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First time to Oahu

Brettpgillespie Nov 27, 2013 12:58 PM

I've been digging around on here for about a month now, and I've got a pretty good idea of a few places I want to eat. One big problem though. It's a family vacation for a wedding and were staying on the north shore. We will have a rental car and will more than likely be able to make it to Honolulu a couple times. I'm the most adventurous eater of our bunch by far, so Chef Mavro looks great to me, but, I don't think my girlfriend or my folks could handle it. I'm looking for at least one nice dinner to take my folks to in Honolulu. We are from North Dakota and there is no such thing as a good restaurant(locals love their Applebee's....gross) I've read up on most of the big names(Roy's, Alan Wong's, chef Mavro).
Any suggestions on a prix fixe menu that some not so crazy eaters could handle. I'll try anything, but the folks are all about meat and potatoes. I want to show them there's way more out there.

I checked out the menu at arencino at the kahala and was interested in that. Haven't seen anything about it on here though. Same with hau tree lanai. If any of you hounders have been to either place I would love to hear what you think. Thanks in advance!!

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  1. m
    macsak RE: Brettpgillespie Nov 27, 2013 04:14 PM


    rotates weekly
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    http://www.azurewaikiki.com/cuisine.html (click on "tasting menu")

    4 Replies
    1. re: macsak
      Brettpgillespie RE: macsak Nov 29, 2013 01:53 PM

      Thanks macsak. My gf and I will be doing Roy's for sure one night. We are both in the service industry so 12th ave seems like a place we would both really like. If we have the opportunity, chef mavro or Alan Wongs. One of the best meals I've ever had was in a restaurant in New Orleans called Dante's Kitchen. I never saw a thing about it on here and it was right up there with Cochon in Nola, and the Publican in Chicago as my favorite places. I'm quite curious as I haven't seen a thing about arencino. Is it overpriced at $100 for 5 courses? The menu looks intriguing to me

      1. re: Brettpgillespie
        honu2 RE: Brettpgillespie Nov 29, 2013 02:45 PM

        By arencino, are you referring to Arancino? If so, there are three Arancino restaurants in Honolulu, with the newly opened one at the Kahala Mandarin Hotel being very upscale and expensive. .

        1. re: honu2
          Brettpgillespie RE: honu2 Nov 29, 2013 04:49 PM

          That's the one, the 5 course chefs menu at the kahala. I wasn't sure if the other locations were the same or not

          1. re: Brettpgillespie
            macsak RE: Brettpgillespie Nov 29, 2013 08:47 PM

            other two locations are NOT the same
            they are regular italian restaurants, IMO pretty decent ones for hawaii

            the one at The Kahala is more expensive, and more of a molecular gastronomy style of food
            we don't have these types of restaurants in hawaii, so it will be interesting how it does

    2. j
      Joebob RE: Brettpgillespie Nov 27, 2013 06:01 PM

      What about the best buffet?

      19 Replies
      1. re: Joebob
        macsak RE: Joebob Nov 27, 2013 06:17 PM

        prince court
        kai market
        hakone for japanese

        oceanarium is very popular
        i went once a LONG time ago and was not impressed

        1. re: macsak
          Joebob RE: macsak Nov 27, 2013 09:47 PM

          Yes, the Halekulani, but I was asking Brettpgillespie.

          1. re: Joebob
            macsak RE: Joebob Nov 27, 2013 11:49 PM

            got it

            1. re: Joebob
              Brettpgillespie RE: Joebob Nov 29, 2013 12:42 PM

              I really don't care about a buffet. I tend to try to avoid them at all costs. I do have to do a luau though if you guys know a good one

              1. re: Brettpgillespie
                Joebob RE: Brettpgillespie Nov 29, 2013 12:49 PM

                Regrettably, the good luaus seem to be private family affairs.

                1. re: Brettpgillespie
                  kathryn RE: Brettpgillespie Nov 29, 2013 01:47 PM

                  This luau thread may help:

                  Given the picky eaters in your party and your own high standards for food, I think drinks & apps and some live music at House without a Key would be better than a luau.

                  1. re: kathryn
                    Brettpgillespie RE: kathryn Nov 29, 2013 02:14 PM

                    Thanks Kathryn. I hadn't seen that thread. I'm not expecting great food at a luau by any means. It's just a thing I think we need to experience in Hawaii as a family. It would be more about the show than the food. And I would say the eaters aren't so picky, just never exposed to some things like high quality seafood. We are a cattle raising family from the Midwest. it's been farm raised angus and herferd beef that we butcher ourselves. My mother finally had lamb done properly and loved it after never liking it her whole life. House without a key is on my radar. Thanks again

                    1. re: Brettpgillespie
                      roro808 RE: Brettpgillespie Nov 29, 2013 02:46 PM

                      If you are into experiencing Polynesian culture, Paradise Cove or Germaine's Luau on the west coast would be a good start. There are tour buses that will take you there. If you drive, then visit Aulani/Disney Hotel -- but food is not worth the price. But a nice place for the kids to enjoy... with lagoons to swim in as well.

                      1. re: roro808
                        macsak RE: roro808 Nov 29, 2013 08:50 PM

                        IMO, the best way to get the culture is to go to the Polynesian Cultural Center Luau
                        it is part of the Mormon Church/BYU-Hawaii complex
                        you will get performances done by people from that part of Polynesia
                        Paradise Cove and Germaine's will have a troupe of dancers that do all the different dances

                        1. re: macsak
                          roro808 RE: macsak Nov 29, 2013 09:01 PM

                          Absolutely -- that too, but you need to spend the whole day to truly enjoy the Polynesian Culture Center. It depends on how much time the OP has to spend to truly enjoy the place.

                          1. re: roro808
                            Brettpgillespie RE: roro808 Nov 29, 2013 09:03 PM

                            I'm sure we'll spend close to a full day at the Polynesian cultural center. That's one of my must does

                            1. re: Brettpgillespie
                              roro808 RE: Brettpgillespie Nov 29, 2013 09:25 PM

                              I don't remember whether they do the imu ceremonies (for luau)... it's been a while since I last visited the Center. You might want to check with them.

                              1. re: roro808
                                Brettpgillespie RE: roro808 Nov 29, 2013 11:04 PM

                                Thanks for the help. I don't know when or if I'll get to go back

                                1. re: Brettpgillespie
                                  indelibledotink RE: Brettpgillespie Nov 30, 2013 12:48 AM

                                  i just got some food from big city diner and noticed they have hawaiian food now. if you don't do the luau, try lau lau, lomi salmon, etc. from there. convenient locations and regular food if the others in your party are not feeling as adventurous.

                              2. re: Brettpgillespie
                                macsak RE: Brettpgillespie Nov 29, 2013 11:25 PM

                                i hear there's two buffet menus
                                one with crab and one without
                                two different prices, and you have to pay extra to go to the other side
                                i imagine it's like the episode of M*A*S*H where hawkeye is under house arrest, and frank burns is saying i can go in, out, in, out

                        2. re: Brettpgillespie
                          indelibledotink RE: Brettpgillespie Dec 5, 2013 11:14 PM

                          my parents just attended a luau at the hilton hawaiian village (which is in honolulu in waikiki/ala moana area).


                          they've been to plenny local kine luaus, including one the other day, and said the food was quite good and featured 'regular american food' like roast beef in addition to luau staples.

                          1. re: indelibledotink
                            roro808 RE: indelibledotink Dec 5, 2013 11:20 PM

                            Never been to Hilton's luau -- does it also have Polynesian shows - e.g. fire/Tahitian and Hawaiian dances... and does it have imu ceremony?

                        3. re: kathryn
                          macsak RE: kathryn Nov 29, 2013 08:50 PM

                          drinks and apps at sunset at house without a key is amazing

                          1. re: macsak
                            Beach Chick RE: macsak Dec 2, 2013 04:03 AM

                            We were just at House without a key for apps/drinks and music at sunset and its one of our faves that says Aloha..
                            Roy's Waikiki is the best and like no other Roy's.
                            Royal Hawaiian is so lovely and your parents would love the resort...have mai tai's at the oceanfront bar..Azure is quite good.
                            Beach House next door at the Moana too.


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