Forget about that burger. You’re in Hawaii, so have a taste of the local cuisine. When the laulau cravings strike, there’s one place to go: Ono Hawaiian Foods. This legendary hole-in-the-wall on Kapahulu Avenue is known for making some of the most mouthwatering laulau in the islands.
A visit to Tanioka’s Seafoods & Catering is like taking a crash course in Local Hawaiian Grinds 101. Founded in 1978 by Mel and Lynn Tanioka, this contemporary delicatessen has been serving local delicacies for nearly 30 years. Tanioka’s is as close as you can get to an IRL cheat sheet of local foods.
Located in the old plantation town of Waipahu, Tanioka’s popularity stems from their successful catering business, however, that doesn’t stop locals from standing in line (out the door and often in the hot sun) for some local comfort food. If Hawaii’s okazuya and crack seed shops of yesteryear were to have a baby, Tanioka’s would be it. And trust me, that baby is oh so delicious.
A founding contributor of Hawaii Regional Cuisine, Peter Merriman has long been known for his inventive menus that champion local farmers and fisherman. We are definitely fans of Chef Merriman and always make it a point to enjoy his offerings when visiting the neighbor islands. His namesake Merriman’s restaurants are found in Waimea on the The Big Island, Kapalua on Maui, and Poipu on Kauai. Oahu is home to two of his more casual, concept restaurants: Monkeypod Kitchen and Moku Kitchen. We finally had a chance to check out the latter.
Kapolei is hardly the first place that pops to my mind when it comes to contemporary, modern dining. That said, Oahu’s “Second City” has been stepping up her game. The latest addition worth mentioning is Chef Roy Yamaguchi’s contribution to the westside, Eating House 1849. Located next to the Regal Kapolei Commons 12 Theater Complex, this is the second of three Eating House 1849 restaurants to pop up in the state. If you’re a fan of Roy’s, then you’ll likely want to make the drive out.
All-you-can-eat bread & pastry, good coffee, lovely ambience, and notoriously long wait times. These were all things that I had either heard or read about before I stepped into Cafe Lani, one of the restaurant offerings in Ala Moana Center’s new Ewa Wing. But what would my actual experience be like?
Over the last two years, my wife and I have taken advantage of the long Thanksgiving break to explore our neighbor islands (see some of our Lanai and Hawaii Island posts). This year, however, we weren’t able to leave Oahu…and so we decided that since we couldn’t hop on a plane, we would instead jump in our car for a sweet little staycation.
A few weeks ago, our friends over at Island Air asked me to participate in a 12-hour island hopping adventure. The goal? To showcase just how easy it is to travel to one of Island Air’s neighbor island destinations (Lihue, Kahului and Kona). I wanted to be sure to fill the 12-hours with a ton of stuff that I had never experienced before on the the Valley Isle.