Herringbone Waikiki is as imaginative with its menu as it is Instagram friendly. You’ll want to take a photo of everything you see and taste at this International Market Place dining establishment. The Herringbone experience is one for all of the senses to enjoy. They’ve recently started to serve weekend brunch, and I think they’ve nailed it. And by the way…the weekend (at Herringbone) begins on Aloha Fridays…so plan accordingly.
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.
Tucked away on the corner of Hotel & Smith St. is the latest culinary experiment by the same duo that delivered the immensely popular Lucky Belly. Livestock Tavern reminds me of the hearty comfort food that I willingly indulge in whenever visiting the New England coast. Their winter menu includes choices like shellfish stew, braised beef tongue, and a devilishly delicious Maine lobster roll.
It’s been a while since I last dined at the trendy Stage Restaurant. When they first opened in 2007 at the Honolulu Design Center, Jon Matsubara was executive chef and George W. Bush was president of the United States. Seven years later, Chef Matsubara is now the man at Japengo and George W. Bush is painting somewhere in a barn in Texas. Former executive sous chef, Ron de Guzman, moved into the executive chef position and revamped the menu. The restaurant decor also received a facelift. Artwork of fanciful genetilia no longer dominate the walls. Now they’ve got Louis Vuitton lips.
There are 3 Arancino restaurants on Oahu. Arancino at The Kahala serves modern, innovative Italian cuisine. You won’t be going there to eat spaghetti and meatballs or lasagna. Think more sophisticated dishes such as uni pasta and wagyu beef bolognese.
Chelsea Market is to New York City as Reading Market is to Philadelphia. If you enjoy food, then it’s the place to go. The market is located in the Meatpacking District (MePa) just across the street from Google’s New York offices. On the floors above the market you will find EMI Music Publishing, MLB.com, the Oxygen Network, and, most fittingly, The Food Network. And just above Chelsea Market, on the 10th Avenue side, is New York’s elevated park, the High Line.
A bunch of breakfast/brunch places have been opening up on the island lately—bills Sidney, Koko Head Cafe, The Nook, and now Scratch Kitchen & Bake Shop. Coty and I love to eat breakfast on the weekends, especially since that’s the only time when we really get to do so together due to our work schedules. While looking at Scratch’s menu on their website, I knew that I wanted to go there for breakfast. But more than breakfast, I wanted to check out their dinner offerings. We will just have to return for breakfast another day.
Mariposa, Neiman Marcus’ signature restaurant, has been serving its chic food in Hawaii for some time now. And I have admit, it is one of my favorite places to have lunch when I’m looking to be spoiled just a tad bit. Golden popovers, chicken consommé, elegant decor, and friendly service is all part of the Mariposa experience. I can’t pinpoint it, but the restaurant has this old Hawaii vibe about it. Maybe it’s the open-air balcony seating that overlooks Ala Moana beach. Needless to say, ladies love to dine at Mariposa. It’s not uncommon to see older local ladies dressed in intricate muumuu’s, as well as the younger, business crowd with their hip Bottega Veneta bags. Laid back elegance and luxury, and sophisticated food, is what makes Mariposa a lunch time dining experience not to be missed.