Good Eats

Ah, yes one of the most important items on the agenda: where to eat.  Below are a list of good eats while you stay on the island:
Chef Mavro One of the few 5 star restaurants on the island and Eu-jeania's favorite.  Located in McCully, open Tuesday to Sunday from 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm.  She loved the chef's tasting menu, but not for the light of wallet.  See her review in Eu-jeania's Picks.
Hiroshi Eurasian Tapas Tied for second place, located on Restaurant Row in Downtown, open nightly from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm.  Love the tapas-style servings, you get to try almost everything.  See blogpost here.
3660 On the Rise Tied for second place on good restaurants, located in Kaimuki, open Tuesday to Sunday from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm.  The cuisine is Euro-Island.  The calamari appetizers are excellent and so is the filet mignon wrapped in applewood smoked bacon.
Alan Wong Hawaiian fusion restaurant that only serves dinner, located on the 3rd floor of an office building in McCully open nightly from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  Three-way tie for second place.  See blogpost here.
Vino Italian wine and tapas bar, open Wednesday and Thursday 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm, Friday and Saturday 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm.  Right next door to Hiroshi and shares the same owner, haven't eaten here, so can't comment on the food.
Yakiniku Hiroshi Not to be confused with Hiroshi's Eurasian Tapas, this is one of the best places for Kobe beef.  Conveniently located in the heart of Waikiki, open nightly from 5:30 pm to 11:00 pm.  It's about quality over quantity here, so expect to pay for it.  See blogpost here and check Eu-jeania's review on Eu-jeania's Picks.
Roy's Hawaiian fusion restaurant.  Has three locations: Waikiki, Hawaii Kai (east end of Oahu), and Ko'Olina (west end of island).  Great food and drinks.  
La Mer Fine Neoclassic French dining in the Halekulani Hotel in Waikiki.  Open 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm, gentlemen are required to wear a long-sleeve collared shirt or jacket.
Nobu Waikiki This is the Waikiki branch of the famed chef Nobu Matsuhisa.  Located in the Waikiki Parc Hotel, open Sunday to Thursday from 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm, Friday to Saturday from 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm.  The bar is open nightly from 5:00 pm to 12:00 am.  Best known for their Japanese fusion and black cod with miso.  See blogpost here.
Morimoto Waikiki Restaurant of the famed Iron Chef himself, Masaharu Morimoto, located in the Edition Hotel.  Open from 6:30 am to 10:00 pm.  Dinner is served from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm.    It has an open kitchen, so some days you can see the Iron Chef at work.
Orchids Noted for their great brunch, this fine restaurant is also open for dinner.  Located in the Halekulani Hotel in Waikiki.  Open for dinner nightly from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
The Pineapple Room by Alan Wong Alan Wong's chefs had an idea and wanted to serve breakfast and lunch as well as dinner.  Located in another office building, conveniently at Macy's in Ala Moana Center.  Breakfast is only served on the weekends, Saturday from 8:00 am to 10:30 am, Sunday from 9:00 am to 10:30 am; open for dinner from Monday to Saturday 4:00 pm to 8:30 pm; lunch is Monday to Friday from 11:00 to 4:00 pm, Saturday 11:30 pm to 4:30 pm, and Sunday from 11:30 pm to 3:00 pm.  Great place to eat and more casual than his flagship restaurant.
Pandovi's Grill Steakhouse with a French twist and slightly less expensive than other fancy steakhouses.  Located near the Ala Moana Shopping Center in the Uraku Building.  Dinner is from Monday to Saturday from 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm.  Lunch served Wednesday thru Friday from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm.
House Without a Key Good place to watch the sunset with a mai tai and dinner.  Located in the Halekulani Hotel in Waikiki, open for dinner from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm.  Please note: this place is expensive.
Hy's Steakhouse  Located in the Waikiki Park Heights Hotel, open weekdays from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm and weekends from 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm.  Think of this as an old English steakhouse with a Pacific twist, this restaurant is decorated like an old English mansion and the waiters are dressed in tuxedos.  Hy's offers choice cuts of steak and Island favorites to go with an extensive wine list and full bar.        
Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin The only authentic tonkatsu restaurant in Honolulu, located in Waikiki.  For those that don't know, tonkatsu is breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet.  It's like walking into a Japanese restaurant, but you're still in Hawaii.  Hours vary, but it's open from about 11:30 am to 9:30 pm, Fridays and Saturdays only it closes at 12:00 am.  See blogpost here.
Tango Located near Ward Center, this contemporary cafe is the creation of the Swedish chef Goran Streng.  Food and decor has a Nordic twist to island cuisine.  See blogpost here.
12th Ave Grill This is contemporary American cooking with a local twist that pairs well with microbrews and wine.  Located in Kaimuki on 12th Avenue, open from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm from Monday to Thursday, 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm from Friday to Saturday.
Town Small dining room with innovative fusion food, located in Kaimuki.  Open for breakfast from Monday to Saturday from 7:00 am to 11:00 am; lunch from Monday to Saturday from 11:00 am to 2:30 pm; dinner served from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm Monday to Thursday and 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm Friday to Saturday.  Menu changes daily based on what's in season.
Mitch's Fish Market and Sushi Bar Almost a hole in the wall, one of the best sushi restaurants with it's own fish market next door.  Located by the airport and please note: this place is not cheap.  This place receives Eu-jeania's stamp of approval for sushi.  For our review and see blog post here.

For more fine dining, check out Restaurant Row.  Located near downtown Honolulu by the pier, there are several restaurants to choose from.  

Mac 24-7 One of the few restaurants in Waikiki that's open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Food is good here, but I've mostly stopped by for breakfast.  Home of the Mac-Daddy Challenge as seen on Travel Channel's "Man vs. Food" with Adam Richman.  See blogpost here.
Oceanarium Restaurant The Oceanarium Restaurant located in the Pacific Beach Hotel right on Waikiki Beach.  Sit down to a buffet style meal while watching the stingrays, fish, and divers swim in the 280,000 gallon aquarium.  See blog post here.  
Helena's Hawaiian Foods Winner of the James Beard Foundation Award (the Oscars of the food world), but is small, family owned restaurant that is borderline hole-in-the-wall restaurant.  For first timers, try Menu D, gives you a little bit of everything.  Must try their signature dish: pipikalua ribs.  Other notable dishes are the fried butterfish (black cod) collars and laulau.  For our review and the clip from Adam Richman's "Man vs. Food" on the Travel Channel see blog post here.
Yanagi Sushi A fine and affordable sushi restaurant located in Kaka'ako/Downtown area.  The chef received his training in Japan and the walls are lined with pictures of celebrities that ate here.  Lunch is from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Dinner hours are from 5:30 pm to 2:00 am Monday to Saturday.
Sam Choy's Great breakfast place, haven't tried it for lunch or dinner.  Located past the Aloha Tower.  Not as pricey as the above restaurants, but still delicious.
The Pig and the Lady A pop-up restaurant focusing on Vietnamese fusion food.  What's a pop-up restaurant?  A restaurant that "pops-up" anywhere, including in other restaurants.  Currently popping up in Hank's Haute Dogs for dinner, but could move elsewhere.  Invention of Andrew Le, former sous chef of Chef Mavro's, so you know it's good.  I haven't eaten there, but someone else has.  Read the review here.
Hank's Haute Dogs Gourmet haute (or hot) dogs as featured on "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives".  Located past Ward Center.  Try the Lobster Dog or the Fat Boy.  See our review and Guy Fieri's visit here.
Yama's Fish Market More like a fish deli, they specialize in different poke (Hawaiian ceviche) and Hawaiian food (kalua pig, bentos, lomi lomi salmon).  Located in McCully.  The first thing my sister does when she flies to Hawaii is to stop here and get the poke.  It's that good.  Read blogpost here.
Kaka'ako Kitchen From the same chefs that brought you 3660, they created a restaurant for casual dining.  Try the tempura ahi sandwich.  Located in Ward Center.  See blogpost here.
Ka'Ikena Restaurant at Kapiolani Community College Great view, good food, and good service, just keep in mind the chefs and waitstaff are students at the culinary school.
Chun Wah Kam This is the place for manapua (Hawaiian for char siu bao/sticky buns/pork buns) located in Kalihi.  Basically, the Hawaiian take on chinese dim sum pork buns.  Not only do they have pork buns, but SEVERAL different fillings and flavors.  Try the roast duck, azuki red bean, lup cheong (chinese pork sausage), thai curry chicken, sweet potatoe and more.  See blogpost here.
Liliha Bakery Famous for their coco-puffs.  Creme puffs filled with chocolate and topped with chantilly cream, one of the best desserts!  Located near Kalihi.  Another one of Eu-jeania's Picks.  See blogpost here.
Leonard's Bakery Best known for their malasadas! Malasadas are a portuguese donut without the hole, deep fried, and dusted with sugar.  Located outside Waikiki in Kapahulu.  See blogpost here.
Rainbow Drive-In Great plate lunches here!  A local favorite for their loco-moco plate: scoop of white rice topped with a hamburger patty, fried egg, and gravy.  Also try the mix plate: fried Mahi-Mahi, fried chicken, teriyaki beef, 2 scoops of rice, and a scoop of mac (macaroni) salad.  Located outside of Waikiki.  
Nico's at Pier 38 Parking is hard to get to, but they get fresh fish.  Try the fish and chips or the grilled ahi sandwich.
Phuket Thai Good, upscale thai place located near Ward Center.
The Counter Located in Kahala Mall, this place lets you custom build your own burger like Fuddrucker's.
Side Street Inn Literally a hole in the wall that got bigger, this is where the chefs from the top restaurants come to hang out and enjoy Hawaiian style food after work.  Open from 2:00 pm to 2:00 am, has a full bar, TVs....and karaoke.  Also, featured in Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" show on the Travel Channel.
Tokkuri Tei One of the first and most famous Izakaya (Japanese tappas) restaurants in Honolulu where celebrities and locals hung out in a small hole in the wall that served good food and drinks.  It moved and grew 3 times it's size, now located just outside of Waikiki in a small mall on the second floor at approximately 426 Kapahulu Ave.
Royal Garden Restaurant Located in the Ala Moana Hotel on the 3rd floor, this is one of the better dim sum restaurants.  Great food and great (affordable) prices!!
Sorabol Authentic korean restaurant (meaning good kim chee and bad service) with good food and ambiance.
Shillawon Authentic korean restaurant (good kim chee, bad service) with ok ambiance.
Hog Island BBQ Memphis style, slow cooked beef brisket and pork.  Located in Kaimuki.
Smokin' Bob Barr-B-Q Haven't eaten here, reviews are mixed, but gives you another option for BBQ.
Cholos Mexican restaurant on the North Shore.  Ok mexican food. 
Hukilau Cafe Located on the North Shore of O'ahu near Hukilau Beach, this place is famous for their Hukilau Burger (1/4 beef patty, 1/4 teriyaki beef, fried egg, topped with cheese, with lettuce and tomato), the affordable prices, generous servings, and friendly service.  See blogpost here.
Zippy's A local staple, a chain of diners that serves good plate lunches and chili.  Eu-jeania gave this place the thumbs-up! 
Grace's Inn Another drive-in chain, filling, but not as tasty as Zippy's or Rainbow.      


Ah-Lang aka Angry Korean Lady I'm torn on this one.  This is a one-woman show, she is the only cook, waits her own tables, and serves.  Service is slooooowww, you need to pour your own drinks and write your own order, but the food is very good!  Obviously, this business model wouldn't survive in other towns but definitely try the korean chicken wings.  By the way, you'll see that sign on every table....and she is angry.
Kona Brewing Company Pub Local brewery located at the Koko Marina Center in Hawaii Kai (past Diamond Head on the east side of the island).  Haven't tried the food yet, but drank the beer.  
Hawaii Food Tours Try their Hole-in-the-Wall food tour.  Takes you to some of the tasty restaurants on the island.  See blogpost here.
Giovanni's Shrimp Truck Before the food truck craze swept the mainland, Giovanni's was cooking shrimp out of their converted bread truck on the North Shore.  Must try the shrimp scampi and check out the blogpost here.

More to follow later.