Travel Koncierge: Honolulu page 5
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For breakfast, Duke’s http://www.dukeswaikiki.com/ is a pretty good
value. It is standard breakfast buffet with a few extras.
Indigo restaurant in Downtown at 1121 Nuuanu Ave. is open for lunch and
dinner http://www.indigo-hawaii.com/ . Don’t let the surroundings fool you,
this is a beautiful pan-Asian restaurant. They have a terrific lunch buffet that
is half price for kids. Not only are there wonderful things for adults, but the
kids can get a wide range of food that can appeal to even the most
"selective" eaters. Definitely worth exploring the neighborhood during the
The Pineapple Room at Macy’s http://www.alanwongs.
com/pineroom/pine_room.html is noteworthy for a couple of reasons: 1) it is
run by Alan Wong, one of the premier local chefs (get a sitter, Alan Wong’s is
worth the visit) and 2) if you can’t get the sitter, you can still try his cuisine,
enjoy a view of the Manoa Valley, and get some shopping. Last visit, it was
getting a little threadbare, but they are supposed to be sprucing it up soon.
Roy’s http://www.roysrestaurant.com/ is a family friendly yet elegant
dining spot. We have been to Roy’s in Hawaii Kai (there are 3 on O’ahu
alone), Spanish Bay (Monterey), and San Francisco and have had perfectly
delightful adult and family dinners. Their cuisine is Asian Fusion/Pacific
Rim and everything is thoughtfully prepared in the French tradition. Their
house wines are among the best, made especially for Roy’s by Lynn Penner
Ash at Rex Hill (Pinot Gris), Chardonnays by Jim Clendenen at Au Bon
Climat, and Cab Francs from Babcock Vineyards and a Cabernet Sauvignon
from Laurel Glen. This is in addition to their award-winning wine list.
Hale'iwa Joes www.haleiwajoes.com is a very family friendly place that
is suitable for casual and slightly nicer get-togethers. They have two
locations: One in Hale'iwa near the old bridge at the NE edge of town (66-
011 Kamehameha Highway (808) 637-8005) and Kaneohe (46-336 Haiku
Road, Kaneohe (808) 247-6671). We love their food and the atmosphere is
terrific. The Hale'iwa location looks out over the harbor and is a brisk walk
from the famous shave ice shops in Hale'iwa: Matsumoto's and Aoki's. The
Kaneohe location is special. It takes a little navigation, but once you find it
you are rewarded with breathtaking views of the Ko'olau mountains and
beautiful gardens that you can walk around before dinner. We are always
leery when the review starts with the view before the food but the food does
not disappoint. Everything we have had from local flavors to prime rib have
been outstanding. Worth the trip.
For a splurge
Sure, you can get a sitter and have an elegant dining experience, Most of
the really nice places are not places that your child would be happy at (and
you, as their parent would probably come to regret it). There are a few places
in Honolulu however, that are well-suited for children in particular: The
Kahala Resort http://www.kahalaresort.com/ and the Halekulani.
Kahala is a destination in itself. There are fish ponds with local reef fish, a
private beach, and a dolphin lagoon. It is a lovely place to walk around
before dinner. For dinner, we recommend the Plumeria Beach House
http://www.kahalaresort.com/dining/plumeria-beach-house.cfm. It is right
on the grass between the hotel and the beach. If you go, ask for a table on
the lanai. The food is pretty good but pricey, there is a kids’ menu, and when
they can’t take it any longer, they can play on the grass by the table or check
out the reef fish, sea turtles or dolphins without bugging too many people.
They have recently added live Hawaiian music and a hula dancer to make
an already lovely experience even better.
For dinner and some entertainment
The Halekulani http://www.halekulani.com/ is at the Ewa side of Waikiki.
Go valet since parking in that neighborhood is non-existent. The attraction
here is that every evening from 5:30 onwards there is live Hawaiian music on
the lanai by the beach at House Without a Key http://www.halekulani.
com/dining/house_without_a_key/. It is a lovely way to end the day. You
can get a meal there (we usually do) of pupus and nice moderately priced
drinks. The kids can play on the grass, you can walk to the beach, and the
atmosphere is very relaxed and nice. Make a reservation if you want a nice
table without a wait.
The Westin Moana Surfrider http://www.moana-surfrider.com/ is one
of the first hotels on the beach. It is noteworthy for families because of their
nightly hula show on the lanai. They have a keiki component on weekends
and the fire dancer is a hit. Food is not as nice as the Halekulani, but if you
are in Waikiki, you can walk which is nice. It is also on the beach.
Chai's Island Bistro, www.chaisislandbistro.com (the website has been on
the fritz) is in the Aloha Tower complex. The food is pretty good with an
island flair. The well-prepared (it is on the pricey side) food, the open air
setting, and the music are all compelling reasons to visit. Chai's features
local, less-touristy music from such acts as Olomana and the Cazimeros from
about 7:00 onwards most nights. Call them for a full line up (808) 585-0011
It is not "shaved ice". It is definitely "shave ice" without the "D". There are at
least four places that we would recommend. The big differentiators are the
fineness of the ice (the good stuff should be the consistency of powder, the
bad stuff is like crushed ice or for you skiers, corn), the tastiness of the syrups,
and the availability of other accessories such as ice cream, azuki beans, etc.
and creativity overall. Our four faves include:
130 Kailua Road
This is where President Obama went with the kids on his last family vacation
before taking office. Steps from Kailua Beach Park and a short drive from
Lanikai, this a great place to stop to get that salt taste from your mouth after a
day at the beach.
66-087 Kamehameha Highway,
Extremely popular. Some people come up to the North Shore JUST to have
their shave ice. You can expect lines and lots of Japanese tourists. They
make their own syrups.
66-117 Kamehameha Highway
Just as good as Matsumotos and more of a local element. They, like
Matsumoto's, claim to make all their own syrups. It is right next door to
Waiola Shave Ice
2135 Waiola Ave.
7:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
525 Kapahulu Ave. (about 0.5 miles from the Zoo on Kapahulu Ave. and
(11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
This great place has two locations: the original store, which is a little harder
to find off of King Street near the University (to get there, head up McCully
St. from Waikiki. Waiola is six blocks up from the Ala Wai Canal (the first
block is Kapiolani, 2nd is Lime St., Fern, Date, Citron, and then Waiola.
Take a right on Waiola and it is two blocks in on your right at the corner of
Waiola and Pa'ani St.), but well-worth the search; and Waiola Shave Ice II
about a half mile up Kapahulu Ave from the Zoo at Herbert St. (technically,
it is just in from the corner). We personally find Waiola's better than
Matsumoto's and you save a pretty long drive.
If you want the cold stuff, there is no question, go to Bubbies http:
//bubbiesicecream.gourmetfoodmall.com/ They have great flavors
including many with a local flair. They make all of their own ice cream at
their Aiea factory. They have two locations: off the beaten track at Varsity
Center on Coyne Street (the address is 1010 University Ave. ) near the
University. There is also a Bubbies in the Hawaii Kai Koko Marina Shopping
Center for an apres-Hanauma Bay treat.
Travel Koncierge Honolulu Page Five
Updated May 28, 2009
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