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Ratings & Reviews provided by Zagat Survey, LLC 4 Columbus Circle New York, New York 10019 EDITOR Victoria Triana Designed by Kyle Smith Sarah Combs Published and distributed by Beaches n’ Dreams Publishing 1750 Kalakaua Avenue Honolulu, Hawaii 96826 T: 800- 298-7012 E: info@beachesndreams.com www.beachesndreams.com

The reviews in this guide are based on public opinion surveys. The ratings reflect the average scores given by the survey participants who voted on each establishment. The text is based on quotes from, or paraphrasings of, the surveyors’ comments. Phone numbers, addresses and other factual data were correct to the best of our knowledge when published in this guide.

© 2014 Beaches n’ Dreams ISBN -978-0-9706506-6-5 Printed in the United States of America


KEY TO RESTAURANT RATINGS Food, Decor & Service are rated on a 30-point scale: 26 — 30 21 — 25 16 — 20 11 — 15 0 — 10

Extraordinary to Perfection Very Good to Excellent Good to Very Good Fair to Good Poor to Fair

Reviews are compiled from user comments, with representative comments shown in quotation marks. Cost estimates are for the price of dinner with a drink and tip. CONTENTS FEATURES About Hawaii RESTAURANT DIRECTORY

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Names, Locations, Contact Info, Ratings and Reviews Oahu 10 Big Island 57 Kauai 71 Lanai & Molokai 81 Maui 83 INDEXES Cuisine 102 Neighborhood 114 Alphabetical 134


ABOUT HAWAII Hawaii Regional Cuisine

Hawaii has long been home to fresh produce and a variety of flavors, providing a selection of food as diverse as its people. In 1991, 12 award-winning chefs took this diversity and kicked it up to a new level, ultimately putting Hawaii on the national and international culinary map. What became of this collaboration was Hawaii Regional Cuisine, a unique culinary movement that takes the island’s freshest ingredients and blends them with the cuisine of the world. No longer was Hawaii fare viewed as consisting only of traditional luau foods, but also of the finest ingredients found in the Aloha State. The pioneer chefs who helped develop Hawaii Regional Cuisine (HRC) and still have establishments in Hawaii are Alan Wong of Alan Wong’s, The Pineapple Room and Amasia, Roy Yamaguchi of Roy’s, George Mavrothalassitis of Chef Mavro, Peter Merriman of Merriman’s and Monkeypod Kitchen, Sam Choy of Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai, Mark Ellman of Mala Ocean Tavern, and Honu Seafood & Pasta, Beverly Gannon of Hailiimaile General Store, Joe’s and Gannon’s, Jean-Marie Josselin of Josselin’s Tapas Bar & Grill and Pierre Padovanni of Padovani Chocolates. Check out these trailblazing chefs all across Hawaii. Many of these establishments hold top tier ratings in our guide and are definitely worth a visit!

Hawaii Regional Cuisine

Hawaii’s culinary landscape is defined today as fresh, local, ethnic, inspiring and ‘ono (delicious). Chefs, farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and artisan purveyors are working together closer than ever to create a sustainable future where island ingredients are the featured attraction on the menu daily. Additionally, the number of farmers markets are growing and grocery stores across the state are carrying more locally-grown products and produce to help meet consumer demand. A new generation of chefs are taking the “eat local” mantra started years ago to a whole new level. Hawaii’s evolving food philosophy now champions plant-based sourcing blended with ethnic and cultural influences, food education, highly passionate chefs and incredible flavors that reflect the agriculture, stories, and people of the Hawaiian Islands. This philosophy highlights the concept of Aloha ‘Āina, a respect for the land – and how everyone is responsible for keeping it in balance.

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Guide to Hawaii’s Best


ABOUT HAWAII

Local Style Food

Local food is influenced by Asian, Polynesian and Western cooking. It all comes together in that most local of meals, the plate lunch. This local staple consists of two scoops of rice, macaroni salad and everything from kalua pork, Korean barbecue, chicken katsu, beef teriyaki or mahimahi. A favorite breakfast favorite is fried egss with spicy Portuguese sausage or Spam and, always, two-scoop rice. For big appetites, try a “loco moco,� which is a hamburger steak and egg over rice, covered in gravy. This hearty, blue-collar bowl can be found at plate lunch places and restaurants throughout Hawaii. Some Hawaii Regional Cuisine chefs like Alan Wong have even created fine dining twists on this favorite.

A Note on Spam

Unlike on the mainland, Spam has maintained an unrivaled popularity. Locals consume close to seven million cans of the signature canned meat product every year. Hormel began canning Spam, a pork-based product, in 1937. Spam came to Hawaii during the second World War because the islands were under martial law. Because of the restrictions, many imports including fresh meat were halted. Spam, a common ration for GIs at the time, replaced this missing meat. Once the war was over, Hawaiians realized they had developed a love of this common canned meat. What Hawaiians did with Spam is anything but common compared to the rest of the United States. Spam is often fried until it is slightly crispy using sweetened shoyu and served for breakfast with rice and eggs. Much tastier than straight out of the can. Another popular preparation is Spam Musubi. Here, a block of rice is served with a slice of cooked Spam wrapped in Japanese dried seaweed (nori). Thousands of Spam musubi are sold daily across the state.

About Hawaii

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ABOUT HAWAII

Farmers Markets

Hawaii is becoming a magnet for devoted foodies, connoisseurs and anyone who’s willing to try something new, so it’s no surprise that Hawaii’s farm to table movement is creating quite a culinary stir. Just stroll through any local farmers’ market on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii Island and you’ll be surprised by the abundance of locally grown and locally made foods, like sweet Kula strawberries, handmade cheeses from Surfing Goat Dairy, Big Island Abalone, and rich Wailuagrown chocolate. Now imagine these flavorful ingredients in the hands of Hawaii’s top chefs and you’re in for a delicious treat. Since arriving in Hawaii in 1988, Chef Mavro Mavrothalassitis has embraced the multi-ethnic people and foods of Hawaii and become a champion of dozens of boutique farmers and specialty fisherman. “Sometimes buying local means the cost is higher and sometimes it takes more time, but the reward is huge. Local farmers succeed and my guests enjoy fresh, regional ingredients and a dining experience they could have only in Hawaii.” On Maui, Chef James McDonald showcases island-grown ingredients at his three restaurants, PacificO, IO and the Feast at Lele, explaining that Hawaii’s farm to table offerings are unlike anywhere else in the world. While the concept of local, sustainable eating may be new to some cities, “malama aina” or “caring for the land” is a belief that’s deeply rooted in Hawaii’s culture. In the days of Hawaiian chiefs, land was divided into ahupuaa (ah-who-poo-ah-ah), mini eco-systems that spanned from the mountains to the sea. Each pie-shaped parcel was a self-contained land management system in which farmland, fresh water and ocean resources were carefully maintained. Today, the renewed interest in sustainable agriculture is yielding delicious surprises throughout the state. Discover farm to table freshness for yourself on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Hawaii Island and Lanai.

Ala Moana Farmers Market

Hilo Farmers Market

Blaisdell Farmers Market

Kailua Farmers Market

Honolulu | 777 Ward Ave

Kailua | 609 Kailua Rd

Farmers Market Maui

KCC Farmers Market

Ala Moana | Ala Moana Blvd & Piikoi St | 808-388-9696

Kihei | 61 South Kihei Rd. | 808-875-0949 Napili-Honokowai | 3636 Lower Honoapiilani Rd. | 808-669-7004

Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation

Hilo | 400 Kamehameha Ave. | 808-933-1000 | www.hilofarmersmarket.com

Honolulu | 4303 Diamond Head Rd. | 808-848-2074 | www.hilofarmersmarket.com

Banana Joe’s

Kilauea |5-2719 Kuhio Highway | 808-828-1092 | www.bananajoekauai.com

farmersmarket@hfbf.org (808)848-2074 6

Guide to Hawaii’s Best


ABOUT HAWAII

Hawaiian Words Glossary

A hui hou - Until we meet again, goodbye Aloha - Love, affection, greeting salutation; Hello! Good-bye! E koma mai - Welcome! Enter Hale - House, building Ha ole - A person of mixed Native Hawaiian and Caucasian ancestry Heiau - Pre-Christian place of worship Humuhumunukunukuāpua’a - The State fish; a type of tigerish I’a - Fish or any marine animal, as eel, oyster, crab, whale Imu - An underground oven, as often seen at lū’au Kama’aina - Native-born; acquainted, familiar; a long-time resident of Hawai’i Kāne - Male Keiki - Child, offspring Koa - Warrior; a native tree with wood used to build canoes and other valuable items Kōkua - Help, aid, assistance, relief Lānai - Porch, patio or balcony Lei - Flowers, leaves, shells or feathers that are strung and/or entwined and given as a symbol of affection Lū’au - Hawaiian feast; edible young leaves of the taro plant Mahalo - Thanks, gratitude, respect Ma kai - Towards the ocean, towards the sea Malihini - A newcomer, visitor; new, unfamiliar, of foreign origin Manu - Bird Ma uka - Inland, upland, toward the mountains Mele - Chant or melodic song for hula dancing; poem, poetry Moana - Ocean Niu - Coconut Ohana - Family, kin group, relative Pali - Cliff, a steep hill or slope Paniolo - Hawaiian cowboy Pau - Finished, ended, all done Pau Hana - after work Wikiwiki - Fast or speedy Wahine - Female, woman, lady

About Hawaii

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ABOUT HAWAII

Hawaiian Food Glossary Adobo - Filipino chicken or pork cooked in vinegar, shoyu, garlic and spices Ahi - yellow fin tuna Aku - skipjack tuna Bento - boxed meal, usually for lunch Broke dam out - delicious; literally “broke the mouth” Char siu - Chinese barbecued pork Grind - to eat or food Hapuupuu - sea bass Haupia - coconut pudding Hulihuli – Rotisserie or “end-over-end,” as in chicken cooked this way Imu - underground oven Izakaya - Japanese pub serving tapas-style dishes Kaiseki - elaborate Japanese tasting menu Kajiki - Pacific blue marlin Kalbi - Korean-style grilled dishes, typically marinated short ribs Kalua Pork - pork cooked in an underground oven Kau kau - food Kiawe - grilled: grilled over aromatic wood Kulolo - steamed pudding of coconut, brown sugar and tara Laulau - pork, beef or fish steamed in ti leaves Lilikoi - passion fruit Loco Moco - a heap of white rice topped with a hamburger and fried egg smothered in gravy Lomi salmon - salted salmon with onions and tomatoes Lumpia - Phillippine egg roll Maju - sweet cake with black bean filling Malasada - Sugar-coated Portuguese fried doughnut (no hole), often filled with flavored custard Manapua - Chinese bao (baked or steamed buns) with char siu or other fillings Mochi - Japanese pounded rice cake, sticky and sweet Musubi - Japanese rice ball wrapped in nori (seaweed) Ohelo - berry eaten raw or cooked Okazu-ya - Japanese take-out delicatessen often specializing in Hawaiian and local dishes Ono - Delicious, tasty, savory; to relish, crave Opakapaka - pink snapper Pipi kaula - beef jerky

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Guide to Hawaii’s Best


ABOUT HAWAII Plate Lunch - two scoops of rice and macaroni salad served with fried fish, beef or chicken Saimin - a soupy noodle dish garnished with char siu (Chinese red roast pork), green onions and fishcake Poi - taro pounded in a liquid form Poke - cubed raw fish with onions and seaweed served usually as an appetizer Pupu - appetizer Saimin - a thin broth with noodles, vegetables and fish, chicken or pork Shave Ice - Ice shaved to a fine powder and packed into a paper cup drenched with sweet flavored syrup with a scoop of ice-cream in the bottom with red azuki beans or mochi. Shoyu - Soy Sauce Taro - plant with edible corn used to make poi Teppanyaki - grilled at the table Ti - leaf used in cooking, serving and decorating Yakiniku - cook your own

About Hawaii

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ISLAND OF OAHU


OAHU RESTAURANTS

FOOD

DECOR

SERVICE

COST

12th Ave. Grill American

24

19

23

$45

Kaimuki | 1145 12th Ave. (Waialae Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-732-9469 | www.12thavegrill.com A New American “treasure in the heart of Kaimuki” opine “pleasantly surprised” diners who delight in the “consistently satisfying comfort food” with “interesting, edgy” specials that pack a “visually appealing” punch; the “chef is very inventive” and makes “great use of local produce”, while “service is attentive” and the setting “intimate”; if a few squawk it’s a “bit too noisy”, “lively” sorts retort that the “atmosphere always glows with chatter.” 24 25 24 $71 21º North Pac. Rim/Seafood Kahuku | Turtle Bay Resort | 57-091 Kamehameha Hwy. (Kuilima Dr.) | 808-293-8811 | www.turtlebayresort.com The “sublime setting” with a “beautifully decorated oceanfront view of the Pacific and the summer sunset” creates the “perfect ambiance for a romantic dinner” of “outstanding” Pacific Rim seafood fare at Oahu’s “elegant” “North Shore gem” in Kahuku’s Turtle Bay Resort; “talk about fresh! – every dish features homegrown ingredients” from the on-site garden and service is also “pampering”, making it “well worth” the hour’s drive from Waikiki. 26 22 26 $57 3660 On the Rise Pacific Rim Kaimuki | 3660 Waialae Ave. (Wilhelmina Rise)| Honolulu | 808-737-1177 | www.3660.com “Away from the hustle and bustle”, this Pacific Rim seafooder “surprisingly set in an office building” remains a “Kaimuki treasure” where chef Russell Siu dreams up “amazingly innovative” fare, including his signature “melt-in-your-mouth” ahi katsu, “served with utmost courtesy” by the “welcoming staff”; if a few wonder “what’s all the fuss about?”, for most it’s “well worth leaving the tourist throngs and joining the locals” at this “upscale, modern” place that “will never plateau.”

53 By the Sea Seafood

Ala Moana | 53 Ahui St. (Olomehani St.) | Honolulu | 808-536-5353 | www.53bythesea.com Following a multimillion-dollar renovation, this open-air seafooder opened in the dazzling oceanfront location of Ala Moana’s former John Dominis restaurant, bringing a new level of elegance to its Kakaako setting; the grace note on this simply luxe affair: chef Hiroshi Hayakawa’s sustainable fare, boasting a delectable infusion of local and exotic flavors from Hawaii, Japan and Southern Italy.

26 17 22 $39 Akasaka Japanese Ala Moana | 1646 Kona St. (Kapiolani Blvd.) | Honolulu | 808-942-4466 “Diners are greeted with a high-volume shout” and “big smiles” at this Ala Moana “hole-in-the-wall” that’s “as authentically Japanese as its namesake district of Tokyo”, serving “some of the best sushi on the planet” and “perfectly cooked” fin fare; “ its inconspicuous location”, “oddly tucked between a couple of strip joints”, and “late hours make it the perfect choice” for a “conspiratorial” rendezvous, but there’s “limited seating so call for reservations.”

Oahu Restaurants A - Z

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28 23 27 $79 Alan Wong’s Hawaii Reg. McCully | 1857 S. King St. (Mc Cully St.) | 808-949-2526 | www.alanwongs.com A “pioneer in Hawaii Regional cuisine”, chef Alan Wong “continues to innovate”, “plating up the best of local farms and island seas” at this McCully “nirvana”, still rated a “perfect No. 1” as Oahu’s Most Popular Restaurant; the “exciting”, “exceptionally prepared” food boasts “brilliant flavors” and the “wine list is top-notch”, and it’s all “expertly presented” by a “smart” staff versed in every “culinary nuance”; if a few quibble that it “lacks panache”, most agree it’s the “dining highlight” of the island.

‘Ama’Ama Hawaiian

23

Andy’s Sandwiches & Smoothies

26

26

25

$71

Kapolei | Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa | 92-1185 Aliinui Dr. (Kamoana Pl.) | 808-674-6200 | www.resorts.disney.go.com Set in a “restored fishing hut with real stonework” in a “beautiful tropical location” at the Disney non–theme park resort Aulani, on the leeward side of Oahu, this beachside hale offers a “touch of genuine connection to the past” as well as “very delicious” Hawaiian fare; the “attentive” staff may even share some “colorful historical and traditional legends”, gilding the lily of this “wonderful experience.” 12

24

$10

Sandwiches Manoa | 2904 E. Manoa Rd. (Huapala St.) | Honolulu | 808-988-6161 | www.andyssandwiches.com You “can’t find a better place” for a “reasonably priced”, “well-made sandwich” cheer cohorts of this “crowded” family-run daytime destination “in the heart of Manoa”; the digs “look like a small” home “in the country” while the house specialty is “made fresh and tasty, just to your liking”, “smothered” with sprouts and “everything good for you”, accompanied by “all-natural smoothies” and served by a “happy” staff; P.S. you can get your “welcome nourishment” to go. 21 $22 19 22 Angelo Pietro Italian/Japanese Waikiki | Ala Moana Ctr. | 1585 Kapiolani Blvd. (Kaheka St.)| Honolulu | 808-941-0555 | www.angelopietro.com Perhaps “the only place” to “get your fix” of “light, pleasing” ItalianJapanese fusion fare in Waikiki, this “inexpensive” dinner and “lunch experience” wins plaudits for its “unique preparations of pasta and pizza” using “creative” Asian ingredients like natto; try the “shredded potato salad” with the “famous” ume dressing – “it’s awesome” and like the entire menu, it “challenges” notions about this cuisine.

Anna Miller’s 24-Hour Restaurant

19

16

21

$21

American Aiea | Pearlridge Center Uptown | 98-115 Kaonohi St. (Kamehameha Hwy.) | 808-487-2421 | www.annamillersrestaurant.com The “first choice for late-night or breakfast cravers”, this “kitschy, diner-style”, “family-friendly” American in the Pearlridge Center Uptown is open 24/7 and always “packed with crowds” hungry for that morning meal, served round the clock; the “well-rounded” menu is also “spiced up with daily” specials, but dessert devotees proclaim the “biggest draws” are the “awesome” homemade pies, 12

Guide to Hawaii’s Best


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all toted to table by “courteous” servers dressed in “Swiss Miss”– esque uniforms.

Arancino (di Mare) Italian

24

Asahi Grill American/Japanese

22

Assaggio Italian

25

Auntie Pasto’s Italian

21

19

22

$36

Waikiki | Outrigger Regency | 255 Beachwalk Ave. (bet. Kalakaua Ave. & Kalia Rd.) | Honolulu | 808-923-5557 Waikiki | Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort | 2552 Kalakaua Ave. (bet. Ohua & Paoakalani Aves.) | Honolulu | 808-931-6273 | www.arancino.net “Mama mia, reliable Italian food right off the beach” – it’s “kinda small and nothing too fancy”, but this “friendly” resort duo in the Outrigger Regency on Beachwalk and the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort still has “tons of charm”; the “large portions” of “inventive, expressive and delicious” pasta and specialties satisfy appetites, especially when accompanied by a “nice bottle of red.” 13

19

$17

Kakaako | 515 Ward Ave. (bet. Kawaiahao & Queen Sts.) | Honolulu | 808-593-2800 “Of course” this “casual” Kakaako eatery is “famous” for its oxtail soup – it’s a “winnah” – “but the fresh fish is ‘broke da mouth’” agree fans who bestow praise on the “tasty” Japanese-American “comfort food”; add in “large portions”, “quick” service and prices that “won’t eat up your budget” and it’s clear why familiars “always bring visitors.” 23

24

$39

Ala Moana | Ala Moana Ctr. | 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. (bet. Atkinson Dr. & Piikoi St.) | Honolulu | 808-942-3446 Hawaii Kai | Koko Marina Ctr. | 7192 Kalanianaole Hwy. (Lunalilo Home Rd.) | Honolulu | 808-396-0756 | Kahala | 4346 Waialae Ave. (Kallauea Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-732-1011 Kailua | 354 Uluniu St. (Aarona Pl.) | 808-261-2772 Kapolei | 777 Kamokila Blvd. (Alohike St.) | 808-674-8801 Mililani | Town Center of Mililani | 95-1249 Meheula Pkwy. (Lanikuhana Ave.) | 808-623-5115 www.assaggiohi.com “Never been disappointed” at this Italian chain declare diners who give “kudos” to the “savory, delicious” and “memorable” fare, “pleasant, light” atmosphere and “courteous” service; portions are “plentiful” and “reasonably” priced and the Caesar salad made tableside is “heaven”, especially for “garlicphiles” – little wonder this outfit is a “gathering spot for local folk” who live a “hop, skip and a jump” away; P.S. the view of the harbor at the Koko Marina branch is “very relaxing.” 17

20

$26

Downtown | 1099 S. Beretania St. (Pensacola St.) | Honolulu | 808-523-8855 Waipahu | Kunia Shopping Ctr. | 94-673 Kupuohi St. (Kapuna Loop) | 808-680-0005 | www.auntiepastos.com “The epitome of a date restaurant”, as in an Italian “dinner-andmovie-type place”, as well as a “solid” family “staple”, this Downtown Honolulu–Waipahu duo dishes out “huge” portions of “delicious

Oahu Restaurants A - Z

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pasta” and “excellent” pizza in a “checkered tablecloth–style” setting; the “hearty”, “affordable” fare is well “worth the wait” – yup, there’s a “a long line outside for a reason”; still, a handful find it “uninspired”, though fine “in a pinch.”

Azul Italian

26

27

24

$75

Azure Seafood

26

Ba-Le Sandwich Shop Vietnamese

22

14

Guide to Hawaii’s Best

Kapolei | JW Marriott Ihilani Ko Olina Resort & Spa | 92-1001 Olani St. (Aliinui Dr.) | 808-679-0079 | www.ihilani.com “Unbelievable cuisine” enriched with “Neapolitan flair” and a perch overlooking the Pacific lure acolytes to this “beautiful” open-air Italian, the signature restaurant in the JW Marriott located on the leeward side at the Ko Olina Resort; the “pricey” “food is a treat”, especially when paired with “different wines”, the “decor is rich and relaxing” and the servers “take such good care” of guests , making it the go-to for “special occasions.” 27

25

$75

Waikiki |Royal Hawaiian Hotel | 2259 Kalakaua Ave. (Royal Hawaiian Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-923-7311 | www.azurewaikiki.com A “classy environment” in an “exquisite” space on Waikiki Beach at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, where the “magical” open-air dining room “overlooks the Pacific” and “Diamond Head looms next door”, is just one of the draws at this “contemporary” seafooder; “request an oceanfront cabana for added festivity” or a plush banquette, then dig into chef Jon Matsubara’s “imaginative” daily catch, served by a “professional” staff; the “memory” of this meal “will last forever” gush true-blue fans. 10

19

$11

Aiea | Pearlridge Center Downtown | 98-180 Kamehameha Hwy. (Amehameha St.) | 808-487-7280 Ala Moana | Ala Moana Ctr. | 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. (bet. Atkinson Dr. & Piikoi St.) | Honolulu | 808-944-4752 Hawaii Kai | Hawaii Kai Shopping Ctr. | 377 Keahole St. (Hawaii Kai Dr.) | 808-396-6556 Kahala | Kahala Mall | 4618 Kilauea Ave. (Pahoa Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-735-6889 Kailua | 131 Hekili St. (Hahani St.) | 808-261-2193 Manoa | UH Manoa | 2445 Campus Rd. (Maile Way) | Honolulu | 808-956-6462 Pearl City | Pearl City Shopping Ctr. | 850 Kamehameha Hwy. (Waimano Home Rd.) | 808-456-1811 Ward | Ward Gateway Ctr. | 333 Ward Ave. (bet. Auahi & Queen Sts.) | Honolulu | 808-591-0935 | www.ba-le.com “Can the humble sandwich get any better” than the “affordable” bahn mi, served on “straight-out-of-the-oven French rolls” muse mavens who also satisfy “Vietnamese cravings” for a “quick pho” and baked goods at this “no-frills” family-run chain; the “filling” fare is “very authentic” but it’s definitely “not an eat-in type of place”, so “order at the counter” and get it to go.


COST

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DECOR

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25 12 22 $18 Bac Nam Vietnamese Downtown | 1117 S. King St. (Pensacola St.) | Honolulu | 808-597-8201 It’s “not much to look at decorwise” but this “unassuming” Downtown “hole-in-the-wall” Vietnamese run by a husband-and-wife team has an “exceptionally wide range of dishes on offer from both North and South – hence the name ‘Bac Nam’”; the “pho broth is carefully prepared and is both rich and flavorful” and the “mouth-watering” offerings are “different”, even for a noodle-crazed town, plus it’s “casual” enough to turn up in “T-shirts and shorts.” 25 20 23 $37 Baci Bistro Italian Kailua | 30 Aulike St. (Kuulei Rd.) | 808-262-7555 | www.bacibistro.com “Buon gusto” at this “small hideaway”, a “romantic”, old-world–style Italian “treasure nestled in Kailua” that’s packed with regulars and “totally worth the trip” from Waikiki; the “superb” cuisine is made with “fresh ingredients” complemented by an “imaginative and wellpriced wine list”, and it’s all served by a “dedicated” staff in “cozy”, if somewhat “cramped” digs and the “quaint covered garden” outside. 25 25 25 $62 Bali Steak & Seafood Pacific Rim/Steak Waikiki | Hilton Hawaiian Vill. | 2005 Kalia Rd. (Ala Moana Blvd.) | Honolulu | 808-941-2254 | www.hiltonhawaiianvillage.com The “magical” and “idyllic” open-air setting, in the Rainbow Tower of the Hilton Hawaiian Village, is matched by the “delectable gastronomic delights” and “deep and interesting wine list” at this Pacific Rim steakhouse, a surefire “oceanfront pleaser”; the “luxurious ambiance” and “white-glove” service set the stage for a “romantic” evening, and while “all of this perfection comes at a steep price” it’s “well worth it”; P.S. “Friday night fireworks wow” guests.

Bangkok Chef Thai

24

Beachhouse at the Moana American/Steak

21

13

19

$11

Downtown | 900 N. Nimitz Hwy. (Alakawa St.) | Honolulu | 808-536-8570 Manoa | 2955 E. Manoa Rd. (Lowrey Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-988-0212 Nuuanu | 1627 Nuuanu Ave. (School St.) | Honolulu | 808-585-8839 | www.bangkokchefexpress.com You “can’t go wrong” at this Thai trio attest admirers who laud the “delicious” dishes including “family favorites” like the “moist and freshly made” pad Thai, a “definite winner”; “portions are generous” and the service “punctual”, and if a few find the setting sort of “spartan”, even they concede that the “cost more than makes up for it”; P.S. it does a “huge take-out business.” 25

21

$63

Waikiki | Moana Surfrider | 2365 Kalakaua Ave. (Kaiulani Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-921-4600 | www.beachhousewaikiki.com “What could be more special than dining outside under the beautiful banyan tree” near the “breaking surf” ponder patrons of this “lovely” American steakhouse in the “historic” Moana Surfrider, a Waikiki resort that oozes “old-world charm”; “ask for a seat on the veranda” and enjoy an “excellent” meal of meat “done to perfection” and the “oceanside sunset view”; P.S. the “hotel crowds” can sometimes trigger “service delays” but few mind given the “leisurely” vibe.

Oahu Restaurants A - Z

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24 20 22 $33 Beijing Chinese Waikiki | Royal Hawaiian Ctr. | 2301 Kalakaua Ave. (Lewers St.) | Honolulu | 808-971-8833 | www.beijinghawaii.com “Authentic Chinese cuisine with a Cantonese flair” prepared by chefs from China lures locals to this white-tablecloth option in Waikiki’s Royal Hawaiian shopping center; the lunch bunch considers the midday specials a “great bargain” and the dim sum options plentiful, while traditionalists who tuck into dinner delight in dishes such as roasted Peking duck and sweet-and-sour spareribs. 24 22 24 $54 Benihana Japanese Waikiki | Hilton Hawaiian Vill. | 2005 Kalia Rd. (Ala Moana Blvd.) | Honolulu | 808-955-5955 | www.benihana.com “Hilarious and mesmerizing” confirm fans who frequent this “lovely” Hilton Hawaiian Village branch of the teppanyaki titan, a “theatrical favorite” where the “chef’s knife-wielding mastery” and “clowning around” usually “steals the show”, providing an “entertaining experience” for the “whole family”; but while most “love” watching the “delicious” Japanese steak and seafood “freshly prepared in front of you”, others scoff you’re paying for a “chopping” performance, deeming the food “nothing special.” 23

22

$54

Bernini Honolulu Italian

22

Big City Diner American

21

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Guide to Hawaii’s Best

Ala Moana | 1218 Waimanu St. (bet. Pensecola & Piikoi Sts.) | Honolulu | 808-591-8400 | www.berninihonolulu.com A “hidden gem” set a “stone’s throw from the Ala Moana shopping center”, this “subtly sophisticated” offshoot of a Japanese chain co-owned by Tokyo-based chef Kengo Matsumoto dishes up “creative, tasty” Italian fare, including “Roma-style pizza and pasta”, accompanied by an “excellent wine” list; the “random location makes it feel like a secret”, but lately “word is out on how delicious” the food is, so “plan ahead” reservationwise. 17

22

$22

Aiea | Pearlridge Shopping Ctr. | 98-211 Pali Momi St. (Moanalua Rd.) | 808-487-8188 Kailua | Foodland Mktpl. | 108 Hekili St. (Hamakua Dr.) | 808-263-8880 Kaimuki | 3565 Waialae Ave. (11th Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-738-8855 Waipahu | Waipio Shopping Ctr. | 94-800 Ukee St. (Oli Loop) | 808-678-8868 Ward | Ward Entertainment Ctr. | 1060 Auahi St. (Kamakee St.) | Honolulu | 808-591-8891 | www.bigcitydinerhawaii.com “Go with an empty stomach and leave full” urge fans who frequent this “family-friendly” Oahu diner chain with “lively decor”, specializing in “ono-licious local grinds” (or “excellent” American “comfort food” with an “authentic” Hawaiian “twist”); the “extensive menu” is packed with “affordable” “simple pleasures”, including an “out-ofthis-world breakfast”, “gigantic burgers” and “insane” kimchi fried rice, all dished out in “customary huge portions” and served “with a smile.”


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BLT Steak Steak

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$75

Waikiki | Trump International | 223 Saratoga Rd. (Kalia Rd.) | Honolulu | 808-683-7440 | www.bltsteak.com “Elegant but not stuffy”, with a “New York ambiance”, this Waikiki Trump Hotel branch of Laurent Tourondel’s chainlet pampers carnivores with “outstanding preparations” of “very flavorful beef” augmented by “heavenly” house popovers, “fabulous salads and exciting sides”, a bar that’s “suitably chill” and a staff that’s “always there to cater to you”; if a few faultfinders “expected much more for the money” and the “hype”, for most it’s a “satisfying experience.”

Bogart’s Cafe & Espresso Bar Coffeehouse 27 17 21 $16 Diamond Head | 3045 Monsarrat Ave. (Kanaina Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-739-0999 A “favorite breakfast stop” after “jogging up Diamond Head” or for a “quick bite” all day, this “casual” coffeehouse with sidewalk seating dishes out “excellent options”, including “light and fluffy omelets”, bagel specials and “delicious scones”; “prices are reasonable” and the “friendly servers understand the aloha spirit” – little wonder it “fills up fast”; the only caveat: it’s cash only. 19 $16 25 11 Boston Style Pizza Pizza Hawaii Kai | 6640 Hawaii Kai Dr. (Pepeekeo St.) | Honolulu | 808-394-8001 Kaimuki | 3506 Waialae Ave. (10th Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-734-1945 Kaneohe | 46-028 Kawa St. (Kahuhipa St.) | 808-235-7756 | www.bostonpizzahi.com “Treat yourself” urge carb-lovers who pronounce the pies at this pizzeria trio near “perfection”; the “crust is to die for” and they’re “soo big” (order the “garlic/spinach pizza, it’s the bomb”), who “needs anything more?”; if kvetchers quibble that it’s “getting pricey” and find the atmosphere borders on “dive” level, for most it’s “always worth it” because the “quality is always excellent.” 19 $19 11 24 Boston’s Pizza Kailua Pizza Kailua | 130 Kailua Rd. (Hoolai St.) |808-326-7836 For one of the “best pies on the beach” at “reasonable cost” set sail for this Kailua pizzeria; sure, “it would be nice if it were more of a sit-downand-rest-awhile” kind of place and perhaps service isn’t its “strong suit”, but never mind, the pizza is “excellent”, especially considering options on the windward side. 22 23 21 $40 Brasserie Du Vin French Chinatown | 1115 Bethel St. (bet. Hotel & Pauahi Sts.) | Honolulu | 808-545-1115 | www.brasserieduvin.com “If the weather wasn’t so tropically sultry this could be France” concur Francophiles who go Gallic at Chinatown’s “charming brasserie”, a “standout in a city full of Asian-influenced” eateries, with “attentive” service, “reasonable” prices and a “winner” of a happy hour; the “impressive wooden” bar, “old-world decor” and “European-style” tables in the backyard courtyard set the stage for a “delicious” meal accompanied by a “delightful wine menu”; the only hitch: “difficult” parking.

Oahu Restaurants A - Z

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24 20 23 $23 Bravo Italian Aiea | Pearlridge Shopping Ctr. | 98-115 Kaonohi St. (Kamehameha Hwy.) | 808-487-5544 | www.bravorestaurant.com Enthusiasts “enjoy every last bite” at this family “favorite go-to” in Aiea dishing up “generous” portions of “tasty” fresh pasta and “delicious” Italian dishes; the “endless supply” of complimentary “awesome” garlic rolls “keeps customers flocking” (make sure your fellow diners “eat them too!”), plus the “friendly” and “fast-paced” service and “consistent value” prices also earn cheers of “bravo.” 27 17 21 $16 Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Seafood Ala Moana | Ala Moana Ctr. | 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. (bet. Atkinson Dr. & Piikoi St.) | Honolulu | 808-949-4867 | www.bubbagump.com “Props” and paraphernalia inspired by “Forrest Gump abound” at this “bustling” chain where families satisfy “shrimp cravings” and “attentive” servers “quiz you on movie trivia”; there are “plenty of seafood options”, especially of the fried variety, and it’s “always a winner with the kids”, plus the Big Island branch boasts a “perfect ocean view”; but bashers hiss it’s “for tourists only”, quipping “forget the menu, just give customers a box of chocolates.”

Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream Ice Cream 26 18 20 $9 Hawaii Kai | 7192 Kalanianaole Hwy. (Lunalilo Home Rd.) | Honolulu | 808-396-8722 University | 1010 University Ave. (Beretania St.) | Honolulu | 808-949-8984 | www.bubbiesicecream.com “Three words: mochi ice cream” – this Hawaii Kai–University “original” duo’s “delicious” signature dessert is sure to “knock you and your taste buds into the stratosphere” declare devotees; the bite-sized rice “treats” with “quirky” names come in 20 flavors to “please everyone’s palate” for the “amount of change in your pocket” plus there are cakes too, if that’s your “weakness”; lines are “out the door but it’s worth it!”

22 22 22 $30 Buca di Beppo Italian

Kakaako | Victoria Ward Ctr. | 1030 Auahi St. (Kamakee St.) | Honolulu | 808-591-0800 | www.bucadibeppo.com When you’re “craving Italian food” in “huge quantities”, “bring a crowd and settle in for a never-ending” parade of dishes at this “family-style” chain’s “festive” Kakaakao branch; the “pasta isn’t gourmet, but more like home cooking”, the “cluttered” decor is “unbelievably eclectic” (think “faux marble statues, maps, pictures of Sophia Loren and soccer teams”), staffers are “efficient” and prices “affordable”, so you’ll leave “full and happy!”

23 21 19 $18 Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar Sandwiches

Waikiki | 1778 Ala Moana Blvd. (Hobron Ln.) | Honolulu | 808-983-3933 | www.buffalowildwings.com If you’re hankering for “awesome” chicken wings in “different levels of heat”, make tracks to this national chain’s Waikiki branch; choose from “wingless or bone-in” options with loads of sauces and seasonings, or burgers, pulled pork and other sandwiches, and just “relax” and watch the “sports and pay-per-view events”; weekends “can be really packed” but few cry foul, since its namesake specialty is so “damn good.”

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22 14 18 $15 Burgers on the Edge Burgers

Kapahulu | Avenue Shops at Safeway | 888 Kapahulu Ave. (bet. Kaimuki & Winam Aves.) | Honolulu | 808-737-8866 | www.burgersontheedge.com It’s the “bomb” confirm fans of this “unique” Kapahulu joint where “nice and sloppy and delicious” burgers can be “customized as you see fit” with so many “diverse” choices of cheese, sauces and toppings you can always “try something different”; the Wagyu ‘Kobe-style’ “beef is the tastiest and worth the additional price” plus the sweet-potato fries and “onion rings are slammin’”; some just wish it wasn’t “so complicated to order.”

Buzz’s Steakhouse Steak

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Café Haleiwa American/Mexican

23

20

23

$23

Lanikai | 413 Kawailoa Rd. (Alala Rd.) | Kailua | 808-261-4661 Pearl City | 98-751 Kuahao Pl. (Kaahumanu St.) | 808-487-6465 | www.buzzssteakhouse.com “Tourists and locals alike flock” to this steakhouse trio on Oahu and Big Island “for a relaxing meal in a festive tiki-hut atmosphere” that “takes you back” to “old Hawaii”; the “awesome” meat is “the draw” but the “fresh local fish” is “delicious”, the salad bar is “bodacious” and service is “attentive”, whether you sit under the “twinkling lights of the banyan tree” in Lanikai, overlooking Pearl Harbor or near the green at Waikoloa Grill & Bar. 17

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$20

Haleiwa | 66-460 Kamehameha Hwy. (Palaa Rd.) | 808-637-5516 Enjoy a “fantastic” breakfast at this “quaint” American-Mexican in Haleiwa, on Oahu’s famous North Shore, that’s packed with surfers, local residents and visitors when the winter waves roll in; photos of waveriders don the walls and the “old-timey” ambiance is strictly Formica tabletops with no views, nonetheless, loyalists “love this place”; P.S. outdoor seating on weekends.

— — — — Café Julia American Downtown | 1040 Richards St. (bet. Hotel & King Sts.) | Honolulu | 808-533-3334 | www.cafejuliahawaii.com Named for the architect who designed the historic Laniakea YWCA where this Downtown daytime American is housed, and helmed by chef Lance Kosaka (formerly of Alan Wong’s and Pineapple Room), this newcomer to the Honolulu dining scene focuses on fresh, local ingredients creatively combined; serving breakfast classics with a twist, like eggs Benedict and loco moco, along with a uniquely varied lunch menu with items like salmon ochazuke and a Filipino-inspired roasted pork belly, the one constant is definitely variety.

Café Kaila Coffeehouse

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$16

Kapahulu | Market City Shopping Ctr. | 2919 Kapiolani Blvd. (bet. Harding & Kaimuki Aves.) | Honolulu | 808-732-3330 “Wildly, deservedly popular”, this “small” Kapahulu coffeehouse on the leeward side dishes up one of the most “awesome” breakfasts around, like “crispy waffles” and quesadillas and other daytime delights; the fare is “consistently wonderful” and staffers are “knowledgeable” but it gets “extremely busy”, especially on weekends, so “go early if you want a seat!”

Oahu Restaurants A - Z

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Café Laufer American/European

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$26

Kaimuki | 3565 Waialae Ave. (11th Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-735-7717 | www.cafelaufer.com Serving “unique” American-European dishes with a “French flair” in a “quaint” “patisserie setting”, this “ever-evolving” BYO Kaimuki cafe lures loyalists with its soups, salads, sandwiches and specials prepared with “such detail and elegance”; natch, the “main attraction is the wide selection of desserts” including “freshly made pastries”, so the “only drawback” is its “small” size – “you have to be lucky” to nab a seat.

26 22 26 $59 Café Miro French/Japanese Kaimuki | 3446 Waialae Ave. (9th Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-734-2737 | www.cafemirohawaii.com “Every time we want to pamper ourselves” we circle over to this “excellent” cafe hidden in Kaimuki agree amis who praise the prix fixe menus offering artful “Japanese takes on French food”; the “interesting” combinations, “extraordinary” service and serene setting “take us all the way back the streets of France”, adding up to an “enjoyable experience”; P.S. à la carte dishes are served at the bar only. 22 24 23 $31 Café Sistina Italian Makiki | 1314 S. King St. (bet. Akala Ln. & Keeaumoku St.) | Honolulu | 808-596-0061 | www.cafesistina.com It’s a “joy to look” at the “fine murals in the Italian Renaissance style” painted by the chef-owner himself at his Maikiki trattoria – it’s almost as if you “accidentally went to Rome and visited the Sistine Chapel” chorus acolytes who deem the Torni-born proprietor’s “distinctive Northern Italian cuisine” equally “inspired”; if a few find service “uneven”, especially when “busy”, most maintain it’s “well worth a trip.”

California Beach Rock ‘N Sushi Japanese

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$33

Ward | Ward Ctr. | 404 Ward Ave. (Halekauwila St.) | Honolulu | 808-597-8000 | www.californiabeachrocknsushi.com Definitely “not your stuffy uptight sushi house”, this “popular little joint” near the Ward complex lures flocks of fans with its “super-cheap”, “insanely good early-bird specials” and “creative”, “contemporarystyle” Japanese rolls; “service is personal and fun” – they “definitely earn the ’rock ’n’” descriptor – and a roster of tunes “plays at all times” so you’re sure to “leave happy.”

24 21 21 $25 California Pizza Kitchen Pizza Aiea | Pearlridge Shopping Ctr. | 98-1005 Moanalua Rd. (Palo Momi St.) | 808-487-7741 Airport | Honolulu Int’l Airport | 300 Rodgers Blvd. (Aolele St.) | Honolulu | 808-836-2566 Ala Moana | Ala Moana Ctr. | 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. (bet. Atkinson Dr. & Piikoi St.) | Honolulu | 808-941-7715 Kahala | Kahala Mall | 4211 Waialae Ave. (Kilauea Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-737-9446 Kailua | Kailua Town Ctr. | 609 Kailua Rd. (Hahani St.) | 808-263-2480 Waikiki | 2284 Kalakaua Ave. (Dukes Ln.) | Honolulu | 808-924-2000 | www.cpk.com Loyalists “love” the “generously” sized pizzas including “gluten-free” pies and the “array of appetizing salads” at this “comfortable” chain where they always find something “delicious” and “moderately priced” on the “extensive” menu; staffers are “personable and well trained” 20

Guide to Hawaii’s Best


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and the “kiddos” also like the “upbeat surroundings” – some just “wish the lines were shorter.”

California Wok Chinese

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Camellia Buffet Korean

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12

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$16

Ala Moana | Ala Moana Ctr. | 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. (bet. Atkinson Dr. & Piikoi St.) | Honolulu | 808-947-1332 | www.californiawokhawaii.com The “healthy” Chinese is “made fresh to order” and “always so tasty” agree admirers who wok out on teriyaki bowls, chow mein and “brown rice and steamed entrees” at this Ala Moana staple; it’s “better for takeout” given the limited food-court seating, and you can take your to-go food to the beach just across the street. 11

14

$29

Moiliili | 930 McCully St. (Algaroba St.) | Honolulu | 808-951-0511 | www.camelliabuffet.com “Amazing” rave fans of this “all-you-can-eat” Korean yakiniku buffet, a “self-service hole-in-the-wall gem” in Moiliili, where you barbecue proteins like “sirloin, chicken, pork, all marinated and fresh”, with “lots of veggies” yourself at a grill on your table; it’s “not a fine dining experience” and you’ll leave “smelling like a hibachi”, but it’s “tasty” and a “great value for hungry diners.”

24 23 23 $49 Chai’s Island Bistro Pacific Rim Downtown | Aloha Tower Mktpl. | 1 Aloha Tower Dr. (Bishop St.) | Honolulu | 808-585-0011 | www.chaisislandbistro.com It’s “always a treat” to dine on chef Chi Chaowasaree’s “delicious” Pac Rim fare “bursting with exotic flavors” while being “serenaded” by a “who’s who of Hawaiian musicians” at this Aloha Tower Marketplace mecca; “the indoor/outdoor seating and Hawaiiana/Asian decor complement the “creative” “local-style” offerings, including a prix fixe option, and while “expensive”, it’s “oh so worth it”; still, some shout it’s “too loud.” 24 19 23 $20 Champa Thai of Kailua Thai Kailua | 306 Kuulei Rd. (Maluniu Ave.) | 808-263-8281 | www.champathai.com One of our “favorite Thai” spots confide acolytes who find options galore at this Kailua standby, including over 10 types of “excellent curry” and a host of “wonderfully prepared fresh” dishes such as salads and stir fries; service is “personable” and the “cute” room is dotted with plants and Siamese artifacts, making for a “nice neighborhood-type” retreat.

Cheeseburger in Paradise American

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$22

Waikiki | 2500 Kalakaua Ave. (Kealohilani Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-923-3731 Waikiki | 1945 Kalakaua Ave. (Ala Moana Blvd.) | Honolulu | 808-941-2400 | www.cheeseburgerland.com When you “need your cheeseburger fix”, this American is “the place” crow vacationers who also crowd into Maui and Oahu’s chain links with a “relaxed, open-air, people-watching vibe” for “excellent waffle fries”, onion rings and sliders; “delicious drinks and live music make this chain an institution on the islands”, though a few beef it’s just “mediocre” and dis the “pseudo-tiki” decor.

Oahu Restaurants A - Z

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Cheesecake Factory American

25

25

22

$34

Chef Mavro French/Hawaii Reg.

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OAHU RESTAURANTS

Waikiki | 3 Royal Hawaiian Ctr. | 2301 Kalakaua Ave. (Lewers St.) | 808-924-5001 | www.thecheesecakefactory.com There’s “something for literally everyone” at this Waikiki chain offshoot that “never disappoints” with “towering” portions of “delicious” American food, from the “best” burgers to “to-die-for desserts”, all “well priced”; the selection of deservedly “famous cheesecakes” is “immense, as are the servings” (you can always “take home leftovers”) and lines are also part of the “popular” package, so “expect a wait.” 25

23 $103

Moiliili | 1969 S. King St. (McCully St.) | Honolulu | 808-944-4714 | www.chefmavro.com “Expert culinarian” George (Mavro) Mavrothalassitis “delivers on all fronts”, offering a “spectacular taste of the islands” at his Hawaii Regional–French “true gourmet experience” set in a “nondescript building” in Moiliili where his “wife greets you at the door”; “plan to take your time” – the chef “combines exquisite technique with his passion for local ingredients” ensuring that “every morsel” of the “pricey set menu” is a “series of unique surprises”, while the sommelier does a “fantastic job” with wine pairings, and service is “gracious.”

26 21 23 $28 Chiang Mai Thai Thai Moiliili | 2239 S. King St. (Makahiki Way) | Honolulu | 808-941-1151 | www.808chiangmai.com For “authentically prepared” Northern Thai cuisine, this “comfortable” Moiliili mainstay with a “lovely” “tropical” atmosphere is “the real deal” – especially if you “like it really spicy”; what an “avalanche of interesting taste combinations”, plus the “large portions” of “flavorful” favorites are served “quick” and the prices are “reasonable.”

Cholo’s Homestyle Mexican Mexican

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$24

Chuck’s Steak House Steak

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Coffee Talk Coffeehouse

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Guide to Hawaii’s Best

Haleiwa | North Shore Mktpl. | 66-250 Kamehameha Hwy. (Haleiwa Bypass Rd.) | 808-637-3059 | www.cholosmexican.com “Perfect for a post-surfing/swimming lunch” or dinner, this “popular, lively” North Shore “fixture” with a “colorful and festive decor” dishes up “creative” Mexican plates as well as the “staples” and “killer margaritas” to boot; but prickly sorts mosey on saying it “will do if you need a fix but it’s nothing to rave about” and wonder why it’s so “crowded.” 21

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$43

Waikiki | 2225 Kalakaua Ave. (Royal Hawaiian Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-923-1228 | www.chuckssteakhouse.com “A classic”, this “all-time standard” branch of the national steakhouse chain, set “right smack on the beach” of Waikiki, is known for a “consistently great salad bar” and beef at “reasonable prices”; though the dated decor is somewhat “stuck in the ’70s”, the overall feel is “simple and nice”, hence it tends to remain “under the tourists’ radar.” 18

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$11

Kaimuki | 3601 Waialae Ave. (12th Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-737-7444 | www.coffeetalkhi.com “Popular among the denizens of the area, especially students” and “folks from town”, this “coffee-bar hangout in residential Kaimuki” is considered a “nice place for coffee and a little something to go with it”,


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including “excellent baked goods” such as scones and Bundt cake and “big” sandwiches; other perks include nooks for laptop users, free WiFi and bingo tournaments and plentiful “people-watching.” 24 18 23 $14 Crepes No Ka Oi French Kailua | 131 Hekili St. (Hahani St.) | 808-263-4088 | www.crepesnokaoi.com “Perfect for breakfast, a light lunch” or a dessert “splurge” gush Francophiles who get their fill of “sweet and savory crêpes”, “huge and stuffed with the highest-quality ingredients”, accompanied by “exotic teas” at this “busy” French “favorite” in Kailua, run by a married couple; service is “attentive yet relaxed” and fans insist that the cafe itself, whose moniker translates to “the best”, is “named right.” 25 25 22 $34 Curry House CoCo Ichibanya Japanese Aiea | Pearl Kai Shopping Ctr. | 98-189 Kamehameha Hwy. (Pali Momi St.) | 808-488-6659 Ala Moana | Ala Moana Ctr. | 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. (bet. Atkinson Dr. & Piikoi St.) | Honolulu | 808-947-4889 McCully | McCully Shopping Ctr. | 1960 Kapiolani Blvd. (bet. McCully & Pumehana Sts.) | Honolulu | 808-949-4590 Moiliili | Puck’s Alley Ctr. | 1009 University Ave. (bet. Coyne & King Sts.) | Honolulu | 808-947-2206 “Curry addicts” can “satisfy taste buds” at this Japanese chain offering a “hundred different combinations” with a “staggering variety” of toppings, in different degrees of “spiciness” made “just the way you want it”; if whiners wail about the “bare Formica table atmosphere”, “hooked” hordes retort “the lines out the door are a tribute” – when you want a “filling, piping hot” meal fast, “this is the place to go.”

d.k Steak House Steak

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Da Big Kahuna’s Pizza-n-Stuffs Pizza

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$62

Waikiki | Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa | 2552 Kalakaua Ave. (bet. Ohua & Paoakalani Aves.) | Honolulu | 808-931-6280 | www.dkrestaurants.com D.K. Kodama’s “clubby” yet “elegant” Waikiki Beach Marriott steakhouse is “one of the best” places on the beach to “savor a real” hunk of dry-aged beef while enjoying the “spectacular sunset”; the meat is “earthy, juicy and well paired” with the “solid” wine selection and a “dizzying array of delicious sides”, all toted to table by an “absolutely delightful” staff; if quibblers find the decor a “bit lacking” for that “special night out”, for most the “awesome location” more than compensates. 17

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$17

Airport | 550 Paiea St. (Ualena St.) | Honolulu | 808-833-5588 | www.bigkahunaspizzahawaii.com You “can’t beat” this “awesome place” near the airport for “excellent pizza” concur carbo-loaders who also get their fill of “to-die-for” cheesy garlic balls and “creative” sandwiches and milkshakes; “if you like trying different toppings” you’ll find your pick of “local flavors” that are leagues away from the norm and sure to please the most discriminating “big kahuna.”

Oahu Restaurants A - Z

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Dave & Buster’s American

20

22

20

$28

Diamond Head Cove Health Bar American

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Diamond Head Market & Grill

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Ala Moana | Ward Ctr. | 1030 Auahi St. (Ward Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-589-2215 | www.daveandbusters.com “Eat, play and drink” at this “busy” Ward Centers’ branch of the megachain, boasting a rooftop club, “pretty satisfying” American fare and loads of “fun and games” in the interactive video arcade and billiard areas where everyone stays “occupied”, making it “perfect for dates or mingling and even family outings”; still, it pushes buttons for foodies who dismiss the edibles as “cookie-cutter.” 15

18

$10

Diamond Head | 3045 Monsarrat Ave. (Kanaina Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-732-8744 | www.diamondheadcove.com The “perfect place to grab grub after a hike at nearby Diamond Head” State Park agree visitors to this American health bar set in a “crowded shopping center” near Waikiki; find a couch, sip some kava or enjoy a fresh fish wrap – and make sure to try one of the “best açai bowls in the city” of Honolulu, featuring the signature palm fruit topped with extras like blueberries, granola and bee pollen. 9

17

$15

American/Bakery Diamond Head | 3575 Campbell Ave. (Monsarrat Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-732-0077 | www.diamondheadmarket.com “You haven’t really had a scone” until you’ve tried the “killer” blueberry cream cheese variety at this “upscale drive-in”, an “unassuming” American market/bakery near Diamond Head that also dishes up a “wildly healthy” “alternative plate lunch” plus “insanely delicious burgers and sandwiches” and “decadent” desserts; “snacks, sweets, ono food – you can’t go wrong” at this take-away “gem.” 20 18 21 $25 Dixie Grill BBQ/Crab House Aiea | 99-016 Kamehameha Hwy. (Honomanu St.) | 808-485-2722 | www.dixiegrill.com The “always smiling” staff caters to “the military crowd that misses home” at this Aiea “honky-tonk” serving Southern BBQ and fixin’s like collard greens, plus “awesome” sweet tea, crab dishes and “one of the largest” “screaming mai tais” on the island; while Dixie whistlers whisper it’s “hit-or-miss”, others concur it’s the “closest you will come” to the real deal, and find the “eye-candy” decor a hoot. 23 23 22 $60 Doraku Sushi Japanese Kaka’ako | 1009 Kapiolani Blvd. (Seaside Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-591-0101 Waikiki | Royal Hawaiian Ctr. | 2233 Kalakaua Ave. (Royal Hawaiian Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-922-3323 | www.dorakusushi.com This Miami import’s “unique takes on classic” rolls and “traditional” choices will “rock your world” agree “avid sushi lovers” who also adore the “excellent sake selection” from artisanal Japanese microbreweries and “low-lit chill atmosphere”; find a perch at this “posh location” on the third floor of the Royal Hawaiian Center overlooking “the main strip of Honolulu” – or check out the new Kaka’ako Honolulu locale – both owned by the son of Benihana’s originator.

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25 20 24 $43 Duc’s Bistro French/Vietnamese Chinatown | 1188 Maunakea St. (Beretania St.) | Honolulu | 808-531-6325 | www.ducsbistro.com “Imagine yourself” as “part of a noir movie set” at this FrenchVietnamese “sleeper” in “somewhat sketchy” Chinatown where chefowner Duc Nguyen makes every guest “feel like an old and dear friend”; the “thoughtful blend of cuisines” culminates in “superb textures and tastes with delicate spices” and the dishes “arrive in a stylish presentation” accompanied by a “luscious” wine list; the “swanky bar” and piano music “add to the ambiance” – oui, it’s “well worth the effort” to discover this “cabaretlike” “little hideaway.”

Duke’s Waikiki American

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Eggs ‘n Things American

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$37

Waikiki | Outrigger Waikiki | 2335 Kalakaua Ave. (bet. Dukes Ln. & Kaiulani Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-922-2268 | www.dukeswaikiki.com Whether you dig into “delicious” American fare while enjoying the “absolutely dreamy” views from the Kauai Marriott’s “romantic” balcony, with “palms swaying above and the iridescence of the waves rolling in”, or devour your “terrific” breakfast buffet at Outrigger Waikiki while “watching neophyte paddle boarders and their buff instructors”, the experience “couldn’t be more ‘Hawaii’”; both boast photos of the legendary namesake surfer and “aloha”-spirited service. 15

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$17

Waikiki | Polynesian Plaza | 343 Saratoga Rd. (Kalakaua Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-923-3447 | www.eggsnthings.com “If dinner means breakfast to you” follow “locals and tourists” to this “no-frills, solid” American “joint” in Waikiki serving “oversized plates” of “savory and sweet pancakes”, “crisp, tasty waffles”, “heavenly hash” and “eggs galore” “all day long”, as well as a bona fide supper menu; you can “eat like Kamehameha without having to sell your kingdom” but not without enduring “long lines at peak times.”

26 10 20 $14 Ethel’s Grill Asian Kalihi | 232 Kalihi St. (Kahai St.) | Honolulu | 808-847-6467 Devotees feel “lucky to grab a seat most days” at this “true hole- inthe-wall”, a cash-only Kalihi institution for local-style Asian food with “no atmosphere” that’s as “real as a neighborhood place can be”; you may “need to be local or local at heart to appreciate” the “excellent homestyle cooked meals”, like “amazingly” tasty ahi takaki and mochiko chicken, but for area folk it’s an “absolute must-do.”

Ezogiku Japanese/Noodle Shop

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11

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$13

Aiea | Waimalu Shopping Ctr. | 98-020 Kamehameha Hwy. (Kaahumanu St.) | 808-488-9850 Pearl City | Pearl City Shopping Ctr. | 850 Kamehameha Hwy. (Waimano Home Rd.) | 808-455-2815 University | 1010 University Ave. (Beretania St.) | Honolulu | 808-942-3608 Waikiki | Royal Hawaiian Ctr. | 2201 Kalakaua Ave. (Lewers St.) | Honolulu | 808-447-7595 Waikiki | 2146 Kalakaua Ave. (bet. Kalaimoku & Lewers Sts.) | Honolulu | 808-926-8616 | www.ezogiku.com “Just the ticket for that Japanese favorite, an enormous bowl of ramen noodles swimming in rich broth” cheer students and partyers who pack this chain, satisfying “late-night urges” and anytime “cravings” with

Oahu Restaurants A - Z

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the “tasty, filling” house specialty supplemented by “gyoza that melts in your mouth”; “don’t mind the decor (or lack thereof)” at these “itty bitty dives” – the draw is a “ton of food for just about nothing.”

Fat Greek Greek

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13

17

$17

Kaimuki | 3040 Waialae Ave. (St. Louis Dr.) | Honolulu | 808-734-0404 | www.thefatgreek.net “Zorba himself would appreciate” the “flavorful Greek” fare at this “popular” BYO “student hangout” in Kaimuki where you “order at the counter” then take a seat; the “real gyros” are made from “lamb and beef on the the spit”, the baba ghanoush is among the “best” this “side of the Mediterranean” and the hot sauce is “habit-forming”; still, detractors deem it “lackluster” and find parking “problematic.”

23 15 17 $22 Fook Yuen Chinese McCully | McCully Shopping Ctr. | 1960 Kapiolani Blvd. (bet. McCully & Pumehana Sts.) | Honolulu | 808-973-0168 “A must for that evening you have to have Chinese”, a “go-to for late-night bowls of noodles” served till 3 AM and a “tasty” buffet lunch staple, this “unpretentious” McCully mainstay in a “totally unprepossessing two-story strip mall” draws droves of “cheap- eats” seekers; it’s usually packed with “large parties” celebrating (“table for 10, please”) so be prepared to wait as “the crowds keep coming back.”

Formaggio Grill Mediterranean

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$36

Fresh Catch Seafood

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Guide to Hawaii’s Best

Kaimuki | Market City Shopping Ctr. | 2919 Kapiolani Blvd. (bet. Harding & Kaimuki Aves.) | Honolulu | 808-739-7719 Kailua | 305 Hahani St. (Kailua Rd.) | 808-263-2633 | www.formaggio808.com The vibe is “so upbeat”, the “well-dressed” crowd “hip” and the food “delicious” at this “dark” Med duo in Kailua and Kaimuki with a “pretty cool” wine-bar vibe; the “ever-evolving menu” features small and large dishes, but for oenophiles, the “highlight” is the “outstanding” vino list; still, others see the glass half full, grouching it’s “expensive.” 15

22

$20

Kaimuki | 3109 Waialae Ave. (2nd Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-735-7653 Kaneohe | 45-1118 Kamehameha Hwy. (Kahuhipa St.) | 808-235-7653 | www.freshcatch808.com What an “appropriate name” agree admirers hooked on “the assorted local poke and Hawaiian dishes” at these “casual” Kaimuki and Kaneohe seafood delis; whether you endure “long lines” to order “excellent plate lunch options like furikake ahi and salmon” or return for dinner, the “fresh” “fish, fish and more” is “always satisfying”, in fact, fin fans insist they’ve “never been disappointed.”


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20 16 19 $25 Genki Sushi Japanese Ala Moana | Ala Moana Ctr. | 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. (bet. Atkinson Dr. & Piikoi St.) | Honolulu | 808-942-9102 Ewa Beach | 91-1401 Fort Weaver Rd. (Geiger Rd.) | 808-683-1003 Kaneohe | 45-480 Kaneohe Bay Dr. (Kamehameha Hwy.) | 808-247-9595 Kapahulu | 885 Kapahulu Ave. (Olu St.) | Honolulu | 808-735-7700 Pearl City | 98-430 Kamehameha Hwy. (bet. Kaahumanu St. & Kuleana Rd.) | 808-485-0227 Waipahu | Waikele Ctr. | 94-799 Lumiaina St. (Paiwa St.) | 808-678-3180 Ward | Ward Ctr. | 1200 Ala Moana Blvd. (Kamakee St.) | Honolulu | 808-591-5600 | www.genkisushiusa.com “Beginners choose only from the passing plates” at this “kaiten” (conveyor belt) Japanese chain where a “never-ending” supply of “freshly made” and “economical” sushi “galore floats by you”, while “braver and more experienced diners special-order from picture menus”; if a few feel it’s “nothing spectacular”, even they concede it’s “perfect for kids who get a kick” out of the “interactiveness” or for “satisfying a midday craving” without “breaking the bank.”

Giovanni’s Aloha Shrimp Seafood

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9

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$17

Kahuku | 56-505 Kamehameha Hwy. (Buroughs Rd.) | 808-293-1839 | www.giovannisshrimptruck.com “Before the gourmet food trucks craze rolled into every town” there was this “original” seafooder, one of the “oldest and best of the North Shore shrimp” wagon “experiences”, now permanently parked at a Kahuku pavilion but still serving “mouthwatering” treats, including crustaceans with “finger-licking garlic” sauce; it’s “worth the wait” but if you don’t think “eating outdoors at picnic tables adds to the flavor”, just get it to go.

23 19 21 $15 Goma Tei Ramen Japanese/Noodle Shop Ala Moana | Ala Moana Ctr. | 1425 Ala Moana Blvd. (Piikoi St.) | Honolulu | 808-947-9188 Ward | Ward Ctr. | 1200 Ala Moana Blvd. (Kamakee St.) | Honolulu | 808-591-9188 “Noodles to tempt any taste bud” in “different and delicious” broth varieties backed by “plump, tasty gyoza” draw droves to this “convenient” Japanese “pit stop” in the Ala Moana Center and Ward Centers, the “refuel” go-to after shopping, surfing or moviegoing; “cool the spicy flavor” of the “addicting” “Tokyo-style ramen” with a draft beer – and don’t be “surprised how quickly you want to come back.”

Good To Grill American

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$16

Kapahulu | 888 Kapahulu Ave. (Olu St.) | Honolulu | 808-734-7345 | www.goodtogrill.com Offering American “steakhouse quality in a drive-in setting”, this Kapahulu meatery is a “mouthwatering experience” for carnivores craving beef with that “juicy grilled flavor”, straight from the kiawe wood–fired open-hearth broiler; the “best-quality plate lunch” and other “super-value” offerings, including the fish of the day, hibachi chicken and prime rib, are all served “without a lot of fuss.”

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Greek Marina Greek

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15

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$22

Green Door Malaysian/Singaporean

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Gyotaku Japanese

22

Hakkei Japanese

24

Hakone Japanese

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Guide to Hawaii’s Best

OAHU RESTAURANTS

Hawaii Kai | 7192 Kalanianaole Hwy. (Lunalilo Home Rd.) | Honolulu | 808-396-8441 | www.greekrestauranthawaii.com “Love the flavors and freshness” – it’s “very hard to beat for the quality and the price” concur acolytes who tout the “varied menu” of “tasty” Greek classics like gyros, souvlaki and lamb shanks at this Hawaii Kai “favorite”; the “decor is very simple” but sitting outside by the Koko Marina waterfront is “wonderful” and you can always get it to go. 10

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$17

Chinatown | 1110 Nuuanu Ave. (S. Hotel St.) | Honolulu | 808-533-0606 “Unique, complex and balanced”, the Malaysian-Singaporean dishes (particularly “rich, flavorful” curries) are a “revelation ending in satisfaction” at Chinatown’s “secret culinary paradise”; “don’t be scared away” by “grumpy” chef-owner Betty Pang’s rep – she’s “quite the character” but can be a “sweetheart” – and never mind the paper plates, just bring cash and a bottle of wine and “enjoy the journey.” 19

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$27

Downtown | 1824 S. King St. (Artesian St.) | Honolulu | 808-949-4584 Niu Valley | Niu Valley Shopping Ctr. | 5730 Kalanianaole Hwy. (Halemaumau St.) | Honolulu | 808-373-2731 Pearl City | 98-1226 Kaahumanu St. (Moanalua Rd.) | 808-487-0091 | www.gyotakuhawaii.com “Popular with families and seniors”, this threesome tempts taste buds with “plentiful” portions of “oh-so-delicious” “local-style Japanese food” that’s “always fresh and well presented”, “tasty” sushi and “everything else you could possibly crave”; service is “courteous” and there’s an “excellent range” of specials for early-birds along with “‘kids eat free’ days – you can’t get better than that.” 19

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$35

Makiki | 1436 Young St. (bet. Kalakaua Ave. & Keeaumoku St.) | Honolulu | 808-944-6688 | www.hakkei-honolulu.com “It’s like being transported to an inn in the Japanese countryside” declare devotees who embark on “a delicious adventure” at this “hidden gem” decorated with “dark woods” and “tucked away” in Makiki; it’s “not always easy to get reservations but worth the effort” to enjoy an “excellent, authentic meal of oden” (bubbling hot pots), kaiseki dinners and “lovingly prepared small dishes” created by Iron Chef winner Seiya Masahara and his “gracious” staff. 22

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$54

Waikiki | Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki | 100 Holomoana St. (Ala Moana Blvd.) | Honolulu | 808-944-4494 | www.princeresortshawaii.com “Can’t believe the quality of the food on the buffet” offered weekends at this “fine” Japanese “dining experience” on the third floor of the Hawaii Prince Hotel in Waikiki agree diners wowed by the “commitment to purity and authenticity” of the “incredible”, “high-quality” selections; the “made-to-order sushi and sashimi (including toro!) is a highlight” – the chef prepares hand rolls “to your heart’s delight” so if “you have the appetite to match, this is the place.”


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Hale Vietnam Vietnamese

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$18

Kaimuki | 1140 12th Ave. (Waialae Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-735-7581 It’s not “ultraluxe” and it can be cold as a “meat locker” but never mind – this “venerable standard”, “hidden from the main drag”, is still a “favorite of the Kaimuki neighborhood” for “consistently delicious” “gourmet-level Vietnamese cuisine” including “fresh, steaming” bowls of pho featuring an “unbelievable” broth; there are “ample” vegetarian choices and service is “gracious”, ensuring it’s “always crowded.”

23 16 20 $24 Haleiwa Thai Thai Haleiwa | 66-079 Kamehameha Hwy. (Emerson Rd.) | 808-637-4247 | www.haleiwaeatsthai.com “After surf-watching, enjoy a leisurely meal at this “friendly” Thai in the town of Haleiwa” suggest aficionados who find the “spirited” food “so well-spiced and flavored, you can’t stop eating”; but the “no-frills” decor, “busy” buzz and sometimes “long waits” prompt others to suggest it’s “better for takeout after a tiring day on the waves.”

Hank’s Haute Dogs Hot Dogs

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Hapa Grill Eurasian

20

Hard Rock Cafe American

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12

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$13

Kakaako | 324 Coral St. (Ala Moana Blvd.) | Honolulu | 808-532-4265 | www.hankshautedogs.com Regulars “love” the “traditional and out-of-the-box” frankfurters with “snap” at former Chicago restaurateur Henry Adaniya’s Kakaako “holein-the-wall” lunch spot; with “original, tasty” options ranging from “duck and foie gras dogs” to lobster, buffalo or andouille sausage, it’s the “perfect blend of haute cuisine simplified” with “light and crispy” onion rings to go with; if a few bark it’s a “little on the pricey side”, most savor every “bite.” 17

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$22

Kapolei | 590 Farrington Hwy. (Allinui Dr.) | 808-674-8400 | www.hapagrill.net The family business that “started out as a lunch wagon has evolved into” this “casual” Eurasian “favorite” in Kapolei, a “coffeehouse setting” located “away from the maddening crowds” where the “torch” has been passed to the originators’ daughter; the “wide range of local foods” makes it “hard to choose” – and there’s “nothing better than finishing off a meal with a fried ice cream.” 23

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$31

Waikiki | Waikiki Beach Walk | 280 Beachwalk (Kalakaua Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-955-7383 | www.hardrock.com “It’s not just guitars and records lining the walls but also surfboards” and “iconic surfing culture stuff” that strike a chord with “homesick” tourists at these chain links in Waikiki and Lahaina dishing out “mainland burgers” and other American “comfort food”; but while the “rock ’n’ roll memorabilia” and “awesome ocean view” make it the “perfect” teen destination to buy “souvenir T-shirts”, most report the “predictable” fare is “nothing to write home about.”

23 27 23 $47 Hau Tree Lanai Pacific Rim Waikiki | New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel | 2863 Kalakaua Ave. (Monsarrat Ave.) | 808-921-7066 | www.kaimana.com “Watch the sun brighten the day” over a “relaxing breakfast”, the surf and surfers from under a hau tree at lunch or the “breathtaking” sunsets as you “celebrate something special” with a “delicious” Pac Oahu Restaurants A - Z

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Rim dinner at this seaside “Hawaii treat” in the New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel; staffers “give customers privacy” and “you can’t beat the ambiance” – you feel “removed from the crush of Waikiki.”

Hee Hing Chinese

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$26

Kapahulu | 449 Kapahulu Ave. (Kanaina Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-735-5544 | www.heehinghawaii.com A “required stop” for “Hong Kong–style, freshly served” dim sum at lunch and “excellent” Cantonese cuisine with “some original preparations of traditional dishes, especially seafood” concur acolytes who frequent this “longtime” Kapahulu “favorite” that’s “usually noisy and crowded” with families “for a reason”; “go with a crowd to get a wide assortment” of the “fresh and flavorful” fare and don’t miss the “fancy” buffet.

27 12 21 $22 Helena’s Hawaiian Food Hawaiian Kalihi | 1240 N. School St. (Aupuni St.) | Honolulu | 808-845-8044 | www.helenashawaiianfood.com For a “great hole-in-the-wall Hawaiian experience” (“if you like that sort of thing”) seek out this family-owned “old island favorite”, “the anti-luau” for “foodies” “tucked away in a colorful” neighborhood in Kalihi serving “mouthwatering” standards; the “Formica tables” “fade as you bite into the succulent” specialties, plus the “hospitality can’t be beat”, making the “long lines” so “worth it”; P.S. “when the food is gone, the restaurant closes.”

Highway Inn Diner

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$22

Hiroshi Eurasion Tapas Eurasian

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Hoku’s Pacific Rim

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Waipahu | 94-226 Leoku St. (Leolua St.) | 808-677-4345 | www.myhighwayinn.com “Like eating in a restaurant run by your auntie and frequented by your family and neighbors”, this Waipahu diner, operated by three generations of the Toguchi clan since WWII, takes visitors “back to the old times” with its “authentic”, “delicious” Hawaiian local fare, “very ohana” vibe and “country atmosphere”; it’s “nothing fancy”, but the “staff makes you feel at home” and “they make a mean pipikaula.” 24

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$56

Restaurant Row | 500 Ala Moana Blvd. (bet. Punchbowl & South Sts.) | Honolulu | 808-533-4476 | www.dkrestaurants.com “Prepare to be seduced by the flavors” at this “modern” Eurasian tapas “favorite” on Restaurant Row, next to sibling Vino; chef/co-owner Hiroshi Fukui constantly experiments with ingredients from “local farmers”, dreaming up “imaginative” combos “to delight the palate” while his business partner (along with restaurateur D.K. Kodama) and “main attraction”, master sommelier Chuck Furuya, “happily guides you”; service is “attentive but not smothering”, and happy hour is “amazing”, as are the occasional multicourse kaiseki dinners. 27

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$73

Kahala | Kahala Hotel & Resort | 5000 Kahala Ave. (Kealaolu Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-739-8780 | www.kahalaresort.com Expect to “be mesmerized by the ocean viewed through swaying palms and beguiled by a menu of delicious choices served with flair and sophistication” fawn fans of this “romantic” Pacific Rim “treasure” “tucked away” in the “exclusive” Kahala Hotel; the chef “performs culinary magic”, producing “divine” dishes, while the “lavish Sunday brunch” boasts “unlimited champagne”, a “wonderful indulgence” that’s “special in every way.”


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23 21 21 $10 Honolulu Coffee Company Coffeehouse Ala Moana | 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. (Atkinson Dr.) | Honolulu | 808-949-1500 Downtown | American Savings Bank Tower | 1001 Bishop St. (Hotel St.) | Honolulu | 808-521-4400 | www.honolulucoffee.com The “aroma of freshly brewed coffee is addicting” agree regulars who elbow their way into these “convenient”, “crowded” Honolulu (and Wailea) branches for Kona java roasted artisan-style in small batches; the “to-die-for” desserts, including French macarons, cakes and cookies and morning pastries, are the ultimate “complement”, while perks like “talented” baristas and a “delightful setting” amp up its buzz factor.

Hula Grill Waikiki Pacific Rim

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Hy’s Steak House Steak

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Ichiriki Japanese Nabe Japanese

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$38

Waikki | Outrigger Waikiki | 2335 Kalakaua Ave. (bet. Dukes Ln. & Kaiulani Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-923-4852 | www.hulagrillwaikiki.com Go “barefoot in paradise” at this “bustling” seaside Pacific Rim “treat” in Outrigger Waikiki and Whalers Village, where you can “scrunch your toes in the sand”, enjoy “terrific mai tais while listening to live Hawaiian music” and watch “exceptional sunsets” and the “whales pop up”; if some snark that it’s “crowded” and “touristy”, most find that “eating pupu and watching the beach action” just “can’t be topped.” 25

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$70

Waikki | Waikiki Park Heights Hotel | 2440 Kuhio Ave. (bet. Kaiulani Ave. & Kapuni St.) | Honolulu | 808-922-5555 | www.hyshawaii.com “No postage-stamp portions” here so “bring an appetite” to this “old-school” steakhouse in the Waikiki Park Heights Hotel, an “oasis in the bustle” of the city where you “expect to see the Rat Pack” in the “big leather booths”; the “exceptional” kiawe-grilled beef sets the “gold standard”, the wine selection is “terrific”, service is “supremely professional” and the live music “fits perfectly” with the “romantic” mood, making for a “memorable experience”; P.S. “save room for the cherries jubilee” prepared tableside. 21

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$32

Aiea | 98-150 Kaonohi St. (Moanalua Loop) | 808-484-2222 Ala Moana | 510 Piikoi St. (Kona St.) | Honolulu | 808-589-2299 | www.ichirikinabe.com Nabe is the signature dish at this shabu-shabu duo in Ala Moana and Aiea serving “tasteful and authentic” Japanese hot pots that start with “soothing” and “addictive” broths that pack “big flavor”; the “participatory preparation” is “refreshing” – you cook the soup yourself with “fresh, plentiful portions” of vegetables, meat and fish that can be shared family-style; the “quaint atmosphere”, “friendly staff” and tatami tables also make for an “interesting concept.”

20 12 17 $24 Ige’s Restaurant & 19th Puka American Aiea | 98-761 Oihana Pl. (Kaahumanu St.) | 808-486-3500 | www.igesrestaurant.com “Just kick back, relax and enjoy home-cooked” American food while watching the game on “multiple big-screen TVs” or “shooting the breeze” at this “popular”, “nothing fancy” Aiea “haunt” that’s “really known” for its “signature” shoyu pork, flap steak and “other ono local dishes”; “kudos” to the owners “for keeping the old-school Oahu Restaurants A - Z

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entertainment alive” with live music and karaoke – it makes for a “much more exciting” environment. 26 21 23 $38 Imanas Tei Japanese University | 2626 S. King St. (University Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-941-2626 Seek out this “smallish” University-area Japanese spot for the “most authentic” specialties and the “freshest fish”, including “excellent sushi” and “delicious” shabu-shabu and nabe; the “attention to detail for each dish is amazing” – the flavors “seem traditional”, but the “twists keep you coming back”; add in “quick” service and it’s no wonder patrons promise it’s worth the parking “hunt” just “to eat here.” 22 22 21 $43 Indigo Eclectic Chinatown | 1121 Nuuanu Ave. (Hotel St.) | Honolulu | 808-521-2900 | www.indigo-hawaii.com The “intriguing” vibe is “Sex and the City–meets–South Pacific” at this “opium den–styled cavern” in Chinatown, serving a “multicultural feast” of “inventive” Eclectic fare in a “stylish yet simple way”, along with a “lovely” lunchtime buffet that’s “extremely popular”; get a garden table and “soak up a truly unique Hawaiian experience” – and don’t overlook the “hopping cocktail scene” and “exotic drinks” (it’s one of the “coolest hangouts in town”).

Island’s Fine Burgers Burgers

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$20

Ala Moana | Ala Moana Ctr. | 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. (bet. Atkinson Dr. & Piikoi St.) | Honolulu | 808-943-6670 | www.islandsrestaurants.com For “good crisp fries and solid burgers” this “family-oriented” Ala Moana Center offshoot of the West Coast chain is “an absolute favorite”; service is “speedy” and “it’s so worth it to come for happy hour”, and on game nights there are “TV screens with sports to keep you occupied”; if naysayers shrug there’s “nothing above and beyond” here, most “love” everything, including the “free refills.”

21 22 21 $37 Jameson’s By The Sea Seafood/Steak Haleiwa | 62-540 Kamehameha Hwy. (Lokoea Pl.) | 808-637-4336 A “Haleiwa tradition”, this surf ’n’ turf “standby” “hasn’t lost its charm”, with a “beautiful” open-air location “facing the water” and “postcard views”; there’s “really little that’s better than a drink and dinner on the veranda at sunset”, a “romantic” mood enhanced by hurricane lamps, overhead fans and a “symphony of island flavors”; if some scoff it’s “hit-or-miss” and “touristy”, admirers attest it’s “aloha heaven.”

Jimmy Buffett’s at the Beachcomber

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$37

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Guide to Hawaii’s Best

American Waikiki | Ohana Waikiki Beachcomber | 2300 Kalakaua Ave. (Dukes Ln.) | Honolulu | 808-791-1200 | www.jimmybuffettsatthebeachcomber.com A “super place” for American eats and “beverages with an island theme” report ‘Parrotheads’ who wing over to this Ohana Waikiki Beachcomber staple; “live music adds an additional flavor to the already beachy and laid-back vibe” while “excellent margaritas” slake a thirst for all things Buffet; but bashers deem the food “mediocre” confiding “you will not get a cheeseburger in paradise” here.


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24 18 22 $27 JJ Bistro & French Pastry Bakery/French Kaimuki | 3447 Waialae Ave. (9th Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-739-0993 | www.jjfrenchpastry.com Known “island-wide” for its “decadent desserts” (“three words: chocolate pyramid cake”) and “outstanding” pastry, this “tiny” and “charming” French bakery/bistro “nestled away” in Kaimuki also leans toward the savory, pleasing palates with its “unique” main courses; “everything is made to perfection and simply delicious” – whatever chef-owner “JJ does, he does well”; the icing on top: “excellent” pricing – what a “steal.” 26 17 19 $20 JJ Dolan’s Pizza Downtown | 1147 Bethel St. (Pauahi St.) | Honolulu | 808-537-4992 | www.jjdolans.com An Irish “pub that happens to have the best handmade pizza in Downtown” declare diehards who get their fill of “fantastic” “true New York” pies (“rare in Honolulu”) made with “delicious ingredients and combinations” at this “hidden gem” close to Hawaii Theatre; the “outstanding beers”, “Cheers-style bar ambiance” and “friendly” staff also win a round of applause; P.S. parking is available in Mark’s Garage. 23 12 18 $17 Kaka’ako Kitchen Hawaiian Ward | Ward Ctr. | 1200 Ala Moana Blvd. (Kamakee St.) | Honolulu | 808-596-7488 | www.kakaakokitchen.com 3660 chef-owner Russell Siu’s “gift to the take-out, breakfast” and midday meal crowd, this Ward Centers’ “gourmet hole-in-the-wall” is also renowned for its “haute plate lunch” loaded with “tasty” Hawaiian flavors; “don’t expect a lot of hand-holding service” from the counter help, but do count on “slow-tasting fast food” and an “al fresco”, “laidback atmosphere.” 20 8 20 $15 Keneke’s BBQ Waimanalo | 41-685 Kalanianaole Hwy. (Oluolu St.) |808-259-9800 | www.kenekes.net “There’s always a long line” at this “funky little” Hawaiian BBQ joint, a “popular beachgoer’s” go-to in Waimanalo that’s known for its “tasty plate lunch”, the “local favorite comfort food”; the “right-off-thehighway” location “may leave something to be desired” but few really mind – it’s spot-on for a “side-of-the-road take-out quick stop.” 20 20 20 $39 Keo’s in Waikiki Thai Waikiki | 2028 Kuhio Ave. (bet. Keoniana & Kuamoo Sts.) | Honolulu | 808-951-9355 | www.keosthaicuisine.com “How can you pass up a dish called the ‘Evil Jungle Prince’”? wonder fans who also applaud the “most authentic spring rolls” at this Waikiki Thai; filled with “hundreds of flowers and orchids”, the “decor is so funky that it transcends weird and becomes fun”, and while the locale is “definitely in the tourist zone”, few mind, finding it a “delight” to visit.

Kincaid’s Seafood/Steak

21

20

22

$37

Ward | Ward Warehouse | 1050 Ala Moana Blvd. (Ward Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-591-2005 | www.kincaids.com “A no-brainer when it comes to a business lunch” declares the “Downtown working crowd” that piles into this “popular” Ward Warehouse offshoot of the surf ’n’ turf chain; the “varied” menu filled with “choices for big eaters or lighter appetites”, “fabulous view of

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Kewalo Basin docks”, “friendly” service and “vibrant bar area” also lure the post-office throngs who agree it’s “always a pleaser.” 22 18 19 $30 Kirin Chinese Moiliili | 2518 S. Beretania St. (Bingham St.) | Honolulu | 808-942-1888 Serving some of the “best Hong Kong–style dim sum in Honolulu” as well as “reliably sound”, “traditional” Northern Chinese food “with imagination”, this “casual” yet somewhat “upscale” spot in Moiliili remains a welcome “respite after shopping” and “not very well known to the unsuspecting traveler”; it may be “a bit pricey” and parking is a tad “tight”, but it remains an “absolute favorite.” — — — — Kiss My Grits American Moiliili | Puck’s Alley | 1035 University Ave. (bet. King St. & Varsity Pl.) | Honolulu | 808-348-0626 | www.kissmygritsyall.com Owned by a North Carolina native, this University-area American/ BBQ spot aspires to bring the South to Moiliili, serving up both vinegarbased and mustard-based barbecue, buttermilk fried chicken, chickenfried steak and, of course, shrimp and grits, all served with a deviled egg; sides like coleslaw, cornbread, smoky mac ’n’ cheese, collards and biscuits also offer a taste of Dixie.

Kit N Kitchen Asian/European

22

16

20

$24

University | 1010 University Ave. (Beretania St.) | Honolulu | 808-942-7622 | www.kitnkitchen.com Expect “unusual” Asian-European “dishes not found in many places” at this “cozy place for dates” near the University where you can “take your time” and enjoy the “quirky but interesting” fare and atmosphere; if a few hiss it’s a “difficult call”, most purr-ponents say that the “familial feel”, “variety of menu” and “very appealing-to-the-eye” presentation make it a “favorite.”

22 15 20 $14 Koa Pancake House Diner Kaimuki | 1139 12th Ave. (bet. Harding & Mahina Aves.) | Honolulu | 808-739-7778 Kaneohe | 46-126 Kahuhipa St. (Kamehameha Hwy.) | 808-235-5772 Kapolei | 91-590 Farrington Hwy. (Makakilo Dr.) | 808-693-8855 Wahiawa | 703 California Ave. (Kuahiwi Ave.) | 808-621-0123 | www.koapancakehouse.com “‘Pancake’ is their middle name” quip customers who flip for the “satisfying” flapjacks at this daytime diner chain, a “local favorite” serving one of the “cheapest good breakfasts on the island”; the “utilitarian” digs may be “nothing fancy” but “service is quick” and treats you like “family”, and when you’re craving “comfort food” there’s nothing like “down-home cooking.”

Kobe Japanese Steak House & Sushi Bar

24

20

23

$46

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Guide to Hawaii’s Best

Japanese/Steak Waikiki | 1841 Ala Moana Blvd. (Kalia Rd.) | Honolulu | 808-941-4444 | www.honolulukobe.com “It’s all about a show” at these independently owned Japanese steakhouses in Waikiki and Lahaina where “colorful” teppanyaki chefs “wield knives to entertain” diners and “cook right in front of your eyes”, working in “harmony” with servers to create an “enjoyable experience”; “hearty” portions of “perfectly seasoned” meat and “plenty of sushi choices” add to its appeal for “large parties and families”; if some beef


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about “long waits” and “smoky” environs, most retort it’s “absolutely worth it.”

Kua ‘Aina Sandwich Burgers/Sandwiches

22

18

19

$30

Haleiwa | 66-160 Kamehameha Hwy. (Joseph P. Leong Hwy.) | 808-637-6067 Ward | Ward Ctr. | 1200 Ala Moana Blvd. (Kamakee St.) | Honolulu | 808-591-9133 “A North Shore favorite”, this “famous hamburger shop” with a “surf shack atmosphere” and its strip-mall Ward Centers’ offshoot serve up “hot and juicy” burgers, “some of the best drippy, messy sandwiches ever” (“try the mahi mahi”) and “delicious” salads; it’s all made with “fresh” ingredients and served “efficiently” but “get there early” if you like avocado on top, ’cause they “always run out.”

19 $19 16 23 Kuru Kuru Sushi Japanese Aiea | 98-199 Kamehameha Hwy. (Lipoa Pl.) | 808-484-4596 Kahala | Kahala Mall | 4211 Waialae Ave. (Kilauea Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-739-5878 Serving “addicting” kaiten (conveyor belt–style) sushi, this “crowded” Aiea-Kahala Japanese duo is “a cut above” competitors, “popular” for its “variety”, “quality and taste” and “moderate prices”; fin fans suggest “order off the menu” for the “freshest” fare and confide that the spicy ahi and poke bowl with “heaps” of fish “satisfy the best of appetites”; the “only drawback is the wait”, but it’s “well worth” it. 17 $14 12 18 L&L Hawaiian Barbecue BBQ/Hawaiian Diamond Head | 3045 Monsarrat Ave. (Kanaina Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-735-1388 Downtown | Fort Street Mall | 1111B Fort St. Mall (Hotel St.) | Honolulu | 808-521-8891 Kahala | Kahala Mall | 4618 Kilauea Ave. (Pahoa Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-732-4042 Mililani | 94-780 Meheula Pkwy. (Hokuahiahi St.) | 808-623-8886 Waikiki | 2280 Kuhio Ave. (bet. Nohonani St. & Seaside Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-924-7888 Ward | Ward Entertainment Ctr. | 310 Kamakee St. (Auahi St.) | Honolulu | 808-597-9088 | www.hawaiianbarbecue.com A “local staple”, this “ubiquitous” “no-frills” chain with statewide locations serves up “generous portions” of “guilty pleasure” Hawaiian BBQ favorites that always leave patrons “full and satisfied”; if a few ’cuemeisters kvetch it’s “heavy on the starch”, emphasizing “quantity over quality”, for most it’s a “cheap, quick and easy” option and “always hits the spot.”

La Mariana Sailing Club American

18

25

20

$28

Kalihi | 50 Sand Island Rd. (Pahounui Dr.) | Honolulu | 808-848-2800 Like “something straight out of an old movie”, this “tiki-gone-wild” throwback “hidden away on Sand Island” serves American classics with an island spin and doubles as a ‘museum’ of Hawaiiana “complete with bamboo lights, friendly service and live piano music”; it’s a “must for tourists”, but note “this is not fine dining” – instead, “relax, order a drink with an umbrella in it” and soak up the “funky” atmosphere.

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29 29 29 $143 La Mer French Waikiki | Halekulani Hotel | 2199 Kalia Rd. (Lewers St.) | Honolulu | 808-923-2311 | www.halekulani.com “By far the finest dining experience you will have on Oahu”, this “elegant, intimate” French “keeper” in the “stunning” Halekulani Hotel “aspires to Parisian culinary decadence with prices to match”, garnering No. 1 ratings among Oahu Restaurants for Food, Decor and Service; the “superbly prepared” prix fixe and tasting menus coupled with a “topnotch wine list”, “supreme” setting overlooking Waikiki Beach and “utterly spectacular” sunset views give epicures the “best reasons to open the piggy bank and put on a jacket” or long-sleeve collar shirt (either one required).

La Tour Cafe American

Downtown | 841 Bishop St. (bet. Merchant & Queen Sts.) | Honolulu | 808-888-7476 Iwilei | 888 N. Nimitz Hwy. (Alakawa St.) | Honolulu | 808-697-5000 | www.latourcafe.com An offshoot of the Ba-Le chain, this Downtown-Iwilei innovator offers up newfangled riffs on the trademark Vietnamese sandwich its progenitor is known for, including the meatball bahn mi; American and global influences abound, with a varied menu of tartines, quiches, flatbread pizzas, salads, curried meat pies and, for dessert, macarons.

27 22 25 $60 Le Bistro French Niu Valley | Niu Valley Shopping Ctr. | 5730 Kalanianaole Hwy. (Halemaumau St.) | Honolulu | 808-373-7990 “Leave the strip mall behind” as you enter this “true hidden gem” owned by “talented” Japanese chef Alan Takasaki and his wife, Debbie, serving “fantastic French” fare in an “unlikely” Niu Valley venue; the “serviceoriented staff” is “committed” to delivering “beautifully prepared dishes” made with “lots of local ingredients” and an “outstanding” wine list while the “elegant” room retains a “cozy feel”, making for a “magnifique” and “memorable” experience that’s “well worth the price.” 26 16 24 $50 Le Guignol French Ala Moana | 1010 S. King St. (Victoria St.) | Honolulu | 808-591-1809 | www.leguignol.org The “perfect place” for contemporary and “classic French cuisine” before “heading to the concert hall for a performance or show” at the Neil Blaisdell Center agree amis who go Gallic at this Ala Moana–area “gem”; prices are a “steal”, especially when you add in the BYO factor, making it an “outstanding neighborhood” choice.

Lei Lei’s Pacific Rim

23

18

22

$44

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Guide to Hawaii’s Best

Kahuku | Turtle Bay Resort | 57-091 Kamehameha Hwy. (Kuilima Dr.) | 808-293-2662 | www.turtlebayresort.com This all-day Kahuku Pacific Rim with “beautiful” views at the Turtle Bay Resort has “just what you need”, from breakfast to drinks “after a round” on the green to a “pleasant” dinner; the “casual” atmosphere is “so welcoming” – you’re always “greeted by smiling faces” – while the fare is a “minor miracle” and “much better than it needs to be for a golf clubhouse cafe.”


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24 13 21 $15 Liliha Bakery Bakery/Diner Kapalama | 515 N. Kuakini St. (Liliha St.) | Honolulu | 808-531-1651 | www.lilihabakeryhawaii.com The “coco puffs are the star” but it’s worth stopping in round the clock for “comfort food” at this “old-time favorite” Kapalama bakery and “classic” diner “throwback”, established in 1950; “time it right” to grab a “spinning” counter stool, then tuck into “fluffy” pancakes and the “best grilled butter rolls” with famous red jelly; there are “so many memories” but it’s still creating “new traditions with the next generation.”

Little Village Noodle House Chinese

25

18

21

$24

Chinatown | 1113 Smith St. (bet. Hotel & Pauahi Sts.) | Honolulu | 808-545-3008 | www.littlevillagehawaii.com “A brilliant find on the Chinatown scene”, this “quaint”, “ever-popular” Cantonese establishment is always jammed with a “mix of hipsters, old locals, theatergoers, Downtown white collars and a smattering of tourists throughout the day” and night; “definitely order family-style and share” the bounty of “classic takes” on Chinese standards “as well as some more inventive combos”, all “totally delicious”; P.S. “bring your own bottle, and be prepared for crowds and noise.”

21 13 17 $28 Lobster King Chinese/Seafood Ala Moana | 1380 S. King St. (Keeaumoku Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-944-8288 | www.lobsterkinghi.com “Definitely a be-back” concur loyalists who applaud the lobster “prepared several ways” and other “delicious” dishes at this whitetablecloth Chinese seafooder in Ala Moana; if a few mutter that the focus is “more on the food than the atmosphere”, finding it a “little crowded with the table placement”, few mind since the “reasonable” prices and “generous” portions compensate. 20 15 20 $23 Los Chaparros Mexican Moiliili | 2140 S. Beretania St. (Griffiths St.) | Honolulu | 808-951-6399 | www.loschaparros.com Mexican cuisine is not known to be one of Hawaii’s strong suits, as any local or visitor will tell you, but this Moiliili spot serving “tasty” south-of-the-border fare is “surprisingly good”, with beer, tequila and Spanish wine to boot; “attentive” staffers and “reasonable” prices ramp up its “honest” appeal – it’s really just a “fun place to hang out with your friends.” — — — — Lucky Belly Asian Chinatown | 50 N. Hotel St. (Smith St.) | Honolulu | 808-531-1888 This Chinatown noodle bar offers an Asian pub food experience, serving ramen and other items such as pork belly buns and shrimp and edamame dumplings; for late-night eats, try the take-out window, where offerings change but sometimes include carbolicious items like short rib fried rice and chow fun noodles. 20 15 20 $23 MAC 24/7 American Waikiki | Hilton Waikiki Beach | 2500 Kuhio Ave. (Liliuokalani Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-921-5564 | www.mac247waikiki.com “You’d better be hungry” to visit this “well-designed, chic” 24/7 American eatery in Hilton Waikiki Beach, a “favorite guilty pleasure” spot where you can “sober up a bit after hitting the clubs”; “gotta go for the pancake challenge – eat ’em” all and get the “Viking-sized” flapjacks for free – or dig into “comfort food at its finest.” Oahu Restaurants A - Z

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Makino Chaya Japanese

19

15

17

$36

Mariposa American

23

Matsumoto’s Shave Ice American

24

Maui Tacos Mexican

20

Max’s of Manila Filipino

19

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Guide to Hawaii’s Best

OAHU RESTAURANTS

Aiea | Westridge Shopping Ctr. | 98-150 Kaonohi St. (Moanalua Loop) | 808-486-5100 “Love the variety” – the “freshly made and delicious” selection is so “plentiful” and “satisfies all eaters” agree admirers who queue up for “buffet-style Japanese food” at this “always crowded” Westridge Shopping Center spot; but “disappointed” detractors deem the sushi “lackluster” and find some offerings “heavy on the fried food.” 24

24

$46

Ala Moana | Neiman Marcus, Ala Moana Ctr. | 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. (Atkinson Dr.) | Honolulu | 808-951-3420 | www.neimanmarcus.com Yes, it’s “upstairs in Neiman Marcus” but “don’t hold that against it” implore fans who wing their way over to this “idyllic setting” for “elegant and delicious dining with service to match”; the New American menu “lulls you into an extended lunch” replete with “impossibly large popovers” but the “big secret is how excellent dinner” is; P.S. get a balcony table to “enjoy the dreamy view of the ocean.” 13

20

$8

Haleiwa |66-087 Kamehameha Hwy. (Emerson Rd.) | 808-637-4827 | www.matsumotoshaveice.com A Haleiwa “institution that should live on forever” cheer fans who insist it’s “worth standing in line” for perhaps “the best shave ice anywhere”; order a “towering” cone in “exotic flavors” or “go all out with ice cream and condensed milk” or “sweetened azuki beans” – the combinations are “endless”; “slurp away” outside on the wood bench, where the “island breeze just makes it taste better.” 12

17

$14

Kailua | Kailua Village Shops | 539 Kailua Rd. (Hahani St.) | 808-261-4155 Waikiki | Royal Hawaiian Ctr. | 2233 Kalakaua Ave. (Royal Hawaiian Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-931-6111 | www.mauitacos.com “For real local-fied Mexican, there’s no better place” than this statewide chain, especially if you’re looking for a “quickie lunch” of “cheap eats” or “craving something ‘south of the border’”; “spice up your food according to taste” at the salsa bar offering a “plethora” of condiments, and get it to go since there’s “no decor” to speak of. 17

18

$19

Kalihi | 801 Dillingham Blvd. (bet. Leowahine & Pupukahi Sts.) | Honolulu | 808-599-5034 Waipahu | Westgate Shopping Ctr. | 4-300 Farrington Hwy. (Leowahine St.) | 808-951-6297 | www.maxschicken.com Oahu’s two offshoots of the Philippine chain in Kalihi and Waipahu prove to be somewhat “nostalgic for local Filipinos”, serving traditional dishes “family-style”, including its “famous chicken”, a “house specialty”; while diehards “walk away feeling full and wonderful”, the less-familiar find the food merely “average to good.”


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24 18 22 $32 Mediterraneo Italian Makiki |1279 S. King St. (Birch St.) | Honolulu | 808-593-1466 “Well worth a visit for authentic Italian food (rare in Honolulu)”, this “small, yet cozy” Makiki trattoria serves “simple and uncomplicated” cuisine, including “perfectly al dente pastas that always please”; regulars rejoice over the “huge, hot” portions (try “any dish with freshly made sausage”) and find the owner, who hails from Rome, “friendly” and “fetchingly eccentric”; P.S. there’s “limited parking.”

Mei Sum Dim Sum Chinese

22

Mekong Thai II Thai

26

Michel’s French

27

11

14

$18

Chinatown | 1170 Nuuanu Avenue (bet. Beretania & Pauahi Sts.) | Honolulu | 808-531-3268 This “old-timey” Chinese “favorite” is open all day, but it’s “the place to go” in Chinatown for “delicious dim sum at lunchtime” when the “carts roll by” stuffed with “tasty” temptations; “tables are a trifle crowded together”, the digs “need sprucing up” and staffers are “brusque and hurried, regardless if the room is full or empty”, but few mind given the “unbelievable prices.” 17

22

$25

Ala Moana | 1726 S. King St. (bet. Elsie & Pawaa Lns.) | Honolulu | 808-941-6212 A “longtime favorite” in an Ala Moana “location that keeps most of the tourists away”, this “charming” Siamese is locally renowned for its “wonderful Thai cuisine” including the “scrumptious” signature creation Evil Jungle Prince that’s “not to be missed”; “go with several people and share” the “huge portions” – some are “very spicy” but they “soothe the soul” and it’s the “real stuff.” 27

28

$85

Waikiki | Colony Surf | 2895 Kalakaua Ave. (Poni Moi Rd.) | Honolulu | 808-923-6552 | www.michelshawaii.com “Romantic, expensive, posh”, yes, this “big date” Classic French “throwback” is “worth every penny” sigh sybarites who snag oceanfront seats at this “bastion of fine traditional cooking” in the Colony Surf Hotel at the foot of Diamond Head; “it’s the view that captures your heart” – let the “sunset, ships and night lights of Honolulu woo you” as the “music of the surf caresses the shore” and you “feast on the sumptuous” prix fixe menu prepared tableside by “gracious” tuxedoclad servers; in sum, “simply marvelous.”

Mitch’s Sushi Restaurant Japanese/Seafood 29 13 24 $69 Airport | 524 Ohohia St. (Ualena St.) | Honolulu | 808-837-7774 | www.mitchsushi.com “In-freakin’-credible!” cheer fin fans who dive into the “outstanding chirashi plates” and “large portions” of the “freshest” fish at this Japanese seafooder, a reservations-only BYO set in a “nondescript” warehouse near the airport car rentals; it’s “not the prettiest” locale, and the “tiny ‘dining’ area” is reminiscent of “Ralph Kramden’s Honeymooners apartment”, but the master sushi chefs “ensure that every piece is a balanced work of edible art” that’s “worth the high price.”

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18 18 20 $33 Monterey Bay Canners Fresh Seafood Aiea | Pearlridge Ctr. | 98-1005 Moanalua Rd. (bet. Kaonohi & Pali Momi Sts.) | 808-483-3555 | www.montereybaycanners.com At this Aiea seafood joint in Pearlridge Center that’s “been around a long time” (since 1980), “pleasant” staffers contribute to a family-friendly, “relaxing” atmosphere where you can imagine you’re “dining on a fisherman’s ship”; even if some former admirers sigh it’s “seen better times”, at least it “still serves a great chowder.”

Morimoto Waikiki Japanese

25

Morton’s The Steakhouse Steak

24

Mr. Ojisan Japanese

23

26

25

$82

Waikiki | The Modern Honolulu | 1775 Ala Moana Blvd. (Hobron Ln.) | Honolulu | 808-943-5900 | www.morimotowaikiki.com White coral hangs artfully overhead at this “super-chic” space in The Modern Honolulu hotel, where Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto brings his signature “Morimoto twist” to traditional Japanese techniques and the “high-end” price tags reflect “flawless execution” of “beautifully plated” dishes; an “excellent” staff “guides you” through the “eclectic” menu, but if the toque is in the house, admirers advise “put yourself in his hands” for the “out-of-this-world” omakase tasting menu. 24

24

$82

Ala Moana | Ala Moana Ctr. | 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. (bet. Atkinson Dr. & Piikoi St.) | Honolulu | 808-949-1300 | www.mortons.com When the steak craving hits and you need to “leave the tropics behind”, you won’t care about the “crazy, windowless” interior at this “clubby” Ala Moana branch of the “solid, reliable” national chain; fans hail the “best steak in town”, but the price means spendthrifts “only go when invited.” 17

22

$29

Kapahulu | Kilohana Sq. | 1016 Kapahulu Ave. (Lincoln Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-735-4455 | www.mrojisan.com It might be “nothing fancy”, but fans fawn that the ramen at this “neighborhood treasure” in Kapahulu – which also serves up a full menu of other “fresh, delicious” Japanese fare – is among the “best on the island”; the place is “tiny” and “always crowded”, so although the service is “attentive” and “fast”, “plan on going early” or make reservations.

23 19 22 $33 Natsunoya Tea House Japanese Kalihi | 1935 Makanani Dr. (bet. Aulii & Kula Sts.) | Honolulu | 808-595-4488 | www.natsunoya.com “Kimono-clad waitresses” serve “authentic” (and affordable) Japanese fare at this “one-of-a-kind” Kalihi teahouse set in an “old wooden home”; private rooms make it a top place to “gather and impress” with “beautiful” views overlooking Honolulu. 25 19 19 $19 Nico’s at Pier 38 Seafood Iwilei | Pier 38 | 1133 N. Nimitz Hwy. (Alakawa St.) | Honolulu | 808-540-1377 | www.nicospier38.com After relocating across the street, this “casual” Iwilei seafooder delivers the same “expertly prepared” fish that’s still “fresh as fresh can be”, plus “mean plate lunches” in an “expanded” space with “lots of open-air seating”, a bar and a “view of the harbor”; it now offers table service at dinner, and though it remains “crowded” (especially at lunch), the “value” tabs keep it as “popular” as ever. 40

Guide to Hawaii’s Best


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26 25 24 $84 Nobu Waikiki Japanese/Peruvian Waikiki | Waikiki Parc Hotel | 2233 Helumoa Rd. (Lewers St.) | Honolulu | 808-237-6999 | www.noburestaurants.com You can always expect an “ethereal meal at one of Nobu Matsuhisa’s” namesake restaurants and the Waikiki Parc Hotel branch is “no exception” exult enthusiasts who suggest you “give yourself over” to your “super-attentive” servers who “delight you with a parade” of “original, brilliant” Japanese-Peruvian fusion “taste sensations”; the sushi is like “edible art” while the low-lit atmosphere is “mellow, yet classy”, though a few quip that it “takes a sophisticated palate to appreciate the cost.”

Ocean House Pacific Rim/Seafood

24

Oceanarium American/Seafood

23

Okonomiyaki Chibo Japanese

22

Ola Hawaii Reg.

24

25

26

$55

Waikiki | Outrigger Reef on the Beach | 2169 Kalia Rd. (Beachwalk) | Honolulu | 808-923-2277 | www.oceanhousewaikiki.com The “decor is elegant, vintage Hawaii” creating a “wonderful ambiance for sunset dining by candlelight and tiki torches” at this open-air plantation house in the Outrigger Reef hotel beloved for its “fresh, fabulous” Pacific Rim fish dishes and “incredible view” stretching “from Diamond Head to the piers”; “ask for a table closest to the beach” – it’s the “perfect place to take someone for a special evening.” 24

21

$40

Waikiki | Pacific Beach Hotel | 2490 Kalakaua Ave. (Kealohilani Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-921-6111 | www.pacificbeachhotel.com The “floor-to-ceiling aquarium”, where you can view “spectacular” manta rays, “massive tropical fish the size of cocker spaniels” and “divers feeding the critters”, is “the real attraction” at this American seafooder in the Pacific Beach hotel, but the other lure is the “not your normal boring buffet” on Mondays–Thursdays; if a few find it “disappointing”, most insist it’s “totally worth it”, especially since the “kids can plaster their faces” onto the tank “in awe.” 20

21

$29

Waikiki | Royal Hawaiian Ctr. | 2201 Kalakaua Ave. (Lewers St.) | Honolulu | 808-922-9722 | www.chibohawaii.com “If you’re in the mood” for this namesake “Japanese comfort food, stop the world, you’ve arrived” jest diehards who head to the only U.S. outpost of this Osaka chain in Waikiki’s Royal Hawaiian Center for okonomiyaki (sort of a thick savory pancake), topped with seafood, meat or vegetables; “everything rocks”, including “authentic” teppanyaki dishes, and you can pony up to the grill and “watch the chefs in motion.” 26

21

$39

Kahuku | Turtle Bay Resort | 57-091 Kamehameha Hwy. (Kuilima Dr.) | 808-293-0801 | www.olaislife.com “You can eat on the beach with your toes in the sand” at this Hawaii Regional in the North Shore’s Turtle Bay Resort offering a “magnificent” coastal view; the “creative” dishes draw on local ingredients while staffers make guests feel “taken care of but not hovered over”; if a handful find the fare “doesn’t measure up” to the “lovely” location, most agree it’s “awesome for sunset or drinks and pupu.”

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COST

Olive Tree Café Greek

25

13

17

$21

Ono Hawaiian Foods Hawaiian

26

OAHU RESTAURANTS

Kahala | 4614 Kilauea Ave. (Pahoa Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-737-0303 The “packed tables speak for themselves” at this BYO Kahala Hellenic that’s something of a “social scene” thanks to the “frantic, jostling crowds”; “order, pickup and pay at the counter” then dig into “sophisticated, gourmet” “soul food from the Greek gods” made from “secret recipes”; P.S. “stop by the wine shop next door” and “grab a table quick” or phone ahead to bypass “painfully long lines.” 11

21

$23

Kapahulu | 726 Kapahulu Ave. (Kamuela Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-737-2275 For a “taste of old Hawai’i” “without the cheesy luau beachside show”, head to this “ultimate hole-in-the-wall”, a family-owned, “real local winner” in Kapahulu specializing in “indigenous Hawaiian cuisine”; service is “lightning” quick and the fare, including “incredibly huge lau laus, is “most definitely ono”; it’s a bit of “a zoo”, cash only and BYO, but never mind – it’s an “absolute must.”

27 28 28 $75 Orchids Pacific Rim Waikiki | Halekulani Hotel | 2199 Kalia Rd. (Lewers St.) | Honolulu | 808-923-2311 | www.halekulani.com It’s “less formal than La Mer upstairs”, but “from the minute” you enter this “spectacular” Pacific Rim seafooder in the “famed” Halekulani Hotel you’re “treated like an alii (royalty)” by the “stellar” staff; “with Diamond Head in the background” and a “gorgeous oceanside setting” plus “innovative global-class cuisine” (including the “justifiably famous” Sunday brunch) and the “quiet elegance” of the orchid-filled room, the stage is set for a “wonderful” “open-air experience.” 24 15 21 $18 Original Pancake House American Ala Moana | 1221 Kapiolani Blvd. (Pensacola St.) | Honolulu | 808-596-8213 Kapalama | Waikamilo Shopping Plaza | 1414 Dillingham Blvd. (Waiakamilo Rd.) | Honolulu | 808-847-1496 | www.originalpancakehouse.com “Bring your appetite” to this American diner chain’s Kapalama and Ala Moana links serving “breakfast all day” with “aloha”; flapjack fiends find “lots of styles, from crêpes to big puffy German pancakes” (and meals come with “short stacks”), while others opt for “fluffy omelets” so “huge” they could “feed two” and “eggs cooked to perfection”; “lines are commonplace on weekends so get there early.”

Outback Steakhouse Steak

22

42

Guide to Hawaii’s Best

21

22

$40

Hawaii Kai | 6650 Kalanianaole Hwy. (Keahole St.) | Honolulu | 808-396-7576 Kapolei | 302 Kamokila Blvd. (Kapolei Pkwy.) | 808-674-1300 Waikiki | 1765 Ala Moana Blvd. (Hobron Ln.) | Honolulu | 808-951-6274 Waipahu | Waipio Shopping Ctr. | 94-810 Ukee St. (Waipio Uka St.) | 808-671-7200 | www.outback.com “Cut the chitchat and bring me my bloomin’ onion” quip patrons who also gallop over to these national chain branches for “tender, juicy and oh-so-good” steak, served in a “friendly Aussie atmosphere”; “you can always count on” your “sizzling” beef “done just the way you like it” – in fact, the “formula is intact”, a plus when craving a “taste of the mainland.”


FOOD

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COST

P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Chinese

22

22

22

$34

Paesano Italian

26

Pagoda Floating Restaurant Eclectic

21

Pah Ke’s Chinese Restaurant Chinese

24

OAHU RESTAURANTS

Ala Moana | Hokua | 1288 Ala Moana Blvd. (Queen St.) | Honolulu | 808-596-4710 Waikiki | Royal Hawaiian Ctr. | 2201 Kalakaua Ave. (Lewers St.) | 808-628-6760 | www.pfchangshawaii.com “While not authentic”, the “zesty, flavorful dishes” exemplify “Americanized Chinese at its finest” agree fans who laud these “attractive” Waikiki and Ala Moana offshoots of the “popular” national chain; happy hour is a “real bargain”, drawing a “lively young crowd”, while service is “fast” and “friendly” and the decor “creative”; even cynics concede it’s a “bit formulaic, but can be fun.” 11

21

$23

Aiea | 98-1277 Kaahumanu St. (bet. Kamehameha Hwy. & Moanalua Rd.) | 808-485-8883 Manoa | Manoa Mktpl. | 2752 Woodlawn Dr. (Lowery Rd.) | Honolulu | 808-988-5923 | www.paesanohawaii.com “Myriad” Italian choices, “generous” portions, “affordable” prices and a “soundly trained” staff are just a few reasons why diners feel like paesani at this “pleasant” Aiea and Manoa duo that’s spot on for a “leisurely” meal; the cooks may take “a few liberties with authenticity” (note the “Asian influence”) and some say the fare “lacks something”, but for most it’s “satisfying.” 18

20

$37

Ala Moana | Pagoda Hotel | 1525 Rycroft St. (Kanunu St.) | Honolulu | 808-948-8356 | www.pagodahotel.com “Sporting three teahouses”, a waterfall, a surrounding “koi pond that’s excellent to entertain kids” and a “substantial” breakfast and dinner buffet “loaded with local favorites”, this “serene” Eclectic in Ala Moana’s Pagoda Hotel is the go-to for “hosting large family parties”; while some carp don’t “expect a gourmet experience here”, others are buoyed by its recent change of hands, decreeing it “heavenly.” 14

22

$23

Kaneohe | 46-018 Kamehameha Hwy. (bet. Kahuhipa & Mehana Sts.) | 808-235-4505 | www.pahke.com “Locals love it”, but “lucky is the tourist who happens upon” this Kaneohe Chinese with a “cafe atmosphere” in an “unassuming strip mall”, owned by a former pastry chef; choose from “gourmet” and “homestyle” dishes with a “delicious twist” – definitely “not your typical chop suey house food” – and finish with “wonderful” sweet treats (yes, “it’s worth the drive for the desserts alone”).

21 16 18 $18 Panda Cuisine Chinese Ala Moana | 641 Keeaumoku St. (Makaloa St.) | Honolulu | 808-947-1688 “When you need your noodle fix” or want to satisfy those dim sum cravings and can’t trek Downtown, seek out this Ala Moana Chinese “favorite” insist followers of “many years”; service is “fast”, whether you eat in or take out, and the “lunch dishes are a pretty good deal.”

Oahu Restaurants A - Z

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Panya Bistro/Bakery Express

22

19

18

$22

Peace Cafe Vegan

27

OAHU RESTAURANTS

French/Japanese Ala Moana | Ala Moana Ctr. | 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. (bet. Atkinson Dr. & Piikoi St.) | Honolulu | 808-946-6388 Downtown | 711 Queen St. (Cooke St.) | Honolulu | 808-597-8880 Downtown | Remington College | 1111 Bishop St. (S. Hotel St.) | Honolulu | 808-536-8363 Waikiki | Royal Hawaiian Ctr. | 2233 Kalakaua Ave. (Royal Hawaiian Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-791-2969 | www.panyagroup.com This French-Japanese bakery/bistro mini-chain looks as if it had been “lifted from the Ginza in Tokyo” exclaim globe-trotters who tuck into a “fine selection” of breakfast and “lunch delicacies” including “spicy dan dan noodles” and laksa, the “house special”, plus “divine” pastries; if it’s “pricey” and service seems “indifferent”, well, the “food and drink make up for it!” 23

26

$13

University | 2239 S. King St. (Makahiki Way) | Honolulu | 808-951-7555 | www.peacecafehawaii.com A “gift to our city” – the chefs “serve up love in every dish” declare devotees who peace out at this “small”, “excellent spot for vegan grub” in the University area; the “healthy”, “purely natural” fare doesn’t make you feel like you’re “compromising the taste buds” and always “sates your appetite”, plus takeout is also an option. 25 20 21 $26 Phuket Thai Thai McCully | McCully Shopping Ctr. | 1960 Kapiolani Blvd. (bet. Mccully & Pumehana Sts.) | Honolulu | 808-942-8194 Mililani | Town Center Of Mililani | 95-1249 Meheula Pkwy. (Lanikuhana Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-623-6228 Ward | 401 Kamakee St. (bet. Kawaiahao & Queen Sts.) | Honolulu | 808-591-8421 | www.phuketthaihawaii.com “Absolutely delicious” declare devotees of this Thai triumverate (including the “streamlined”, “spacious” Ward locale) who clamor for the “otherworldly” soups, curries, “peanutty” panang and “vegetarian options”, prepared with the “perfect balance of spice” and flavor (even “mild” dishes “have a kick”); but others “don’t understand the buzz” finding preparations “inconsistent”, parking “hard” and service “very, very slow.” 20

23

$37

Pineapple Room Hawaii Reg.

25

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Guide to Hawaii’s Best

Ala Moana | Macy’s, Ala Moana Ctr. | 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. (bet. Atkinson Dr. & Piikoi St.) | Honolulu | 808-945-6573 | www.alanwongs.com “Affordable Alan Wong! what a concept!” – this is the place to try the famed chef’s “scrumptious” Hawaii Regional “creations” “without the super-high price tag” gush fans who make fruitful expeditions to this “surprising find” on Macy’s third floor in the Ala Moana Center; a meal is “both a bargain and a treat”, the setting is “casual” and service “pragmatic” – it’s a “wonderful combination”, and while it can get “noisy”, the “food makes up for all of it.”


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— — — — Pint + Jigger Pub Food Makiki | 1936 S. King St. (bet. Artesian & Mccully Sts.) | Honolulu | 808-744-9593 | www.pintandjigger.com Libations abound at this Makiki gastropub and to go-with, an innovative menu of eclectic bar food, including items like handcrafted pigs in a blanket, strawberries wrapped in bacon (‘Red Devils on Horseback’) and oatmeal stout burgers; order your own bespoke cocktail or one of the signature drinks, or choose from the staggering selection of craft beers, featuring 50-plus bottles and 21 brews on tap.

Plumeria Beach House American

22

Prima American/Italian

Prince Court American/Pacific Rim

24

Real A Gastropub Pub Food

25

24

$57

Kahala | Kahala Hotel & Resort | 5000 Kahala Ave. (Kealaolu Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-739-8888 www.kahalaresort.com With a “lovely” earth-toned open-air dining room at the “exclusive” Kahala Hotel & Resort, terrace tables where you can “enjoy the calm beauty of the Pacific Ocean” coupled with “unbeatable” views and “seamless service”, this American eatery is an “excellent place to take guests”; if a few quibble that the “the ambiance outranks the food here”, most still agree it’s a “standout.” —

Kailua | Kailua Town Ctr. | 108 Hekili St. (Hamakua Dr.) | 808-888-8933 | www.primahawaii.com This Kailua modern Italian-American, decked out with a recycled mahogany/stainless-steel counter, natural wood tables and Eames chairs, is known for its innovative spin on classic dishes, served shared plate–style, plus its kiawe wood–fired, brick-oven thin-crust pizzas; menu items revolve and evolve depending on seasonal ingredients, and the inventive specials (Caesar salad soup, anyone?) and desserts, including homemade gelato, are also a primo draw. 25

24

$47

Waikiki | Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki | 100 Holomoana St. (Ala Moana Blvd.) | Honolulu | 808-944-4494 | www.princeresortshawaii.com “Eat till you can’t take another bite” at the Hawaii Prince Hotel haunt, choosing “high-quality” New American–Pacific Rim fare, including “wonderful” sushi, from the “bountiful”, multistation Sunday buffet brunch; “seafood is the star”, while the “lovely” setting “overlooking the Ala Wai yacht harbor” is always “unsurpassed” and staffers are “eager to please”; tabs are “a bit expensive”, still, it’s “marvelous” for a “splurge.” —

Kakaako | Ward Farmers Mkt. | 1020 Auahi St. (Kamakee St.) | Honolulu | 808-596-2526 | www.realgastropub.com Located in Ward Farmers Market, this gastropub newcomer appeals to hungry suds lovers with 24 constantly rotating brews on tap, over 200 bottled beers and a varied menu of bar bites; snack on duck-fat fries, deviled eggs and shishito peppers or maybe fish ’n’ chips, chicken ’n’ waffles, and smoked babyback ribs, capped with a Guinness float or bacon cheesecake.

Oahu Restaurants A - Z

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23 24 22 $41 Restaurant Epic Eclectic Chinatown | 1131 Nuuanu Ave. (Pauahi St.) | Honolulu | 808-587-7877 | www.restaurantepichawaii.com “The food has come a long way” marvel fans of this oft-“overlooked” Chinatown Eclectic that appeals to all appetites with a “varied menu”; “double the orders of beef short rib ravioli and mac ’n’ cheese to keep the peace” and check out the happy hour – it’s one of the “best”, replete with “reasonable” Wagyu burgers and “good drinks” to boot. 20 21 21 $31 Romano’s Macaroni Grill Italian Ala Moana | Ala Moana Ctr. | 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. (bet. Atkinson Dr. & Piikoi St.) | Honolulu | 808-356-8300 | www.macaronigrill.com “Solid all around” concur carboloaders who get their fill of “traditional Italian fare” (including complimentary “fresh-baked rosemary bread”) at this national chain’s “comfortable” branches in Ala Moana Center and Waikoloa Resort’s Queens’ Marketplace; if some scoff it’s “food for the masses”, pasta proponents point to “ample portions”, “nice breezy service” and “divine” “opera-singing” servers, concluding it’s “better than expected.” 23 16 19 $20 Round Table Pizza Pizza Kailua | 1020 Keolu Dr. (bet. Hele & Hui Sts.) | 808-261-4644 Waikiki | Hilton Hawaiian Vill. | 2005 Kalia Rd. (Ala Moana Blvd.) | Honolulu | 808-955-0137 Waikiki | Ohana East Hotel | 150 Kaiulani Ave. (Kuhio Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-944-1199 | www.rtpizzahawaii.com The “awesome” array of “delicious pizza loaded with toppings” at these Oahu and Maui offshoots of the national chain come in kingly sizes “to share or singles” all sure to “satisfy even the pickiest eater”; if a few lords and ladies in waiting mode find servers “slow”, most “relax” and watch the “live sports on the big-screen TVs.”

Roy’s Hawaii Reg.

26

23

25

$57

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Guide to Hawaii’s Best

Hawaii Kai | 6600 Kalanianaole Hwy. (Keahole St.) | Honolulu | 808-396-7697 Kapolei | Ko Olina Resort & Marina | 92-1220 Aliinui Dr. (Kamoana Pl.) | 808-676-7697 Waikiki | Waikiki Beach Walk | 226 Lewers St. (Kalakaua Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-923-7697 | www.royshawaii.com Voted Most Popular Restaurant chain in Oahu, Big Island and Maui, the “godfather” of Hawaii Regional cuisine “still shines” insist loyalists who patronize Roy Yamaguchi’s “epicurean delight”, including the “original” Hawaii Kai “mother ship”; “pupu through dessert”, “each morsel makes your mouth happy” (try the “terrific” signature blackened ahi and “sublime” chocolate lava cake) and it’s all “complemented by a sophisticated wine list”, “cordial” service and “cosmopolitan” atmosphere; if wistful sorts say it was “more interesting once upon a time”, for most it’s “always a treat.”


FOOD

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SERVICE

COST

Ruby Tuesday American

20

19

20

$28

RumFire Pacific Rim

18

Ruth’s Chris Steak House Steak

27

Sam Choy’s Breakfast, Lunch & Crab

21

OAHU RESTAURANTS

Ala Moana | Ala Moana Ctr. | 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. (bet. Atkinson Dr. & Piikoi St.) | Honolulu | 808-943-2525 Kaneohe | Windward Mall | 45-056 Kamehameha Hwy. (Haiku Rd.) | 808-235-5800 Mililani | Town Center of Mililani | 95-1249 Meheula Pkwy. (Lanikuhana Ave.) | 808-623-4949 Moanalua | Moanalua Ctr. | 930 Valkenburgh St. (bet. Bougainville Dr. & Moanalua Ridge) | 808-422-8585 | www.rubytuesday.com On those “too lazy to cook nights” when you’re “craving” “standard” American fare like burgers or a “large rack of ribs”, steer over to these offshoots of the national chain; loyalists “love” the “well-stocked” salad bar – “they keep it current” by adding “local selections” – and also applaud the “interesting” decor and “family-friendly” vibe; still, the less-bedazzled deem it “unoriginal.” 25

17

$38

Waikiki | Sheraton Waikiki | 2255 Kalakaua Ave. (Royal Hawaiian Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-922-4422 | www.rumfirewaikiki.com “Hang with friends” at this “beachside” lounge in the Sheraton Waikiki where “gorgeous” “oceanfront views”, especially at sunset, make it a prime happy-hour destination; the Pacific Rim fare may be comparatively “average” and service can be “slow”, but prices are moderate and given its “amazing location”, it’s still often “crowded.” 24

26

$68

Restaurant Row | 500 Ala Moana Blvd. (bet. Punchbowl & South Sts.) | Honolulu | 808-599-3860 Waikiki | Waikiki Beach Walk | 226 Lewers St. (Kalakaua Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-440-7910 | www.ruthschris.com “Perfectly” cooked, “melt-in-your-mouth” steaks and “awesome” sides like creamed spinach and au gratin potatoes are the draw at this national chophouse chain’s Hawaii links; from the “smooth, unobtrusive service” and “quiet, dignified decor” to your “pricey” meal that’s “worth every cent”, it “never varies, never surprises but never disappoints.” 18

21

$35

Hawaii Reg. Iwilei | 580 N. Nimitz Hwy. (bet. Kukahi & Pacific Sts.) | Honolulu | 808-545-7979 | www.samchoyhawaii.com The “interesting” and “varied” Hawaii Regional menu at this famous chef’s Iwilei “warehouse” destination includes “sometimes bizarre versions of standard local dishes” like beef stew omelet and Spam loco moco, “all ono”, with portions so “huge” you’ll “never leave hungry”; but other chowhounds dis the “unremarkable” vittles and environs akin to a “reproduction of a Gilligan’s Island set”, concluding it’s “still popular because of Sam’s name.” 26 20 23 $47 Sansei Japanese/Pacific Rim Waikiki | Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa | 2552 Kalakaua Ave. (bet. Ohua & Paoakalani Aves.) | Honolulu | 808-931-6286 | www.sanseihawaii.com The “amazing array of exquisite” sushi coupled with “scrumptious” entrees and cocktails lures loyalists to this “fabulous”, “clublike” Japanese–Pacific Rim chainlet; “sit at the sushi bar and leave it to the Oahu Restaurants A - Z

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chefs to prepare fish so fresh, you’d think they just plucked it out of the sea”, though prepare to wait “forever if you don’t have a reservation”; P.S. “don’t forget the early-bird specials” or weekend karaoke.

Sarento’s Top of the “I” Italian

25

Shirokiya Japanese

23

Shokudo Japanese

24

27

24

$60

Waikiki | Ilikai Hotel | 1777 Ala Moana Blvd. (Kahanamoku St.) | Honolulu | 808-955-5559 | www.tristarrestaurants.com The “fabulous” food and “energetic” service “almost rivals” the “knockout” “360-degree” view from Diamond Head to Waikiki Beach at this rooftop Italian perched aloft the Ilikai Hotel; the “piano player makes the mood really classy” while the “imaginative” fare is “served with élan” making it a “wonderful place to spend quality time with someone you love”; if faultfinders feel the fare is a bit “lacking”, most consider this heady experience “worth every penny.” 15

16

$17

Ala Moana | Shirokiya, Ala Moana Ctr. | 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. | Honolulu | 808-973-9111 | www.shirokiya.com “Any kind of Japanese food your heart desires” can be found at this “cafeteria-style” food court, a “quick-stop recharger” on the upper level of Ala Moana Center’s “bustling” Shirokiya department store, known for “endless” “authentic” options plus an often “packed” beer garden dispensing “cheap” brews; sure, it can be “congested”, especially “during the lunch rush”, but prices are “fair”, and hey, “there’s a reason it’s always busy.” 23

21

$31

Ala Moana | Ala Moana Ctr. | 1585 Kapiolani Blvd. (Mahukona St.) | Honolulu | 808-941-3701 | www.shokudojapanese.com The “younger set” crowds into this “trendy” Ala Moana Japanese for “well-prepared” “contemporary” “fusion cuisine” served izakaya-style in an “open and airy” space with a “lively” atmosphere; it can get “a little noisy” and service can be “hit-or-miss”, but prices are “pretty reasonable” and the “must-have” honey toast dessert is alone “worth” a visit.

19 21 18 $29 Shore Bird American Waikiki | Outrigger Reef on the Beach | 2169 Kalia Rd. (Beachwalk) | Honolulu | 808-922-2887 | www.shorebirdwaikiki.com Plan to “cook your own steak or fish” at this “laid-back” Waikiki American “right on the beach” where diners can also “pig out” at the “extensive” salad bar while enjoying “priceless” sunset views; “grillside chefs” are on hand to help (lunch and breakfast aren’t DIY) and prices are “reasonable”, so even if it can get a little “hectic” and is “not for everyone”, it remains a “popular” pick.

Siam Garden Cafe Thai

25

19

19

$26

48

Guide to Hawaii’s Best

Kalihi | Nimitz Business Ctr. | 1130 North Nimitz Hwy. (Alakawa St.) | Honolulu | 808-523-9338 | www.siamgardencafe.com “Hidden away” in the Nimitz Business Center, this Kalihi Thai courts a loyal following with “authentic”, “full-of-flavor” dishes offered at “reasonable” prices: staffers are “friendly” and the casual space has a “warm” vibe, though party-poopers wanting to avoid the “karaoke in the background” (after 10 PM daily) may prefer to “take out.”


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25 15 21 $30 Side Street Inn American Ala Moana | 1225 Hopaka St. (bet. Pensacola & Piikoi Sts.) | Honolulu | 808-591-0253 Kapahulu | 614 Kapahulu Ave. (Hoolulu St.) | Honolulu | 808-739-3939 | www.sidestreetinn.com A “locals’ favorite”, this “no-frills” American duo is known for “comfort food at its best”, especially its “famous” “crispy, juicy” pork chops and “outstanding” kimchi fried rice”, all dispatched by a “courteous” crew; the Ala Moana original has a “hole-in-the-wall” vibe while the Kapahulu sequel is a “step up”, decorwise, and though both get “crowded”, it’s a “must-stop” – in fact, “bring the whole gang.”

Singha Thai Cuisine Thai

22

Sorabol Korean

23

Soul De Cuba Cafe Cuban

24

Spices Asian

23

20

20

$42

Waikiki | Canterbury Pl. | 1910 Ala Moana Blvd. (Ena Rd.) | Honolulu | 808-941-2898 | www.singhathai.com “Service is young and fun, clientele ranges from backpacker types to yuppies” while the “excellent Thai dishes” “with a Pacific fusion flair” are a “real experience” at this “true bargain in Waikiki”; you “can’t beat the dancers” or the “exotic decor”, with Buddhas and “tropical flowers everywhere”, and if purists label the offerings “Westernized”, others retort “even so, we love it.” 15

20

$27

Ala Moana | 805 Keeaumoku St. (Rycroft St.) | Honolulu | 808-947-3113 | www.sorabolhawaii.com “Get your kimchi fix” at this 24/7 “late-night favorite” in Ala Moana specializing in “authentic” Korean BBQ “with all the trimmings”; sure, it has “no atmosphere” and is often “busy”, but “service is efficient despite the crowds” and tabs are “reasonable.” 20

19

$32

Downtown | 1121 Bethel St. (bet. Hotel & Pauahi St.) | Honolulu | 808-545-2822 | www.souldecuba.com It’s “as close to authentic Cuban” as you can get “on the island” swear devotees of this cozy Downtown spot, an offshoot of the New Haven, Connecticut, original boasting family photos and memorabilia on the walls and salsa, jazz and African music on the sound system; moderate tabs, Sunday brunch and a “fun atmosphere” are other reasons fans “love” it. 16

24

$31

Moiliili | 2671 S. King St. (Kahuna Ln.) | Honolulu | 808-949-2679 | www.spiceshawaii.com A mix of Thai, Vietnamese, Laotian and Burmese cuisine makes up the “imaginative menu” at this Moiliili Pan-Asian that wins fans with “lovingly prepared” plates featuring “subtly balanced flavors”; “attentive” staffers elevate the “sunny”, “simple” space, and while tabs are already “reasonable”, a BYO policy further makes it “good for the pocketbook.”

24 24 23 $51 Stage American/Asian Ala Moana | Honolulu Design Ctr. | 1250 Kapiolani Blvd., 2nd fl. (Piikoi St.) | Honolulu | 808-237-5429 | www.stagerestauranthawaii.com Set inside the “hip and trendy Honolulu Design Center”, this Asian–New American turns out “quality” fare, including “innovative tasting menus” (“the way to go”) in a “sophisticated” space reminiscent of a “modern Oahu Restaurants A - Z

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furniture showroom”; it’s not cheap, but staffers are “knowledgeable” and the adjacent Amuse wine bar with self-serve dispensers is a “fun way to preceed dinner.”

Steak Cattle Company Steak

24

21

24

$32

Pearl City | 98-1262 Kaahumanu St. (Kuleana Rd.) | 808-487-0054 | www.blackangus.com “Solid” steakhouse offerings from “tasty” prime rib and rib-eye to burgers with all the fixings are the draw at this Pearl City chain link; it’s “nothing fancy” but “service is on-point” and the “casual, relaxed setting” and “reasonable prices” makes it a “great place to bring the family” and “celebrate anything”, especially birthdays.

22 20 21 $46 Suntory Japanese Waikiki | Royal Hawaiian Ctr. | 2233 Kalakaua Ave. (Royal Hawaiian Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-922-5511 | www.restaurantsuntory.com “A hidden treasure” proclaim fans of this Japanese in Waikiki’s Royal Hawaiian Center that offers “sushi, teppanyaki and traditional cuisine”, including “well-executed classics” in “quiet”, minimalist surrounds; a few shrug it’s “just ok” and bemoan “pricey” tabs, but more tout the “quality” service and suggest lunch is a “good value.”

Sushi ii Japanese

Sushi Izakaya Gaku/Shinn Japanese

Ala Moana | Samsung Plaza | 655 Keeamoku St. (bet. Kanunu & Makaloa Sts.) | Honolulu | 808-942-5350 Its name means ‘good’ in Japanese, and those who venture to this hardto-find, elusive Ala Moana Japanese find that it lives up to its moniker; the space is tiny, with only a handful of seats available each evening, where the fortunate few dine on veteran sushi chef Garrett Wong’s incredibly fresh rolls and choice pieces, plus other temptations, including lamb lollipops and deep-fried flounder. —

Manoa | 1329 King St. (bet. Cedar & Sheridan Sts.) | Honolulu | 808-589-1329 This Manoa izakaya-style spot is a favorite among Japanese food enthusiasts, serving dishes straight out of a Tokyo bistro; offering everything from the freshest, most highly prized raw fish to more standard small dishes and omakase, a meal here is pricey, but it’s worth it for connoisseurs seeking an overall authentic experience.

21 15 19 $25 Sushi King Japanese Moiliili | 2700 S. King St. (University Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-947-2836 | www.sushikinghonolulu.com “Popular with the UH crowd and able to accommodate large groups”, this Japanese in Moiliili is “where local sushi lovers go to enjoy the delightfully fresh and affordable sushi, not to be seen at some hip scene”; the “decor is understated”, “service is prompt” and it offers “one of the best” early-bird deals in town; the crowning touch: “latenight specials after 10 PM.”

Sushi Sasabune Japanese

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Makiki | 1417 S. King St. (Keeaumoku St.) | Honolulu | 808-947-3800 “OMG . . . omakase!” – for “mindblowingly fresh sushi impeccably prepared”, this “spartan” Japanese “favorite” in Makiki is a “must-visit for purists” who follow “perfectionist” Seiji Kumagawa’s motto: “trust


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me”; yes, he can be “bossy” but his “bark may be worse than his bite – and his bites are worth” the steep costs, since “once you put a piece of signature negitoro in your mouth”, it’s “simply divine.” 22 12 10 $14 Tai Pan Dim Sum Chinese Chinatown | 100 N. Beretania St. (Maunakea St.) | Honolulu | 808-599-8899 “Very good” dim sum at bargain prices ensures this Chinatown BYO is often “crowded”, especially on weekends when lines are “likely”; some are “not crazy” about communal seating but that doesn’t stop this Chinese standby from being a “popular” pick. 22 22 24 $41 Tanaka of Tokyo Japanese Ala Moana | Ala Moana Ctr. | 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. (bet. Atkinson Dr. & Piikoi St.) | Honolulu | 808-945-3443 Waikiki | King’s Vill. | 131 Kaiulani Ave. (Koa Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-922-4233 Waikiki | Waikiki Shopping Plaza | 2250 Kalakaua Ave. (bet. Royal Hawaiian & Seaside Aves.) | Honolulu | 808-922-4702 | www.tanakaoftokyo.com “Eat with the family” or “mix with tourists” at this teppanyaki-style Japanese trio where “hammy” chefs put on an “entertaining” show while preparing “basic, but delicious” grub in an “upscale-casual” space; a few nitpickers feel it’s “overpriced for what it is”, but more consider it a “good value”, especially given the “courteous and attentive” service. 24 21 23 $35 Tangö Contemporary Cafe Eclectic Downtown | Hokua | 1288 Ala Moana Blvd. (Queen St.) | Honolulu | 808-593-7288 | www.tangocafehawaii.com It’s a “little-known winner” cheer fans of this all-day Downtown Eclectic in a Hokua condominium, a “true locals’ place” known for “innovative”, “artfully” presented “fusion” fare in “small” surrounds with a “casual bistro” feel; service is “accommodating” and prices “fairly reasonable”, so those who deem it just “so-so” are in the minority.

Tanioka’s Japanese/Seafood

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Waipahu | 94-903 Farrington Hwy. (bet. Awalau & Awamoku Sts.) | 808-671-3779 | www.taniokas.com “One of the best poke places on the island” say fans of this okazuyastyle Japanese seafood market in Waipahu that’s also known for its “famous” fish patties, “delicious bentos” and more, all of which is guaranteed to “tackle any hunger”; it’s counter-service only and “busy during lunch time”, but “efficient” staffers keep things moving, and since there are no seats, many simply “pick up food for the beach.”

25 23 23 $55 Taormina Italian Waikiki | 227 Lewers St. (bet. Helumoa Rd & Kalakaua Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-926-5050 | www.taorminarestaurant.com “Wow” is the word at this Waikiki Italian where “authentic”, “traditional” dishes are offered alongside other “inventive”, “thoughtfully prepared” options, like the “exquisite” sea urchin pasta; it may be on the “expensive” side, but “attentive” service and an “elegant ambiance” help distract.

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25 27 26 $26 Tea at 1024 Tearoom Downtown | 1024 Nuuanu Ave. (King St.) | Honolulu | 808-521-9596 | www.teaat1024.net A “nostalgic Victorian tearoom”, this daytime Downtowner offers “high-quality” “finger foods” to go along with a variety of teas, all served by “friendly” staffers in a “cute”, “cozy setting”; add in “affordable” prices and it works for kids wanting to “play grown up” or as a “special celebration with a group.” 24 17 20 $16 Teddy’s Bigger Burgers Burgers Aiea | Westridge Shopping Ctr. | 98-150 Kaonohi St. (Moanalua Loop) | 808-486-2167 Hawaii Kai | Koko Marina Ctr. | 7192 Kalanianaole Hwy. (Lunalilo Home Rd.) | Honolulu | 808-394-9100 Kailua | 539 Kailua Rd. (Hahani St.) | 808-262-0820 University | 2424 S. Beretania St. (Isenberg St.) | Honolulu | 808-949-0050 Wahiawa | 153 S. Kamehameha Hwy. (bet. Avocado St. & Olive Ave.) | 808-621-0000 Waikiki | Waikiki Grand Hotel | 134 Kapahulu Ave. (Lemon Rd.) | Honolulu | 808-926-3444 | www.teddysbiggerburgers.com “When they say ‘bigger’, they mean it” attest admirers of this “’50s style” chain known for a “variety of “juicy”, “delicious” burgers offered with “unusual topping combinations” and served alongside “great fries and onion rings” plus “thick” shakes; service is generally “fast”, and though some locales “need more seating” and penny-pinchers say it’s “pricey” for the genre, it remains “usually crowded” nonetheless.

Ted’s Bakery Bakery

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The Counter Burgers

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Haleiwa | 59-024 Kamehameha Hwy. (Oopuola St.) | 808-638-5974 | www.tedsbakery.com “Island reknown” for having some of the “best pies” (especially the “rich, dreamy” chocolate haupia), this Haleiwa bakery also offers other “sinful” baked goods plus a “wide variety” of savory breakfast items, sandwiches and plate lunches; it’s counter-service only and there’s no seating, but fans point out “you don’t go for the decor or service”, adding it’s a perfect “stop on your way to the beach.” 17

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Kahala | Kahala Mall | 4211 Waialae Ave. (Kilauea Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-739-5100 | www.thecounterburger.com It’s all about “choices, choices, choices” at this chain link in Kahala Mall, where you can “choose exactly what you want”, from burger to topping to bun; the fries are “also great”, and while it can be “noisy” and some feel it “lacks ambiance”, most ultimately “enjoy the ability to customize” their meals.

23 21 22 $42 The Grove European Kailua | 33 Aulike St. (Kuulei Rd.) | 808-262-2898 | www.grovekailua.com Early-adopters “love” this Kailua newcomer, citing “attentive” chef/coowner Fred DeAngelo’s “unique” European bill of fare made from local, sustainable ingredients, plus “friendly” staffers; moderate prices and a “casual” indoor-outdoor setting prompt patrons to promise “we’ll be back” and we’ll tell “all our friends about it.” 52

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The Willows American/Hawaiian

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Moiliili | 901 Hausten St. (King St.) | Honolulu | 808-952-9200 | www.willowshawaii.com An “old” “classic”, this Moiliili American-Hawaiian is known for its “beautiful” “outdoor garden setting” and “extravagant” buffet boasting “lots of local food”, like “kalua pig, lau lau, poi” and more; “servers are friendly” and it’s “not too pricey”, so even if you “don’t go for a foodie experience”, it’s still a “popular” pick for “family functions” or when hosting “out-of-town guests.”

22 22 22 $36 Tiki’s Grill & Bar Pacific Rim Waikiki | Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel | 2570 Kalakaua Ave., 3rd fl. (bet. Kapahulu & Paoakalani Aves.) | Honolulu | 808-923-8454 | www.tikisgrill.com “Families as well as couples” can find “lots to choose” on the “dependable” Pacific Rim menu at this “casual” eatery in the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel where the “fabulous” views “looking out over the beach” are “hard to beat”, especially at sunset; if a few “wish the food were better”, more focus on the “welcoming staff” and pronounce it a “good value” for the area. 13 $11 6 28 To Chau Vietnamese Chinatown | 1007 River St. (Hotel St.) | Honolulu | 808-533-4549 “Focus on the pho” aver admirers of this decor-free Chinatown Vietnamese, which just may have the “best broth” on the island; the secret is out, however, so “go early” (it opens at 8:30 AM) or “be prepared to wait” – just know “they close the door once they run out.”

Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin Japanese

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Tony Roma’s BBQ

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Waikiki | Outrigger Regency | 255 Beach Walk (bet. Kalakaua Ave. & Kalia Rd.) | Honolulu | 808-926-8082 The specialty at this Waikiki “hole-in-the-wall” is tonkatsu (a Japanese bread-crumbed pork cutlet), and insiders insist that “this is what it’s supposed to taste like” – “tender” and “fried to perfection”; it may be a bit “pricey”, but that doesn’t stop many from “recommending it highly.” 19

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Aiea | Westridge Shopping Ctr. | 98-150 Kaonohi St. (Moanalua Loop) | 808-487-9911 Waikiki | 1972 Kalakaua Ave. (Pau St.) | Honlulu | 808-942-2121 | www.tonyromas.com “If you have a hankering for ribs and nothing else will do”, steer over to these “consistent” links of the Miami-born BBQ chain in Aiea and Waikiki advise disciples, who also tout the “sinful but worth-thesplurge” onion loaf; portions are “plentiful for the price”, service “fast” and the atmosphere “easy and relaxing”, making it a “safe place to fall back on.”

26 19 23 $39 Town American/Italian Kaimuki | 3435 Waialae Ave. (9th Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-735-5900 | www.townkaimuki.com Diners leave Ed Kenney’s “lively” and “totally non-fancy” New American–Italian “locavore heaven” in Kaimuki with “smiles across their faces”, praising the “innovative use of local ingredients” (“not a single cliché could be found on my plate”) and the industrial digs’ “hip, young yet welcoming vibe”; while it can get “noisy” and “cramped”, for Oahu Restaurants A - Z

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most it “never fails to delight” with its “reasonably” priced “taste of urban chic.”

Uncle’s Fish Market Seafood

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Iwilei | Pier 38 | 1135 N. Nimitz Hwy. (Alakawa St.) | Honolulu | 808-275-0063 | www.unclesfishmarket.com They “sure know how to cook fish” at this Iwilei counter-serve “located right at the docks” where “fresh-off-the-boat” offerings are “tasty” and “decently priced”; the “casual” space has a “nautical theme” and “relaxed atmosphere”, and though the “help yourself type of atmosphere” isn’t for everyone, regulars still keep it pretty “busy”, especially at lunch.

22 18 21 $27 Verbano Italiano/Pastaria Italian Aiea | Pearlridge Shopping Ctr. | 98-151 Pali Momi St. (Kamehameha Hwy.) | 808-487-1118 Kaimuki | 1126 Koko Head Ave. (Mahina Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-735-1777 Waikiki | 1451 S. King St. (bet. Kaheka & Keeaumoku Sts.) | Honolulu | 808-941-9168 | www.verbanohawaii.com Loyalists give “kudos” to this Italian trio for its “simple”, “reliable” Sicilian cooking; service is “friendly and efficient” and the atmosphere “relaxed”, so even if purists sniff “don’t expect authentic” offerings, many still consider it a good “family place.”

Vino Italian Tapas & Wine Bar Italian

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Wada Japanese

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Restaurant Row | 500 Ala Moana Blvd. (bet. Punchbowl & South Sts.) | Honolulu | 808-524-8466 | www.dkrestaurants.com “Wine, wine and more wine” lures oenophiles to D.K. Kodama’s vinocentric Italian on Restaurant Row where master sommelier Chuck Furuya’s “philosophy” of pairing “food-friendly” pours from Europe and California with chef Keith Endo’s “perfectly prepared small plates” hits all of the “high” notes; for a “real adventure”, come for an “informal” meal with a “small group of friends” and “sample the extensive variety” of tapas and “little-known varietals” – “what a combination.” —

Kaimuki | 611 Kapahulu Ave. (bet. Hoolulu St. & Mooheau Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-737-0125 | www.restaurantwada.com Owned by members of the same group that operates NYC’s Sushi Yasuda and showcasing Takanori Wada’s talents, this Kaimuki Japanese is an astounding collaboration from and for people who appreciate remarkable cuisine on a very specific level; the namesake chef creates his take on kaiseki, a progression of six courses, and the à la carte menu spotlights dishes like raw Washugyu short rib with sea urchin and steamed monkfish liver and flash-fried buffalo mozzarella in dashi broth.

20 16 19 $17 Wahoo’s Fish Taco Mexican Kaimuki | 4614 Kilauea Ave. (Pahoa Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-732-9229 Ward | Ward Gateway Ctr. | 940 Auahi St. (Ward Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-591-1646 | www.wahooshawaii.com You “can’t beat the fish tacos” enthuse fans of these “Baja-style” Mexican chain links that offer “fast food done right” in the form of “tasty and original” burritos, bowls and more served in “plentiful” portions; a “laid-back atmosphere” rules the “surfer-themed” digs, and while some say it’s just “ok”, no one’s complaining about the “cheap” tabs. 54

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19 14 20 $21 Wailana Coffee House Diner Waikiki | 1860 Ala Moana Blvd. (Ena Rd.) | Honolulu | 808-955-1764 Join the line outside for a “stuff-your-face breakfast” at this “homey” Waikiki “nostalgia throwback”, a “legendary” American diner dating to 1969 that’s open 24/6 (closed Tuesdays); the “all-you-can-eat pancakes are a good deal” if you can devour “a second helping”, and the “extensive menu” boasts “blue-plate specials or the equivalent” that “appeal to all tastes” served by “old-timey waitresses.”

Waiola Bakery & Shave Ice II

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Waioli Tea Room & Bakery Bakery/Tearoom

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Bakery/Ice Cream Kapahulu | 3113 Mokihana St. (Kapahulu Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-735-8886 “It’s ‘shave ice’ in Hawaii, not ‘snow cone’ or ‘shaved ice’” and some of “the best flavors are here” at this Kapahulu shop, an “easy walking distance from Waikiki”; try to overlook the no-frills decor and pay no mind if your “delicious” frosty treat is be served with a “scowl” because heck, it “melts in your mouth.” 22

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Manoa | 2950 Manoa Rd. (Oahu Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-988-5800 | www.thewaiolitearoom.net “Imagine tea with your grandma” and you get the gist of this “sweet” “homey” tearoom/bakery “tucked away” in “lush Manoa Valley”; opt for the “pretty shabby-chic setting” inside with a “charming old Hawaii feel” or “sit outside in a tropical paradise” – there’s “lots of lanai seating” – and enjoy “varied, delicious” breakfast and lunch fare or sip a “relaxing” cuppa with scones and desserts.

24 23 23 $80 Wolfgang’s Steakhouse Steak Waikiki | Royal Hawaiian Ctr. | 2301 Kalakaua Ave., 3rd fl. (bet. Duke’s Ln. & Seaside Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-922-3600 | www.wolfgangssteakhouse.net After serving as a “head waiter at Peter Luger’s”, owner Wolfgang Zwiener opened “classy” beefhouses in NYC, Beverly Hills and, yes, Waikiki’s Royal Hawaiian Center, offering a “whopping large porterhouse” and other “pricey” dry-aged steaks with “myriad sides” such as “thick and juicy slabs of bacon”; the “open-air room” allows you to “see the palm trees yet be above the bustle”, service is “excellent” and there are “happy-hour bargains” to boot. 24 16 20 $30 Yakiniku Seoul Korean McCully | 1521 S. King St. (Kalakaua Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-944-0110 So “tasty!” attest admirers of this McCully yakiniku house that delivers a “homestyle, authentic Korean experience” with every bite of BBQ and kimchi; order prepared foods or grill you own beef and share the Seoul food with “small groups”; while some insist prices “cannot be beat” others find “lunch a better value than dinner” and most deem service “excellent.” 26 19 22 $39 Yanagi Sushi Japanese Kakaako | 762 Kapiolani Blvd. (Cooke St.) | Honolulu | 808-597-1525 | www.yanagisushi-hawaii.com “Don’t miss it if you crave sushi” – this “local favorite” in Kakaako with a “lively atmosphere” and photos of celebs is the “real deal”; order “creative” rolls and “perfect” tempura from the “huge menu of Japanese specialties” or sit at the sushi bar with the “witty” chefs Oahu Restaurants A - Z

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and “prepare to feast” on “interesting surprises”; “big” portions bring “crowds, even into the late hours” so reserve ahead. 27 17 22 $41 Yohei Sushi Japanese Kapalama | 1111 Dillingham Blvd. (Kokea St.) | Honolulu | 808-841-3773 “If you’re looking for authentic Japanese” this Kapalama longtimer fits the bill say fans cheering the “innovative”, “meticulously presented” sushi sure to “transport you to Tokyo”; it’s “not cheap” and the “hole-inthe-wall” digs can “seem overcrowded”, but given the “unbelieveable” offerings, it remains “popular” nonetheless. 25 11 20 $23 Young’s Fish Market Hawaiian Kapalama | City Square Shopping Ctr. | 1286 Kalani St. (Kohou St.) | Honolulu | 808-841-4885 | www.youngsfishmarket.com For “real Hawaiian food”, locals point to this “low-key” Kapalama counter-serve, an “institution” known for “incredibly tasty” offerings, like lomi-lomi salmon, “fat, juicy lau lau” and some of the “best kalua pig”; sure, the “decor is nonexistent” and many prefer to take out, but staffers are “friendly”, and besides, “it’s not meant to be fancy”; P.S. it closes at 5:30 PM (4 PM on Saturdays).

Zippy’s American

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Zpizza Pizza

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Ala Moana | Ala Moana Ctr. | 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. (bet. Atkinson Dr. & Piikoi St.) | Honolulu | 808-973-0870 Hawaii Kai | Koko Marina Ctr. | 7192 Kalanianaole Hwy. (Lunalilo Home Rd.) | Honolulu | 808-396-6977 Iwilei | 666 N. Nimitz Hwy. (Pacific St.) | Honolulu | 808-532-4205 Kahala | 4134 Waialae Ave. (Hunakai St.) | Honolulu | 808-733-3730 Kailua | 44 Oneawa St. (Uluniu St.) | 808-266-3780 Kaimuki | 3345 Waialae Ave. (7th Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-733-3722 Kalihi | 904 Mokauea St. (King St.) | Honolulu | 808-832-1755 Kaneohe | 45-270 William Henry Rd. (Kamehameha Hwy.) | 808-233-3343 Kapahulu | 601 Kapahulu Ave. (Campbell Ave.) | Honolulu | 808-733-3725 Kapolei | 950 Kamokila Blvd. (bet. Farrington Hwy. & Nau Pl.) | 808-674-1773 | www.zippys.com Loyalists “cannot live without” this “family-owned” Hawaii-based “mainstay”, serving the island version of “comfort food” statewide, including its “famous chili” and saimin and plate lunches like teri beef and Korean chicken, plus “basic, “all-American staples”; if naysayers believe it’s “nothing special”, most retort you “can’t beat the local flavors”, especially for “around-the-clock eating” at its many “oh-soconvenient” 24-hour locations. 15

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Ala Moana | Ward Ctr. | 1200 Ala Moana Blvd. (Kamaakee St.) | Honolulu | 808-596-0066 | www.zpizza.com “Love the variety” of “fresh and tasty” pizzas, subs and calzones made with natural and organic ingredients at these “friendly” chain links in Ala Moana and Kailua; “healthy choices” abound, including gluten-free and vegan pies, with toppings ranging from arugula to zucchini; while some “original flavors” and “different” combos take “gumption to try”, carbo-loaders have “never been disappointed.”


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Ba-Le Sandwich Shop Vietnamese

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Kailua-Kona | Kona Coast Shopping Ctr. | 74-5588 Palani Rd. (Hawaii Belt Rd.) | 808-327-1212 | www.ba-le.com “Can the humble sandwich get any better” than the “affordable” bahn mi, served on “straight-out-of-the-oven French rolls” muse mavens who also satisfy “Vietnamese cravings” for a “quick pho” and baked goods at this “no-frills” family-run chain; the “filling” fare is “very authentic” but it’s definitely “not an eat-in type of place”, so “order at the counter” and get it to go.

24 23 24 $33 Bamboo Pacific Rim Hawi | 55-3415 Akoni Pule Hwy. (Hawi Rd.) | 808-889-5555 | www.bamboorestaurant.info For a “real taste of the islands” breeze into this “local hangout” set in a “historic” building in the “former plantation town of Hawi” and enjoy “innovative” Pacific Rim fare (including “wondrous fish”), “slurp” “gigantic” drinks, “savor” the “ohana, or ‘family’” feel and “poke around” the “crafty store”; the “vintage Hawaii tiki-bar decor” and “highly recommended” weekend entertainment, featuring “hula dancers or slack-key guitarists”, further underscore its appeal. 25 18 23 $18 Bangkok House Thai Thai Kailua-Kona | King Kamehameha Mall | 75-5626 Kuakini Hwy. (Palani Rd.) | 808-329-7764 The strip-mall digs may not “scream ‘special vacation dinner’”, but that doesn’t deter diners from seeking out this “solid Thai”, a Kailua-Kona eatery dishing out noodle specialties and one of the “best” Panang curries around; the ingredients are “fresh” and the service “friendly”, prompting House guests to deem it a toothsome “favorite.”

Bay Terrace American

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Kohala Coast | Mauna Lani Bay Hotel | 68-1400 Mauna Lani Dr. (Mauna Lani Terr.) | 808-881-7911 | www.maunalani.com What a “beautiful setting” to “enjoy a sumptuous” breakfast buffet and American fare trumpet boosters who kick back at this open-air cafe in the Mauna Lana Bay Hotel on the Kohala Coast; the “staff treats you like family” – it’s the “aloha that makes the meal”, along with the “killer view” of the ocean; the finishing touch: a “stroll” around the grounds of the resort – simply “wonderful.”

26 27 26 $53 Beach Tree Bar & Grill Californian/Italian Kaupulehu-Kona | Four Seasons Resort Hualalai | 72-100 Kaupulehu Dr. (Kumukehu St.) | 808-325-8000 | www.fourseasons.com/hualalai Voted No. 1 for Service among Big Island restaurants, the staffers make you feel “pampered” at this “first-rate” beachside Cal-Italian “gem” in the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai; savor a “refreshing cocktail and really special pupu to whet your appetite” in the lounge, dine alfresco and feel the “sand between your toes” with a “spectacular sunset laid out” before you or indulge in “the best fresh pasta” in the “re-imagined” vaulted-ceiling dining; in short, it’s “absolute heaven!”

Big Island Grill American

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Kailua-Kona | 75-5702 Kuakini Hwy. (Hanama Pl.) | 808-326-1153 “Like the name”, the portions of “outstanding local cuisine” at this “down-home” Kailua-Kona American coffee shop are way “big” –


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you won’t “go away hungry”, especially if you’re “hankering for” a “fantastic breakfast” and “some unique local dishes with that homestyle feel” (they “make one mean loco moco”); “every single table is treated with aloha and a smile” – in fact, it’s “just like eating at mom’s place.” 18 $10 11 19 Blane’s Drive Inn Hawaiian Hilo | 150 Wiwoole St. (Pookela St.) | 808-935-2259 Hilo | 217 Wainuenue Ave. (bet. Kinoole & Ululani Sts.) | 808-969-9494 “Experience how Hawaii prepares its food without having to pay an arm and a leg for it” at this “popular Hilo drive-in” duo serving “local-style plate lunches” (fried entree with gravy, two scoops of rice and side of macaroni salad) and “generous” portions of other “tasty” typical “favorites”; still, others deride it, claiming “greasy spoon, no healthy choices.”

Bongo Ben’s Island Cafe American

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Boston Basil’s Italian/Pizza

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Brown’s Beach House Seafood

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Kailua-Kona | 75-5819 Alii Dr. (Kahakai Rd.) | 808-329-9203 | www.bongobens.com “Sit outside in the warm Hawaiian sunshine” and watch the whales “play right before your eyes” during season at this oceanfront American in Kailua-Kona with a “killer view” and “busy and brisk service”; the “extensive menu” boasts “awesome” and “affordable” breakfast selections and burgers plus the “nice, big” servings “satisfy everyone’s appetite”; P.S. there’s nightly entertainment too. 15

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$19

Kailua-Kona | 75-5707 Alii Dr. (Likana Ln.) | 808-326-7836 | www.bostonbasils.com The “pizza choices are wonderful” and the “sauce has a nice flavor” proclaim pie proponents who tuck into thin-crust versions and other “basic Italian” fare at this “friendly” Kailua-Kona standby; but the less impressed pout that the “small servings” are “tasty, but nothing special” and find service “lacking”, though the “very good” entertainment upstairs helps compensate. 26

25

$68

Kohala Coast | Fairmont Orchid | 1 N. Kaniku Dr. (Mauna Lani Dr.) | Kamuela | 808-885-2000 | www.fairmont.com/orchid-hawaii/dining/brownsbeachhouse “With the ocean lapping at the shore”, the solo guitarist serenading, tiki torches, “Big Island mellowness” and an “out-of-this-world” setting at sunset, you’re in for a “memorable, romantic evening” at this “sumptuous” seafood specialist, a “classy” open-air destination with “top-notch” service in Kohala Resort’s Fairmont Orchid; chef Skye Harris’ “honest locavore cuisine” featuring “bold” flavors and “fresh ingredients” and “perfect” wine pairings are “expensive”, but with the “trade winds gently blowing under a moonlit sky you will not care.”

21 $21 20 19 Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Seafood Kailua-Kona | 75-5776 Alii Dr. (Hualalai Rd.) | 808-331-8442 | www.bubbagump.com “Props” and paraphernalia inspired by “Forrest Gump abound” at this “bustling” chain where families satisfy “shrimp cravings” and “attentive” servers “quiz you on movie trivia”; there are “plenty of seafood options”, especially of the fried variety, and it’s “always a Big Island Restaurants A - Z

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winner with the kids”, plus the Big Island branch boasts a “perfect ocean view”; but bashers hiss it’s “for tourists only”, quipping “forget the menu, just give customers a box of chocolates.” 21 $10 13 22 Cafe 100 American/Hawaiian Hilo | 969 Kilauea Ave. (Maile St.) | 808-935-8683 | www.cafe100.com An “institution” in Hilo, this “family favorite” is reputed to be the “home of the original loco moco”, claiming to have “invented” this “cholesterol bomb of ground-beef patty, fried egg and brown gravy on rice” decades ago; it’s one of the few spots “where you can find unique types” of this “popular” dish – over 30 varieties – along with “tasty” American-Hawaiian “cheap eats”, all served “quick.” 20

23

$29

Café Pesto Eclectic

25

CanoeHouse Eclectic

24

Coast Grille Pacific Rim

25

Coffee Shack Coffeehouse

25

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Guide to Hawaii’s Best

Hilo | Historic S. Hata Bldg. | 308 Kamehameha Ave. (bet. Furnraux & Mamo Sts.) | 808-969-6640 Kawaihae Harbor | Kawaihae Harbor Ctr. | 61-3665 Hwy. 270 (Kawaihae Harbour) | Kamuela | 808-882-1071 | www.cafepesto.com “Brilliant” Eclectic creations await at this “dependable” twosome, one of the Big Island’s “best-kept secrets” “tucked away” in Kawaihae and “conveniently” located in the “heart of Hilo”; the “diverse” menu features “simple but engaging” dishes “artfully prepared” with “locally grown” ingredients, plus the “cool” decor reminiscent of Casablanca (“kept waiting for Bogey and Bacall to walk in”) and “pleasant” service are just as “delightful.” 27

24

$74

Kohala Coast | Mauna Lani Bay Hotel | 68-1400 Mauna Lani Dr. (Mauna Lani Ter.) | Kamuela | 808-881-7911 | www.maunalani.com “It’s worth every penny for the experience at sunset” rave admirers who also give the “inventive” Eclectic fare and “magical setting in a beautiful seaside” spot by the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel two oars up; chef Alan Hess’ “mix of mainland standards and Big Island fish specialties” is accompanied by a “superb” wine list with daily changing vinos listed on an iPad, and it’s all “beautifully served” by “professional” staffers. 24

25

$55

Kohala Coast | Hapuna Beach Prince Resorts | 62-100 Kaunaoa Dr. (Old Puako Rd.) | Kamuela | 808-880-1111 | www.princeresortshawaii.com Dining on “excellent” Pac Rim cuisine on the “lovely and serene” open-air terrace “under the stars” at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel with the “breeze gently wafting – this is heaven!” sigh the smitten; the seafood is “done to perfection” and dishes showcase “innovative flavors that work”; if a cycnical few say ”wow is in short supply”, even they admit that the “patio on a beautiful night is what makes it special.” 21

21

$17

Captain Cook | 83-5799 Hwy. 11 (Middle Keei Rd.) | 808-328-9555 | www.coffeeshack.com “Don’t let the word ‘shack’ scare you – the view is to die for” at this daytime Captain Cook diner that’s “worth the pull-over when you’re driving to Volcano” given the “1,500-ft. elevation”; the fare is “unique,


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the baked goods delicious and, as you would expect, the coffee is some of the best” around plus “cute geckos abound.” 19 23 19 $34 Don the Beachcomber Pacific Rim Kailua-Kona | Royal Kona Resort | 75-5852 Alii Dr. (Kahakai Rd.) | 808-329-3111 | www.royalkona.com “Go at sunset, as handsome Hawaiians light the tiki torches and the sky turns purple, pink, then black” – yes, the setting and “vintage decor are fabulous” and the parasol drinks “heavenly” at this “trusted tourist favorite” in the Royal Kona Resort; but while it’s the “perfect spot” for a mai tai (said to be its “original creation”) or a “beachside” breakfast, most find the Pacific Rim fare “ho-hum”, advising “come for cocktails and a pupu platter and move on.”

Fish Hopper Seafood/Steak

23

23

22

$25

Kailua-Kona | 75-5683 Alii Dr. (Likana Ln.) | 808-326-2002 | www.fishhopper.com “Hopped in and was snared” by the “simply prepared”, “delicious” fish “so fresh” that it practically “jumped on our plates” jest pescatarians who frequently “bounce back” to this “obvious, but hidden” surf ’n’ turf “treasure” set in a “lovely location overlooking Kailua Bay” with a prime “ocean view and breezes”; the salads are also “pretty and imaginative”, plus there’s even a gluten-free menu and exotic libations to boot.

19 17 19 $22 Harbor House American Kailua-Kona | 74-425 Kealakehe Pkwy. (Queen Kahumanu Hwy.) | 808-326-4166 | www.harborhouserestaurantkona.com “Imagine you sailed in on a yacht and joined the party” – that’s the vibe at this marina mecca near Kailua-Kona in Honokohau Harbor where “fishermen, charter operators, tourists” and “wahines and surf dudes hang out and watch the glorious sunsets” over “seaworthy” American specialties; “but what keeps ’em coming are the beer schooners pulled straight from the freezer”, the “coldest” brews around – “what else do you need?” 25 21 23 $32 Hilo Bay Café Pacific Rim Hilo | Waiakea Shopping Ctr. | 315 Makaala St. (Pohaku St.) | 808-935-4939 | www.hilobaycafe.com For “unusually good food”, this “elegant, high-quality surprise” is “always worth the detour, even if it is in a strip mall” – in fact, it’s a “shining light” in the “vast wasteland of Hilo dining”; the Pacific Rim “menu is varied and interesting”, with an emphasis on “creative cooking” and “locally sourced” ingredients, while the “warm atmosphere” is conducive to “chatting to old friends or new”; overall, the experience is “kind of special.” — — — — Honu’s Pacific Rim Kailua-Kona | Courtyard King Kamehemeha’s Kona Beach Hotel | 75-5660 Palani Rd. (Alii Dr.) | 808-329-2911 | www.konabeachhotel.com Perched on the edge of Kailua Bay, next to the historic religious site Ahu’ena Heiau, is this indoor/outdoor Pacific Rim flagship in the iconic Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel; go for the lavish buffet dinner Friday and Saturday or treat yourself to the creations of chef George Gomes (formerly of Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, A Pacific Café and corporate chef for Tri-Star Restaurant Group) from Sunday–Thursday. Big Island Restaurants A - Z

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Huggo’s Pacific Rim/Seafood

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BIG ISLAND RESTAURANTS

23

23

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$40

Kailua-Kona | 75-5828 Kahakai Rd. (Alii Dr.) | 808-329-1493 | www.huggos.com “If you were any closer to the water you would need snorkel gear” quip customers who file into this Pacific Rim seafood “landmark” with a “million-dollar view” and “tropical feel”, “perched over the “Pacific Ocean in the heart of Kailua-Kona”; “enjoy the salt spray” and “fresh” fish “just off the boat” in the “more formal” room or the “relaxed, kickback” On the Rocks sibling below where you can rub your “bare feet in the sand.”

23 22 23 $55 Imari Japanese Kohala Coast | Hilton Waikoloa Vill. | 425 Waikoloa Beach Dr. (Queen Kaahumanu Hwy.) | Kamuela | 808-886-1234 | www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com “Hidden away” in the Hilton Waikoloa Village, this Japanese destination with an “awesome decor” is decked out with Imari pottery and surrounded by a serene koi pond; the “big portions” of “fresh seafood”, sashimi and sushi, along with teppanyaki prepared in front of you, deftly mix traditional and new wave cuisine, a dining experience that’s “worth it if you’re willing to pay.”

Island Lava Java American

23

19

19

$18

Kailua-Kona | 75-5799 Alii Dr. (Kaiolu Dr.) | 808-327-2161 | www.islandlavajava.com “The spirit of ohana (family) inhabits” this “casual” American in Kailua-Kona with sidewalk seating – at “sunrise or sunset, this is the place to relax” and “watch the waves roll in” and whales “blowing water plumes”; the java is “delicious”, plus there are the “excellent” breakfast options for those who “like to venture away from the standard eggs/pancakes”, and “wonderful” lunch and dinner options made with “fresh ingredients.”

25 21 25 $32 Jackie Rey’s Ohana Grill Eclectic Kailua-Kona | Pottery Terr. | 75-5995 Kuakini Hwy. (Oni Oni St.) | 808-327-0209 | www.jackiereys.com “It’s worth veering off the beaten path to experience” this “cheerful” Eclectic “gem” in Kailua-Kona gush regulars; it’s such an “aloha experience”, from the “outstanding service” to the “wonderfully prepared” seafood specials with “expertly combined flavors” and “amazing wine list”, all at “affordable prices”; it’s “locally popular” with a “sprinkling of visitors” so “reserve if you’re smart.”

Kaleo’s Bar & Grill American/Asian

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20

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$29

Pahoa | 15-2969 Pahoa Village Rd. (Homestead Rd.) | 808-965-5600 | www.kaleoshawaii.com It’s hard to “believe such a fine restaurant is in the middle of the country” concur incredulous patrons who praise the “excellent” American-Asian fare at this “laid-back but classy” Pahoa spot, a “local secret” with a “funky decor” and “friendly” service that’s worth a detour en route to Kiauea Volcano; the music “adds to the atmosphere” and if it gets a tad “noisy”, few mind, insisting it “makes a special evening even more special.”


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Kamuela Provision Company Pacific Rim

26

28

27

$65

Keei Café Eclectic

24

Kenichi Pacific Asian/Japanese

25

BIG ISLAND RESTAURANTS

Kohala Coast | Hilton Waikoloa Vill. | 425 Waikoloa Beach Dr. (Queen Kaahumanu Hwy.) | Kamuela | 808-886-1234 | www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com “Set high above the waters” of the Kohala Coast, this Pac Rim surf ’n’ turfer with “bluff-top ocean views”, “unbeatable sunsets” and a “dramatic waterfall entrance” in the Hilton Waikoloa Village captures the “majestic splendor of yesteryear”; “nothing beats” “sitting outside and listening to the waves” as “you sip frothy cocktails” and enjoy “excellent, varied cuisine”, and “when the whales are in, you may get a show.” 24

19

$34

Kealakekua | 79-7511 Mamalahoa Hwy. (Telephone Exchange Rd.) | 808-322-9992 | www.keeicafe.net A “real sleeper” with “understated charm” and local art on the walls, this “little out-of-the-way place” in Kealakekua is a “must-visit” thanks to its “imaginative” Eclectic cuisine including “mouthwatering” fresh fish and other dishes that “never fail to impress”; service ranges from “very accommodating” to “desultory” but if you “relax” and “embrace the aloha spirit” you’ll “savor” the experience. 21

23

$41

Keauhou | Keauhou Shopping Ctr. | 78-6831 Alii Dr. (Kamehameha III Rd.) | Kailua-Kona | 808-322-6400| www.kenichihawaii.com | No Credit Cards This Keauhou Asian-Japanese serving the “freshest and tastiest sushi” and “fabulously creative” dishes is a “surprising find” given its “obscure location” in a strip mall; regulars pay no mind to the “lack of ambiance”, feasting “like kings” on “superior” fin fare featuring “delightfully unusual preparations”, adding “don’t miss the happy hour” nightly when rolls are half price.

Ken’s House of Pancakes American/Diner 22 15 22 $16 Hilo | 1730 Kamehameha Ave. (Kanoelehua Ave.) | 808-935-8711 | www.kenshouseofpancakes.com Renowned for its American “diner-style food with a local twist”, the Big Island’s only 24-hour restaurant is a Hilo “landmark”, reminiscent of a “Denny’s with geckos and papayas”; serving everything from “mac-nut” pancakes to local specials like “cheap” oxtail stew in “huge” portions (“you man ’nuff for the big bowl?”), it’s a “legend for breakfast” and spot-on for a “midnight snack.” 25 26 25 $43 Kilauea Lodge Restaurant Eclectic Volcano | Kilauea Lodge | 19-3948 Old Volcano Rd. (Wright Rd.) | 808-967-7366 | www.kilauealodge.com “German in flavor with game often on the menu”, the Eclectic fare “takes you back to Europe” while the Volcano scenery surrounding this former YMCA camp–turned–“magnificent” lodge “reminds you that you’re on the backsteps of an active” mount; after “hiking along fuming craters”, warm yourself by the “large fireplace with plaques from all over the world” and enjoy the “casually elegant ambiance” – there’s “nothing like it in the state.”

Big Island Restaurants A - Z

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Kona Inn Restaurant Seafood

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BIG ISLAND RESTAURANTS

21

24

21

$37

Kailua-Kona | Kona Inn Shopping Vill. | 75–5744 Alii Dr. (Hualalai Rd.) | 808-329-4455 | www.konainnrestaurant.com Experience “a touch of old Hawaii” in a “lovely setting right on the ocean” at this Kailua-Kona seafooder located in a “classic old Hawaiian-style building”; it’s “tops for sunsets and mai tais”, making it the “perfect” place to “ease into your vacation”, and if a few feel that the “straightforward” food has a “hard time competing” with the scenery, loyalists call it “paradise.”

21 15 20 $17 Kuhio Grille Hawaiian Hilo | Prince Kuhio Plaza | 111 E. Puainako St. (Ohuohu St.) | 808-959-2336 “Popular” with the Hilo crowd, this Hawaiian standby is renowned for its “one-pound laulau” (pork steamed in taro leaves) that can be “frozen for shipment to the mainland” and other “all kine”, “downhome local favorites” including traditional lunch plates, oxtail soup, saimin and fried rice; “whether for breakfast (the bomb!) or lunch” or dinner, the dishes are all “onolicious.” 18 12 17 $14 L&L Hawaiian Barbecue BBQ/Hawaiian Captain Cook | 81-6224 Mamalahoa Hwy. (Hind Rd.) | 808-323-9888 Hilo | Waiakea Shopping Ctr. | 315 Makaala St. (Pohaku St.) | 808-935-3888 Hilo | 348 Kinoole St. (Mamo St.) | 808-834-0888 Keaau | 16-586 Old Volcano Rd. (bet. Keaau-Pahoa Rd. & Pili Mua St.) | 808-982-6668 Keauhou | Lanihau Shopping Ctr. | 75-5595 Palani Rd. (bet. Hawaii Belt Rd. & Kuakini Hwy.) | 808-331-8886 Kailua-Kona | Keauhou Shopping Ctr. | 76-6831 Alii Dr. (Kamehameha III Rd.) | Kailua-Kona | 808-322-9888 Pahoa | 427 Pahoa Rd. (Homestead Rd.) | 808-965-9533 Waimea | Parker Ranch Shopping Ctr. | 67-1185 Mamalahoa Hwy. (bet. Lindsey & Pukalani Rds.) | 808-885-8880 | www.hawaiianbarbecue.com A “local staple”, this “ubiquitous” “no-frills” chain with statewide locations serves up “generous portions” of “guilty pleasure” Hawaiian BBQ favorites that always leave patrons “full and satisfied”; if a few ’cuemeisters kvetch it’s “heavy on the starch”, emphasizing “quantity over quality”, for most it’s a “cheap, quick and easy” option and “always hits the spot.”

La Bourgogne French

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23

25

$59

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Guide to Hawaii’s Best

Kailua-Kona | 77-6400 Nalani St. (Kuakini Hwy.) | 808-329-6711 Offering a “true European atmosphere” “in the middle of the vast Pacific”, this “charming” cottagelike “gem” in Kailua-Kona, “operated by actively involved owners who love” their work “transports you to the French countryside”; it’s a “treat to dine” on “creative” and “delicious” classic Gallic cuisine (what a “delightful relief from usual island fare”) paired with an “excellent” and “amazingly inexpensive” selection of wines in this “intimate” setting.


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Lava Lava Beach Club Seafood

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Waikoloa | Waikoloa Resort | 69-1081 Ku‘uali’i Pl. (Waikoloa Beach Dr.) | 808-769-5282 | www.lavalavabeachclub.com From the owners of Huggo’s in Downtown Kailua-Kona comes this Pacific Rim arrival on Anaeho’omalu Bay in the Waikoloa Resort; sit on soft couches around the fire pits while nibbling pupu, sipping cocktails and watching the sunset or park yourself under the open-air pavilion for lunch or dinner; the fare features locally sourced ingredients and there’s Hawaiian music and hula dancing nightly; P.S. breakfast is slated for 2013.

24 16 24 $18 Manago Restaurant American/Hawaiian Captain Cook | Hotel Manago | 82-6155 Mamalahoa Hwy. (Kinue Rd.) | 808-323-2642 | www.managohotel.com “Like going to grandma’s”, this family-style Captain Cook AmericanHawaiian makes you feel as though you’re “dining in old Hawaii”, with “1950s” decor, “1980s prices”, a “chalkboard menu” and “homestyle cooking”; another perk: the “signature pork chops” and perhaps the “best fresh fried opelu (a local fish) in the state” are presented with “aloha.” 24 27 23 $61 Manta & Pavilion Wine Bar Hawaii Reg. Kohala Coast | Mauna Kea Beach Hotel | 62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Dr. (Mamalahoa Hwy.) | Kamuela | 808-882-7222 | www.maunakeabeachhotel.com “Everything comes harmoniously together” at this “romantic” Hawaii Regional, voted No. 1 for Decor among Big Island restaurants and set “atop the bluff” overlooking the famously “gorgeous” bay at Kohala Coast’s Mauna Kea Beach Hotel; the “delicious” fare is “beyond words” (the “chef has hit his stride”), service is “professional”, the “fascinating wine bar” boasts “high-tech dispensers” and all is “surpassed by the gentle breezes” and view of the “Darth Vader”–like manta rays in the ocean below.

Maui Tacos Mexican

20

12

17

$14

Hilo | Prince Kuhio Plaza | 111 E. Puainako St. (Ohuohu St.) | 808-959-0359 | www.mauitacos.com “For real local-fied Mexican, there’s no better place” than this statewide chain, especially if you’re looking for a “quickie lunch” of “cheap eats” or “craving something ‘south of the border’”; “spice up your food according to taste” at the salsa bar offering a “plethora” of condiments, and get it to go since there’s “no decor” to speak of.

27 25 23 $61 Merriman’s Hawaii Reg. Waimea | Opelo Plaza | 65-1227 Opelo Rd. (Kawaihae Rd.) | 808-885-6822 | www.merrimanshawaii.com What a “taste extravaganza!” rave fans who merrily make their way to chef Peter Merriman’s “true gem” in Waimea, voted No. 1 for Food on Big Island and Most Popular among Big Island and Kauai restaurants; the “farm-to-table ingredients shine through” in “every bite” – almost a given since the owner is “one of the Hawaii Regional pioneers” – while the “wine list is impressive” and service “sincere”; P.S. the Kapalua and Poipu locales offer “unparalleled views.”

Big Island Restaurants A - Z

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Merriman’s Market Café Mediterranean

22

19

19

$35

Miyo’s Japanese

26

Monstera Hawaii Reg./Japanese

25

BIG ISLAND RESTAURANTS

Waikoloa | King’s Shops | 69-250 Waikoloa Beach Dr. (Kuualil Pl.) | 808-886-1700 | www.merrimanshawaii.com A “relative bargain” considering its location “in a high-priced resort area” exclaim loyalists who pack into Peter Merriman’s Mediterranean in Waikoloa’s King’s Shops; while “more informal than its grande dame” counterparts, the menu is also “local-focused”, brimming with “well-prepared, fresh options”, and you can enjoy it in the “attractive” courtyard; most find service “quick and friendly”, but snarky sorts say it’s in “keeping with the strip-mall ambiance.” 18

21

$18

Hilo | Waiakea Villas Hotel | 400 Hualani St. (Mililani St.) | 808-935-2273 A “local favorite” that’s “been here forever” (or since 1986), this Hilo BYO “hidden” in the Waiakea Villas Hotel turns out “delicious”, “wellpresented” Japanese fare set down by “friendly” servers; diners get a “beautiful” view of the Wailoa River, and while a few say it could benefit from an “interior designer”, “inexpensive” prices more than make up for it. 16

21

$51

Kohala Coast | Shops at Mauna Lani | 68-1330 Mauna Lani Dr. (Kaniku Dr.) | Kamuela | 808-887-2711 | www.monsterasushi.com “Sushi and noodles and small plates, oh my!” quip fans “blown away” by the “wonderfully prepared” dishes dreamed up by chef Norio Yamamoto (ex Norio’s Japanese at the Fairmont Orchid) at his “welcoming” Japanese–Hawaii Regional on the second floor of The Shops at Mauna Lani; the “attention to detail” is evident from the specialty rolls with a “burst of complex flavors” to the “fantastic” izakaya items to servers who “guide you through” the “interesting menu.”

21 22 $26 24 Nihon Japanese Hilo | 123 Lihiwai St. (Kamehameha Ave.) | 808-969-1133 | www.nihonrestaurant.com “Generous portions” of “delicious” sushi and a “great view of Hilo Bay” are the draws at this Japanese that exudes an “authentic feeling” with a simple, “no-frills” decor; “pretty reasonable” prices and a “courteous and pleasant” crew also get nods of approval from afishionadoes. 22

23

$64

Norio’s Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar Japanese

25

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Kohala Coast | Fairmont Orchid | 1 N. Kaniku Dr. (Mauna Lani Dr.) | Kamuela | 808-887-7320 | www.fairmont.com/orchid-hawaii/dining/ noriosjapanesesteakhousesushibar “Just get the omakase and settle down” for the “absolute highestquality” sushi or go for a “different kind of Japanese food” implore insiders who duck into this “secluded spot” with a koi pond in Kohala Coast’s Fairmont Orchid; though “pricey, it’s always a winner”, garnering accolades for its “imaginative” menu and “artistic presentation”; open Thursdays–Mondays, dinner only.


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Nori’s Saimin & Snacks

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BIG ISLAND RESTAURANTS

22

12

19

$14

Hawaiian/Pacific Rim Hilo | Kukuau Plaza | 688 Kinoole St. (Hualalai & Kukuau Sts.) | 808-935-9133 The decor “may not appeal to mainland visitors”, but this “hole-inthewall” is “quite popular among locals” who clamor for the “old-time” Pac Rim–Hawaiian recipes that helped “put Hilo on the map”; “there’s no better place for a bowl of saimin” – it’s “perfect for a rainy Hilo day” or a “late-night run” – and there are “options for all tastes and budgets.” 25 18 22 $22 Orchid Thai Thai Kailua-Kona | 74-5555 Kaiwi St. (Kuakini Hwy.) | 808-327-9437 “Among the best of the Kailua-Kona Thai places” – and there’s “lots of competition too” – this “attractive” Siamese spot in an “out-of-theway” strip mall is “worth finding”; the “original” and authentic dishes, including “great vegan and vegetarian options”, are “cooked by a family from Thailand” “just the way you like it”, from “mild to spicy.”

Outback Steakhouse Steak

22

21

22

$40

Kailua-Kona | Coconut Grove Mktpl. | 75-5809 Alii Dr. (Hualalai Rd.) | 808-326-2555 | www.outback.com “Cut the chitchat and bring me my bloomin’ onion” quip patrons who also gallop over to these national chain branches for “tender, juicy and oh-so-good” steak, served in a “friendly Aussie atmosphere”; “you can always count on” your “sizzling” beef “done just the way you like it” – in fact, the “formula is intact”, a plus when craving a “taste of the mainland.”

— — — — Rays on the Bay American Kailua-Kona | Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay | 78-128 Ehukai St. (Kaleiopapa St.) | 808-930-4900 | www.sheratonkeauhou.com Set in the newly renovated Sheraton Kona, this open-air American overlooks none other than the graceful manta rays that inspire its name, swimming in the Keauhou Bay below; the wide-ranging menu includes juicy burgers, artisanal pizzas, kiawe-wood–grilled fish and kalbi short ribs, plus there’s live Hawaiian music at sunset.

Red Water Café Eclectic

25

21

24

$38

Waimea | 65-1299 Kawaihae Rd. (Opelo Rd.) | 808-885-9299 | www.redwater-cafe.com “A real foodie addition to the Big Island scene”, this Waimea “winner” woos diners with an “inventive” Eclectic menu including “some Japanese delights” and dishes that fuse “East and West”, served in a “funky but interesting atmosphere” with an old Hawaiiana feel; add in a beer garden and live music that’s “never too loud”, and it’s no wonder admirers declare “there’s lots to love here.”

20 21 21 $31 Romano’s Macaroni Grill Italian Waikoloa | Queens’ Mktpl. | 69-201 Waikoloa Beach Dr. (Maintenance Rd.) | 808-443-5515 | www.macaronigrill.com “Solid all around” concur carboloaders who get their fill of “traditional Italian fare” (including complimentary “fresh-baked rosemary bread”) at this national chain’s “comfortable” branches in Ala Moana Center and Waikoloa Resort’s Queens’ Marketplace; if some scoff it’s “food for the masses”, pasta proponents point to “ample portions”, “nice breezy Big Island Restaurants A - Z

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service” and “divine” “opera-singing” servers, concluding it’s “better than expected.”

Roy’s Hawaii Reg.

26

Ruth’s Chris Steak House Steak

27

Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai Hawaii Reg.

24

23

25

$57

Waikoloa | King’s Shop | 69-250 Waikoloa Beach Dr. (Kuualil Pl.) | 808-886-4321 | www.royshawaii.com Voted Most Popular Restaurant chain in Oahu, Big Island and Maui, the “godfather” of Hawaii Regional cuisine “still shines” insist loyalists who patronize Roy Yamaguchi’s “epicurean delight”, including the “original” Hawaii Kai “mother ship”; “pupu through dessert”, “each morsel makes your mouth happy” (try the “terrific” signature blackened ahi and “sublime” chocolate lava cake) and it’s all “complemented by a sophisticated wine list”, “cordial” service and “cosmopolitan” atmosphere; if wistful sorts say it was “more interesting once upon a time”, for most it’s “always a treat.” 24

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$68

Kohala Coast | Shops at Mauna Lani | 68-1330 Mauna Lani Dr. (Kaniku Dr.) | Kamuela | 808-887-0800 | www.ruthschris.com “Perfectly” cooked, “melt-in-your-mouth” steaks and “awesome” sides like creamed spinach and au gratin potatoes are the draw at this national chophouse chain’s Hawaii links; from the “smooth, unobtrusive service” and “quiet, dignified decor” to your “pricey” meal that’s “worth every cent”, it “never varies, never surprises but never disappoints.” 24

20

$33

Keauhou | 78-6831 Alii Dr. (Kamehameha III Rd.) | Kailua-Kona | 808-333-3434 | www.samchoy.com Big Islanders are “glad” to have celebrity chef “Sam Choy back in Kona” at this “excellent” location “high atop” Keauhou with 230-degree “killer views” and his trademark “large” portions of “awesome” Hawaii Regional fare delivering a “nice blend of East and West”; it’s “superb” “any time of day” but “for the full effect”, score a seat by the fire pits for “sunset cocktails”; if carpers decry “spotty” service and “so-so” food, most cheer it’s “excellent in every way.”

26 20 23 $47 Sansei Japanese/Pacific Rim Kohala Coast | Waikoloa Beach Resort | 69-201 Waikoloa Beach Dr. (Queen Kaahumanu Hwy.) | Kamuela | 808-886-6286 | www.sanseihawaii.com The “amazing array of exquisite” sushi coupled with “scrumptious” entrees and cocktails lures loyalists to this “fabulous”, “clublike” Japanese–Pacific Rim chainlet; “sit at the sushi bar and leave it to the chefs to prepare fish so fresh, you’d think they just plucked it out of the sea”, though prepare to wait “forever if you don’t have a reservation”; P.S. “don’t forget the early-bird specials” or weekend karaoke.

Seaside Seafood

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$36

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Hilo | 1790 Kalanianaole Ave. (Keaukaha Rd.) | 808-935-8825 | www.seasiderestaurant.com An on-site aqua farm results in some of “the freshest fish” around at this moderate Hilo seafooder where “regular diners” “can’t say enough” about the “variety” of “tasty” offerings; if some feel the “decor needs updating”, the “friendly” staff helps make up for it.


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25 18 22 $32 Sushi Shiono Japanese Kailua-Kona | 75-5799 Alii Dr. (Hualalai Rd.) | 808-326-1696 | www.sushishiono.com What “a great place for sushi on Alii Drive” say fans of this KailuaKona Japanese known for “very fresh fish” and “friendly service”; “reasonable” prices further explain why the small dining room is often “crammed” full of regulars. 13 23 $20 22 Teshima’s Japanese Kealakekua | 79-7251 Mamalahoa Hwy. (Hooper Villa Rd.) | 808-322-9140 A “historic” “local landmark”, this circa-1905 Kealakekua “favorite” is “filled with locals” who go for “simple, well-prepared” Japanese “comfort food” delivered by “warm” servers; its “diner-style atmosphere” is “nothing fancy”, but that’s fine given the “low” prices and fact that its “character” makes it “like no other place” around.

The Fish and the Hog Market Cafe

Tommy Bahama Restaurant and Bar

22

American Waimea | 64-957 Mamalahoa Hwy. (bet. Cheseboro Ln. & Kinohou St.) | 808-885-6268 | www.thefishandthehog.com Tucked away in Waimea, also known as Kamuela, in the historic Fukushima Building, this country eatery and market features an American menu, with sustainable ingredients culled from the surrounding farms, ranches and nearby ocean; eat in the plantation space, spruced up with vintage Hawaiian colors and furnishings, or opt for takeout, but save room for the delectable desserts. 23

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$49

Caribbean/Hawaii Reg. Kohala Coast | Shops at Mauna Lani | 68-1330 Mauna Lani Dr. (Kaniku Dr.) | Kamuela | 808-881-8686 | www.tommybahama.com For “food in a clothing store”, shoppers and noshers alike flock to these eatery/resortwear hybrids on Maui and the Big Island for “huge portions” of “surprisingly good” Caribbean–Hawaii Regional fare; if Tommy-knockers deride it as a “tourist trap” with “expensive” tabs and “island-standard” decor, at least the “attentive” staff keeps the “tropical adult beverages” “coming at just the right pace.” 22 20 22 $38 Waikoloa Grill & Bar Steak Waikoloa | 69-1022 Keana Pl. (Waikoloa Beach Dr.) | 808-886-8797 | www.buzzssandtrap.com “Tourists and locals alike flock” to this steakhouse trio on Oahu and Big Island “for a relaxing meal in a festive tiki-hut atmosphere” that “takes you back” to “old Hawaii”; the “awesome” meat is “the draw” but the “fresh local fish” is “delicious”, the salad bar is “bodacious” and service is “attentive”, whether you sit under the “twinkling lights of the banyan tree” in Lanikai, overlooking Pearl Harbor or near the green at Waikoloa Grill & Bar.

Zpizza Pizza

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15

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$18

Kailua-Kona | 151 Hekili St. (Hahani St.) | 808-230-8400 | www.zpizza.com “Love the variety” of “fresh and tasty” pizzas, subs and calzones made with natural and organic ingredients at these “friendly” chain links in Ala Moana and Kailua; “healthy choices” abound, including gluten-free

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and vegan pies, with topping ranging from arugula to zucchini; while some “original flavors” and “different” combos take “gumption to try”, carbo-loaders have “never been disappointed.”

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21 23 $47 24 Bar Acuda Mediterranean Hanalei | Hanalei Town Ctr. | 5-5161 Kuhio Hwy. (Aku Rd.) | 808-826-7081 | www.restaurantbaracuda.com Expect “a bit of urban chic” at this “lively” Med mecca in “picturesque” Hanalei, a “people-watching” scene that “could stand on its own in San Francisco or New York”; the “classy-casual” vibe makes it an “excellent place” to linger over “creatively amazing tapas” boasting an “intriguing blend of classic and local ingredients”; some say it’s “pricey” for “teeny tiny” items still, most enjoy the experience of “sampling and savoring.” 24 27 24 $60 Beach House Pacific Rim Poipu | 5022 Lawai Rd. (Hoona Rd.) | Koloa | 808-742-1424 | www.the-beach-house.com The Pacific Rim cuisine is “beautifully prepared”, the cocktails are “outstanding”, the decor “low-key” and the oceanfront Poipu Beach location “unbeatable”, “but the real showstopper” is the “stunning” sight “as the sun goes down” declare diners who reserve a table “well ahead of time” and “watch the surfers winding down their day”; if a few find the fare “hit-or-miss”, for most the “atmosphere is worth the trip.” 18

20

$36

Brennecke’s American/Seafood

19

Brick Oven Pizza Italian/Pizza

24

Bubba Burgers Burgers

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Poipu | 2100 Hoone Rd. (Hoowili Rd.) | Koloa | 808-742-7588 | www.brenneckes.com “No fuss”, just “really tasty” American seafood and “pupu aplenty” at this “ultimate beach shack”, a “friendly” find offering a prime “upstairs view of Poipu Beach” and “beautiful sunsets”; if a few deem the eats “just run-of-the-mill”, even they admit that “it’s so pleasant to sit in the airy room” in “shorts and flip-flips” you don’t mind “if your meal isn’t stellar.” 18

21

$25

Kalaheo | 2-2555 Kaumualii Hwy. (Silva Tract Rd.) | 808-332-8561 “The delicious aroma of garlic” entices as you enter this “familyoriented” Italian stalwart in Upcountry Kalaheo that lures locals with “expensive” but “delicious pizza”, “tasty” salads and pasta and “friendly” service; true, there’s “no ocean view, crashing waves or magenta sunset” and the “cute” decor consists of “license plate– covered beams reminiscent of an auto body garage”, but never mind: the “quality shines through” and you’ll leave “happy.” 15

18

$15

Hanalei | Hanalei Town Ctr. | 5-5161 Kuhio Hwy. (Aku Rd.) | 808-826-7839 Kapaa | 4-1421 Kuhio Hwy. (Pouli Rd.) | 808-823-0069 Koloa | Kukui’ula Vill. | 2829 Ala Kalanikaumaka St. (Poipu Rd.) | 808-742-6900 | www.bubbaburger.com When craving “burgers done to perfection” – that is, “drippy, messy, wonderful” with “terrific fries” or, better yet, “frings (fries and onion rings)” – head to this “no-frills” counter-service Kauai trio; “sit on the covered porch” and “relax” with “your family before heading to the beach” and “forget that you’ll be wearing a bikini tomorrow”; if grumblers beef that it’s “nothing special”, most insist “you will be satisfied.”


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18 $15 15 21 Bull Shed Seafood/Steak Kapaa | 796 Kuhio Hwy. (Kamoa Rd.) | 808-822-3791 | www.bullshedrestaurant.com “You’d swear you were in the heartland” when you bite into the “outstanding” prime rib, beef and “fresh” fish at this “well-hidden” Kapaa steakhouse/seafooder, but then the ocean “spray hits your face” (ask for a window seat) and you realize you’re “definitely not in Kansas” quip customers; service is “friendly” and dress is “casual”, and while the atmosphere is “akin to visiting grandma’s house”, few mind once those “huge” portions arrive.

Café Portofino Italian

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25

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$57

Kalapaki Beach | Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club | 3481 Ho’Olaulea Way (Kapule Hwy.) | Lihue | 808-245-2121 “Dining under the moonlight overlooking Kalakapi Bay” at the Kauai Marriott with the “added bonus of quiet harp music” and “ample” portions of “wonderful” Northern Italian fare and “satisfying” desserts is “pure enchantment” sigh romantics; if a few grouch that it’s time for an “update”, for most the “sweet view and old-world flavor” make it a “must.”

19 $23 17 23 Caffe Coco Pacific Rim Kapaa |4-369 Kuhio Hwy Don’t be fooled by the off-the-highway location or the simple outdoor tables” at this BYO Pacific Rim health-fooder in Kapaa because you’ll find an “inventive mix of locally grown food” within; most don’t mind service that’s “so mellow you may feel neglected”, since there are live “local bands” to listen to while waiting; P.S. “be prepared for a few mosquitoes.”

Casa di Amici Eclectic/Italian

24

Casablanca at Kiahuna

20

CJ’s Steak & Seafood Seafood/Steak

20

18

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$44

Poipu | 2301 Nalo Rd. (Hoone Rd.) | Koloa | 8808-742-1555 | www.casadiamici.com It may be “tricky to find” but this Eclectic-Italian “hidden in a residential” Poipu neighborhood is “worth the journey”; lovebirds coo it’s a “romantic experience” while admirers laud the “incredibly diverse menu”, island vibe and “lovely” patio; if a handful find the fare “up and down”, for most this casa is an “absolute must.” 20

20

$40

Italian/Mediterranean Poipu | Kiahuna Swim & Tennis Club | 2290 Poipu Rd. (Kiahuna Plantation Dr.) | Koloa | 808-742-2929 | www.casablancakauai.com Located “in a hard-to-find” spot “tucked away with a view of the courts” at the Kiahuna Swim and Tennis Club in Poipu, this ItalianMediterranean with tropical decor and a “really relaxed” vibe dishes up “well-prepared” specialties that are “hard to beat” and “great music” on weeknights; if a few find it “hit-or-miss”, even they admit that the “breezy setting trumps” any concerns. 20

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$50

Princeville | Princeville Shopping Center | 5-4280 Kuhio Hwy. (Ka Haku Rd.) | 808-826-6211 | www.cjssteak.com “Well liked by locals” this “spacious” surf ‘n’ turfer in the Princeville Shopping Center “satisfies the tastes and desires” of regulars and visitors with “fresh” seafood and “consistently good” steak; dine at the Kauai Restaurants A - Z

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“excellent bar” to get “the scoop” on neighborhood “happenings”, but don’t expect insider prices since it’s on the “expensive side of the island.”

Dani’s Hawaiian

21

Dondero’s Italian

25

11

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$16

Lihue | 4201 Rice St. (bet. Hardy & Hoolako Sts.) | 808-245-4991 Never mind the setting reminiscent of an “old-school” cafeteria or the “noisy” chatter – it’s the “Hawaiian comfort food” like laulau, loco moco and Spam and rice that your “mom made while you were growing up” that lures droves of locals to Lihue’s “casual” coffeehouse for breakfast and lunch; the vittles are “excellent” and prices are “very decent” – little wonder it’s an “island favorite.” 24

24

$70

Poipu | Grand Hyatt Kauai | 1571 Poipu Rd. (Ainakoa St.) | Koloa | 808-742-1234 | www.kauai.hyatt.com Set in the Grand Hyatt Kauai, this “excellent” Northern Italian makes a “favorite hotel even better”; the “beautiful resort setting” augmented by “romantic outside seating” where you can “watch the sun go down” makes “you feel like dressing up” and the “pricing is a welcome bonus”; if a few find the experience “disappointing”, for most, it’s “first class” all the way.

25 8 16 $14 Duane’s Ono-Char Burger Burgers Anahola | 4-4350 Kuhio Hwy. (Aliomanu Rd.) | 808-822-9181 This “roadside gem” isn’t “much to look at” but never mind – it’s the “charred juicy burgers”, “terrific onion rings” and “thickest shakes” that “count”; “visitors and locals alike” endure “ridiculously long waits” and a “touch of attitude” from servers, then devour their “favorites” “outdoors with the Anahola chickens” providing a “floor show”; it’s so “ono” carnivores would “drive 100 miles (and more)” just to eat here.

Duke’s Canoe Club American

21

25

22

$37

Eggbert’s American

22

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Kalapaki Beach | Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club | 3610 Rice St. (Ho’Olaulea Way) | Lihue | 808-246-9599 | www.dukeskauai.com Whether you dig into “delicious” American fare while enjoying the “absolutely dreamy” views from the Kauai Marriott’s “romantic” balcony, with “palms swaying above and the iridescence of the waves rolling in”, or devour your “terrific” breakfast buffet at Outrigger Waikiki while “watching neophyte paddle boarders and their buff instructors”, the experience “couldn’t be more ‘Hawaii’”; both boast photos of the legendary namesake surfer and “aloha”-spirited service. 16

21

$20

Kapaa | Coconut Mktpl. | 4-484 Kuhio Hwy. (Papaloa Rd.) | 808-822-4422 “Come hungry” to this “casual” daytime American diner in Kappa, a “well-known favorite for breakfast”; dig into “eggs, eggs, eggs, cooked any way you want”, “huge” burritos, pancakes in “all the island flavors” and “creamy” and “crispy” hash browns that spudmeisters consider some of the “best of my potato-eating life”; still, if you’re not a local, the “roving bands of chickens” underfoot may take a “little getting used to.”


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Feral Pig Pub & Restaurant

Garden Island Barbecue BBQ/Chinese

22

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American/Eclectic Lihue | 3501 Rice St. (Lala Pl.) | 808-246-1100 | www.theferalpigkauai.com With a provocative name like this, the food better be good, and owners Dave Power and Scott Kessinger (formerly of Honolulu’s Town Restaurant) aim to please at this American-Eclectic on the first floor of Lihue’s Harbor Mall, offering a full spectrum of locally raised produce, meat and fish for breakfast, lunch and dinner; pig, in all its permutations, gets lots of play, from house-smoked pork loin to pulledpork sandwiches. 12

20

$19

Lihue | 4252 Rice St. (Hardy St.) | 808-245-8868 Expect “family-style servings” and “a comfortable, down-home feeling” at this “seat-yourself” Lihue plate lunch and BBQ/Chinese spot, a “favorite of the locals” offering a vast variety and “affordable” prices; you “can’t beat the taste and service” – “you’ll be amazed at how fast you get” your “extremely generous” portions of “hot, fresh and delicious” dishes – plus they “do a swift takeout as well.”

24 27 24 $50 Gaylords at Kilohana Pacific Rim Lihue | Kilohana Plantation | 3–2087 Kaumualii Hwy. (Nuhou St.) | 808-245-9593 | www.gaylordskauai.com Set in the gardens of a historic “beautiful old” sugar plantation in Lihue, in the shadow of the “gorgeous” Tudor-style Kilohana mansion, this Pacific Rim standout offers a slice of the “elegance and peaceful refinement” that come with the “epitome of fine dining” as well as “fantastic Sunday brunch” (a “wonderful way to get the day going”); afterward, “take a carriage ride about” the grounds – oh, “what a feeling of what old Hawaii was like.” 20 16 19 $24 Genki Sushi Japanese Lihue | Kukui Grove Shopping Ctr. | 3-2600 Kaumualii Hwy. (Nawiliwili Rd.) | 808-632-2450 | www.genkisushiusa.com “Beginners choose only from the passing plates” at this “kaiten” (conveyor belt) Japanese chain where a “never-ending” supply of “freshly made” and “economical” sushi “galore floats by you”, while “braver and more experienced diners special-order from picture menus”; if a few feel it’s “nothing spectacular”, even they concede it’s “perfect for kids who get a kick” out of the “interactiveness” or for “satisfying a midday craving” without “breaking the bank.” 24 10 17 $13 Hamura Saimin Stand Noodle Shop Lihue | 2956 Kress St. (Rice St.) | 808-245-3271 “Slurp to your heart’s content with the working folk and tourists” at this “one-of-a-kind”, “old-school” “local haunt” in Lihue renowned for its “exceptional” saimin, a “wonderful” uniquely Hawaiian noodle soup, and “save room” for the “amazing” lilikoi chiffon pie; it looks “like a run-down dive” – “nothing but a couple of horseshoe-shaped counters surrounded by stools” – and service is “minimal”, but it’s a “must-try at least once” for “fast food island style.”

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22 14 21 $26 Hanalei Gourmet American/Eclectic Hanalei | Hanalei Town Ctr. | 5-5161 Kuhio Hwy. (Aku Rd.) | 808-826-2524 | www.hanaleigourmet.com A “comfy, happy, upbeat hangout”, this “come-as-you-are joint” in Hanalei is “tops for a relaxed atmosphere” confide regulars who also applaud the “tasty soups, sandwiches”, burgers and other AmericanEclectic “comfort food”; the “wonderful” sunny servers “always welcome newcomers and locals with aloha” and the free live music on select nights amps up the “fun” vibe. 23 19 22 $27 Hanamaulu Cafe Japanese/Tearoom Lihue | 3-4291 Kuhio Hwy. (Hanamaulu Rd.) | 808-245-2511 A “favorite with local people” (you “won’t see any tourists”), this Japanese teahouse in Lihue, known for its “home-cooked comfort foods” including “super-crispy” fried chicken, plus sashimi and sushi, “has been here forever” – in fact, it’s “part of the fabric of the island”; it’s “always a delight” to sit in the “authentic tatami room and lovely garden” and enjoy the “inspiring” view, attended by a staff that “makes you feel right at home.” 27 24 25 $47 Hukilau Lanai Hawaii Reg. Kapaa | Kauai Coast Resort | 520 Aleka Loop (Kuhio Hwy.) | 808-822-0600 | www.hukilaukauai.com Enjoy “gourmet” Hawaii Regional fare made with local ingredients “while watching the tiki-torch lighting in a beautiful garden setting” at this Kauai Coast Resort “jewel”, voted No. 1 for Food among the island’s restaurants; the “high-quality fresh fish” and “unusual” flavor pairings, coupled with an “interesting” wine list, “attentive service” and nightly entertainment, make for a “wonderful dining experience”, especially if you score a patio seat. 19 20 20 $34 JJ’s Broiler American Nawiliwili | Anchor Cove Shopping Ctr. | 3416 Rice St. (Lala Rd.) | 808-246-4422 | www.jjsbroiler.com Offering a Kalapaki Bay view that’s “out of sight”, this bi-level harborside Nawiliwili standby is a “nice kick-back place” where you can enjoy American fare in “comfortable” nautical-style surrounds or out on the patio; if a few blow off steam, citing fare that’s “unimaginative” and a “dark, sports-bar atmosphere”, others laud the “large portions” and profess the “pupu are enjoyable.”

Kalaheo Café & Coffee Co.

24

Kalapaki Beach Hut Burgers/Sandwiches

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21

$27

Coffeehouse/Hawaiian Kalaheo | 2-2560 Kaumualii Hwy. (Silva Tract Rd.) | 808-332-5858 | www.kalaheo.com Breakfast is a “must” at John Ferguson’s “popular” Kalaheo cafe, where “portions are large”, the menu is “simple and straightforward”, service is “cheerful” and a “true coffeehouse vibe adds to the charm”, leaving “you ready to face the day”; “dinner is a more luxe experience” – with Hawaiian fare, “especially delectable fish specials, and great wines by the glass” – offering “laid-back dining with real flavors.” 14

18

$18

Kalapaki Beach | 3474 Rice St. (Lala Rd.) | Lihue | 808-246-6330 | www.kauai.com/kalapakibeachhut The burgers and sandwiches come with all the trimmings at this “small tiki hut” on Kalapaki Beach, and they’re among the “best” around, plus


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breakfasts are also “mouthwatering” – the “perfect sticky rice and eggs must be washed down with addictive fresh fruit smoothies”; the digs are “nothing fancy”, but the view is “wonderful” – just “sit upstairs and watch the surfers.”

Kauai Grill Eclectic

25

26

23

$81

Princeville | St. Regis Princeville Resort | 5520 Ka Haku Rd. (Liholiho Rd.) | 808-826-9644| www.kauaigrill.com With an “unbelievable” view and setting, this “small stylish restaurant” showcasing Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Eclectic cuisine in the St. Regis Princeville Resort is one of the “best places to eat on the North Shore”; the “marvelous” food displays “intensity of flavor” in each “excellent course”, and while some cry it’s “pricey for the amount of food”, admirers agree “you must eat there at least once.”

21 24 21 $42 Keoki’s Paradise Pacific Rim Poipu | Poipu Shopping Vill. | 2360 Kiahuna Plantation Dr. (Poipu Rd.) | Koloa | 808-742-7534 | www.keokisparadise.com “Catering to tourists”, this “kitschy” “slice of paradise” features “the works” decorwise, with “live music, a standing bar, a waterfall and bridges over streams” – little wonder it’s “everyone’s ‘first night in Poipu’ spot”; most find the Pacific Rim fare appealing and flip for the “hula pie”, but others opine it’s part of a chain and “the menu shows it.”

Kintaro Japanese

24

19

23

$46

Kapaa | 4-370 Kuhio Hwy. (Kapaa Bypass) | 808-822-3341 A “neighborhood favorite”, this Kapaa Japanese reels in “repeat customers” with “generous portions” of “inventive” sushi and sashimi and teppanyaki tables where you can see your “meal made by the chef”; while the rolls may not be for strict “purists” and waits are long “during the peak dinner hours”, the “awesome” staffers who “treat you right” and “fun family environment” compensate.

25 8 19 $19 Koloa Fish Market Hawaiian/Seafood Koloa | 5482 Koloa Rd. (Waikomo Rd.) | 808-742-6199 There’s “no seating” at this Koloa fish market (it’s “basically a take-out counter”) but never mind – just belly up and order a “fantastic plate lunch” of “top-quality” Hawaiian seafood at “value” prices, then “take your food to the beach and enjoy”; “get there early” for some of the “best poke on the South Shore of Kauai”, as they do run out.

Kukui’s Pacific Rim

17

21

19

$40

Kalapaki Beach | Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club | 3610 Rice St. (Lala Rd.) | Lihue | 808-245-5050 | www.kukuis.kauaimarriott.com If you’re looking for a “reason to never leave your hotel property”, this open-air, poolside Pacific Rim eatery, located on Kalapaki Beach in the Kauai Marriott Resort, may be it attest admirers who deem breakfast and dinner “excellent” and service “terrific”; but others concur that “convenience” may be its “main feature”, especially when the corks pop during its Sunday champagne brunch.

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18 12 17 $14 L&L Hawaiian Barbecue BBQ/Hawaiian Kapaa | 4-733 Kuhio Hwy. (Pouli Rd.) | Lihue | 808-822-0168 Lihue | Kukui Grove Shopping Ctr. | 3-2600 Kaumualii Hwy. (Nawiliwili Rd.) | 808-246-3688 | www.hawaiianbarbecue.com A “local staple”, this “ubiquitous” “no-frills” chain with statewide locations serves up “generous portions” of “guilty pleasure” Hawaiian BBQ favorites that always leave patrons “full and satisfied”; if a few ’cuemeisters kvetch it’s “heavy on the starch”, emphasizing “quantity over quality”, for most it’s a “cheap, quick and easy” option and “always hits the spot.”

Lemongrass Grill Asian/Seafood

22

Lighthouse Bistro European/Pacific Rim

22

Lihue Barbecue Inn American/Pan-Asian

22

Mediterranean Gourmet Mediterranean

25

22

22

$29

Kapaa | 4-885 Kuhio Hwy. (Kapaa Bypass) | 808-821-2888 Devotees “dream about” the “super seafood” with a Pan-Asian “flair” served with hot or cold sake and tropical drinks at this two-story “family-friendly” find in Kapaa; “love the setting as well” chime in fans sweet on the pagoda-inspired decor, replete with fresh orchids and collectibles ranging from artwork and sculptures to carvings. 19

22

$34

Kilauea | Kong Lung Ctr. | 2484 Keneke St. (Kilauea Rd.) | 808-828-0480 | www.lighthousebistro.com Beam over to this bistro for “tasty” Euro–Pac Rim cuisine including “fresh fish” and “eclectic” entrees on your way to the Kilauea Lighthouse on Kauai’s northernmost tip; the “lanai setting with a casual Hawaiian theme” looks out on the garden and local musicians strum on weekends, which further explains why it’s “popular.” 14

22

$26

Lihue | 2982 Kress St. (Rice St.) | 808-245-2921 “It’s not fancy, just darned good” declare regulars who join the “crowd” of friends and relatives at this “longtime island family favorite” in Lihue that’s been serving “local-style” American standards and Pan-Asian specialties since 1940; it’s all “properly cooked without any sign of BBQ” and served in “complete meals from soup to dessert.” 23

25

$53

Hanalei | Hanalei Colony Resort | 5-7130 Kuhio Hwy. (Oneone Rd.) | 808-826-9875 | www.kauaimedgourmet.com Set near the end of the road in Hanalei Colony Resort, this “gastronomic wonder” with an “outstanding view” is “worth the hair-raising drive”; “super-accommodating” chef-owner Imad Beydoun “tempts you with his family recipes” for Med specialties, and combined with “North Shore ambiance, aloha service” and “live, local entertainment most nights”, it’s a “weird combination, but it works . . . big time.”

27 25 25 $62 Merriman’s Hawaii Reg. Poipu | Kukui’ula Vill. | 2829 Ala Kalanikaumaka St. (Poipu Rd.) | Koloa | 808-742-8385 | www.merrimanshawaii.com What a “taste extravaganza!” rave fans who merrily make their way to chef Peter Merriman’s “true gem” in Waimea, voted No. 1 for Food on Big Island and Most Popular among Big Island and Kauai restaurants; the “farm-to-table ingredients shine through” in “every bite” – almost a given since the owner is “one of the Hawaii Regional pioneers” – while the “wine list is impressive” and service “sincere”; P.S. the Kapalua and Poipu locales offer “unparalleled views.” 78

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DECOR

SERVICE

COST

Monico’s Taqueria Mexican

FOOD

KAUAI RESTAURANTS

26

16

24

$20

Kapaa | Kinipopo Shopping Vill. | 4–356 Kuhio Hwy. (Papaloa Rd.) | 808-822-4300 | www.monicostaqueria.com Fans insist some of “the best Mexican on Kauai” can be found at this Kapaa destination where “amazing flavors” feature in the “carefully prepared” dishes; it’s often “busy” and can get “noisy”, but “cheerful” service and affordable tabs compensate, so it’s still a “must” of many.

23 26 22 $50 Plantation Gardens Pacific Rim Poipu | Kiahuna Plantation | 2253 Poipu Rd. (Kiahuna Plantation Dr.) | Koloa | 808-742-2121 | www.pgrestaurant.com The “gardens are heavenly” – it’s like an “island paradise” opine moonstruck mavens who dine on the “veranda of this old plantation building” amid “hundreds of orchids” at this “romantic and tranquil” Pacific Rim in Poipu in the Kiahuna Plantation; the “wonderful local seafood” is “beautifully presented” by the “attentive” staff with “inventive cocktails” to match, making for an “outstanding meal” all around.

Pomodoro Italian

22

Postcards Café Eclectic

23

Red Salt Hawaiian

25

Roy’s Hawaii Reg.

26

17

24

$34

Kalaheo | Rainbow Plaza | 2-2514 Kaumualii Hwy. (Ganansa Tract) | 808-332-5945 | www.pomodorokauai.com “Don’t let the location” on the second floor of Kalaeo’s Rainbow Plaza “fool you” – this “small, family-run” “down-home” Italian is “surprisingly wonderful”, especially when you need a “redsauce fix”; the menu has “quite a bit to choose from”, prices are “reasonable” and service is “excellent”; but others pass on the Pomo, declaring it’s “disappointing.” 22

22

$51

Hanalei | 5-5075 Kuhio Hwy. (Aku Rd.) | 808-826-1191 | www.postcardscafe.com Combining “surfer sophistication” with “a homey environment” in a “postcard setting” in Hanalei, this “charming beach house” “sets the mood” for a “festive” meal of Eclectic fare made with organic, “fresh, Kauai-grown” ingredients; vegetarians find “many selections that suit their tastes” and the “innovative” menu also spotlights “perfectly cooked fish”, revealing a “deft touch with seasonings”; P.S. “service is always extra friendly.” 22

26

$64

Poipu | Koa Kea Hotel | 2251 Poipu Rd. (Hoowili Rd.) | Koloa | 808-828-8888 | www.koakea.com “Flavors abound” at this “star” eatery in Poipu’s Koa Kea Hotel where the “friendly, not cloying” staff, rated No. 1 for Service among Kauai restaurants, delivers “delicious, inventive renditions” of Hawaiian cuisine in a “cool setting” that’s a “nice respite from the traditional island decor”; sit by the picture windows “for the best” ocean view, and enjoy the “beautifully prepared” dishes; if quibblers kvetch it’s “kinda overpriced”, for most it’s “worth a visit.” 23

25

$57

Poipu | Poipu Shopping Vill. | 2360 Kiahuna Plantation Dr. (Poipu Rd.) | Koloa | 808-742-5000 | www.royshawaii.com Voted Most Popular Restaurant chain in Oahu, Big Island and Maui, the “godfather” of Hawaii Regional cuisine “still shines” insist loyalists who patronize Roy Yamaguchi’s “epicurean delight”, including the “original”

Kauai Restaurants A - Z

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SERVICE

DECOR

FOOD

KAUAI RESTAURANTS

Hawaii Kai “mother ship”; “pupu through dessert”, “each morsel makes your mouth happy” (try the “terrific” signature blackened ahi and “sublime” chocolate lava cake) and it’s all “complemented by a sophisticated wine list”, “cordial” service and “cosmopolitan” atmosphere; if wistful sorts say it was “more interesting once upon a time”, for most it’s “always a treat.” 20 21 21 $29 Scotty’s Beachside BBQ BBQ Kapaa |4-1546 Kuhio Hwy. (Kou St.) | 808-823-8480 | www.scottysbbq.com A “fantastic location overlooking the ocean” provides the backdrop for ribs, pulled pork and other BBQ standards served with “excellent” homemade sauces at this “casual” Kapaa joint; service is “friendly”, and while a few say it’s “nothing special” and seems “a little pricey for what you get”, no one’s complaining about the “generous” portions and “relaxing beach views.”

Shrimp Station Seafood

25

7

15

$19

Tidepools Pacific Rim/Seafood

23

80

Guide to Hawaii’s Best

Kapaa | 4-985 Kuhio Hwy (bet. Hoi Rd. & Kipuni Pl.) | 808-821-0192 Waimea | 9652 Kaumualii Hwy. (Kekaha Rd.) | 808-338-1242 | www.shrimpstation.com A “great place to fill up after seeing Waimea Canyon”, this “side-ofthe-road” seafooder (with a Kapaa sequel) vends some of “the best shrimp” around, offered in a variety of preparations and flavors; sure, the “casual picnic table atmosphere” isn’t much and paper plates can “make eating a challenge”, but the “delicious” grub trumps all, making it a “must for tourists in the know and locals alike.” 27

24

$61

Poipu | Grand Hyatt Kauai | 1571 Poipu Rd. (Ainakoa St.) | Koloa | 808-742-1234 | www.kauai.hyatt.com The “amazing romantic setting”, with “walls completely open to the tropical breezes”, “lighted tiki torches” and “breathtaking” lagoon views, makes it “hard to believe you’re in a hotel” at this Pacific Rim seafooder in Poipu’s Grand Hyatt, voted No. 1 for Decor among Kauai restaurants; the “delicious” fare is ferried by “attentive” staffers, and though “you’ll pay resort prices”, it’s “worth a visit”, especially for “special occasions.”


LANAI & MOLOKAI RESTAURANTS

FOOD

DECOR

SERVICE

COST

Blue Ginger Café American/Asian

21

16

20

$18

Challenge at Manele Clubhouse

24

Hulopo’e Court Seafood/Steak

18

Lanai City | 409 Seventh St. (bet. Jacaranda St. & Llima Ave.) | 808-565-6363 | www.bluegingercafelanai.com “So local, so laid-back, so Lanai!” exclaim true-blue fans who dig into the “delicious, simple” American–Pan-Asian “island food” at this “classic dive” with a “homey” atmosphere reminiscent of the 1950s; it’s “worth a stop if you want something really fresh while you enjoy the mountain and sea” – or just need a break from the “high-end cuisine at the resort restaurants.” 22

23

$33

Pacific Rim Manele | Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay | 1 Manele Bay Rd. (Kapihaa Pl.) | Lanai City | 808-565-2290 | www.fourseasons.com/manelebay “Break away from the pool” and the greens for a “perfectly prepared” lunch of Pacific Rim fare and “ono” sandwiches” in “one of the most relaxing clubhouse settings around” with “inspiring views” of the 18th hole of the Four Seasons Resort Golf Course and Manele Bay; “it’s not crowded” and staffers make you feel “like old friends”– if only they would “bring back dinner.” 22

19

$49

Manele | Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay | 1 Manele Bay Rd. (Kapihaa Pl.) | Lanai City | 808-565-2290 | www.fourseasons.com/manelebay Guests “love the atmosphere” at this “classy yet casual” Hawaiian steakhouse “overlooking the ocean and pool area” in the Four Seasons Lanai at Manele Bay that cossets customers with “a comfortable feeling of a great island resort” and “very professional” service, “even in such a relaxed setting”; while loyalists laud the “innovative” fare, especially the “excellent brunch”, grumblers grouse it’s “better than expected” “but not fantastic”

24 20 24 $40 Lanai City Grille Hawaii Reg. Lanai City | Hotel Lanai | 828 Lanai Ave. (9th St.) | 808-565-7211 | www.hotellanai.com A “respite” from the resort restaurants, this “plantation-style” “original” in the Hotel Lanai imbued with “local character” and the “feel of a dining room in a bed and breakfast” lures islanders with a “creative” Bev Gannon–designed Hawaii Regional menu; “bring an appetite” and dig into “extremely generous” portions of “home cooking” served by “casually professional” staffers; what a “lovely experience” – this is a place “to come back to.”

Lodge at Koele Dining Room Pacific Rim

27

27

27

$67

Koele | Four Seasons Lanai, The Lodge at Koele | 1 Keomoku Hwy. (Kanepuu Hwy.) | Lanai City | 808-565-4580 | www.fourseasons.com/koele Rated No. 1 for Food, Decor and Service among Lanai restaurants, this knockout in the Four Seasons Koele is in “one of the most unique settings in the Hawaiian islands”, capturing the “true spirit” of the “great hunting lodges and mountain hotels of the West”; the “fantastic” Pacific Rim fare (with a soupçon of European flair) and “superb wine” are delivered by “gracious”

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SERVICE

DECOR

FOOD

LANAI & MOLOKAI RESTAURANTS

servers – it’s so “sophisticated” you feel inspired to “dress up and polish your manners.” 23 25 27 $56 The Terrace American Koele | Four Seasons Lanai, The Lodge at Koele | 1 Keomoku Hwy. (Kanepuu Hwy.) | Lanai City | 808-565-7300 | www.fourseasons.com/koele “Real Hawaiian aloha service” is one reason to try this dining room in the Four Seasons Lanai, Lodge at Koele, where the American fare and “relaxing” surrounds also earn strong marks; spendy tabs are expected given the ritzy location.

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COST

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DECOR

FOOD

MAUI RESTAURANTS

19 22 $28 24 808 Bistro American Kihei | 2511 S Kihei Rd. (Keonekai Rd.) | 808-879-8008 | www.808bistro.com Once you locate this American “gem” “tucked away in a labyrinth of little shops and eateries” and “very popular with Kihei residents”, you’ll be “pleasantly surprised”; the “outdoor courtyard is tranquil”, service comes “with a smile” and the “excellent” “comfort food”, featuring “favorites” such as boneless short ribs, is so “enjoyable” enthusiasts just “can’t wait to go back”; P.S. “bring your own booze.” 14 22 $23 25 A Saigon Café Vietnamese Wailuku | 1792 Main St. (Kaniela St.) | 808-243-9560 “Satisfy your taste buds” with “eclectic” dishes at this “favorite” Vietnamese “dive”, a “true island experience” in Wailuku; it’s “got a sign now” but it’s still a bit “hard to find” – those who search are rewarded with a “lively” meal replete with “witty” repartee from “cheeky” servers, “1950s cafeteria decor” and a “solid, never-changing menu” offering a respite from the “fancy” tourist spots. 18 22 $20 23 AK’s Café American Wailuku | 1237 Lower Main St. (Kawaipuna Pl.) | 808-244-8774 | www.akscafe.com The location in Wailuku’s “industrial area” “leaves a lot to be desired”, but the “fresh” American fare with “delicate flavors” and a “Hawaiian flair” and “comfortable” setting “more than make up” for it declare locals who deem this “affordable and comfortable” lunch and dinner spot a “hidden gem”; the “balanced meals” use “island ingredients” that make the “local dishes really pop” and it’s all “reasonably priced.” 19 $18 18 22 Aloha Mixed Plate Hawaiian Lahaina | 1285 Front St. (Kapunakea St.) | 808-661-3322 | www.alohamixedplate.com The “authentic” Hawaiian plate lunch (and dinner) “combos” served at this “über-relaxed” Lahaina eatery can “be shared by two unless one of them is a T. rex” quip customers who dig into “tasty, filling” fare like “delicious ribs” with “traditional extras”; this is “paper-plate dining near the sea so don’t expect glamour here” – but you can count on “aloha” service, “beachy charm” and the “sound of the drumbeat from the luau next door.” —

Amasia Asian

Anthony’s Coffee Co. Coffeehouse

20

84

Guide to Hawaii’s Best

Wailea | Grand Wailea | 3850 Wailea Alanui Dr. (Wailea Ike Dr.) | 808-875-1234 | www.wailearesortdining.com The latest in the growing series of chef Alan Wong’s dining experiences throughout Hawaii, this Asian addition is set in a former Japanese restaurant built to resemble a Kyoto teahouse, complete with tatami mats, in the Grand Wailea Resort; the small plates are inflected with Peruvian and Spanish accents and the global tour continues with a sushi bar and robata grill. 16

20

$16

Paia | 90 Hana Hwy. (Baldwin Ave.) | 808-579-8340 | www.anthonyscoffee.com “A trip to Paia always means stopping off” at this “little coffeehouse”, an “artsy” “hole-in-the-wall” where “the ‘in’ crowd” gathers for its “morning brew” and staffers are “totally cool”; there’s a “good chance of seeing a star” or a “famous surfer” as you sip your “array of aromatic


COST

SERVICE

DECOR

FOOD

MAUI RESTAURANTS

java” and munch on “breakfast sandwiches” or “something sweet” like “pastries galore”, ice cream and homemade pies. 26 17 23 $26 Asian Star Vietnamese Wailuku | 1764 Wili Pa Loop (Imi Kala St.) | 808-244-1833 “One of the better” Vietnamese choices around, this quick-bite cafe hidden in the Wailuku industrial area dishes out “excellent”, “unique” dishes, including the chicken specialty, ga xao xa ot; insiders confide that the “family-oriented” vibe, “friendly” staffers and reasonable prices further amp up its appeal, making it worth seeking out.

Ba-Le Sandwich Shop Vietnamese

22

10

19

$11

Kahului | Maui Mktpl. | 270 Dairy Rd. (Ohekani St.) | 808-877-2400 Lahaina | Lahaina Cannery Mall | 1221 Honoapiilani Hwy. (bet. Kaewe & Kapunakea Sts.) | 808-661-5566 | www.ba-le.com “Can the humble sandwich get any better” than the “affordable” bahn mi, served on “straight-out-of-the-oven French rolls” muse mavens who also satisfy “Vietnamese cravings” for a “quick pho” and baked goods at this “no-frills” family-run chain; the “filling” fare is “very authentic” but it’s definitely “not an eat-in type of place”, so “order at the counter” and get it to go.

25 27 25 $67 Banyan Tree Eclectic Kapalua | Ritz-Carlton Kapalua | 1 Ritz-Carlton Dr. (Office Rd.) | 808-669-6200 | www.ritzcarlton.com Prepare to “be amazed by the breathtaking views of the Pacific” declare acolytes who also deem the open-air setting at this RitzCarlton Kapalua “stunner” simply “picture perfect”; the “delectable” Eclectic cuisine is served with such “graciousness” and is well “worth the splurge” – indeed, it’s “magic all around”, replete with “beautiful people”; P.S. “check out the half-price wine nights” on Wednesdays.

Bistro Casanova Italian/Mediterranean

24

21

21

$31

Kahului | Kahului Shopping Ctr. | 33 Lono Ave. (Kaahumanu Ave.) | 808-873-3650 | www.casanovamaui.com Once boasting garagelike digs, this Italian-Med “gem”, the Kahului sibling of Upcountry’s Casanova, now exudes an “elegant, smooth” ambiance, seducing taste buds with “authentic” dishes that are “adventurous without being overly ambitious”; “preparations are meticulous” and prices “reasonable for the quality” – it’s such an “oasis of good taste” that some insist there’s “no better place for a business lunch” or a meal after a Maui Arts & Cultural Center concert.

20 21 21 $30 Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Seafood Lahaina | 889 Front St. (Papalaua St.) | 808-661-3111 | www.bubbagump.com “Props” and paraphernalia inspired by “Forrest Gump abound” at this “bustling” chain where families satisfy “shrimp cravings” and “attentive” servers “quiz you on movie trivia”; there are “plenty of seafood options”, especially of the fried variety, and it’s “always a winner with the kids”, plus the Big Island branch boasts a “perfect ocean view”; but bashers hiss it’s “for tourists only”, quipping “forget the menu, just give customers a box of chocolates.”

Maui Restaurants A - Z

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COST

SERVICE

DECOR

FOOD

MAUI RESTAURANTS

23 22 22 $38 Buzz’s Wharf Seafood/Steak Maalaea | 960 Front St. (Papalaua St.) | 808-244-5426 | www.buzzswharf.com “Get away from the hustle and bustle of Lahaina and gaze out” over “picturesque” Maalaea Bay Harbor at this steakhouse/seafooder, an “old-time favorite” with a “rustic fishing decor”; but while regulars adore the “balmy” breezes and insist “the legend is true: the Tahiatian prawns are amazing”, others feel it’s lost its buzz, deeming the fare “disappointing for the price.”

Café Mambo Eclectic

24

Cafe O’Lei Seafood/Steak

26

17

21

$24

Paia | 30 Baldwin Ave. (Hana Hwy.) | 808-579-8021 | www.cafemambomaui.com “Just what we were looking for” rejoice diners who shimmy into this “eccentric oasis” with a “boldly colored interior” in the “hippie” town of Paia for “amazing” Eclectic food (including “exceptional” fajitas and “lifechanging” duck burgers) made with “freshly grown” Maui ingredients; “large open windows”, “original art on the walls”, a “delightful” staff and frequent movie nights further ramp up the “chill” vibe. 21

24

$28

Kahului | The Dunes at Maui Laui | 1333 Maui Lani Pkwy. (Kuihelani Hwy.) | 808-877-0073 Kihei | Rainbow Mall | 2439 S. Kihei Rd. (bet. Alanui Ke Alii Rd. & Keonekai St.) | 808-891-1368 Napili | Outrigger Napili Shores | 5315 Lower Honoapiilani Rd. (Napili Pl.) | 808-442-3700 Wailuku | 200 Halewaiu Rd. (Kahekili Hwy.) | 808-242-2770 | www.cafeoleimaui.com “A nice change of pace for those of us seeking respite from pricey Wailea resorts” – this “bright” surf ’n’ turf chainlet is “where you will find the locals digging” into “tasty” fish, “off-the-charts” shellfish, “excellent sushi” and one of the “best lunch deals in town”; the “familyfriendly” atmosphere, “service of aloha” and “reasonable” prices makes it a “popular” spot, so “reservations are a must.”

21 $25 21 24 California Pizza Kitchen Pizza Kahului | Kahului International Airport | 1 Kahului Airport Rd. (Keolani Pl.) | 808-877-5858 | www.cpk.com Loyalists “love” the “generously” sized pizzas including “gluten-free” pies and the “array of appetizing salads” at this “comfortable” chain where they always find something “delicious” and “moderately priced” on the “extensive” menu; staffers are “personable and well trained” and the “kiddos” also like the “upbeat surroundings” – some just “wish the lines were shorter.” 25 26 25 $71 Capische? Italian Wailea | Hotel Wailea | 555 Kaukahi St. (Kalai Waa Dr.) | 808-879-2224 | www.capische.com With “sweeping vistas” of the ocean and Molokini Crater from the “hilltop” of Hotel Wailea, “awesome” Northern Italian prix fixe fare featuring “locally grown ingredients” and lighting that’s “soothing yet mysterious”, this “romantic” hideaway “satisfies all the senses”; “savor an evening libation while enjoying the outdoor seating”, “innovative entrees with local embellishments” and “outstanding” service – a “special occasion has never been so special.” 86

Guide to Hawaii’s Best


DECOR

SERVICE

COST

Casanova Italian

FOOD

MAUI RESTAURANTS

23

19

21

$36

Makawao | 1188 Makawao Ave. (Olinda Rd.) | 808-572-0220 | www.casanovamaui.com “Buon appetito!” cheer loyalists who regularly return to this Upcountry Italian “landmark” in Makawao for “spectacular” pizzas “straight out” of the “wood-burning” oven, “quality” pastas and “stimulating” specials “tweaked with local produce”; it’s “cute and intimate” and the perfect “cap to your day” after “strolling” the “galleries and shops” of this “paniolo (cowboy) town”; P.S. DJs and live music on select nights.

24 18 25 $27 Castaway Café Continental Kaanapali | Aston Maui Kaanapali Villas | 45 Kai Ala Dr. (Puukoi Rd.) | 808-661-9091 | www.castawaycafe.com “One of Maui’s best-kept secrets”, this “funky” beachside “gem” set “away from the madding crowds” in the Aston Maui Kaanapali Villas boasts breakfasts that “can’t be beat”, plus it’s one of the “best places to enjoy sunset” and a Continental dinner; drift out to the patio and eat “right on the sand” with “panoramic” ocean views.

Charley’s American

21

Cheeseburger in Paradise/ Cheeseburger Island Style American

19

Cilantro Grill Mexican

23

CJ’s Deli & Diner American

20

16

20

$21

Paia | 142 Hana Hwy. (Baldwin Ave.) | 808-579-8085 | www.charleysmaui.com If you’re looking for “hippies, cowboys, surfers” and “reliable” American food, head to this “laid-back” Paia watering hole, featuring “a large bar” and serving up one of the “best breakfasts on Maui” including “hubcapsize” macadamia pancakes ; you’ll find “Willie Nelson pictures on the walls”, as well as the man himself on occasion, since locals confide it’s his “favorite Maui hangout.” 19

18

$22

Lahaina | 811 Front St. (Lahainaluna Rd.) | 808-661-4855 Wailea | Shops at Wailea | 3750 Waila Alanui Dr. (Wailea Ike Dr.) | 808874-8990 | www.cheeseburgerland.com When you “need your cheeseburger fix”, this American is “the place” crow vacationers who also crowd into Maui and Oahu’s chain links with a “relaxed, open-air, people-watching vibe” for “excellent waffle fries”, onion rings and sliders; “delicious drinks and live music make this chain an institution on the islands”, though a few beef it’s just “mediocre” and dis the “pseudo-tiki” decor. 14

20

$16

Lahaina | Old Lahaina Ctr. | 170 Papalaua Ave. (bet. Front & Wainee Sts.) | 808-667-5444 | www.cilantrogrill.com For “Mexican without the guilt”, steer over to this Old Lahaina Center taqueria, a “casual” BYO/take-out “gem” dishing out “innovative” eats in a strip-mall setting enlivened with metal mirrors and painted tortilla presses; the “healthy” tacos and burritos are “easy on the budget” and served by a “staff that cares, and it shows in every bite”; P.S. the to-go “rotisserie chicken is a must.” 16

18

$18

Kaanapali | Fairway Shops | 2580 Keka’a Dr. (Honoapiilani Hwy.) | 808-667-0968 | www.cjsmaui.com “When you get tired of fish and want a casual meal” or a sandwich made with the “good stuff” like “real roast turkey”, head to this

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MAUI RESTAURANTS

Kaanapali deli, a “can’t-miss” option for “families on Maui”; “order at the counter” from the “huge, varied menu” and chill in the cozy digs, or ask the “friendly” staff to “pack you a lunch” to go. 27 19 25 $17 Coconut’s Fish Café Seafood Kihei | 1279 S. Kihei Rd. (Piikea Ave.) | 808-875-9979 | www.coconutsfishcafe.com “No frills, just well-prepared food”, particularly the “perfect fish taco, hands down” one of the best “on the island” crow Kihei regulars who crowd into this “casual”, “little local” BYO seafooder owned by a “friendly and personable” proprietor; chow at the surfboard tables or get it to go – either way you’re in for an “excellent” meal. 25 19 25 $25 Colleen’s at the Cannery American Haiku | Haiku Cannery Mktpl. | 810 Haiku Rd. (Kokomo Rd.) | 808-575-9211 | www.colleensinhaiku.com “Located in a now-defunct” pineapple cannery turned marketplace, this all-day Haiku New American boasting black booths, a “laid-back” “Upcountry vibe” and “top-shelf” service delivers “gourmet meals at budget prices” to a “very local crowd”; “there’s something for everyone”, from a “hearty breakfast menu that doesn’t disappoint” to “tasty” fish ’n’ chips to “off-the-culinary-charts” dishes, all made from local and organic ingredients, and served in “real portions” that leave diners “satisfied.”

Cool Cat Cafe Burgers

22

19

19

$22

Da Kitchen Hawaiian

25

Dragon Dragon Chinese

21

88

Guide to Hawaii’s Best

Lahaina | 658 Front St. (Luakini St.) | 808-667-0908 | www.coolcatcafe.com “What can be better than sitting” in a “quaint ’50s diner–style” cafe near Lahaina Harbor enjoying “good and juicy” Angus beef burgers and “outstanding onion rings and fries” while “viewing all of the activity under the local Banyan tree” muse cool cats who also dig the nightly entertainment; the fare is “understated simple”, plus there are “plenty of other options” too (“love the fresh fish tacos”), making it “fun for ‘kids’ of all ages.” 15

21

$17

Kahului | 425 Koloa St. (Hana Hwy.) | 808-871-7782 Kihei | Rainbow Mall | 2439 S. Kihei Rd. (bet. Alanui Ke Alii Rd. & Keonekai St.) | 808-875-7782 | www.da-kitchen.com For the “true Hawaiian food experience” head to this outfit in Kahului and Kihei serving “cheap”, “flavorful” fare, including “salads the size of troughs” and “blue-plate–style lunch plates” like the loco moco, that’ll “blow you away” and is sure to get “doggie-bagged”; “don’t expect ambiance” but do count on a “bit of a wait” at lunchtime, with locals “lined up at the door.” 19

21

$25

Kahului | Maui Mall | 70 E. Kaahumanu Ave. (Hana Hwy.) | 808-893-1628 Tucked in a Kahului mall, this “bright”, “comfortable” Chinese standby is one of the few on the island where you can “savor dim sum at lunch and a full, family-style dinner” of “delicate” and “upscale” dishes with a “Cantonese seafood flair”; the “authentic” fare, “red lanterns” and “big, round lazy Susan–equipped tables” make it the local go-to for “celebrations”, and if staffers sometimes seem “standoffish”, they’re also quite “efficient.”


FOOD

DECOR

SERVICE

COST

Duke’s Beach House Pacific Rim

22

24

21

$38

Duo Seafood/Steak

26

MAUI RESTAURANTS

Kaanapali | Honua Kai Resort & Spa | 130 Kai Malina Pkwy. (Lower Honoapiilani Rd.) | 808-662-2900 | www.dukesmaui.com “You cannot beat the view” from your perch “right smack-dab on the beach” at this Honua Kai Resort & Spa offshoot of the Canoe Club rave visitors who enjoy “gorgeous sunsets” and “whale-watch right from the table” while dining on “delicious” Pacific Rim dishes; the open-air setting is “full of memorabilia” dedicated to the “great Duke Kahanamoku, Hawaii’s most famous surf legend”, further setting the scene for “gastronomic guilty pleasures” under the “tiki torches.” 26

27

$69

Wailea | Four Seasons Resort Maui | 3900 Wailea Alanui Dr. (Wailea Ike Dr.) | 808-874-8000 | www.fourseasons.com/maui Thanks to the “magical service”, “exceptionally well-done modern steak and seafood” and poolside setting, guests “never want for anything” at this open-air surf ’n’ turfer in the Four Seasons Resort Maui; “order a good bottle of wine” with your “candlelit romantic dinner”, then “enjoy the stars” with “cotton candy to finish it off”, or indulge in the breakfast buffet that’s an “absolute pleasure”; but “wow”, it’s “expensive”, so “save this baby for special occasions.”

25 11 19 $15 Eskimo Candy Seafood Market Seafood Kihei | 2665 Wai Wai Pl. | 808-891-8898 | www.eskimocandy.com “You cannot get seafood any fresher than at a fish market”, which is, in fact, the flip side of this Kihei cafe’s business that’s named for the belly strip of a smoked salmon and tucked inside a warehouse building; buy fresh catch “right off the boat” to “cook at your condo” or stay for “spicy poke”, “terrific fries”, even “huge burgers” – but “get there early because they run out”; P.S. open Monday–Friday.

Famous Dave’s BBQ

17

Ferraro’s Italian

25

15

17

$21

Lahaina | 736 Front St. (Dickenson St.) | 808-661-1126 | www.famousdaveshi.com “Watch the people pass by below the balcony” or enjoy the “exotic view of the Pacific from your table” at this “casual” BBQ standby in Lahaina where cue-meisters find a “large choice” of classics including pork, brisket, chicken and catfish; but purists pout it’s “nothing to rave about”, deeming it a “safe call for the non-risk-taking rib eaters.” 28

27

$66

Wailea | Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea | 3900 Wailea Alanui Dr. (Wailea Ike Dr.) | 808-874-8000 | www.fourseasons.com “You’re in trouble” if “you can’t fall in love” over a “candelit meal” at this “romantic” Italian at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, voted No. 1 for Decor among the island’s restaurants quip acolytes seduced by the “off-the-charts” cuisine coupled with a “wine list that’s extensive but expensive” and “outstanding service”; request a “table as far out toward the water as you can get” and soak up the “commanding” ocean views, “spectacular” sunsets and “beautiful ambiance under beach umbrellas.”

Maui Restaurants A - Z

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Five Palms Beach Grill Pacific Rim/Seafood 23 26 23 $34 Kihei | Mana Kai Resort | 2960 S. Kihei Rd. (bet. Ala Koa St. & Kilohana Dr.) | 808-879-2607 | www.fivepalmsrestaurant.com “You can almost dip your toes into the water” at this Pacific Rim seafood “gem” offering “simply unmatched” “patio views” of Keawakapu Beach in Kihei; whether you “watch the sun slowly sink into the Pacific” while dining on “wonderful fresh fish served with a bit of style”, enjoy a “cocktail in hand and the sweet Hawaiian breeze in your hair” or “breakfast into the afternoon”, it’s an “excellent open-air experience.” — — — — Fleetwood’s on Front Street American Lahaina | 744 Front St. (bet. Dickenson St. & Lahainaluna Rd.) | 808-669-6425 | www.fleetwoodsonfrontst.com Owned by Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood and overseen by chef Scott Leibfried of Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares fame, this American concept gets top billing for its fabulous location on the rooftop of the old Lahaina Store; the menu runs the gamut of greatest hits, including burgers, grilled fish and flatbread pizzas; P.S. a red flag outside signals when the British rock star is in the house.

Gannon’s - A Pacific View Restaurant

22

25

22

$50

Genki Sushi Japanese

20

Gerard’s French

28

90

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Hawaii Reg. Wailea | Wailea Golf Course | 100 Wailea Golf Club Dr. (Wailea Alanui Dr.) | 808-875-8080 | www.gannonsrestaurant.com “Innovative yet satisfying” “upscale island cuisine” from chef Bev Gannon, one of the founders of the “Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement” and owner of Upcountry’s Hali’imaile General Store and Joe’s Bar & Grill in Wailea, is just one reason to take a “short detour” to this “elegant, open-air” Wailea destination; the “glorious setting high on a hill overlooking paradise” offers “sweeping views” of the Emerald Golf Course and the shoreline, and service is “gracious”, making for a “totally beautiful meal.” 16

19

$24

Kahului | Maui Mall | 70 E. Kaahumanu Ave. (Hana Hwy.) | 808-873-7776 Lahaina | Lahaina Gateway | 435 Keawe St. (Honoapiilani Hwy.) | 808-661-0333 | www.genkisushiusa.com “Beginners choose only from the passing plates” at this “kaiten” (conveyor belt) Japanese chain where a “never-ending” supply of “freshly made” and “economical” sushi “galore floats by you”, while “braver and more experienced diners special-order from picture menus”; if a few feel it’s “nothing spectacular”, even they concede it’s “perfect for kids who get a kick” out of the “interactiveness” or for “satisfying a midday craving” without “breaking the bank.” 26

27

$72

Lahaina | The Plantation Inn | 174 Lahainaluna Rd. (bet. Luakini & Wainee Sts.) | 808-661-8939 | www.gerardsmaui.com “France comes to Hawaii” via Gerard Reversade’s “picturesque” Victorian in Lahaina where the “tropical hospitality” and “outstanding service” (rated No. 1 among Maui restaurants) treat you “like a royal, with very royal prices”; “request the veranda” – “you feel like a guest on a pineapple plantation at the turn of the century” – or the “garden that’s


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as beautiful as the interior” and enjoy “delectable French cuisine with a Polynesian touch”, each course “masterfully executed and presented.” 21 17 20 $17 Grandma’s Coffeehouse Coffeehouse Kula | 9232 Kula Hwy. (Thompson Rd.) | 808-878-2140 | www.grandmascoffee.com A “rare throwback to times gone by”, this “down-home, Upcountry classic” coffeehouse along the Kula Highway feels like “your own secret hideaway”; “schmooze” with locals and enjoy house-roasted organic java grown on the slopes of Haleakala with “delicious muffins” and baked goods or an “ambitious” American lunch menu “with flair”, then “stroll outside” to the deck and drink in the “truly memorable” views of the mountains and seaside.

Hali’imaile General Store Hawaii Reg.

27

23

26

$51

Hali’imaile | 900 Haliimaile Rd. (Makomako St.) | 808-572-2666 | www.bevgannonrestaurants.com “Before farm-to-fork became the buzzword” there was chef Bev Gannon’s “beacon” of Hawaii Regional cuisine “nestled at the base of Haleakala” in Hali’imaile, showcasing “elegant but unpretentious” fare made with ingredients from “local purveyors”, served by a “caring staff” in digs “inspired by the pineapple plantations”; to say it’s “worth the drive” is a “massive understatement” – loyalists “would fly to Maui just for a meal here”; P.S. insiders advise “don’t settle for the back room.”

22 21 23 $54 Hana Ranch American/Burgers Hana | 5031 Hana Hwy. (bet. Hauoli Rd. & Keawa Pl.) | 808-270-5280 | www.travaasa.com/hana At the “end of a long road” in Hana you’ll find this ranch serving “surprisingly fresh and varied” “American favorites with an island touch” including “juicy, cooked-to-order burgers” and “elegant desserts”; the “remote location” offers a “view of the great Haleakala at your back and the great open Pacific ocean at sunset” – it’s a “pure delight” that’s “worth the twists and turns” and “should be savored.”

Hard Rock Cafe American

17

23

19

$31

Lahaina | Lahaina Ctr. | 900 Front St. (bet. Baker & Papalaua Sts.) | 808-667-7400 | www.hardrock.com “It’s not just guitars and records lining the walls but also surfboards” and “iconic surfing culture stuff” that strike a chord with “homesick” tourists at these chain links in Waikiki and Lahaina dishing out “mainland burgers” and other American “comfort food”; but while the “rock ’n’ roll memorabilia” and “awesome ocean view” make it the “perfect” teen destination to buy “souvenir T-shirts”, most report the “predictable” fare is “nothing to write home about.”

23 21 21 $10 Honolulu Coffee Company Coffeehouse Wailea | The Shops of Wailea | 3750 Wailea Alanui Dr. (Wailea Ike Dr.) | 808-875-6630 | www.honolulucoffee.com The “aroma of freshly brewed coffee is addicting” agree regulars who elbow their way into these “convenient”, “crowded” Honolulu (and Wailea) branches for Kona java roasted artisan-style in small batches; the “to-die-for” desserts, including French macarons, cakes and cookies and morning pastries, are the ultimate “complement”, while perks like “talented” baristas and a “delightful setting” amp up its buzz factor. Maui Restaurants A - Z

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Honu Pizza/Seafood

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25

23

25

$49

Lahaina | 1295 Front St. (Kapunakea St.) | 808-667-9390 | www.honumaui.com “Delicious New England–style food with an aloha twist” and “excellent” brick-oven pizza lure loyalists to this “modern, industrial-style” Lahaina seafooder with a “crowded, fun island vibe” owned by “fine host” Mark Ellman, chef-owner of Mala Ocean Tavern next door; with tables “just a couple of feet away from the ocean”, the views are “unparalleled”, while the “stunningly” fresh fish “tickles your taste buds” – little wonder locals crown it a “true winner.”

22 24 22 $38 Hula Grill Pacific Rim Kaanapali | Whalers Vill. | 2435 Kaanapali Pkwy. (Kekaa Dr.) | 808-667-6636 | www.hulagrill.com Go “barefoot in paradise” at this “bustling” seaside Pacific Rim “treat” in Outrigger Waikiki and Whalers Village, where you can “scrunch your toes in the sand”, enjoy “terrific mai tais while listening to live Hawaiian music” and watch “exceptional sunsets” and the “whales pop up”; if some snark that it’s “crowded” and “touristy”, most find that “eating pupu and watching the beach action” just “can’t be topped.” 24 25 24 $67 I’O Asian Lahaina | 505 Front St. (Shaw St.) | 808-661-8422 | www.iomaui.com Enjoy “dinner in paradise” at this “beachfront haven”, a “romantic foodie gem” in Lahaina where “tiki torches glow while trade winds blow” and “celebrity chef” James McDonald’s “outstanding” Pan-Asian fare spotlights “fresh fish and gorgeous sauces” and produce “grown Upcountry” on the restaurant’s farm; “service is aces”, revealing the “same attention to detail” as sister restaurant Pacific’O, plus you can “eavesdrop” on the Feast at Lele luau next door. 22

23

$30

Isana Korean

24

Japengo Pacific Rim/Sushi

24

Joe’s Bar & Grill American

24

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Guide to Hawaii’s Best

Kihei | 515 S. Kihei Rd. (bet. Kaonoulu St. & Ohukai Rd.) | 808-874-5700 | www.isanarestaurant.net This “traditional, untouristy” Korean BBQ spot owned by “hardworking” proprietors in Kihei is an “absolute local gem”, serving “the works”, from bibimbop to mandoo to “delicious” and “fresh” sushi; enjoy the “well-prepared” dishes “slow-cooked with great care and attention” over the “built-in grill on your table” and “breathtaking” sunset views, and leave with a “full stomach”; P.S. no BYO allowed. 24

22

$59

Kaanapali | Hyatt Regency Maui | 200 Nohea Kai Dr. (Kaanapali Pkwy.) | 808-667-4796 | www.maui.hyatt.com “A stunningly good surprise” agree go-getters who delight in the “excellent” sushi and Pac Rim dishes enhanced by the Hyatt Regency Maui’s “fantastic ambiance”, an “incredible” view of the waterfalls and Kaanapali Beach plus perhaps “one of the most beautiful sunsets you’ll ever witness”; the fare is made with locally grown, exotic ingredients and a few feel it’s “pricey” , but “worth it for the creativity.” 21

25

$47

Wailea | 131 Wailea Ike Pl. (Wailea Ike Dr.) | 808-875-7767 | www.bevgannonrestaurants.com “Tough to find but worth the effort”, this “cozy, hidden, but in-plainview hideaway” overlooking the Wailea Tennis Club owned by celeb chef


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Bev Gannon and her husband, Joe, “jumps” with diners craving “simply delicious” New American “comfort food” with a Hawaiian touch; service is “gracious” and the “funky” location has a “welcoming” “treehouse feel”; if some nix the “noisy” courts below, even they “would definitely return for the chow.”

Kimo’s American/Seafood

23

Kobe Japanese Steak House & Oku’s Sushi Bar Japanese/Steak

24

Koho Grill & Bar American

21

22

22

$38

Lahaina | 845 Front St. (Lahainaluna Rd.) | 808-661-4811 | www.kimosmaui.com “You can’t get much closer to the ocean and keep dry feet” than this “perennial favorite” American seafooder offering “views of Lahaina Harbor”, “excellent” fin fare like local opakapaka and “monster-sized prime rib”; with “unforgettable sunsets”, a “festive atmosphere” and a “spectacular” location, it’s “always crowded” and most “definitely a tourist spot but unapologetically so”; P.S. “everyone loves” the hula pie for dessert. 20

23

$46

Lahaina | 136 Dickenson St. (Luakini St.) | 808-667-5555 | www.kobemaui.com “It’s all about a show” at these independently owned Japanese steakhouses in Waikiki and Lahaina where “colorful” teppanyaki chefs “wield knives to entertain” diners and “cook right in front of your eyes”, working in “harmony” with servers to create an “enjoyable experience”; “hearty” portions of “perfectly seasoned” meat and “plenty of sushi choices” add to its appeal for “large parties and families”; if some beef about “long waits” and “smoky” environs, most retort it’s “absolutely worth it.” 17

22

$21

Kahului | Queen Kaahumanu Ctr. | 275 W. Kaahumanu Ave. (Kea St.) | 808-877-5588 “What you see is what you get” at this Kahului American dishing up “simple, easy meals” like “consistently good medium-rare burgers” in a “comfortable atmosphere”; it may not be “much to look at” but it’s a family “favorite” frequented by “real people” who also appreciate that the “courteous” staffers strive to “take care of every desire.”

18 12 17 $14 L&L Hawaiian Barbecue BBQ/Hawaiian Kahului | 270 Dairy Rd. (Kea St.) | 808-873-0323 Kihei | Piilani Village Shopping Ctr. | 247 Piikea Ave. (Liloa Dr.) | 808-875-8898 Lahaina | Lahaina Cannery Mall | 1221 Honoapiilani Hwy. (bet. Kaewe & Kapunakea Sts.) | 808-661-9888 Wailukui | 790 Eha St. (Hookahi St.) | 808-242-1380 | www.hawaiianbarbecue.com A “local staple”, this “ubiquitous” “no-frills” chain with statewide locations serves up “generous portions” of “guilty pleasure” Hawaiian BBQ favorites that always leave patrons “full and satisfied”; if a few ’cuemeisters kvetch it’s “heavy on the starch”, emphasizing “quantity over quality”, for most it’s a “cheap, quick and easy” option and “always hits the spot.”

Maui Restaurants A - Z

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Lahaina Coolers Eclectic

FOOD

MAUI RESTAURANTS

21

17

21

$25

Lahaina | 180 Dickenson St. (Wainee St.) | 808-661-7082 | www.lahainacoolers.com “Insane food, local charm and great bartenders too – what more do you want?” ask cohorts of this “off-the-beaten-track” Eclectic “hangout”, a three-meal mainstay that may be “Lahaina’s best-kept secret”; “love the openness” of the “bright, cheery” room and courtyard – it’s such an “easygoing” spot to “kick back” and enjoy “fresh” fish tacos and “latenight eats”; still, disbelievers sigh it’s “all-around mediocre.”

27 24 25 $64 Lahaina Grill American Lahaina | Lahaina Inn | 127 Lahainaluna Rd. (Front St.) | 808-667-5117 | www.lahainagrill.com “Delectable food” and “exceptional art adorning the walls” “make for a lovely Maui evening with a touch of quiet sophistication” sigh devotees of this “simply amazing” yet “not pretentious” Lahaina New American set in a historic inn; some “splurge” dishes, like the veal chop, may leave you “spoiled for life”, especially when accompanied by the “truly excellent wine list and knowledgeable advice of the sommelier”; in short, it’s a “home run” every time. 19

17

$60

Lahaina Prime Rib & Fish Company

19

Makawao Steak House Steak

22

Mala Ocean Tavern & Honu /Mala Wailea

25

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Guide to Hawaii’s Best

Pacific Rim/Seafood Lahaina | 831 Front St. (Lahainaluna Rd.) | 808-661-3472 | www.lahainafishcompany.com “Open to the elements, just the way we like it!” rejoice diners who enjoy “gorgeous views” of Lanai Channel and “excellent” Maui fish and Angus prime rib at this Pacific Rim seafooder on Lahaina’s Front Street; but others are mostly reeled in by the locale, noting the waterfront location is its “primary asset.” 20

22

$42

Makawao | 3612 Baldwin Ave. (Nakui St.) | 808-572-8711 “A carnivores delight”, this “off-the-beaten-path” Makawao steakhouse is a “comfortable standard” catering mostly to locals; the “cozy” and “charming” setting, replete with a “huge brick fireplace” and “Upcountry Maui paniolo” (or cowboy) decor coupled with “big, juicy” slabs of beef, makes it a “classic” worth visiting “time and time again.” 22

24

$47

Hawaii Reg./Seafood Lahaina | 1307 Front St. (Kapunakea St.) | 808-667-9394 | www.malaoceantavern.com Wailea | Marriott Wailea Beach Resort & Spa | 3700 Wailea Alanui Dr. (Wailea Ike Dr.) | 808-875-9394 | www.malawailea.com “Plan your day so you’re on the deck for sunset” advise viewmasters who double down to Mark Ellman’s Hawaii Regional seafooder duo in Maui for “really inventive” “local wonders” that “diverge from the typical island menu”; at Lahaina’s “sweet location on the water” you may see “surfacing turtles a stone’s throw away”, while the Marriott Wailea locale is also a “standout”; both boast photos from celeb patrons and while “tiny”, “intimacy is a great part of the ambiance.”


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28 27 26 $68 Mama’s Fish House Pacific Rim/Seafood Kuau | 799 Poho Pl. (State Hwy. 36) | 808-579-8488 | www.mamasfishhouse.com “The freshest fish”, “gracious” service and “tropical breezes make for an unforgettable experience” exult enthusiasts who find “heavenly bliss” at this “intimate” Pacific Rim seafooder in Kuau that’s as crowd-pleasing as a “rock concert” – in fact, it’s voted Most Popular and No. 1 for Food among Maui restaurants; “come before the sun goes down over the swaying palms on their private beach” and enjoy “unbelievable” daily catch that “identifies the fisherman” on the menu; “wow”, it’s “expensive”, but “if you’re a foodie, you’ll gladly pay.”

Mama’s Ribs ‘N Rotisserie BBQ

21

5

17

$16

Kihei | Kukui Mall | 1819 S. Kihei Rd. (Waimahaihai St.) | 808-875-7755 Napili | Napili Plaza | 5095 Napilihau St. (Hanawai St.) | 808-665-6262 | www.mamasribsmaui.com “A hole-in-the-wall surprise”, this “family-owned” BBQ duo in Napili and Kihei offers “wonderful” “soul food Maui-style”, serving “excellent” chicken and ribs; the “popular” dishes “often sell out”, so “call ahead” and “get it to go” – it’s “nice for pickup on a lazy night” plus the picnic table “seating is basically in a parking lot.”

15 20 $25 19 Marco’s Grill & Deli Italian Kahului | 444 Hana Hwy. (Dairy Rd.) | 808-877-4446 “Convenience is the secret to their success” confide airport-bound insiders who “drop in to get a bite” at this Kahului Italian then take their “food up and away”; the “atmosphere is a bit like a nice coffee shop” and service isn’t especially “outstanding” – it’s “just comfortable and quick” and prices are “reasonable”, ergo, it’s a “popular spot.” 16 26 $30 27 Market Fresh Bistro Mediterranean Makawao | The Courtyard | 3620 Baldwin Ave. (Nakui St.) | 808-572-4877 “Talk about local eats” – chef Justin Pardo conjures up “serious” Med fare “prepared impeccably” from “fresh” ingredients at his “small cafe in the middle” of Makawao, a “country”-ish affair that’s “quaint and classy at the same time”; the “inspired” menu for breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner (twice-monthly themed tastings) “encourages diners to be adventurous”; “professional service” and Sunday brunch further underscore why marketeers insist “do not pass this by.”

Maui Brewing Co. Pub Food

18

16

20

$25

Kahana | Kahana Gateway Shopping Ctr. | 4405 Honoapiilani Hwy. (Hoohui Rd.) | 808-669-3474 | www.mauibrewingco.com This Kahana strip-mall brewpub offers an “excellent selection of guest beers plus its own” “swell” handcrafted ales and lagers like Maui Blond, Coconut Porter and Big Swell IPA, made with natural ingredients; soak up the suds with “typical bar fare” such as pizza, burgers and other American eats; if some don’t bubble with enthusiasm, carping it’s “nothing spectacular”, fans cheer it’s “delicious.”

Maui Restaurants A - Z

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Maui Fish & Pasta Eclectic/Hawaiian

20

21

21

$36

Maui Tacos Mexican

20

MAUI RESTAURANTS

Kaanapali | Whalers Vill. | 2435 Kaanapali Pkwy. (Nohea Kai Dr.) | 808-662-0668 | www.mauifishandpasta.com Formerly Cane & Taro and owned by D.K. Kodama of the “famous Sansei”, this “insiders’ secret” in Whalers Village serves “unique” Eclectic/Hawaiian meals “using locally grown products to the fullest extent possible”; the “location is perfect”, with “cool breezes blowing in from the ocean”, and many are hooked on the “savory breakfasts”, but some find dinner rather “esoteric”, carping they “expected more.” 12

17

$14

Kahului | Queen Kaahumanu Ctr. | 275 W. Kaahumanu Ave. (Kea St.) | 808-871-7726 Kihei | Kamaole Beach Ctr. | 2411 S. Kihei Rd. (Alanui Kealii Dr.) | 808-879-5005 Kihei | Piilani Village Shopping Ctr. | 247 Piikea Ave. (Liloa Dr.) | 808-875-9340 Lahaina | Lahaina Square Shopping Ctr. | 840 Wainee St. (bet. Lahainaluna Rd. & Papalaua St.) | 808-661-8883 Napili | Napili Plaza | 5095 Napilihau St. (Honoapiilani Hwy.) | 808-665-0222 | www.mauitacos.com “For real local-fied Mexican, there’s no better place” than this statewide chain, especially if you’re looking for a “quickie lunch” of “cheap eats” or “craving something ‘south of the border’”; “spice up your food according to taste” at the salsa bar offering a “plethora” of condiments, and get it to go since there’s “no decor” to speak of.

27 25 25 $62 Merriman’s Hawaii Reg. Kapalua | Kapalua Resort | 1 Bay Club Pl. (Lower Honoapiilani Rd.) | 808-669-6400 | www.merrimanshawaii.com What a “taste extravaganza!” rave fans who merrily make their way to chef Peter Merriman’s “true gem” in Waimea, voted No. 1 for Food on Big Island and Most Popular among Big Island and Kauai restaurants; the “farm-to-table ingredients shine through” in “every bite” – almost a given since the owner is “one of the Hawaii Regional pioneers” – while the “wine list is impressive” and service “sincere”; P.S. the Kapalua and Poipu locales offer “unparalleled views.”

Monkeypod Kitchen Hawaii Reg.

23

24

23

$39

Nick’s Fishmarket Seafood

25

96

Guide to Hawaii’s Best

Wailea | Wailea Gateway Shopping Ctr. | 10 Wailea Gateway Pl. (Piilani Hwy.) | 808-891-2322 | www.monkeypodkitchen.com Local celeb chef Peter Merriman (Merriman’s, Market Cafe, etc.) has another “hit” with this “moderately priced” Hawaii Regional in the Wailea Gateway Center say fans who cheer the “varied” offerings made with the “freshest farm-to-table ingredients”, plus the “large beer selection” and “extensive cocktail menu”; “attentive” staffers work the “beautifully designed” “casual” space while the “busy bar scene” hums during the “highly recommended” happy hour and on weekends when it’s “jammed with singles.” 23

24

$62

Wailea | Fairmont Kea Lani | 4100 Wailea Alanui Dr. (Kaukahi St.) | 808-879-7224 | www.tristarrestaurants.com “Put on your casually elegant outfit and treat yourself” attest admirers of this seafooder in Wailea’s Fairmont Kea Lani where “high-quality” cooking combined with “attentive” service and a “memorable” “lush


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garden setting” set the stage for a “romantic” evening; just be prepared for “sticker shock” when the bill comes. 22 20 18 $43 ‘Ono Bar & Grill American/Hawaiian Kaanapali | Westin Maui Resort & Spa | 2365 Kaanapali Pkwy. (KNohea Kai Dr.) | 808-667-2525 | www.westinmaui.com “Surprisingly good for a resort patio restaurant” attest visitors who nab poolside seats beneath thatched umbrellas at this “pretty” Westin Maui spot overlooking Kaanapali Beach; the AmericanHawaiian menu features “delicious” dishes that are just right for a “light or quick dinner” plus there’s also an “excellent” daily breakfast buffet; still, a handful feel the “pricey” fare “could use a little pizzazz.”

Outback Steakhouse Steak

22

21

22

$40

Kihei | Pi’ilani Shopping Center | 281 Piikea Ave. (Liloa Dr.) | 808-879-8400 Lahaina | Lahaina Gateway | 325 Keawe St. (Honoapiilani Hwy.) | 808-665-1822 | www.outback.com “Cut the chitchat and bring me my bloomin’ onion” quip patrons who also gallop over to these national chain branches for “tender, juicy and oh-so-good” steak, served in a “friendly Aussie atmosphere”; “you can always count on” your “sizzling” beef “done just the way you like it” – in fact, the “formula is intact”, a plus when craving a “taste of the mainland.”

25 24 25 $62 Pacific’O Pacific Rim/Seafood Lahaina | 505 Front St. (Shaw St.) | 808-667-4341 | www.pacificomaui.com “Capture a seat at sunset” and “enjoy creative cuisine in paradise” at chef James McDonald’s “romantic” Lahaina Pac Rim seafooder; “feast on local fish you’ve never heard of” accompanied by “eclectic sauces” and “fresh, organic” vegetables grown Upcountry at his farm in Kula, which taste as if “harvested minutes before serving”; rounding out the “inspired” meal: “unobtrusive service” and an “excellent wine list.” 25 12 16 $21 Paia Fish Market Seafood Paia | 100 Hana Hwy (Baldwin Ave.) | 808-579-8030 | www.paiafishmarket.com “A fisherman-to-table restaurant”, this “legendary” Paia seafooder serves up an “only-in-Hawaii mix of fresh local” catch, plate lunches and “hefty sandwiches at fair prices” in “totally laid-back” surroundings replete with “communal-style” tables; it’s “not much on the ambiance”, but it’s “always jammed” and for good reason: “generous slabs of fish”, “fish tacos, fish burgers, it doesn’t matter” – it’s all “divine.”

Pineapple Grill Pacific Rim

24

22

24

$59

Kapalua | Kapalua Resort | 200 Kapalua Dr. (Lower Honoapillani Rd.) | 808-669-9600 | www.pineapplekapalua.com The “picturesque” Kapalua Resort golf course setting with a “beautiful view” of the “manicured fairways and Pacific Ocean in the distance” underscores the “great character” of this “charming venue” where diners enjoy “fresh, original” Pacific Rim fare and feel cosseted by “professional” service; the loco moco will “knock your cholesterol off the counter” – in fact, everything is “mouthwateringly irresistible”, including the “signature” Maui Gold pineapple upside-down cake.

Maui Restaurants A - Z

97


FOOD

DECOR

SERVICE

COST

Plantation House Mediterranean

23

27

24

$56

Polli’s Mexican

25

MAUI RESTAURANTS

Kapalua | Plantation Golf Course | 2000 Plantation Club Dr. (Honokohau St.) | 808-669-6299 | www.theplantationhouse.com “Perched above the 18th fairway” of the “gorgeous” Plantation Golf Course, this “excellent” Kapalua Med dazzles diners with its “panoramic views of the hillside, ocean” and “surrounding islands”; thanks to the “charming” environs and “beautiful veranda”, “innovative” fish and locally sourced dishes and a “professional” staff that treats you “like a celebrity or famous golfer” you’ll “never want to leave.” 23

24

$62

Makawao | 1202 Makawao Ave. (Baldwin Ave.) | 808-572-7808 | www.pollismexicanrestaurant.com “If you have a hankering” for “fresh, well-prepared” Mexican, this “small” Makawao standby is the “right call”; the “authentic food”, including “homestyle” quesadillas and enchiladas and “frosty margaritas”, is both “awesome and plentiful”, ensuring that the joint is ‘always crowded” with “lots of locals”; some “wish it was bigger” but say it still makes for a “fun evening Upcountry.”

23 16 19 $20 Round Table Pizza Pizza Kaanapali | Fairway Shops | 2580 Kekaa Dr. (Honoapiilani Hwy.) | 808-662-0777 Kihei | 207 Piikea Ave. (Liloa Dr.) | 808-874-8485 | www.roundtablepizzamaui.com The “awesome” array of “delicious pizza loaded with toppings” at these Oahu and Maui offshoots of the national chain come in kingly sizes “to share or singles” all sure to “satisfy even the pickiest eater”; if a few lords and ladies in waiting mode find servers “slow”, most “relax” and watch the “live sports on the big-screen TVs.”

Roy’s Hawaii Reg.

26

23

25

$57

Ruth’s Chris Steak House Steak

27

98

Guide to Hawaii’s Best

Lahaina | Kahana Gateway Shopping Ctr. | 2290 Kaanapali Hwy. (Hoohui Rd.) | 808-669-6999 | www.royshawaii.com Voted Most Popular Restaurant chain in Oahu, Big Island and Maui, the “godfather” of Hawaii Regional cuisine “still shines” insist loyalists who patronize Roy Yamaguchi’s “epicurean delight”, including the “original” Hawaii Kai “mother ship”; “pupu through dessert”, “each morsel makes your mouth happy” (try the “terrific” signature blackened ahi and “sublime” chocolate lava cake) and it’s all “complemented by a sophisticated wine list”, “cordial” service and “cosmopolitan” atmosphere; if wistful sorts say it was “more interesting once upon a time”, for most it’s “always a treat.” 24

26

$68

Lahaina | Lahaina Ctr. | 900 Front St. (bet. Baker & Papalaua Sts.) | 808-661-8815 Wailea | Shops at Wailea | 3750 Wailea Alanui Dr. (Wailea Ike Dr.) | 808-874-8880 “Perfectly” cooked, “melt-in-your-mouth” steaks and “awesome” sides like creamed spinach and au gratin potatoes are the draw at this national chophouse chain’s Hawaii links; from the “smooth, unobtrusive service” and “quiet, dignified decor” to your “pricey” meal that’s “worth every cent”, it “never varies, never surprises but never disappoints.”


COST

SERVICE

DECOR

FOOD

MAUI RESTAURANTS

26 20 23 $47 Sansei Japanese/Pacific Rim Kapalua | Kapalua Resort | 600 Office Rd. (Village Rd.) | 808-669-6286 Kihei | Kihei Town Ctr. | 1881 S. Kihei Rd. (Halelani Pl.) | 808-879-0004 | www.sanseihawaii.com The “amazing array of exquisite” sushi coupled with “scrumptious” entrees and cocktails lures loyalists to this “fabulous”, “clublike” Japanese–Pacific Rim chainlet; “sit at the sushi bar and leave it to the chefs to prepare fish so fresh, you’d think they just plucked it out of the sea”, though prepare to wait “forever if you don’t have a reservation”; P.S. “don’t forget the early-bird specials” or weekend karaoke.

Sarento’s on the Beach Mediterranean

24

25

24

$64

Kihei | 2980 S. Kihei Rd. (Kilohana Dr.) | 808-875-7555 | www.sarentosonthebeach.com “Hidden away” in a “fabulous location” on Keawakapu Beach in Kihei with “perfect sunsets”, this “romantic” Mediterranean sibling of Sarento’s Top of the ‘I’ is a “place to impress”, making diners feel “pampered and tended to in a discreet and friendly way”; “ask for a table closest” to the sand in the open-air dining room – the “delicious aromas from the kitchen mingle with sea air and sounds of ocean waves”, further “accentuating the experience.”

23 23 23 $41 Sea House Pacific Rim Napili | Napili Kai Beach Resort | 5900 Lower Honoapiilani Rd. (Hui Dr.) | 808-669-1500 | www.napilikai.com “The place to go to see a spectacular sunset” say fans of this moderate longtimer in the Napili Kai Beach Resort where guests can enjoy “front-row” seaside seats and “picturesque” views while dining on “well-prepared” Pacific Rim cuisine; a few say the offerings are “not particularly inspiring”, but the staff is the “epitome of aloha” and so most agree it’s “just a nice place to be.”

Son’z Maui at Swan Court Seafood/Steak 23 27 23 $60 Kaanapali | Hyatt Regency Maui | 200 Nohea Kai Dr. (Kaanapali Pkwy.) | 808-667-4506 | www.tristarrestaurants.com An “elegant” setting in Kaanapali’s Hyatt Regency Maui, offering “beautiful views of a pond, waterfall” and “gliding swans”, makes this spendy surf ’n’ turfer a “place to love” say romantics; the “very good” fare and “knowledgeable” service also win praise, though a few carp “don’t expect anything to be incredible” and you feel “you’re paying for the location.” 26 27 26 $79 Spago Californian/Pacific Rim Wailea | Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea | 3900 Wailea Alanui Dr. (Wailea Ike Dr.) | 808-879-2999 | www.wolfgangpuck.com Chef Wolfgang Puck creates “a little Hollywood in Hawaii” at this Four Seasons Wailea outpost of his famous Beverly Hills standby, where the “diverse” Cal–Pac Rim menu offers an “infusion” of local flavors served with “the typical Puck style”; add in “spectacular service” and “awesome views” at sunset and voila, it’s “a triple-star combination”; it’s a “definite must” if you’re into the “see-and-be seen scene” and “if budget isn’t an issue” – yes, it’s “mind-numbingly expensive.” Maui Restaurants A - Z

99


DECOR

SERVICE

COST

Stella Blues American

FOOD

MAUI RESTAURANTS

21

19

22

$25

Kihei |Azeka Shopping Ctr. | 1279 S. Kihei Rd. (Piikea Ave.) | 808-874-3779 | www.stellablues.com “You don’t have to be a Deadhead” to enjoy the “generous portions” of “no-nonsense comfort food” (including vegetarian offerings) at this “reasonably priced” Kihei American decorated with Grateful Dead memorabilia; if a few sniff it’s “ordinary”, more cheer the “friendly” service, “popular” breakfast and live entertainment, adding it’s a “refreshing change from the upscale eateries of Maui.”

12 24 $4 27 Tasaka Guri Guri Shop Dessert Kahului | 70 E. Kaahumanu Ave. (bet. Puunene Ave. & State Hwy. 36) | 808-871-4513 “A must” proclaim fans of this Kahului stop known for “awesome” guri guri, a frozen Hawaiian dessert (“never dare call it ice cream”), offered in strawberry or pineapple; it’s takeout only, and a few “wish for more flavors”, but it “hits the spot on a hot day”, so “go for it, dude.” 9 20 $14 19 Tasty Crust American/Hawaiian Wailuku | 1770 Mill St. (Kaniela St.) | 808-244-0845 | www.tastycrust.com “Nothing fancy, just homestyle cooking” can be found at this circa-1940 Wailuku “institution”, a “local staple” best known for its “hearty” American-Hawaiian breakfast fare, including some of the “best pancakes on the planet”; sure, the decor “could use some updating”, but “friendly” service and “good prices” help it remain “hugely popular.” 17 20 $16 24 Teddy’s Bigger Burgers Burgers Lahaina | Lahaina Gateway | 335 Keawe St. (Honoapiilani Hwy.) | 808-661-9111 | www.teddysbiggerburgers.com “When they say ‘bigger’, they mean it” attest admirers of this “’50s style” chain known for a “variety of “juicy”, “delicious” burgers offered with “unusual topping combinations” and served alongside “great fries and onion rings” plus “thick” shakes; service is generally “fast”, and though some locales “need more seating” and penny-pinchers say it’s “pricey” for the genre, it remains “usually crowded” nonetheless. 19 23 $20 24 The Gazebo American Napili | Outrigger Napili Shores | 5315 Lower Honoapiilani Rd. (Hui Dr.) | 808-669-5621 “Incredible views” “overlooking the ocean” and one of the “bestever breakfasts” featuring “fluffy macadamia pancakes”, “excellent” omelets and “tasty” fried rice court a “loyal following” at this daytime American in the Napili Shores condos; the “line can be daunting” (especially on weekends), but service is “efficient”, and since prices are so “reasonable”, most swear any wait is “worth it for sure.” 15

23

$23

Tokyo Tei Japanese

24

100

Guide to Hawaii’s Best

Wailuku | 1063 Lower Main St. (bet. Koni & Pua Pls.) | 808-242-9630 | www.tokyotei.com “Outstanding” tempura is the star of the show at this “cozy” Wailuku Japanese that’s “popular” with locals; it can feel “cramped”, but there’s the “friendly atmosphere” you might expect at a “family-run” place, and the “unlimited rice” (with most entrees) is a nice bonus.


FOOD

DECOR

SERVICE

COST

Tommy Bahama Restaurant and Bar

22

23

23

$49

Waterfront Restaurant Seafood

19

Zippy’s American

19

MAUI RESTAURANTS

Caribbean/Hawaii Reg. Wailea | Shops at Wailea | 3750 Wailea Alanui Dr. (Wailea Ike Dr.) | 808-875-9983 | www.tommybahama.com For “food in a clothing store”, shoppers and noshers alike flock to these eatery/resortwear hybrids on Maui and the Big Island for “huge portions” of “surprisingly good” Caribbean–Hawaii Regional fare; if Tommy-knockers deride it as a “tourist trap” with “expensive” tabs and “island-standard” decor, at least the “attentive” staff keeps the “tropical adult beverages” “coming at just the right pace.” 16

19

$17

Maalaea | Ma’alaea Harbor Shops & Restaurants | 300 Maalaea Rd. (Hauoli St.) | 808-244-9028 | www.waterfrontrestaurant.net “Outside seating is perfect with the full moon rising” and the “colors changing in the sky out at Ma’alaea Harbor” at this hidden “treasure” in a condo complex where the “classic” fish dishes boast “outstanding preparations”, Caesar salad is tossed tableside, “top-notch” waiters wear “tuxedoes” and “excellent cocktails are a bonus”; if some say it’s “time to update”, fans still consider it “quite a find.” 16

19

$17

Kahului | 15 Hookele St. (Puunene Ave.) | 808-856-7599 | www.zippys.com Loyalists “cannot live without” this “family-owned” Hawaii-based “mainstay”, serving the island version of “comfort food” statewide, including its “famous chili” and saimin and plate lunches like teri beef and Korean chicken, plus “basic, “all-American staples”; if naysayers believe it’s “nothing special”, most retort you “can’t beat the local flavors”, especially for “around-the-clock eating” at its many “oh-soconvenient” 24-hour locations.

Maui Restaurants A - Z

101


CUISINE INDEX American

Food Score

12th Ave. Grill.............. ..................................... 24 808 Bistro.................. ..................................... 24 AK’s Café................... ..................................... 23 Anna Miller’s 24-Hour Restaurant ......................... 19 Bay Terrace...................................................... 24 Big City Diner................................................... 21 Big Island Grill............. ..................................... 24 Bongo Ben’s Island Cafe...................................... 20 Cafe Julia................... ........................................ Charley’s......................................................... 21 Cheeseburger in Paradise.................................... 19 Cheeseburger Island Style................................... 19 Cheesecake Factory...... ..................................... 25 CJ’s Deli & Diner............................................... 20 Colleen’s at the Cannery..................................... 25 Dave & Buster’s................................................ 20 Diamond Head Cove Health Bar............................ 23 Duke’s Canoe Club............................................ 21 Duke’s Waikiki............. ..................................... 21 Eggbert’s......................................................... 22 Eggs ‘n Things............. ..................................... 23 Fleetwood’s on Front Street..................................... Good To Grill.................................................... 22 Harbor House.................................................. 19 Hard Rock Cafe.................................................... Ige’s Restaurant & 19th Puka................................ 20 Island Lava Java........... ..................................... 23 Jimmy Buffett’s at the Beachcomber....................... 17 JJ’s Broiler....................................................... 19 Joe’s Bar & Grill........... ..................................... 24 Kiss My Grits.............. ........................................ Koho Grill & Bar................................................ 21 La Mariana Sailing Club...................................... 18 La Tour Cafe............... ........................................ Lahaina Grill.................................................... 27 MAC 24/7.................. ..................................... 18 Mariposa................... ..................................... 23 Original Pancake House...................................... 24 Plumeria Beach House........................................ 22 Rays on the Bay........... ........................................ 102

Guide to Hawaii’s Best


CUISINE INDEX

Food Score

Ruby Tuesday.............. ..................................... 20 Shore Bird....................................................... 19 Side Street Inn............. ..................................... 25 Stella Blues................. ..................................... 21 The Fish and the Hog Market Cafe............................ The Gazebo..................................................... 24 The Terrace................ ..................................... 23 Zippy’s...................... ..................................... 19

American/Asian

Asahi Grill.................. ..................................... 22 Blue Ginger Café.......... ..................................... 21 Kaleo’s Bar & Grill........ ..................................... 26 Stage........................ ..................................... 24

American/Bakery

Diamond Head Market & Grill.............................. 24

American/Burgers

Hana Ranch..................................................... 22

American/Diner

Ken’s House of Pancakes..................................... 22

American/Eclectic

Feral Pig Pub & Restaurant...................................... Hanalei Gourmet............................................... 22

American/European

Cafe Laufer...................................................... 24

American/Hawaiian

Cafe 100......................................................... 22 Manago Restaurant........................................... 24 ‘Ono Bar & Grill................................................ 22 Tasty Crust................. ..................................... 19 The Willows..................................................... 19

American/Italian

Prima........................ ........................................ Town......................... ..................................... 26

American/Japanese

Asahi Grill.................. ..................................... 22 Cuisine Index

103


CUISINE INDEX

Food Score

American/Mexican

Cafe Haleiwa............... ..................................... 23

American/Pacific Rim

Prince Court................ ..................................... 24

American/Pan Asian

Lihue Barbecue Inn............................................ 22

American/Seafood

Brennecke’s..................................................... 19 Kimo’s............................................................ 23 Oceanarium..................................................... 23

American/Steak

Beachhouse at the Moana................................... 21

Asian

Amasia...................... ........................................ Ethel’s Grill...................................................... 26 I’O................................................................. 24 Kenichi Pacific.................................................. 25 Kit N Kitchen............... ..................................... 22 Lemongrass Grill............................................... 22 Lucky Belly................. ........................................ Spices............................................................ 23

Bakery

JJ Bistro & French Pastry...................................... 24 Liliha Bakery.................................................... 24 Ted’s Bakery................ ..................................... 26 Waiola Bakery & Shave Ice II................................ 25 Waioli Tea Room & Bakery................................... 21

BBQ

Dixie Grill........................................................ 20 Famous Dave’s................................................. 17 Garden Island Barbecue...................................... 22 Keneke’s.................... ..................................... 20 L&L Hawaiian Barbecue...................................... 18 Mama’s Ribs ‘N Rotisserie................................... 21 Scotty’s Beachside BBQ...................................... 20 Tony Roma’s............... ..................................... 24 104

Guide to Hawaii’s Best


CUISINE INDEX

Food Score

Burgers

Bubba Burgers............. ..................................... 21 Burgers on the Edge...... ..................................... 22 Cool Cat Cafe................................................... 22 Duane’s Ono-Char Burger.................................... 25 Island’s Fine Burgers..... ..................................... 22 Kalapaki Beach Hut....... ..................................... 26 Kua ‘Aina Sandwich...... ..................................... 24 Teddy’s Bigger Burgers....................................... 24 The Counter................ ..................................... 21

Californian/Italian

Beach Tree Bar & Grill......................................... 26

Californian/Pac. Rim

Spago........................ ..................................... 26

Caribbean/Hawaii Reg.

Tommy Bahama Restaurant and Bar....................... 22

Chinese

Beijing....................... ..................................... 24 California Wok............ ..................................... 19 Dragon Dragon............ ..................................... 21 Fook Yuen....................................................... 23 Hee Hing......................................................... 22 Kirin......................... ..................................... 22 Little Village Noodle House.................................. 25 Mei Sum Dim Sum............................................. 22 P.F. Chang’s China Bistro..................................... 22 Pah Ke’s Chinese Restaurant................................ 24 Panda Cuisine............. ..................................... 21 Tai Pan Dim Sum............................................... 22 Lobster King............... ..................................... 21

Coffeehouse

Anthony’s Coffee Co........................................... 20 Bogart’s Cafe & Espresso Bar................................ 27 Cafe Kaila................... ..................................... 26 Coffee Shack.................................................... 25 Coffee Talk................. ..................................... 21 Grandma’s Coffeehouse...................................... 21 Honolulu Coffee Company................................... 23 Cuisine Index

105


CUISINE INDEX

Food Score

Kalaheo Café & Coffee Co.................................... 24

Continental

Castaway Café............ ..................................... 24

Cuban

Soul De Cuba Cafe............................................. 24

Dessert

Matsumoto’s Shave Ice.. ..................................... 24 Tasaka Guri Guri Shop........................................ 27

Diner

Highway Inn................ ..................................... 24 Koa Pancake House...... ..................................... 22 Wailana Coffee House........................................ 19

Eclectic

Banyan Tree................ ..................................... 25 Café Mambo.................................................... 24 Café Pesto....................................................... 25 Canoe House..........................................................................24 Casa di Amici.............. ..................................... 24 Indigo............................................................. 22 Jackie Rey’s Ohana Grill...................................... 25 Kauai Grill.................. ..................................... 25 Keei Café................... ..................................... 24 Kilauea Lodge Restaurant.................................... 25 Lahaina Coolers........... ..................................... 21 Maui Fish & Pasta......... ..................................... 20 Pagoda Floating Restaurant.................................. 21 Postcards Café................................................. 23 Red Water Café................................................ 25 Restaurant Epic................................................. 23 Tangö Contemporary Cafe................................... 24

Eurasian

Hapa Grill................... ..................................... 20 Hiroshi Eurasion Tapas.. ..................................... 27

European

Lighthouse Bistro.............................................. 22 The Grove.................. ..................................... 23 106

Guide to Hawaii’s Best


CUISINE INDEX

Food Score

Filipino

Max’s of Manila................................................ 19

French

Brasserie Du Vin............................................... 22 Crepes No Ka Oi.......... ..................................... 24 Gerard’s..................... ..................................... 28 La Bourgogne.............. ..................................... 27 La Mer...................... ..................................... 29 Le Bistro.................... ..................................... 27 Le Guignol.................. ..................................... 26 Michel’s.......................................................... 27

French/Hawaii Reg.

Chef Mavro..................................................... 27

French/Japanese

Café Miro................... ..................................... 26 Panya Bakery Express......................................... 22 Panya Bistro..................................................... 22

French/Vietnamese

Duc’s Bistro................ ..................................... 25

Greek

Fat Greek................... ..................................... 22 Greek Marina................................................... 20 Olive Tree Café............ ..................................... 25

Hawaii Regional

Alan Wong’s............... ..................................... 28 Gannon’s - A Pacific View Restaurant..................... 22 Hali’imaile General Store..................................... 27 Hukilau Lanai.............. ..................................... 27 Lanai City Grille........... ..................................... 24 Mala Ocean Tavern....... ..................................... 25 Mala Wailea.................................................... 25 Manta & Pavilion Wine Bar.................................. 24 Merriman’s................. ..................................... 27 Monkeypod Kitchen...... ..................................... 23 Monstera................... ..................................... 25 Ola................................................................ 24 Pineapple Room........... ..................................... 25 Cuisine Index

107


CUISINE INDEX

Food Score

Roy’s......................... ..................................... 26 Sam Choy’s Breakfast, Lunch & Crab...................... 21 Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai.... ..................................... 24

Hawaiian

Aloha Mixed Plate........ ..................................... 22 ‘Ama’Ama.................. ..................................... 23 Blane’s Drive Inn............................................... 19 Da Kitchen................. ..................................... 25 Dani’s............................................................. 21 Helena’s Hawaiian Food...................................... 27 Kaka’ako Kitchen......... ..................................... 23 Koloa Fish Market........ ..................................... 25 Kuhio Grille..................................................... 21 Nori’s Saimin & Snacks.. ..................................... 22 Ono Hawaiian Foods..... ..................................... 26 Red Salt.......................................................... 25 Young’s Fish Market........................................... 25

Hot Dogs

Hank’s Haute Dogs............................................ 24

Ice Cream

Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream............................. 26

Italian

Arancino (di Mare)....... ..................................... 24 Assaggio.................... ..................................... 25 Auntie Pasto’s.................................................. 21 Azul............................................................... 26 Baci Bistro....................................................... 25 Bernini Honolulu.......... ..................................... 22 Bravo........................ ..................................... 24 Buca di Beppo............. ..................................... 22 Café Portofino............. ..................................... 23 Cafe Sistina..................................................... 22 Capische?....................................................... 25 Casanova................................................................................. 23 Dondero’s.................. ..................................... 25 Ferraro’s.................... ..................................... 25 Marco’s Grill & Deli............................................ 19 Mediterraneo.............. ..................................... 24 Paesano..................... ..................................... 22 108

Guide to Hawaii’s Best


CUISINE INDEX

Food Score

Pomodoro.................. ..................................... 22 Romano’s Macaroni Grill..................................... 20 Sarento’s Top of the “I”....................................... 25 Taormina........................................................ 25 Verbano Italiano.......... ..................................... 22 Verbano Pastaria............................................... 22 Vino Italian Tapas & Wine Bar.............................. 26

Italian/Japanese

Angelo Pietro.............. ........................................

Italian/Mediterranean

Bistro Casanova........... ..................................... 24 Casablanca at Kiahuna....................................... 20

Italian/Pizza

Boston Basil’s.............. ..................................... 16 Brick Oven Pizza............................................... 24

Japanese

Akasaka..................... ..................................... 26 Benihana.................... ..................................... 24 California Beach Rock ‘N Sushi.............................. 23 Curry House CoCo Ichibanya................................ 24 Doraku Sushi............... ..................................... 23 Genki Sushi..................................................... 20 Gyotaku.......................................................... 22 Hakkei............................................................ 24 Hakone........................................................... 24 Ichiriki Japanese Nabe... ..................................... 24 Imanas Tei....................................................... 26 Imari......................... ..................................... 23 Kintaro...................... ..................................... 24 Kuru Kuru Sushi................................................ 23 Makino Chaya.................................................. 19 Miyo’s............................................................ 26 Morimoto Waikiki........ ..................................... 25 Mr. Ojisan.................. ..................................... 23 Natsunoya Tea House......................................... 23 Nihon............................................................. 24 Norio’s Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar................. 25 Okonomiyaki Chibo........................................... 22 Shirokiya......................................................... 23 Cuisine Index

109


CUISINE INDEX

Food Score

Shokudo.................... ..................................... 24 Suntory...................... ..................................... 22 Sushi ii...................... ........................................ Sushi Izakaya Gaku....... ........................................ Sushi King....................................................... 21 Sushi Sasabune................................................. 28 Sushi Shiono............... ..................................... 25 Tanaka of Tokyo........... ..................................... 22 Teshima’s................... ..................................... 22 Tokyo Tei................... ..................................... 24 Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin.... ..................................... 25 Wada........................ ........................................ Yanagi Sushi.................................................... 26 Yohei Sushi................. ..................................... 27

Japanese/Noodle Shop

Ezogiku...................... ..................................... 20 Goma Tei Ramen.......... ..................................... 23 Hamura Saimin Stand.... ..................................... 24

Japanese/Pacific Rim

Sansei....................... ..................................... 26

Japanese/Peruvian

Nobu Waikiki.............. ..................................... 26

Japanese/Seafood

Mitch’s Sushi Restaurant..................................... 29 Tanioka’s.................... ..................................... 26

Japanese/Steak

Kobe Japanese Steak House & Oku’s Sushi Bar..............24

Japanese/Tearoom

Hanamaulu Cafe.......... ..................................... 23

Korean

Camellia Buffet................................................. 21 Isana.............................................................. 24 Sorabol...................... ..................................... 23 Yakiniku Seoul............. ..................................... 24

Malaysian/Singaporean

Green Door................. ..................................... 23 110

Guide to Hawaii’s Best


CUISINE INDEX

Food Score

Mediterranean

Bar Acuda.................. ..................................... 24 Formaggio Grill................................................. 21 Market Fresh Bistro........................................... 27 Mediterranean Gourmet..................................... 25 Merriman’s Market Café..................................... 22 Plantation House.......... ..................................... 23 Sarento’s on the Beach.........................................................24

Mexican

Cholo’s Homestyle Mexican................................. 19 Cilantro Grill.................................................... 23 Los Chaparros............. ..................................... 20 Maui Tacos................. ..................................... 20 Monico’s Taqueria............................................. 26 Polli’s............................................................. 21 Wahoo’s Fish Taco............................................. 20

Pacific Rim

21 Degrees North.............................................. 24 3660 on the Rise............................................... 26 Bali Steak & Seafood..... ..................................... 25 Bamboo..................... ..................................... 24 Beach House............... ..................................... 24 Caffe Coco...................................................... 23 Chai’s Island Bistro............................................ 24 Challenge at Manele Clubhouse............................ 24 Coast Grille................ ..................................... 25 Don the Beachcomber... ..................................... 19 Duke’s Beach House..... ..................................... 22 Five Palms Beach Grill.... ..................................... 23 Gaylords at Kilohana..... ..................................... 24 Hau Tree Lanai............ ..................................... 23 Hilo Bay Café................................................... 25 Hoku’s............................................................ 25 Honu’s....................... ........................................ Huggo’s.......................................................... 23 Hula Grill........................................................ 22 Japengo.......................................................... 24 Kamuela Provision Company................................ 26 Keoki’s Paradise................................................ 21 Kukui’s...................... ..................................... 17 Cuisine Index

111


CUISINE INDEX

Food Score

Lahaina Prime Rib & Fish Company........................ 19 Lei Lei’s........................................................... 23 Lodge at Koele Dining Room................................. 27 Mama’s Fish House....... ..................................... 28 Ocean House................................................... 24 Orchids..................... ..................................... 27 Pacific’O.................... ..................................... 25 Pineapple Grill............. ..................................... 24 Plantation Gardens....... ..................................... 23 RumFire..................... ..................................... 18 Sea House.................. ..................................... 23 Tidepools................... ........................................ Tiki’s Grill & Bar........... ..................................... 22

Pizza

Boston Style Pizza............................................. 25 Boston’s Pizza Kailua..... ..................................... 24 California Pizza Kitchen...................................... 24 Da Big Kahuna’s Pizza-n-Stuffs............................. 26 Honu.............................................................. 25 JJ Dolan’s................... ..................................... 26 Round Table Pizza........ ..................................... 23 Zpizza....................... ..................................... 23

Pub Food

Maui Brewing Co............................................... 18 Pint + Jigger........................................................ Real A Gastropub.................................................

Sandwiches

Andy’s Sandwiches & Smoothies........................... 26 Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar.............................. 23

Seafood

53 by the Sea...................................................... Azure............................................................. 26 Brown’s Beach House......................................... 25 Bubba Gump Shrimp Co...................................... 20 Coconut’s Fish Café...... ..................................... 27 Eskimo Candy Seafood Market............................. 25 Fresh Catch................ ..................................... 27 Giovanni’s Aloha Shrimp..................................... 24 Kona Inn Restaurant...... ..................................... 21 112

Guide to Hawaii’s Best


CUISINE INDEX

Food Score

Lava Lava Beach Club.... ........................................ Monterey Bay Canners Fresh................................ 18 Nick’s Fishmarket.............................................. 25 Nico’s at Pier 38........... ..................................... 25 Paia Fish Market............................................... 25 Seaside...................... ..................................... 23 Shrimp Station............. ..................................... 25 Uncle’s Fish Market........................................... 23 Waterfront Restaurant... ..................................... 27

Seafood/Steak

Bull Shed.................... ........................................ Nico’s at Pier 38........... ..................................... 25 Buzz’s Wharf.................................................... 23 Cafe O’Lei....................................................... 26 CJ’s Steak & Seafood..... ..................................... 20 Duo............................................................... 26 Fish Hopper..................................................... 23 Hulopo’e Court................................................. 18 Jameson’s By The Sea.... ..................................... 21 Kincaid’s......................................................... 21 Son’z Maui at Swan Court.................................... 23

Steak

BLT Steak................... ..................................... 24 Buzz’s Lanikai.............. ..................................... 22 Buzz’s Pearl City................................................ 22 Chuck’s Steak House..... ..................................... 22 d.k Steak House................................................ 26 Hy’s Steak House.............................................. 27 Makawao Steak House.. ..................................... 22 Morton’s The Steakhouse.................................... 24 Outback Steakhouse..... ..................................... 22 Ruth’s Chris Steak House.................................... 27 Steak Cattle Company........................................ 24 Waikoloa Grill & Bar........................................... 22 Wolfgang’s Steakhouse....................................... 24

Tearoom

Tea at 1024...................................................... 25

Cuisine Index

113


CUISINE INDEX

Food Score

Thai

Bangkok Chef.............. ..................................... 24 Bangkok House Thai.......................................... 25 Champa Thai of Kailua........................................ 24 Chiang Mai Thai........... ..................................... 26 Haleiwa Thai............... ..................................... 23 Keo’s in Waikiki................................................ 20 Mekong Thai II................................................. 26 Orchid Thai..................................................... 25 Phuket Thai..................................................... 25 Siam Garden Cafe............................................. 25 Singha Thai Cuisine...... ..................................... 22

Vegan

Peace Cafe...................................................... 27

Vietnamese

A Saigon Café.............. ..................................... 25 Asian Star.................. ..................................... 26 Ba-Le Sandwich Shop.... ..................................... 22 Bac Nam......................................................... 25 Hale Vietnam.............. ..................................... 25 To Chau..................... ..................................... 28

114

Guide to Hawaii’s Best


NEIGHBORHOOD INDEX OAHU Aiea

Food Score

Anna Miller’s 24-Hour Restaurant......................... 19 Ba-Le Sandwich Shop.... ..................................... 22 Big City Diner................................................... 21 Bravo........................ ..................................... 24 California Pizza Kitchen...................................... 24 Curry House CoCo Ichibanya................................ 24 Dixie Grill........................................................ 20 Ezogiku...................... ..................................... 20 Ichiriki Japanese Nabe... ..................................... 24 Ige’s Restaurant & 19th Puka................................ 20 Kuru Kuru Sushi................................................ 23 Makino Chaya............. ..................................... 19 Monterey Bay Canners Fresh................................ 18 Paesano..................... ..................................... 22 Teddy’s Bigger Burgers....................................... 24 Tony Roma’s.................................................... 24 Verbano Pastaria............................................... 22

Airport

California Pizza Kitchen...................................... 24 Da Big Kahuna’s Pizza-n-Stuffs............................. 26 Mitch’s Sushi Restaurant..................................... 29

Ala Moana

53 by the Sea...................................................... Akasaka..................... ..................................... 26 Assaggio.................... ..................................... 25 Ba-Le Sandwich Shop.... ..................................... 22 Bernini Honolulu.......... ..................................... 22 Bubba Gump Shrimp Co...................................... 20 California Pizza Kitchen...................................... 24 California Wok............ ..................................... 19 Curry House CoCo Ichibanya................................ 24 Dave & Buster’s................................................ 20 Genki Sushi..................................................... 20 Goma Tei Ramen.......... ..................................... 23 Honolulu Coffee Company................................... 23 Ichiriki Japanese Nabe... ..................................... 24 Island’s Fine Burgers..... ..................................... 22 Neighborhood Index

115


NEIGHBORHOOD INDEX

Food Score

Le Guignol.................. ..................................... 26 Lobster King............... ..................................... 21 Mariposa................... ..................................... 23 Mekong Thai II................................................. 26 Morton’s The Steakhouse.................................... 24 Original Pancake House...................................... 24 P.F. Chang’s China Bistro..................................... 22 Pagoda Floating Restaurant.................................. 21 Panda Cuisine............. ..................................... 21 Panya Bistro..................................................... 22 Pineapple Room........... ..................................... 25 Romano’s Macaroni Grill..................................... 20 Ruby Tuesday.............. ..................................... 20 Shirokiya......................................................... 23 Shokudo.................... ..................................... 24 Side Street Inn............. ..................................... 25 Sorabol...................... ..................................... 23 Stage........................ ..................................... 24 Sushi ii...................... ........................................ Tanaka of Tokyo........... ..................................... 22 Zippy’s...................... ..................................... 19 Zpizza....................... ..................................... 23

Chinatown

Brasserie Du Vin............................................... 22 Duc’s Bistro................ ..................................... 25 Green Door................. ..................................... 23 Indigo............................................................. 22 Little Village Noodle House.................................. 25 Lucky Belly................. ........................................ Mei Sum Dim Sum............................................. 22 Restaurant Epic................................................. 23 Tai Pan Dim Sum............................................... 22 To Chau..................... ..................................... 28

Diamond Head

Bogart’s Cafe & Espresso Bar................................ 27 Diamond Head Cove Health Bar............................ 23 Diamond Head Market & Grill.............................. 24 L&L Hawaiian Barbecue...................................... 18

116

Guide to Hawaii’s Best


NEIGHBORHOOD INDEX

Food Score

Downtown

Auntie Pasto’s.................................................. 21 Bac Nam......................................................... 25 Bangkok Chef.............. ..................................... 24 Cafe Julia................... ........................................ Chai’s Island Bistro............................................ 24 Gyotaku.......................................................... 22 Honolulu Coffee Company................................... 23 JJ Dolan’s................... ..................................... 26 L&L Hawaiian Barbecue...................................... 18 La Tour Cafe............... ........................................ Panya Bakery Express......................................... 22 Panya Bistro..................................................... 22 Soul De Cuba Cafe............................................. 24 Tangö Contemporary Cafe................................... 24 Tea at 1024...................................................... 25.

Ewa Beach

Genki Sushi..................................................... 20

Haleiwa

Cafe Haleiwa............... ..................................... 23 Cholo’s Homestyle Mexican................................. 19 Haleiwa Thai............... ..................................... 23 Jameson’s By The Sea.... ..................................... 21 Kua ‘Aina Sandwich...... ..................................... 24 Matsumoto’s Shave Ice.. ..................................... 24 Ted’s Bakery................ ..................................... 26

Hawaii Kai

Assaggio.................... ..................................... 25 Ba-Le Sandwich Shop.... ..................................... 22 Boston Style Pizza............................................. 25 Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream............................. 26 Greek Marina................................................... 20 Outback Steakhouse..... ..................................... 22 Roy’s......................... ..................................... 26 Teddy’s Bigger Burgers....................................... 24 Zippy’s...................... ..................................... 19

Neighborhood Index

117


NEIGHBORHOOD INDEX

Food Score

Iwilei

La Tour Cafe............... ........................................ Nico’s at Pier 38........... ..................................... 25 Sam Choy’s Breakfast, Lunch & Crab...................... 21 Uncle’s Fish Market........................................... 23 Zippy’s...................... ..................................... 19

Kahala

Assaggio.................... ..................................... 20 Ba-Le Sandwich Shop.... ..................................... 22 California Pizza Kitchen...................................... 24 Hoku’s............................................................ 25 Kuru Kuru Sushi................................................ 23 L&L Hawaiian Barbecue...................................... 18 Olive Tree Café............ ..................................... 25 Plumeria Beach House... ..................................... 22 The Counter..................................................... 21 Zippy’s........................................................... 19

Kahuku

21 Degrees North.............................................. 24 Giovanni’s Aloha Shrimp..................................... 24 Lei Lei’s........................................................... 23 Ola................................................................ 24

Kailua

Assaggio.................... ..................................... 25 Ba-Le Sandwich Shop.... ..................................... 22 Baci Bistro....................................................... 25 Big City Diner................................................... 21 Boston’s Pizza Kailua..... ..................................... 24 California Pizza Kitchen...................................... 24 Champa Thai of Kailua........................................ 24 Crepes No Ka Oi.......... ..................................... 24 Formaggio Grill................................................. 21 Maui Tacos................. ..................................... 20 Prima........................ ........................................ Round Table Pizza........ ..................................... 23 Teddy’s Bigger Burgers....................................... 24 The Grove.................. ..................................... 23 Zippy’s...................... ..................................... 19 118

Guide to Hawaii’s Best


NEIGHBORHOOD INDEX

Food Score

Kaimuki

12th Ave. Grill.............. ..................................... 24 3660 on the Rise............................................... 26 Big City Diner................................................... 21 Boston Style Pizza............................................. 25 Cafe Laufer...................................................... 24 Café Miro................... ..................................... 26 Coffee Talk................. ..................................... 21 Fat Greek................... ..................................... 22 Formaggio Wine.......... ..................................... 21 Fresh Catch................ ..................................... 27 Hale Vietnam.............. ..................................... 25 JJ Bistro & French Pastry..................................... 24 Koa Pancake House...... ..................................... 22 Town......................... ..................................... 26 Verbano Italiano.......... ..................................... 22 Wada........................ ........................................ Wahoo’s Fish Taco............................................. 20 Zippy’s...................... ..................................... 19

Kakaako

Asahi Grill.................. ..................................... 22 Buca di Beppo.................................................. 22 Doraku Sushi............... ..................................... 23 Hank’s Haute Dogs............................................ 24 Real A Gastropub................................................. Yanagi Sushi.................................................... 26

Kalihi

Ethel’s Grill...................................................... 26 Helena’s Hawaiian Food...................................... 27 La Mariana Sailing Club...................................... 18 Max’s of Manila................................................ 19 Natsunoya Tea House......................................... 23 Siam Garden Cafe............................................. 25 Zippy’s...................... ..................................... 19

Neighborhood Index

119


NEIGHBORHOOD INDEX

Food Score

Kalihi

Boston Style Pizza............................................. 25 Fresh Catch................ ..................................... 27 Genki Sushi..................................................... 20 Koa Pancake House...... ..................................... 22 Pah Ke’s Chinese Restaurant................................ 24 Ruby Tuesday.............. ..................................... 20 Zippy’s...................... ..................................... 19

Kapahulu

Burgers on the Edge...... ..................................... 22 Cafe Kaila................... ..................................... 26 Genki Sushi..................................................... 20 Good To Grill.................................................... 22 Hee Hing......................................................... 22 Mr. Ojisan.................. ..................................... 23 Ono Hawaiian Foods..... ..................................... 26 Side Street Inn............. ..................................... 25 Waiola Bakery & Shave Ice II................................ 25 Zippy’s...................... ..................................... 19

Kapalama

Liliha Bakery.................................................... 24 Original Pancake House...................................... 24 Yohei Sushi................. ..................................... 27 Young’s Fish Market........................................... 25

Kapolei

‘Ama’Ama.................. ..................................... 23 Assaggio.................... ..................................... 25 Azul............................................................... 26 Hapa Grill................... ..................................... 20 Koa Pancake House...... ..................................... 22 Outback Steakhouse..... ..................................... 22 Roy’s......................... ..................................... 26 Zippy’s...................... ..................................... 19

Kapolei

Buzz’s Lanikai.............. ..................................... 22

120

Guide to Hawaii’s Best


NEIGHBORHOOD INDEX

Food Score

Makiki

Cafe Sistina..................................................... 22 Hakkei............................................................ 24 Mediterraneo.............. ..................................... 24 Pint + Jigger........................................................ Sushi Sasabune................................................. 28

Manoa

Andy’s Sandwiches & Smoothies........................... 26 Ba-Le Sandwich Shop.... ..................................... 22 Bangkok Chef.............. ..................................... 24 Paesano..................... ..................................... 22 Sushi Izakaya Gaku....... ........................................ Waioli Tea Room & Bakery................................... 21

McCully

Alan Wong’s............... ..................................... 28 Curry House CoCo Ichibanya................................ 24 Fook Yuen....................................................... 23 Phuket Thai..................................................... 25 Yakiniku Seoul............. ..................................... 24

Mililani

Assaggio.................... ..................................... 25 L&L Hawaiian Barbecue...................................... 18 Phuket Thai..................................................... 25 Ruby Tuesday.............. ..................................... 20

Moanalua

Ruby Tuesday.............. ..................................... 20

Moiliili

Camellia Buffet................................................. 21 Chef Mavro..................................................... 27 Chiang Mai Thai........... ..................................... 26 Curry House CoCo Ichibanya................................ 24 Kirin......................... ..................................... 22 Kiss My Grits.............. ........................................ Los Chaparros............. ..................................... 20 Spices....................... ..................................... 23 Sushi King....................................................... 21 The Willows..................................................... 19 Neighborhood Index

121


NEIGHBORHOOD INDEX

Food Score

Niu Valley

Gyotaku.......................................................... 22 Le Bistro......................................................... 27

Pearl City

Ba-Le Sandwich Shop.... ..................................... 22 Buzz’s Pearl City................................................ 22 Ezogiku...................... ..................................... 20 Genki Sushi..................................................... 20 Gyotaku.......................................................... 22 Steak Cattle Company........................................ 24

Restaurant Row

Hiroshi Eurasion Tapas.. ..................................... 27 Ruth’s Chris Steak House.................................... 27 Vino Italian Tapas & Wine Bar.............................. 26

University

Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream............................. 26 Ezogiku...................... ..................................... 20 Imanas Tei....................................................... 26 Kit N Kitchen.................................................... 22 Peace Cafe...................................................... 27 Teddy’s Bigger Burgers....................................... 24

Wahiawa

Koa Pancake House...... ..................................... 22 Teddy’s Bigger Burgers....................................... 24

Waikiki

Angelo Pietro.............. ..................................... 22 Arancino.................... ..................................... 24 Arancino di Mare......... ..................................... 24 Azure............................................................. 26 Bali Steak & Seafood..... ..................................... 25 Beachhouse at the Moana................................... 21 Beijing....................... ..................................... 24 Benihana.................... ..................................... 24 BLT Steak................... ..................................... 24 Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar.............................. 23 California Pizza Kitchen...................................... 24 Cheeseburger in Paradise.................................... 19 Cheesecake Factory...... ..................................... 25 122

Guide to Hawaii’s Best


NEIGHBORHOOD INDEX

Food Score

Chuck’s Steak House..... ..................................... 22 d.k Steak House................................................ 26 Doraku Sushi............... ..................................... 23 Duke’s Waikiki............. ..................................... 21 Eggs ‘n Things............. ..................................... 23 Ezogiku...................... ..................................... 20 Hakone........................................................... 24 Hard Rock Cafe................................................. 17 Hau Tree Lanai............ ..................................... 23 Hula Grill Waikiki......... ..................................... 22 Hy’s Steak House.............................................. 27 Jimmy Buffett’s at the Beachcomber....................... 17 Keo’s in Waikiki................................................ 20 Kobe Japanese Steak House & Sushi Bar................. 24 L&L Hawaiian Barbecue...................................... 18 La Mer...................... ..................................... 29 MAC 24/7....................................................... 18 Maui Tacos...................................................... 20 Michel’s.......................................................... 27 Morimoto Waikiki........ ..................................... 25 Nobu Waikiki.............. ..................................... 26 Ocean House.............. ..................................... 24 Oceanarium................ ..................................... 23 Okonomiyaki Chibo........................................... 22 Orchids..................... ..................................... 27 Outback Steakhouse..... ..................................... 22 P.F. Chang’s China Bistro..................................... 22 Panya Bistro................ ..................................... 22 Prince Court..................................................... 24 Round Table Pizza............................................. 23 Roy’s.............................................................. 26 RumFire..................... ..................................... 18 Ruth’s Chris Steak House.................................... 27 Sansei....................... ..................................... 26 Sarento’s Top of the “I”....................................... 25 Shore Bird....................................................... 19 Singha Thai Cuisine...... ..................................... 22 Suntory...................... ..................................... 22 Tanaka of Tokyo........... ..................................... 22 Taormina........................................................ 25 Teddy’s Bigger Burgers....................................... 24 Neighborhood Index

123


NEIGHBORHOOD INDEX

Food Score

Tiki’s Grill & Bar........... ..................................... 22 Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin.... ..................................... 25 Tony Roma’s............... ..................................... 24 Verbano Italiano.......... ..................................... 22 Wailana Coffee House........................................ 19 Wolfgang’s Steakhouse....................................... 24

Waimanalo

Keneke’s.................... ..................................... 20

Waipahu

Auntie Pasto’s.................................................. 21 Big City Diner................................................... 21 Genki Sushi..................................................... 20 Highway Inn................ ..................................... 24 Max’s of Manila................................................ 19 Outback Steakhouse..... ..................................... 22 Tanioka’s.................... ..................................... 26

Ward

Ba-Le Sandwich Shop.... ..................................... 22 Big City Diner................................................... 21 California Beach Rock ‘N Sushi.............................. 23 Genki Sushi..................................................... 20 Goma Tei Ramen.......... ..................................... 23 Kaka’ako Kitchen......... ..................................... 23 Kincaid’s.................... ..................................... 21 Kua ‘Aina Sandwich...... ..................................... 24 L&L Hawaiian Barbecue...................................... 18 Phuket Thai..................................................... 25 Wahoo’s Fish Taco............................................. 20

124

Guide to Hawaii’s Best


NEIGHBORHOOD INDEX

Big Island Captain Cook

Food Score

Coffee Shack.................................................... 25 L&L Hawaiian Barbecue...................................... 18 Manago Restaurant........................................... 24

Hawi

Bamboo..................... ..................................... 24

Hilo

Blane’s Drive Inn............................................... 19 Cafe 100......................................................... 22 Café Pesto....................................................... 25 Hilo Bay Café................................................... 25 Ken’s House of Pancakes..................................... 22 Kuhio Grille..................................................... 21 L&L Hawaiian Barbecue...................................... 18 Maui Tacos................. ..................................... 20 Miyo’s............................................................ 26 Nihon............................................................. 24 Nori’s Saimin & Snacks.. ..................................... 22 Seaside...................... ..................................... 23

Kailua-Kona

Ba-Le Sandwich Shop.... ..................................... 22 Bangkok House Thai.......................................... 25 Big Island Grill............. ..................................... 24 Bongo Ben’s Island Cafe...................................... 20 Boston Basil’s.............. ..................................... 16 Bubba Gump Shrimp Co...................................... 20 Don the Beachcomber... ..................................... 19 Fish Hopper..................................................... 23 Harbor House.................................................. 19 Honu’s............................................................... Huggo’s..................... ..................................... 23 Island Lava Java........... ..................................... 23 Jackie Rey’s Ohana Grill...................................... 25 Kona Inn Restaurant...... ..................................... 21 La Bourgogne.............. ..................................... 27 Orchid Thai..................................................... 25 Outback Steakhouse..... ..................................... 22 Neighborhood Index

125


NEIGHBORHOOD INDEX

Food Score

Rays on the Bay........... ........................................ Sushi Shiono............... ..................................... 25 Zpizza....................... ..................................... 23

Kaupulehu-Kona

Beach Tree Bar & Grill......................................... 26

Kawaihae Harbor

Café Pesto....................................................... 25

Keaau

L&L Hawaiian Barbecue...................................... 18

Kealakekua

Keei Café................... ..................................... 24 Teshima’s................... ..................................... 22

Keauhou

Kenichi Pacific.................................................. 25 L&L Hawaiian Barbecue...................................... 18 Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai.... ..................................... 24

Kohala Coast

Bay Terrace...................................................... 24 Brown’s Beach House......................................... 25 CanoeHouse.................................................... 24 Coast Grille................ ..................................... 25 Imari......................... ..................................... 23 Kamuela Provision Company................................ 26 Manta & Pavilion Wine Bar.................................. 24 Monstera................... ..................................... 25 Norio’s Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar................. 25 Ruth’s Chris Steak House.................................... 27 Sansei....................... ..................................... 26 Tommy Bahama Restaurant and Bar....................... 22

Pahoa

Kaleo’s Bar & Grill........ ..................................... 26 L&L Hawaiian Barbecue...................................... 18

Volcano

Kilauea Lodge Restaurant.................................... 25

126

Guide to Hawaii’s Best


NEIGHBORHOOD INDEX

Food Score

Waikoloa

Lava Lava Beach Club.... ........................................ Merriman’s Market Café..................................... 22 Romano’s Macaroni Grill..................................... 20 Roy’s......................... ..................................... 26 Waikoloa Grill & Bar........................................... 22

Waimea

L&L Hawaiian Barbecue...................................... 18 Merriman’s................. ..................................... 27 Red Water Café................................................ 25 The Fish and the Hog Market Cafe............................

Neighborhood Index

127


NEIGHBORHOOD INDEX

Kauai Anahola

Food Score

Duane’s Ono-Char Burger.................................... 25

Hanalei

Bar Acuda.................. ..................................... 24 Bubba Burgers............. ..................................... 21 Hanalei Gourmet............................................... 22 Mediterranean Gourmet..................................... 25 Postcards Café................................................. 23

Kalaheo

Brick Oven Pizza............................................... 24 Kalaheo Café & Coffee Co.................................... 24 Pomodoro.................. ..................................... 22

Hanalei

Café Portofino.................................................. 23 Duke’s Canoe Club.................................................................21 Kalapaki Beach Hut...............................................................26 Kukui’s......................................................................................17

Kappa

Bubba Burgers............. ..................................... 21 Bull Shed.................... ..................................... 23 Caffe Coco...................................................... 23 Eggbert’s......................................................... 22 Hukilau Lanai.............. ..................................... 27 Kintaro...................... ..................................... 24 L&L Hawaiian Barbecue...................................... 18 Lemongrass Grill............................................... 22 Monico’s Taqueria............................................. 26 Scotty’s Beachside BBQ...................................... 20 Shrimp Station............. ..................................... 25

Kilauea

Lighthouse Bistro.............................................. 22

Koloa

Bubba Burgers............. ..................................... 21 Koloa Fish Market............................................. 25

128

Guide to Hawaii’s Best


NEIGHBORHOOD INDEX

Food Score

Lihue

Dani’s............................................................. 21 Feral Pig Pub & Restaurant...................................... Garden Island Barbecue...................................... 22 Gaylords at Kilohana..... ..................................... 24 Genki Sushi..................................................... 20 Hamura Saimin Stand.... ..................................... 24 Hanamaulu Cafe.......... ..................................... 23 L&L Hawaiian Barbecue...................................... 18 Lihue Barbecue Inn............................................ 22

Nawiliwili

JJ’s Broiler....................................................... 19

Poipu

Beach House............... ..................................... 24 Brennecke’s..................................................... 19 Casa di Amici.............. ..................................... 24 Casablanca at Kiahuna....................................... 20 Dondero’s....................................................... 25 Keoki’s Paradise................................................ 21 Merriman’s................. ..................................... 27 Plantation Gardens....... ..................................... 23 Red Salt..................... ..................................... 25 Roy’s......................... ..................................... 26 Tidepools................... ..................................... 23

Princeville

CJ’s Steak & Seafood..... ..................................... 20 Kauai Grill.................. ..................................... 25

Waimea

Shrimp Station............. ..................................... 25

Neighborhood Index

129


NEIGHBORHOOD INDEX

Lanai & Molokai Koele

Food Score

Lodge at Koele Dining Room................................. 27 The Terrace................ ..................................... 23

Lanai City

Blue Ginger Café.......... ..................................... 21 Lanai City Grille........... ..................................... 24

Manele

Challenge at Manele Clubhouse............................ 24 Hulopo’e Court................................................. 18

130

Guide to Hawaii’s Best


NEIGHBORHOOD INDEX

Food Score

Maui Haiku

Food Score

Colleen’s at the Cannery..................................... 25

Hali’imaile

Hali’imaile General Store..................................... 27

Hana

Hana Ranch..................................................... 22

Kaanapali

Castaway Café............ ..................................... 24 CJ’s Deli & Diner............................................... 20 Duke’s Beach House..... ..................................... 22 Hula Grill........................................................ 22 Japengo..................... ..................................... 24 Maui Fish & Pasta......... ..................................... 20 ‘Ono Bar & Grill................................................ 22 Round Table Pizza........ ..................................... 23 Son’z Maui at Swan Court.................................... 23

Kahana

Maui Brewing Co............................................... 18

Kahului

Ba-Le Sandwich Shop.... ..................................... 22 Bistro Casanova........... ..................................... 24 Cafe O’Lei....................................................... 26 California Pizza Kitchen...................................... 24 Da Kitchen................. ..................................... 25 Dragon Dragon............ ..................................... 21 Genki Sushi..................................................... 20 Koho Grill & Bar................................................ 21 L&L Hawaiian Barbecue...................................... 18 Marco’s Grill & Deli............................................ 19 Maui Tacos................. ..................................... 20 Tasaka Guri Guri Shop........................................ 27 Zippy’s...................... ..................................... 19

Neighborhood Index

131


NEIGHBORHOOD INDEX

Food Score

Kapalua

Banyan Tree................ ..................................... 25 Merriman’s................. ..................................... 27 Pineapple Grill............. ..................................... 24 Plantation House.......... ..................................... 23 Sansei....................... ..................................... 26

Kihei

808 Bistro.................. ..................................... 24 Cafe O’Lei....................................................... 26 Coconut’s Fish Café...... ..................................... 27 Da Kitchen................. ..................................... 25 Eskimo Candy Seafood Market............................. 25 Five Palms Beach Grill.... ..................................... 23 Isana.............................................................. 24 L&L Hawaiian Barbecue...................................... 18 Mama’s Ribs ‘N Rotisserie................................... 21 Maui Tacos................. ..................................... 20 Outback Steakhouse..... ..................................... 22 Round Table Pizza........ ..................................... 23 Sansei....................... ..................................... 26 Sarento’s on the Beach... ..................................... 24 Stella Blues................. ..................................... 21

Kula

Grandma’s Coffeehouse...................................... 21

Lahaina

Aloha Mixed Plate........ ..................................... 22 Ba-Le Sandwich Shop.... ..................................... 22 Bubba Gump Shrimp Co...................................... 20 Cheeseburger in Paradise.................................... 19 Cilantro Grill.................................................... 23 Cool Cat Cafe................................................... 22 Famous Dave’s................................................. 17 Fleetwood’s on Front Street..................................... Genki Sushi..................................................... 20 Gerard’s..................... ..................................... 28 Hard Rock Cafe................................................. 17 Honu.............................................................. 25 I’O................................................................. 24 Kimo’s....................... ..................................... 23 132

Guide to Hawaii’s Best


NEIGHBORHOOD INDEX

Food Score

Kobe Japanese Steak House & Oku’s Sushi Bar.......... 24 L&L Hawaiian Barbecue...................................... 18 Lahaina Coolers........... ..................................... 21 Lahaina Grill.................................................... 27 Lahaina Prime Rib & Fish Company........................ 19 Mala Ocean Tavern....... ..................................... 25 Maui Tacos................. ..................................... 20 Outback Steakhouse..... ..................................... 22 Pacific’O.................... ..................................... 25 Roy’s......................... ..................................... 26 Ruth’s Chris Steak House.................................... 27 Teddy’s Bigger Burgers....................................... 24

Maalaea

Buzz’s Wharf.................................................... 23 Waterfront Restaurant... ..................................... 27

Makawao

Casanova................... ..................................... 23 Makawao Steak House.. ..................................... 22 Market Fresh Bistro........................................... 27 Polli’s............................................................. 21

Napili

Cafe O’Leia...................................................... 26 Mama’s Ribs ‘N Rotisserie................................... 21 Maui Tacos................. ..................................... 20 Sea House.................. ..................................... 23 The Gazebo..................................................... 24

Paia

Anthony’s Coffee Co........................................... 20 Café Mambo.................................................... 24 Charley’s......................................................... 21 Paia Fish Market............................................... 25

Wailea

Amasia...................... ........................................ Capische?....................................................... 25 Cheeseburger Island Style................................... 19 Duo............................................................... 26 Ferraro’s.................... ..................................... 25 Gannon’s - A Pacific View Restaurant..................... 22 Neighborhood Index

133


NEIGHBORHOOD INDEX

Food Score

Honolulu Coffee Company................................... 23 Joe’s Bar & Grill........... ..................................... 24 Mala Wailea.................................................... 25 Monkeypod Kitchen...... ..................................... 23 Nick’s Fishmarket.............................................. 25 Ruth’s Chris Steak House.................................... 27 Spago........................ ..................................... 26 Tommy Bahama Restaurant and Bar....................... 22

Wailuku

A Saigon Café.............. ..................................... 25 AK’s Café................... ..................................... 23 Asian Star.................. ..................................... 26 Cafe O’Lei....................................................... 26 L&L Hawaiian Barbecue...................................... 18 Tasty Crust................. ..................................... 19 Tokyo Tei................... ..................................... 24

134

Guide to Hawaii’s Best


RESTAURANT INDEX ‘Ama’Ama.................. ..................................... 12 ‘Ono Bar & Grill................................................ 97 12th Ave. Grill.............. ...................................... 11 21 Degrees North............................................... 11 3660 on the Rise................................................ 11 53 by the Sea.................................................... 11 808 Bistro.................. ..................................... 84 A Saigon Café.............. ..................................... 84 AK’s Café................... ..................................... 84 Akasaka..................... ...................................... 11 Alan Wong’s............... ..................................... 12 Aloha Mixed Plate........ ..................................... 84 Amasia...................... ..................................... 84 Andy’s Sandwiches & Smoothies........................... 12 Angelo Pietro.............. ..................................... 12 Anna Miller’s 24-Hour Restaurant......................... 12 Anthony’s Coffee Co........................................... 84 Arancino.................... ..................................... 13 Arancino di Mare......... ..................................... 13 Asahi Grill.................. ..................................... 13 Asian Star.................. ..................................... 85 Assaggio.................... ..................................... 13 Auntie Pasto’s.................................................. 13 Azul............................................................... 14 Azure............................................................. 14 Ba-Le Sandwich Shop.... ............................. 14,58,85 Bac Nam......................................................... 15 Baci Bistro....................................................... 15 Bali Steak & Seafood..... ..................................... 15 Bamboo..................... ..................................... 58 Bangkok Chef.............. ..................................... 15 Bangkok House Thai.......................................... 58 Banyan Tree................ ..................................... 85 Bar Acuda.................. ..................................... 72 Bay Terrace...................................................... 58 Beach House............... ..................................... 72 Beach Tree Bar & Grill......................................... 58 Beachhouse at the Moana................................... 15 Beijing....................... ..................................... 16 Benihana.................... ..................................... 16 Bernini Honolulu.......... ..................................... 16 Index A - Z

135


RESTAURANT INDEX

Big City Diner................................................... 16 Big Island Grill............. ..................................... 58 Bistro Casanova........... ..................................... 85 Blane’s Drive Inn............................................... 58 BLT Steak................... ..................................... 17 Blue Ginger Café.......... ..................................... 81 Bogart’s Cafe & Espresso Bar................................ 17 Bongo Ben’s Island Cafe...................................... 58 Boston Basil’s.............. ..................................... 58 Boston Style Pizza............................................. 17 Boston’s Pizza Kailua..... ..................................... 17 Brasserie Du Vin............................................... 17 Bravo........................ ..................................... 18 Brennecke’s................ ..................................... 72 Brick Oven Pizza............................................... 72 Brown’s Beach House.... ..................................... 58 Bubba Burgers.................................................. 72 Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.............................. 18,58,85 Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream............................. 18 Buca di Beppo.................................................. 18 Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar.............................. 18 Bull Shed......................................................... 73 Burgers on the Edge...... ..................................... 19 Buzz’s Lanikai.............. ..................................... 19 Buzz’s Pearl City................................................ 19 Buzz’s Wharf............... ..................................... 86 Cafe 100.................... .................................... 60 Cafe Haleiwa............... ..................................... 19 Cafe Julia........................................................ 19 Cafe Kaila................... ..................................... 19 Cafe Laufer................. ..................................... 20 Café Mambo.................................................... 86 Café Miro........................................................ 20 Cafe O’Lei....................................................... 86 Café Pesto...................................................... 60 Café Portofino.................................................. 73 Cafe Sistina................ ..................................... 20 Caffe Coco................. ..................................... 73 California Beach Rock ‘N Sushi.............................. 20 California Pizza Kitchen................................. 20,86 California Wok............ ..................................... 21 136

Guide to Hawaii’s Best


RESTAURANT INDEX

Camellia Buffet................................................. 21 CanoeHouse................................................... 60 Capische?....................................................... 86 Casa di Amici.............. ..................................... 73 Casablanca at Kiahuna....................................... 73 Casanova................... ..................................... 87 Castaway Café............ ..................................... 87 Chai’s Island Bistro............................................ 21 Challenge at Manele Clubhouse............................ 81 Champa Thai of Kailua........................................ 21 Charley’s......................................................... 87 Cheeseburger in Paradise................................ 21,87 Cheeseburger Island Style................................... 87 Cheesecake Factory...... ..................................... 22 Chef Mavro..................................................... 22 Chiang Mai Thai........... ..................................... 22 Cholo’s Homestyle Mexican................................. 22 Chuck’s Steak House..... ..................................... 22 Cilantro Grill.................................................... 87 CJ’s Deli & Diner............................................... 87 CJ’s Steak & Seafood..... ..................................... 73 Coast Grille................ .................................... 60 Coconut’s Fish Café...... ..................................... 88 Coffee Shack................................................... 60 Coffee Talk................. ..................................... 22 Colleen’s at the Cannery..................................... 88 Cool Cat Cafe................................................... 88 Crepes No Ka Oi.......... ..................................... 23 Curry House CoCo Ichibanya................................ 23 d.k Steak House................................................ 23 Da Big Kahuna’s Pizza-n-Stuffs............................. 23 Da Kitchen................. ..................................... 88 Dani’s............................................................. 74 Dave & Buster’s................................................ 24 Diamond Head Cove Health Bar............................ 24 Diamond Head Market & Grill.............................. 24 Dixie Grill........................................................ 24 Don the Beachcomber... ..................................... 61 Dondero’s....................................................... 74 Doraku Sushi............... ..................................... 24 Dragon Dragon............ ..................................... 88 Index A - Z

137


RESTAURANT INDEX

Duane’s Ono-Char Burger.................................... 74 Duc’s Bistro................ ..................................... 25 Duke’s Beach House..... ..................................... 89 Duke’s Canoe Club............................................ 74 Duke’s Waikiki............. ..................................... 25 Duo............................................................... 89 Eggbert’s......................................................... 74 Eggs ‘n Things............. ..................................... 25 Eskimo Candy Seafood Market............................. 89 Ethel’s Grill...................................................... 25 Ezogiku...................... ..................................... 25 Famous Dave’s................................................. 89 Fat Greek................... ..................................... 26 Feral Pig Pub & Restaurant................................... 75 Ferraro’s.................... ..................................... 89 Fish Hopper..................................................... 61 Five Palms Beach Grill.... .................................... 90 Fleetwood’s on Front Street................................. 90 Fook Yuen....................................................... 26 Formaggio Grill................................................. 26 Formaggio Wine.......... ..................................... 26 Fresh Catch................ ..................................... 26 Gannon’s - A Pacific View Restaurant.................... 90 Garden Island Barbecue...................................... 75 Gaylords at Kilohana..... ..................................... 75 Genki Sushi............................................. 27,75,90 Gerard’s..................... .................................... 90 Giovanni’s Aloha Shrimp..................................... 27 Goma Tei Ramen.......... ..................................... 27 Good To Grill.................................................... 27 Grandma’s Coffeehouse...................................... 28 Greek Marina................................................... 28 Green Door................. ..................................... 28 Gyotaku.......................................................... 28 Hakkei............................................................ 28 Hakone........................................................... 28 Hale Vietnam.............. ..................................... 29 Haleiwa Thai............... ..................................... 29 Hali’imaile General Store..................................... 91 Hamura Saimin Stand.... ..................................... 75 Hana Ranch..................................................... 91 138

Guide to Hawaii’s Best


RESTAURANT INDEX

Hanalei Gourmet............................................... 76 Hanamaulu Cafe.......... ..................................... 76 Hank’s Haute Dogs............................................ 29 Hapa Grill................... ..................................... 29 Harbor House.................................................. 61 Hard Rock Cafe............................................. 29,91 Hau Tree Lanai............ ..................................... 29 Hee Hing......................................................... 30 Helena’s Hawaiian Food...................................... 30 Highway Inn................ ..................................... 30 Hilo Bay Café................................................... 61 Hiroshi Eurasion Tapas.. ..................................... 30 Hoku’s............................................................ 30 Honolulu Coffee Company................................ 31,91 Honu......................... ..................................... 92 Honu’s....................... ..................................... 61 Huggo’s..................... ..................................... 62 Hukilau Lanai.............. ..................................... 76 Hula Grill........................................................ 92 Hula Grill Waikiki......... ..................................... 31 Hulopo’e Court................................................. 81 Hy’s Steak House.............................................. 31 I’O............................ ..................................... 92 Ichiriki Japanese Nabe........................................ 31 Ige’s Restaurant & 19th Puka................................ 31 Imanas Tei....................................................... 32 Imari.............................................................. 62 Indigo........................ ..................................... 32 Isana......................... ..................................... 92 Island Lava Java................................................ 62 Island’s Fine Burgers..... ..................................... 32 Jackie Rey’s Ohana Grill...................................... 62 Jameson’s By The Sea......................................... 32 Japengo.......................................................... 92 Jimmy Buffett’s at the Beachcomber....................... 32 JJ Bistro & French Pastry..................................... 33 JJ Dolan’s........................................................ 33 JJ’s Broiler.................. ..................................... 76 Joe’s Bar & Grill........... ..................................... 92 Kaka’ako Kitchen......... ..................................... 33 Kalaheo Café & Coffee Co.................................... 76 Index A - Z

139


RESTAURANT INDEX

Kalapaki Beach Hut....... ..................................... 76 Kaleo’s Bar & Grill........ ..................................... 62 Kamuela Provision Company................................ 63 Kauai Grill.................. ..................................... 77 Keei Café................... ..................................... 63 Ken’s House of Pancakes..................................... 63 Keneke’s.................... ..................................... 33 Kenichi Pacific.................................................. 63 Keo’s in Waikiki................................................ 33 Keoki’s Paradise................................................ 77 Kilauea Lodge Restaurant.................................... 63 Kimo’s............................................................ 93 Kincaid’s......................................................... 33 Kintaro...................... ..................................... 77 Kirin......................... ..................................... 34 Kiss My Grits.............. ..................................... 34 Kit N Kitchen.................................................... 34 Koa Pancake House...... ..................................... 34 Kobe Japanese Steak House & Oku’s Sushi Bar...... 34,93 Koho Grill & Bar................................................ 93 Koloa Fish Market............................................. 77 Kona Inn Restaurant...... ..................................... 64 Kua ‘Aina Sandwich...... ..................................... 35 Kuhio Grille..................................................... 64 Kukui’s........................................................... 77 Kuru Kuru Sushi................................................ 35 L&L Hawaiian Barbecue.......................... 35,64,78,93 La Bourgogne.............. ..................................... 64 La Mariana Sailing Club...................................... 35 La Mer...................... ..................................... 36 La Tour Cafe.................................................... 36 Lahaina Coolers........... ..................................... 94 Lahaina Grill.................................................... 94 Lahaina Prime Rib & Fish Company........................ 94 Lanai City Grille........... ..................................... 81 Lava Lava Beach Club.... ..................................... 65 Le Bistro.................... ..................................... 36 Le Guignol.................. ..................................... 36 Lei Lei’s........................................................... 36 Lemongrass Grill............................................... 78 Lighthouse Bistro.............................................. 78 140

Guide to Hawaii’s Best


RESTAURANT INDEX

Lihue Barbecue Inn............................................ 78 Liliha Bakery.................................................... 37 Little Village Noodle House.................................. 37 Lobster King............... ..................................... 37 Lodge at Koele Dining Room................................. 81 Los Chaparros............. ..................................... 37 Lucky Belly................. ..................................... 37 MAC 24/7.................. ..................................... 37 Makawao Steak House.. ..................................... 94 Makino Chaya.................................................. 38 Mala Ocean Tavern....... ..................................... 94 Mala Wailea.................................................... 94 Mama’s Fish House....... ..................................... 95 Mama’s Ribs ‘N Rotisserie................................... 95 Manago Restaurant........................................... 65 Manta & Pavilion Wine Bar.................................. 65 Marco’s Grill & Deli............................................ 95 Mariposa................... ..................................... 38 Market Fresh Bistro........................................... 95 Matsumoto’s Shave Ice.. ..................................... 38 Maui Brewing Co............................................... 95 Maui Fish & Pasta......... ..................................... 96 Maui Tacos................. ............................. 38,65,96 Max’s of Manila................................................ 38 Mediterranean Gourmet..................................... 78 Mediterraneo.............. ..................................... 39 Mei Sum Dim Sum............................................. 39 Mekong Thai II................................................. 39 Merriman’s................. ............................. 65,78,96 Merriman’s Market Café..................................... 66 Michel’s..................... ..................................... 39 Mitch’s Sushi Restaurant..................................... 39 Miyo’s............................................................ 66 Monico’s Taqueria............................................. 79 Monkeypod Kitchen...... ..................................... 96 Monstera................... ..................................... 66 Monterey Bay Canners Fresh............................... 40 Morimoto Waikiki........ .................................... 40 Morton’s The Steakhouse................................... 40 Mr. Ojisan.................. .................................... 40 Natsunoya Tea House........................................ 40 Index A - Z

141


RESTAURANT INDEX

Nick’s Fishmarket.............................................. 96 Nico’s at Pier 38........... .................................... 40 Nihon............................................................. 66 Nobu Waikiki.............. ..................................... 41 Nori’s Saimin & Snacks.. ..................................... 67 Norio’s Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar................. 66 Ocean House................................................... 41 Oceanarium..................................................... 41 Okonomiyaki Chibo........................................... 41 Ola................................................................ 41 Olive Tree Café............ ..................................... 42 Ono Hawaiian Foods..... ..................................... 42 Orchid Thai..................................................... 67 Orchids..................... ..................................... 42 Original Pancake House...................................... 42 Outback Steakhouse..... ............................. 42,67,97 P.F. Chang’s China Bistro..................................... 43 Pacific’O.................... ..................................... 97 Paesano..................... ..................................... 43 Pagoda Floating Restaurant.................................. 43 Pah Ke’s Chinese Restaurant................................ 43 Paia Fish Market............................................... 97 Panda Cuisine............. ..................................... 43 Panya Bakery Express........................................ 44 Panya Bistro.................................................... 44 Peace Cafe..................................................... 44 Phuket Thai.................................................... 44 Pineapple Grill............. ..................................... 97 Pineapple Room........... .................................... 44 Pint + Jigger..................................................... 45 Plantation Gardens....... ..................................... 79 Plantation House.......... ..................................... 98 Plumeria Beach House........................................ 45 Polli’s............................................................. 98 Pomodoro.................. ..................................... 79 Postcards Café................................................. 79 Prima........................ ..................................... 45 Prince Court................ ..................................... 45 Rays on the Bay........... ..................................... 67 Real A Gastropub.............................................. 45 Red Salt..................... ..................................... 79 142

Guide to Hawaii’s Best


RESTAURANT INDEX

Red Water Café................................................ 67 Restaurant Epic................................................. 46 Romano’s Macaroni Grill..................................... 46 Round Table Pizza........ ............................. 46,67.98 Roy’s......................... ........................ 46,68,79,98 Ruby Tuesday.............. ..................................... 47 RumFire..................... ..................................... 47 Ruth’s Chris Steak House............................ 47,67,98 Sam Choy’s Breakfast, Lunch & Crab...................... 47 Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai.... ..................................... 68 Sansei....................... ............................. 47,68,99 Sarento’s on the Beach... ..................................... 99 Sarento’s Top of the “I”....................................... 48 Scotty’s Beachside BBQ...................................... 80 Sea House.................. ..................................... 99 Seaside...................... ..................................... 68 Shirokiya......................................................... 48 Shokudo.................... ..................................... 48 Shore Bird....................................................... 48 Shrimp Station............. .................................... 80 Siam Garden Cafe............................................. 48 Side Street Inn............. ..................................... 49 Singha Thai Cuisine...... ..................................... 49 Son’z Maui at Swan Court.................................... 99 Sorabol...................... ..................................... 49 Soul De Cuba Cafe............................................. 49 Spago........................ ..................................... 99 Spices....................... ..................................... 49 Stage........................ ..................................... 49 Steak Cattle Company........................................ 50 Stella Blues................. ................................... 100 Suntory...................... ..................................... 50 Sushi ii...................... ..................................... 50 Sushi Izakaya Gaku....... ..................................... 50 Sushi King....................................................... 50 Sushi Sasabune................................................. 50 Sushi Shiono............... ..................................... 69 Tai Pan Dim Sum............................................... 51 Tanaka of Tokyo........... ..................................... 51 Tangö Contemporary Cafe................................... 51 Tanioka’s.................... ..................................... 51 Index A - Z

143


RESTAURANT INDEX

Taormina......................................................... 51 Tasaka Guri Guri Shop...................................... 100 Tasty Crust................. ................................... 100 Tea at 1024...................................................... 52 Ted’s Bakery................ ..................................... 52 Teddy’s Bigger Burgers....................................... 52 Teshima’s................... ..................................... 69 The Counter................ ..................................... 52 The Fish and the Hog Market Cafe......................... 69 The Gazebo................ ................................... 100 The Grove.................. ..................................... 52 The Terrace................ ..................................... 82 The Willows..................................................... 53 Tidepools................... .................................... 80 Tiki’s Grill & Bar........... ..................................... 53 To Chau..................... ..................................... 53 Tokyo Tei................... ................................... 100 Tommy Bahama Restaurant and Bar................. 69,100 Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin.... ..................................... 53 Tony Roma’s............... ..................................... 53 Town......................... ..................................... 53 Uncle’s Fish Market........................................... 54 Verbano Italiano.......... ..................................... 54 Verbano Pastaria............................................... 54 Vino Italian Tapas & Wine Bar.............................. 54 Wada............................................................. 54 Wahoo’s Fish Taco............................................. 54 Waikoloa Grill & Bar........................................... 69 Wailana Coffee House........................................ 55 Waiola Bakery & Shave Ice II................................ 55 Waioli Tea Room & Bakery................................... 55 Waterfront Restaurant... ................................... 100 Wolfgang’s Steakhouse....................................... 55 Yakiniku Seoul............. ..................................... 55 Yanagi Sushi.................................................... 55 Yohei Sushi................. ..................................... 56 Young’s Fish Market........................................... 56 Zippy’s...................................................... 56,100 Z Pizza...................... ................................ 56, 69

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Guide to Hawaii’s Best



Beaches n' Dreams Guide to Hawaii's Best