Thursday, June 25, 2009

Breakfast, Tea, Lunch & Things - Waikiki

Here's a quick run down on quick places to eat while in Waikiki:


Wailana Coffee Shop (1860 Ala Moana Blvd) offers an old diner classic feel with killer breakfast deals--$4 or so gets you eggs, bacon, sausage and toast. The lines look long but goes by pretty fast (20 min wait on weekends.) Across the way is Eggs and Things (343 Saratoga Rd) always crowded and popular with Japanese tourists--get there early. Pay for parking or bring plenty of quarters for meters. Check out Mac 24/7 at the Prince Kuhio Hotel (2500 Kuhio Ave., 808.922-0811) for the biggest pancakes I've ever seen. It's bigger than my face and thicker than magazine, and will last you three plus meals.

For a nice brunch try Orchids at the Halekulani hotel (Sun, 9:30-2pm, 808.932.2311) or Prince Court (100 Holomoana St, Hawaii Prince Hotel). The later has a hot and cold buffet with the second best granola I've had--laced with coconut, cinnamon, dried pineapple, and other Hawaiian inspired flavors. Ocean view of the harbor and nice service. I haven't been but others recommend: Hoku's (10:30-2pm, 808.739.8780) at the Kahala Resort and Mariposa (Sun, 11-3pm, 808.951.3420) at the Ala Moana Nieman Marcus.

If you're headed toward the airport you can stop off at Sam Choy's Breakfast Lunch & Crab (580 Nimitz Hwy) or Liliha Bakery and diner {see other posts for more on this}.

Afternoon Tea

Tea sandwhiches, scones and dessert parted with a pot of freshly brewed tea is a nice mid-afternoon treat. Not to heavy and a perfect way to get out of the sun. In Waikiki try the Moana Surfrider hotel and sit on the veranda facing the big bayon tree from 1-4pm (808.921-4600) ($42), Neiman Marcus restaurant Mariposa ($31) on Sundays 3-5pm (808. 951.3420) or the Veranda at the Halekulani hotel in Waikiki from 3-5:30 daily ($26) 808.923.2311. {For more on tea places see other posts.}

You can't leave Hawaii without getting some shave ice. Try Waiola Shave Ice at 2135 Waiola Ave/ Paani Street (808.949.2269) or 525 Kapahulu Avenue ((808) 735-8886). Libby's Manapua sells manapua for $0.95 each--they sell out the good stuff before noon, and at times there's a line out the door. {photo above} (410 Kalihi Street a few blocks from Nimitz Hwy, 808.841-2253). Leonards and Champions are well known for their malasadas and Liliha Bakery for their Coco Puffs. The best Dim Sum outside the San Gabriel Valley (CA) is at Panda Cuisine. Located across from Walmart they have one of the few places that serves din tai fun. The best part? Dim Sum is served all day until 2am! (641 Keeaumoku Street, 808.947.1688). And pick up some killer musubi at Mana Bu on King street (1618 S. King St., 358-0287). Get there before 1t0:30am when doors open for musubi (rice balls) filled with shiso (leaf), wakame (kelp), veggie curry pilaf and baked salmon, colorful and individually wrapped for a snack on the go. {photo below}. You can also try locally owned Bubbies or Dave's for ice cream, or Japan branches of Mochi Cream mochi (Shirokiya's) orBeard Papa's cream puffs at the Waikiki Beach Walk (Lewers ave.)For snacks to take home, make a run to Walmart (mac nuts, crack seed, cuttle fish), Costco (furikake cereal mix, hurricane popcorn, chocolate covered mac nuts individually packaged for co-workers) and Wholesale Unlimited (cracked seed, arare, Betty's Shortbread Cookies, smoked ika) in seven locations. The Honolulu Cookie Company has chocolate dipped shortbread cookied shaped in pineapples at the Waikiki Beach Walk on Lewers. Big Isaland Candy has the best chocolate dipped shortbread, but you have to fly to the Big Island for those.

Lunch on the Go
Check out Puka Dogs on Kuhio Ave for island flavored hot dog relishes; Cheeseburger in Paradise (2500 Kalakaua Ave) which only sells cheeseburgers--not hamburgers (it's was just okay). And the top level of Shirokiya dept store at Ala Moana mall has pre-packaged Japanese food to go--a great bento for a picnic at the beach or Ala Moana park.

Early Bird Specials
Sansei Seafood & Sushi Bar--get there by 5pm for 50% off sushi on Thursdays (I believe). My experience in Oahu wasn't too good (2552 Kalakaua Ave, 808.931.6286). A popular place in Maui.

Drinks and Libations

For a relaxing evening, head to the Surfrider Hotel for cocktails and beer under the stars. Sit under the big banyon tree by the pool and listen to live music nightly. A mellow but festive place to unwind in Waikiki. Also, check out the live jazz lounge at the Halekulani Hotel (photo above). Relaxing, signature drinks, sake, fondue and dainty desserts. Love that the lead jazz singer is Asian American (a rarity). Those are two of my favorite Waikiki places. Nicest night time Honolulu panaramic views are from the Hano Hano room at the Sheraton Waikiki, and Aarons at the Ala Moana hotel.
For wine lovers, try a glass at Roys Waikiki (226 Lewers, 808.923.7997) and Nobu Waikiki {above} (2233 Helumoa Rd, 808.237.6999). Other wine places outside Waikiki: Amuse, Brasserie Du Vin, or Vino. To buy and bring a bottle for your own dinner I recommend Amuse, Fujioka's Wine Store (2919 Kapiolani Blvd), or Tamura's Fine Wine & Liquor (3496 Waialae Ave) for the best selection on the island. The Wine Experience allows you to cork your own unique mix--but plan to return in couple months to pick up your order. You can also purchase one of their house bottles; I enjoy bringing it next door to the India Cafe (1016 Kapahulu Ave) which doesn't charge for corkage. Costco has a decent selection for wine on the run.

Rum drinkers: Rum Fire at the Sheraton Waikiki.

Local brewski's and live music: Check out Tiki's at the top of the Waikiki Resort Quest hotel (2570 Kalakaua), Dukes at the Waikiki Outrigger (2335 Kalakaua), or Kinkaids in Ward. Sports and beer at the Yard House on the Waikiki Beachwalk, E&O Trading Co and Big City Diners (latter two at Ward.)

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