We might not have a Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Hawaii, but we do have a Starbucks Reserve Coffee Bar. The Waikiki cafe on Seaside Avenue is the first in Hawaii to offer the company’s small-lot Reserve coffees in the premium Reserve Bar setting.
Whenever I visit Japan, I make it a point to visit as many different coffee shops as possible. The Japanese take their coffee seriously, and like most other things in Japanese culture, coffee brewing has become a meticulously studied form of art. So every morning that I spend at a different coffee shop is a different experience for me. I learn a little about the coffee that is served, but I also take some time to chat with the coffee artisan behind the counter to find out why they chose to devote their lives to coffee. The conversations in my broken Japanese is always memorable. Like with my other Five To Try posts: this is by no means a Top 5 list of any kind, just a selection of five interesting spots that I think are worth checking out.
The Shoreline Hotel recently opened their doors for us to enjoy a weekend stay at their sleek, modern hotel, located in the Heart of Waikiki. We used this time as an opportunity to enjoy the amenities that they offered and also explore some of the nearby food attractions…and my, oh my, there are many new options to consider.
On the cover of of the most recent issue of BRUTUS Magazine, a Japanese popular culture magazine that I follow, were the words: “No Tonkatsu, No Life.” I can relate. I love tonkatsu. My most recent trip to Japan happened because I was craving a taste of tonkatsu that I had on a previous visit. I’ve been known to have dreams of tonkatsu. So when we found ourselves having to run an errand in Waikiki, well, we just had to make a stop at Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin.
If you’re on Oahu and looking for a secluded resort, then Turtle Bay would be my recommendation. You’ll be far, far away from the hustle and bustle of Honolulu and Waikiki. You also won’t need to worry about food…Roy Yamaguchi has got you covered. Roy’s Beach House, located on the beach that fronts the Turtle Bay Resort, is the perfect place to enjoy a taste of Hawaii while listing to the crashing waves.
Those in Okinawa looking for an “authentic” American experience will often head to American Village, in Chatan, central Okinawa. As an American, it was interesting to see how Americana has manifested in Okinawa. Of course, the themed shopping district caters heavily to the US military personnel that occupy a large portion of the island.
Kauai is the island that you visit if you’re searching for old Hawaii charm and rugged outdoor beauty. There are places on Kauai where you can truly get away. One of those places is Polihale State Park, a remote beach on the western end of Kauai. About an hour-and-a-half drive from Kapaa, Polihale beach is the westernmost publicly accessible beach in the state…and the drive to get there is something else…