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?
A few weeks ago, The Modern Honolulu announced that Masaharu Morimoto would be closing Morimoto after six years at The Modern. The restaurant will officially close its doors on December 8. I’ve frequented the restaurant regularly during their six-year run, often running into the “Iron Chef” himself. Of course, I had to visit once more before they closed.
In 2007, Hank Adaniya walked away from his highly acclaimed Chicago-based restaurant, Trio, to move to Hawaii to open a hot dog stand. This seemingly random diversion was nothing of the sort since his parents owned a small hot dog stand in Waikiki during the 1940’s. Fortunately for Adaniya, the high-end hot dog idea was a success and has become a go-to favorite for locals craving a great hot dog.
Oahu might have paved the way for the explosive popularity of local style shave ice, but Kauai has quickly taken over as the king of the fresh fruit shave ice movement. The Fresh Shave, owned by Daniel & Priscilla Soule chooses to use all-natural, local, and organic produce in their shave ice. Plus, they infuse a bit of hipster fun by mustache-ing up every detail of your shave ice eating experience. Mustaches aside, the shave ice at The Fresh Shave simply taste great.
I’ve enjoyed omakase in Tokyo, Hawaii, and New York City, arguably, three of the best places on Earth to enjoy sushi. Dining at Sushi Ginza Onodera ranks up there with my experience eating at the small sushi restaurants in Tokyo’s famed Tsukiji Market and at Daisuke Nakazawa’s (a former apprentice at Sukiyabashi Jiro) namesake restaurant, Sushi Nakazawa, in New York City’s West Village. Simply put, Sushi Ginza Onodera is the most authentic sushi experience in Hawaii. It’s almost as if you’re in Tokyo. Almost.