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Thread: Favorite restaurants?

  1. #1

    Cool Favorite restaurants?

    We just moved here in August and live downtown. We eat out way too much. Here are some of my favorite restaurants so far. What about you? Some of these are very expensive so we either just get appetizers or we only eat there occasionally for special occasions.

    Empress Restaurant (Chinese) Delicious, sometimes hard to communicate with the people who work there, I love the duck and the soup

    Won Kee sea food restaurant (Chinese) Really really good. I loved the sizzling satay!

    Of course there are many great Chinese restaurants all over. These are two I loved. Fort Street has many little places of various Asian types that are good, too.

    There's a hole in the wall Filipino place on River Street we like called Mabuhay. Great chicken adobo.

    We tried a Vietnamese place that was really good, too. I think it was Pho 97.

    Another Vietnamese place we like is Duc's Bistro. This is a fancier place and very expensive but delicious.

    My two favorite "fancy" non-ethnic restaurants downtown are Epic and Hasr's Bistro. They are delicious and have good wine selections, too. We go to Epic quite often and generally have just wine and beer, and a few appetizers. I love their small plates, especially the salads and the scallops. They have good desserts, too. The only time we went there and I wasn't impressed was happy hour. Great service, too, and almost never too busy to get a table.

    Hasr's is pricier but also a tad better, I think. I guess it depends on which dish you get. They have an eggplant appetizer that, I swear, tastes just like lasagna. They have their own wine store, too, and also an outdoor seating area that usually has a nice live band. We went there for my birthday.

    Soul de Cuba is a delicious Cuban restaurant downtown that we go to often. All of these places are pretty good for knowing which dishes have gluten or not, too. Most have vegetarian dishes as well.

    We have gone often to the Hukilau in the Aston. I love their Huki Thai punch, a great drink, and their salads. Everything there is really great. Some good live music, too, and nice servers.

    We go to Murphy's sometimes because my husband likes the Irish beer. Their food is okay. I can't eat a lot of it because of not being able to eat gluten. I can eat their corned beef but don't like it. I do like their grilled chicken, their blackened chicken, and their steaks. My husband likes their wings. Their french fries are really really good. They also have a fantastic rich dessert, a chocolate pots de creme. This is like a mousse but thicker.

    He also likes J.J. Dolan's, which is mostly a pizza place but has Irish beer as well. I like their salads (they don't serve anything but pizza on Sundays). Their pizza is good but I can't eat the crust.

    The only gluten free pizza I've found on the island is the Z Pizza at Ward Center. They only deliver to a limited area and the pizza is really expensive. It's delicious, though. I think there's a Domino's somewhere, too, but they don't deliver anywhere near me. Domino's has gluten free pizza crust as well.

    We've gone to Gordon Biersch quite often. It's right on the harbor, in Aloha Tower. They have a great beer and food selection. A lot of their food is gluten free and in fact, they have a gluten free menu. I love their jambalaya and their salads.

    We have gone a lot to the usual fast food places around here like Subway, McDonald's and Jack in the Box. I haven't tried Zippy's yet. I have to eat gluten free so I can't have any of the bread. I love the salads at Subway or sometimes I will get a sandwich and just not eat the bread, or take it home and put it on gluten free bread. Safeway has Udi's and Rudi's gluten free bread. Other grocery stores I've been to don't have any. I'm sure Whole Foods does, though. I just haven't been over there yet. Jack in the Box will wrap their burgers in lettuce if you ask.

    I haven't yet eaten sandwiches or anything at 'umeke Market on Bishop, but it usually has some great gluten free cookies or scones. They run out quickly, though.

    I love Art's Hideaway. They have great lunches, and at night, they have good karaoke. Closed on the weekends, though.

    We usually go to Waikiki at least once a week, on the weekends. We like the Kani Ka Pila Grille at the Outrigger Reef. They are expensive, though, so we try to keep it cheap with appetizers, salads or sandwiches. I love the Lava Flow drink, and I think theirs is one of the best I've had. I try that drink in many places. I also liked the lava flow at Roy's and at the Mai Tai bar (both super expensive restaurants). My husband loves the mai tais at Kani Ka Pila, too, and we also love the Hawaiian bands there. It's by their pool, not on the beach, so it doesn't get quite as crowded as many places do. All of their food we've tried has been delicious.

    We've also tried the Shore Bird there. I heard their dinner there is good but you grill it up yourself. We've eaten at their late night menu that starts at 10. They have fantastic burgers and also gluten free buns, and good fries. I like their karaoke but it's too crowded usually. It doesn't start until at least 9:30 and you have to wait a long time to sing a second song.

    We've been to Rum Fire at the Sheraton quite a bit, too. I love the view of the beach there, and the food is great. They have a wonderful root beer float (with rum), too. I love their fish tacos that are gluten free (with lettuce wraps). They usually have a good band, too.

    We went to Roy's once and also to the Mai Tai bar at the Royal Hawaiian. Both had great drinks- super expensive food and drinks. Roy's was really good. Neither of us thought the food at the Mai Tai was that good. However, they had a nice Hawaiian band and were right on the beach, so it was a great atmosphere. I would say, drink there but skip the food. Roy's has great food but we were sitting at the bar next to the main street, with all the cars. The inside restaurant is probably a lot better. The bartender was very nice and knew what had gluten. He gave us free edamame that was yummy.

    We went to Kinkaid's at the Ward Center for Thanksgiving, and it was delicious. They made me a nice gluten free turkey dinner, and my husband had the regular one. Both were great. I hope we can go back there again and try their regular menu.

    We both also loved the restaurant Auntie Pasto's. They have gluten free pasta and yummy desserts. Huge portions.

    We enjoy the Japanese restaurant Hatsuhana at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. It is really good (kind of expensive). He has sushi and I usually have a salad and/or chicken. They are good about being gluten free if you ask. Most Asian restaurants use a lot of soy sauce, which often has wheat in it, so you have to ask to see if they can make foods without soy sauce. Their chicken there is really good even without soy sauce or teriyaki sauce.

    We tried Alan Wong's and it was really really good. It's expensive but not ridiculous. The drinks and service are wonderful, too. Big portions.

    I think that's the extent of the places we've tried. Any restaurants you guys can suggest that are good, that we haven't been to? We usually prefer to stay downtown, Waikiki or somewhere nearby.
    ************************************

    Suzanne Lanoue
    http://suzann.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Kapalama Heights.
    Posts
    5,198

    Default Re: Favorite restaurants?

    Italian: Cafe Sistina and Mediterraneo, both on King Street between Piikoi and Keeaumoku. Don't know if they have gluten-free pasta, but the gnocchi at Sistina is pretty good, and that's gluten-free, right? At Mediterraneo, the osso bucco has been so good it's brought me to tears.

    Greek: Olive Tree in Kahala. The chicken souvlaki and hummus are delicious.

    Nico's at Pier 38 (Iwilei): You almost can't go wrong with the catch of the day, whatever it is, but if the catch doesn't appeal to you, get the furikake ahi. The daily fish auction is on the same pier, so the fish is about as fresh as you can get it around here. Tastes like it swam right onto your plate.

    Sushi: Sushi Sasabune on King, between Keeaumoku and Kalakaua. Get the omakase service and bring about a hundred bucks per person. This is the best meal I've ever had.

    Indian: There are a lot of good Indian places, but Maharani on King (between Isenberg and University) is the best. Great vegetarian choices but everything I've ever had there has been excellent.

    Burgers: There are also some really good burgers on the island, but the one that's had me excited lately is the one at Salt on Waialae, between Koko Head and...12th? Something like that. If you can get there for happy hour, the burger is half price (one of the options you get is bacon jelly, which I highly recommend), and I really enjoy the sparkling wine they serve at happy hour.

    Dessert: My go-to place for dessert and coffee is Cafe Laufer on Waialae. You can almost always find something in the display case you've never had, and it's almost always good.

    Loco moco: There is this place on Kapahulu (across the Safeway) called Mac Nuts House. Most of the things I've had there are middle-of-the-road, but the loco moco is maybe the best I've had.

    Gastropub: For beer selection, you have to go to REAL: a Gastropub (across Ward Warehouse). The food there is pretty good too (get the candied bacon). For food, go to Pint + Jigger (King, between Kalakaua and McCully), whose beer selection is pretty great too. They have this item on the menu called Red Devils on Horseback (bacon-wrapped strawberries with lemon zest and a caramel drizzle) that, while not as delicious as it promises, is one of the most creative dishes I've had. The pigs-in-a-blanket and ceviche are my other favorites there.

    Hot pot: These places have been springing up like crazy these past couple of years, and the best I've had is Sweet Home Cafe, across Old Stadium Park. I've tried several of the broths, but once I had the pumpkin broth, I never went to anything else. It's super yummy.
    But I'm disturbed! I'm depressed! I'm inadequate! I GOT IT ALL! (George Costanza)
    GrouchyTeacher.com

  3. #3

    Default Re: Favorite restaurants?

    Carl's Jr., hiding near Sand Island Rd. and Nimitz Hwy. and the only one left on Oahu.

    Fine dining can be found nearby at HASR Bistro - 31 Pauahi St. www.hasrbistro.com - owner/chef-Terry Kakazu
    Last edited by Ron Whitfield; December 6th, 2013 at 09:38 AM.

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