't get, ya know?

                                                      And as for what's available specifically in DC, it's more the whole east coast since I won't be hitting up NYC for a long weekend anymore, for example.

                                                      And as a carb-a-holic, I'm sad but happy that I will have less to tempt me in the bread department :-)

                                                      1. re: 0225eiluj
                                                        roro808 RE: 0225eiluj May 23, 2013 01:05 PM

                                                        Don't worry, once you get used our local food, you will always want to return to Hawaii later on... it has that effect on you. Abundance of Thai/Lao, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, combination of Hawaiian/Asian (called local food), fancy fusion foods of East/West cuisine and some others, combined with beautiful weather, beaches and lust mountains will be your beautiful memories for years to come. Welcome to Hawaii.

                                                        1. re: 0225eiluj
                                                          KaimukiMan RE: 0225eiluj May 23, 2013 08:59 PM

                                                          Per a recent bit I heard on the radio 80% of our food in Hawaii is imported, most of it from the mainland. That means that most of what you are used to seeing will be available, for a price. And for a carb-a-holic, you will be amazed at how often rice is served here. Or as one of my friends once said - how can you call a sandwich a meal, there's no rice!

                                                          1. re: 0225eiluj
                                                            indelibledotink RE: 0225eiluj May 25, 2013 08:38 PM

                                                            strawberries and peaches abound here, but are they a specialty in DC? although not common, i remember strawberries the size of my fist at the punahou carnival many years ago.

                                                            1. re: 0225eiluj
                                                              Quince RE: 0225eiluj Jun 20, 2013 12:34 PM

                                                              Before I moved back from the mainland, I made sure to schedule a season of visits to u-pick farms, as the only one I know of here is on Maui. While strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and apples are certainly available from grocery stores here, the quality is not always great and the prices can be prohibitive, especially for the smaller, more fragile berries. I always felt like I was picking gold when picking my own raspberries and blueberries...growing up I didn't have a fresh blueberry until I was in high school.

                                                              If you can do u-pick peaches and cherries...wow. There's almost nothing better than a tree-ripened peach, but a tree-ripened mango comes close! Fresh lychee, apple bananas, local pineapple and papayas are great too. If you see a white pineapple here, get it!

                                                              Another thing that I miss, which I didn't think would be so hard to find with all of the farmer's markets and year round warm weather, is a really great heirloom slicing tomato. I guess the fruit flies make them difficult to grow?

                                                          2. kaleokahu RE: 0225eiluj May 23, 2013 11:04 PM


                                                            I humbly suggest that your inquiry ought to be into what foods you may enjoy in Honolulu that you cannot find in D.C. And also that food in Hawai'i nei has an *immediacy* which you must experience in situ to comprehend. Traditional Hawai'ian language and culture has blurred distinctions between the eater, the land itself, and the gifts of the land (and sea). This is very good news, perhaps uncommon in L'Enfant's Washington.

                                                            If you are open to it, I think you will be very happy with the 'ai in the 'aina.


                                                            1. indelibledotink RE: 0225eiluj Jun 8, 2013 12:58 AM

                                                              salty oat cookies? I have never had, but these guys make it sound good


                                                              1. r
                                                                roro808 RE: 0225eiluj Jun 8, 2013 01:32 AM

                                                                This thread has gone all over the place... What the OP needs to tell us is: what are their favorite foods in D.C., and we can point out whether or not it is available here in Hawaii. On the other hand, of course the OP can enjoy different kinds of foods probably not available in D.C. -- that, of course, we have plenty of.

                                                                7 Replies
                                                                1. re: roro808
                                                                  0225eiluj RE: roro808 Jun 13, 2013 04:42 AM

                                                                  OP here... I've certainly gotten a kick out of the winding path this thread has taken. My initial post pretty much outlined all that I needed to know. It's not really about my favs, just mostly what a lot of folks have said on here, like, Oahu has no good Mexican or Latin American food. I've been working on getting sick of Mexican (and I would argue that we do indeed pretty good Mexican, just not in DC proper).

                                                                  I just wanted to know what sorts of food that I won't find in HI. I know there will be gads of wonderful food and I'm thrilled to embrace it. It's not like I have to have something and want to know if it will be available. I just want to make sure I enjoy all that I available to me here if I can't get it there.
                                                                  And it's not just in DC... I obviously won't get any of the goodies I get anywhere on the east coast. (So yeah, I have a stock of NY bagels in the freezer from our last trip up, and will be heading to NC for some BBQ this month.)

                                                                  I'm just looking for anything I may forget or not realize that someone would say, Oh you won't find good ____ here.

                                                                  1. re: 0225eiluj
                                                                    KaimukiMan RE: 0225eiluj Jun 13, 2013 05:43 PM

                                                                    You wont find good, if any, european ethnic food. Don't expect to find a great Croatian or Latvian place. Greek, meh, its not bad. You can find good but limited Italian. You won't find a place that sells cornish pasties or great gyros. Decent overpriced gyros maybe. I don't think there is an Ethiopian restaurant in the state. There is a pretty decent Mexican Grocery, although small (Mercado de la Raza) as well as one or two Indian grocers. You will find lots of Asian stores, restaurants, etc. Especially Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Filipino. The price of food is going to shock you. The quality of produce for the most part is going to disappoint you- although over the last 35 years its gotten better. Don't expect to find 'southern' foods. I'm told there are groceries that now carry grits, but I haven't found them (which is ok, im not a real fan.) Kale and other greens are more available than they used to be, but its easier to find bok choy, choy sum, and ong choy. The closest thing we have to Trader Joes is Whole Foods. You can't find a decent donut anywhere, or a 'real' bagel. Safeway Stores have been serving Hawaii since the 1960's at least. You will find MOST of what you are looking for, but not everything, or not as big a selection. We have both costco and sham club.

                                                                    1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                      indelibledotink RE: KaimukiMan Jun 13, 2013 07:32 PM

                                                                      I love krispy kreme since I used to live in vegas and nyc and there's one on maui. sometimes you can find people doing fundraisers on Oahu selling them. maybe Costco has them? not sure.

                                                                      also the poi donuts from Kamehameha bakery in kalihi are supposed to be the bomb, but we haven't tried them yet.

                                                                      if you are a donut lover and don't like either of the above, don't fret, we have malasadas here... they're a fraternal twin of donuts. you have to hit leonard's bakery, champion malasada, and agnes' bakery.

                                                                      it's hard to get a good bagel and I have not yet found a place with pure poppyseed ones. however, I am sure there's at least one or two around. I hop ethey have scallion cream cheese.

                                                                      kman is right, there are no eastern European places here, and no british. limited irish, german/swiss. no African aside from pyramids, which is more Mediterranean, but I have not eaten there yet.

                                                                      you will not find real ny pizza here. take a trip to nyc and fold those slices and fill up.

                                                                      1. re: indelibledotink
                                                                        Joebob RE: indelibledotink Jun 14, 2013 02:20 AM

                                                                        European cheeses are available at Costco and WF. German black bread is available at WF and Down To Earth. Some Wasa crackers and other European crisps and cookies are available at DQ. Krispy Kremes are (at least) sometimes available at Costco. Pyramid is good and the buffet is good -value-for-the-money.

                                                                        1. re: Joebob
                                                                          KaimukiMan RE: Joebob Jun 14, 2013 07:11 AM

                                                                          1. I said a good donut. Crispy creme is many things, none of them good. A donut it is not. Mostly it is grease and sugar somehow suspended in air.
                                                                          2. I could be wrong but last time I drove by Pyramids it was an empty storefront. I will double check.

                                                                          1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                            indelibledotink RE: KaimukiMan Jun 14, 2013 07:24 AM

                                                                            no way, krispy kreme is the best! so light, so yeasty, so sweet! what do you consider a good donut?

                                                                            1. re: indelibledotink
                                                                              KaimukiMan RE: indelibledotink Jun 14, 2013 11:58 AM

                                                                              A donut with body, texture and depth of flavor. Like you said, it is so light - so light that there is no bite, no texture. It is so sweet - so sweet that it has only a single flavor note. So yeasty that again it has no body, no flavor of dough. Sweetened air. Nothing more. (and like you said on another board, I expect to get flamed for this. krispy kreme is like a sacred thing here - but mostly because we don't have them.) I do agree that we do have great malasadas. And a good donut is much more like a Leonards or Champion malasada - not like a Tex's from the big island, than it is like a krispy kreme

                                                                2. scottca075 RE: 0225eiluj Jun 13, 2013 06:43 PM

                                                                  Sorry I am late to the party. the question isn't really what are you giving up (a wide variety of good Italian & French), but what are you gaining?

                                                                  There are so many good, mind blowing Japanese & Korean izakayas/yakinikus that it isn't even funny.

                                                                  There is plenty of high end stuff in Honolulu, but finding the local saimin, manapua, plate lunch places is an adventure.

                                                                  If you've never done much Vietnamese or Filipino, you are also in for a treat.

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: scottca075
                                                                    0225eiluj RE: scottca075 Jun 16, 2013 05:48 PM

                                                                    You are right, my question wasn't really "what am I giving up." I fully admitted from the beginning that I'm psyched for what I WILL be able to get. I was just playfully asking what I essentially needed to get my fill of now before now having it so easily available. I don't consider myself "giving up" good Mexican food... I just consider it something I should get while I can ;-)

                                                                    1. re: 0225eiluj
                                                                      Bill Hunt RE: 0225eiluj Jun 16, 2013 06:12 PM

                                                                      While there IS French Cuisine, I would stock up on "Classical French," prior to departure.



                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                        Joebob RE: Bill Hunt Jun 16, 2013 06:41 PM


                                                                  2. indelibledotink RE: 0225eiluj Jun 16, 2013 11:43 PM

                                                                    rhubarb pie or any rhubarb recipe.

                                                                    I have never seen it here, although never looked for it. I've always wondered what it tastes like, and have seen some posts saying it's now In season (on the mainland).

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: indelibledotink
                                                                      Joebob RE: indelibledotink Jun 17, 2013 01:45 AM

                                                                      Rhubarb is available at Safeway Kapolei and DQ Waipahu that I know of. Made rhubarb sorbet a few weeks ago with it. Good Stuff.

                                                                      1. re: Joebob
                                                                        indelibledotink RE: Joebob Jun 17, 2013 03:33 AM

                                                                        cool beans. after I drop a few lbs i'l'l try it in desserts

                                                                      2. re: indelibledotink
                                                                        honu2 RE: indelibledotink Jun 17, 2013 12:03 PM

                                                                        Rhubarb-strawberry pie, yum. Rhubarb also sold at Whole Foods; looks like large celery stalks, but red.

                                                                      3. t
                                                                        toledolurch RE: 0225eiluj Jun 26, 2013 12:01 AM

                                                                        I moved from Toledo, Ohio to Honolulu two years ago. There are many amazing foods here. However, there are a few things that I crave and seek when coming back to the mainland. These are:

                                                                        #1 - Chicago Style deep dish pizza. They have California and New York pizza, but I have not been able to find big thick midwestern pizza.

                                                                        #2 - Great greek food. There are a couple greek restaurants in town, but they are far from great.

                                                                        #3 - Southern/Memphis/KC/Texas BBQ. There is great slow roasted whole hogs in the Hawaiian style Kalua Pork. But it is not the same, and beef brisket is unavailable.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: toledolurch
                                                                          indelibledotink RE: toledolurch Jun 26, 2013 12:14 AM

                                                                          no, there is no new York pizza here. I lived in nyc for a few years, and as someone said in another thread, boston pizza comes closest.

                                                                          soho bar had chitown pizza, which I liked a lot, and some on yelp commented that it was the real deal, and some said nay. they closed, however.

                                                                        2. w
                                                                          wabi RE: 0225eiluj Jun 27, 2013 10:59 AM

                                                                          Get your fill of Blue Crabs....there's none here.

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