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Oct 9, 2013 10:24 AM

Trip Report Oahu September 2013

Our trip report
Our annual visit to Oahu/Windward sure was hot and muggy. Except for some welcome rain, it was 88/89 every single day of our trip. We spent a lot of time in the water. These are some of the new places we tried this trip.

Dean’s Drive Inn, Kaneohe: Thanks to some mentions here, we got to enjoy some wonderfully unique and delicious versions of plate lunch. The 3 piece rack of lamb was juicy, tender and amazing. I even enjoyed their version of mac salad. My wife enjoyed her ginger chicken. We enjoyed the meal so much, we had to go back again. This time the wife had the ahi cake and beef teriyaki. The beef was especially juicy and tender, and I’m not really a fan of beef teriyaki because it’s often so mediocre. I found the ahi cake good, but not spectacular. My ahi belly with ginger was just okay, the fish being overcooked and the ginger didn’t wow me. I do recommend the brownie/short cake.

Although we often get coco puffs and cream puffs from Liliha Bakery, this was the first time I had breakfast there, enjoying the loco moco with the butter roll and a coco puff for dessert. A classic loco moco, maybe the best I’ve had.

KJ Grindz in Kaneohe serves up a pretty nice boneless furikake fried chicken.

Kamehameha Bakery: Really delicious poi donuts. It doesn’t matter whether or not you like poi, the donuts are really moist and firm. They are also opening up a second location near Young’s Fish Market.

Other highlights:

Pancakes & Waffles have a better chicken and waffle combo than LA’s Roscoe’s or Pann’s. Very large crisp chicken pieces.

Yoonysoon, also in Kaneohe is a very underrated Korean plate lunch, as good as any I’ve had in Honolulu. The kalbi and chicken combo was delicious, as was the Korean beef sandwich.

Young’s Fish market has a very good Hawaiian style plate lunch with lau lau and poi.

Teddy’s in Kailua is still a favorite burger for me, classic fast food and good crisp French fries.

Leonards with their long lines has a much more efficient system in place to take orders and deliver the goods. If you see a long line out the doors, it’s not as bad as it looks, and the malasadas are still made fresh.

St. Germain’s Bakery in Ala Moana serves up my favorite bread for toast, the Excel. I always go there to pick up a loaf or two. This time they offered up a special Danish bread which I bought on a whim. It was even more delicious than the Excel, buttery and light. Toasted with butter and jam, it was almost like a Danish pastry.

Koa House for breakfast as good as it gets. Their pecan pancakes are light and fluffy; They also have macadamia nut pancakes as well with a choice of maple, coconut and orange marmalade syrups. You can also get kalbi with your eggs.

We always enjoy the Windward Mall Farmer’s Market on Wednesday afternoons, buying local jams and syrups, along with papaya and local vegetables.

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  1. sounds like a great trip
    you hit many of the highlights
    have you been to Pah Ke's?

    4 Replies
    1. re: macsak

      Pah Ke's is always on my list. It has been recommended here. My wife grew up in Kaneohe and is partial toward Kin Wah, and my mother-in-law used to like the late Joyful Garden. One of these trips we'll make it there.

      1. re: Ogawak

        if you go to pah ke's, look for my office, i'm a few doors down on the ground level

        i had heard joyful garden was back
        but i guess if you were at kj's, you would've seen it if was open
        was surprised to hear it was back, since the property managers didn't have anything good to say about the owner and the suspicious break-in/fire

        1. re: macsak

          oh, and thanks for the tip on the new kamehameha bakery location
          do you know when it is scheduled to open?

          1. re: macsak

            Sorry, I didn't bother to find out, assuming it would be open the next time I was in town. I should have just for this report.

    2. Thanks, sounds like a great trip home, hitting some new places as well as favorites. Always appreciate detailed reports like this. I live here and haven't been to all the places you went to on your visit.

      1. OK, I think Pancakes and Waffles is back on my list...I had heard kinda middling things about it, but I love the waffle and wings from Pann's...

        4 Replies
        1. re: Argyle

          Yes I like Pann's better than Roscoe's. I hope you like P&W. Also Thang's across the way has a great mango smoothie.

          1. re: Ogawak

            and sugoi's by Thang's has great bento's and plate lunches. Utage has good Japanese and Okinawan food, and Young's Fish Market is there too. The 'open market' over by the drivers license office is pretty good as well. I used to like Ha Long but had an unfortunate experience with them. Food is good though.

            1. re: KaimukiMan

              Yeah, I'm really loving that shopping center. That Chinatown Market seems to have all the produce and fish prices without the hassles of parking in Chinatown. I bought a nice fresh New Zealand Tai (Sea Bream) that my mother-in-law steamed that night.

          2. re: Argyle

            make sure you check when they start serving chicken
            when they first opened, you couldn't get chicken until after 10 or 10:30 am
            don't know if that's changed, so you should call in advance

          3. Aloha..
            Great report!
            We were there a couple of weeks ago and just hung out swimming, eating and a little drinkie poo, so didn't do the usual road trip but did hit up Leonard's..what I wouldn't do for a hot malasada.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Beach Chick

              you mean except cook them yourself? LOL

              here's the punahou recipe:

            2. Mahalo for the review.

              I see that we were not the only ones, who had THAT weather. Heck, we could have gone to New Orleans in August!

              For once, I was glad that we were not playing golf, anywhere on O`ahu (wife has a bum knee), but the dining WAS good, mostly.