Restaurants & Bars

Kauai/Oahu chow report

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Kauai/Oahu chow report

zippyh | Sep 18, 2005 02:26 AM

Oahu/Kauai/Oahu Food Report

We had one night in Honolulu, then 5 nights on Kauai, and then another 5 nights in Honolulu. We stayed at the Hawaii Prince Hotel for the first night, then the Princeville Resort, then back to the Prince for 3 nights and then two nights at the Halekulani.

Dinner at Mariposa in Neiman Marcus at Ala Moana mall.
Had a pork chop which was average. Can’t remember what Mrs. Zippyh had. I don’t remember much about the food other than the salads were overdressed. Service was somewhat lacking although it seemed due mostly to our server having to cover too many tables. It wasn’t very busy given that it was Wednesday night. No popovers at night but the monkey bread was good. I think this is really more of a lunch place. We’ve had lunch there several times but this was our first (and probably last) dinner.

Breakfast at Longhi's at Ala Moana.
This was a pleasant surprise. We just went there because they serve breakfast and they were within a short walk from our hotel. I remember eating at the one on Maui years ago and not being impressed. Mrs. Zippyh had French toast with mac nuts. I had fish and eggs. It was a nice pan fried piece of mahi with two eggs and French bread toast. It didn’t come with potatoes. The mahi was moist and not overcooked. Coffee was good. Service was good but the place was almost empty. Nice open air room with a view of the park and ocean. Just ignore the parking lot below you.

Dinner at Hanalei Gourmet on Kauai
We had the fish tacos. Some one told me they only serve those once a week. We were there on a Thursday if it matters. They were pretty good fish tacos although I’m not a connoisseur of fish tacos. There were two of them. Each had a big piece of some kind of deep fried fish. Not greasy at all for fried fish. Tacos had shredded cabbage and some kind of white sauce. They were also served with black beans and rice and a mound of fresh salsa. We started by splitting a small Waldorf salad. Aside from too much dressing this was quite good. They had a good selection of wines and also some beers on tap. Wifey and I shared some kind of chocolate cake thing which was okay. It tasted like it had been in the cooler a while. But it was also only $3. Taco plates were $13 or so each. I’d go back here again. Contrary to what’s stated in their ad in one of those free restaurant guides, they weren’t open for breakfast.

Breakfast Buffet at Princeville Resort.
It’s a breakfast buffet at a nice hotel. It’s about what you’d expect. I think it was about $22 for the full and $19 for the cold. The view makes it worth it and the papaya was always ripe.

Lunch at Lighthouse Bistro
Man this was nasty. Salty overcooked fish sandwich. I guess my wife’s fish tacos weren’t too terrible.

Hanalei Mixed Plate (across the street from Hanalei Gourmet)
Pretty good kalua pork with cabbage plate. Served with brown or white rice. (No macaroni salad!) Wifey had a very good fish sandwich with waffle cut fries. We were there kind of late in the afternoon and they were out of a lot of stuff including the teriyaki chicken and beef. I saw some other food go by and it all looked good. My plate was about $7 and my wife’s was about $11.

Seafood Buffet Dinner at Princeville Resort
Some one told me this was pretty good. I must hunt him down and beat him. The less said about this the better. It was expensive too ($45? each).

Coconuts Grill in Kapaa
We both really enjoyed this place. I had tempura ono with wasabi and unagi sauce. The wasabi was surprisingly strong for a sauce like that. (Unagi sauce isn’t made from eel but it usually served with it.) The ono was cooked all the way through but wasn’t over done which is always a danger with ono. Wifey had some kind of fish. We started with ribs which were good but nothing special. We also had a goat cheese salad which was basically a green salad with a huge piece of goat cheese. All the produce was very fresh. This place had a real friendly vibe. I think our main courses were in the mid twenty range. Servings were very generous. They serve hummus with the bread which was rather odd though.

Breakfast at Eggberts in Kapaa.
Wifey had loco moco which was your basic loco moco (i.e. rice, hamburger patty, two eggs, and topped with brown gravy). I had Portuguese sausage eggs benedict. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Eggs were soft poached how I like them, but I was tasting sausage all day.

Number 1 Chinese BBQ and Plate Lunch in Lihue
I’ve never been to a plate lunch place with table service. We both had some form of mixed plate with assorted teriyaki meats. It was fairly standard plate lunch and a bit on the greasy side. It was pretty cheap though.

Sushi at the Living Room (i.e. the lobby bar) at Princeville Resort
Just don’t. Actually the ingredients were okay, but it looked like it was made by a five year old.

Shave Ice at the place next to Bubba’s Burgers in Hanalei
Kinda crunchy. Shave Ice shouldn’t be crunchy.

Duane’s Ono Char Burger
It was an okay burger. It sure wasn’t worth the 45 minutes wait. At least there were chickens and feral cats to keep us amused. I had the island boy burger. That’s a teri burger with pineapple and cheddar cheese. Wifey had the regular teri burger. Onion rings were good. Fairly disturbing to see one of the workers come out the back, take off his shirt and have a smoke. The huge belly had a lot to do with the disturbing aspect.

Hanalei Dolphin
Had an overcooked piece of monchong. How does a restaurant with an attached fish market overcook their fish? The thick part which wasn’t too over cooked was pretty good though. Dinners included a salad.

Alan Wong’s Honolulu
We’d eaten here a few years ago and had a so-so meal. It was much better this time. We started with Asian duck nachos. These were taro chips topped with a very good guacamole and slices of duck with crispy skin. These were a knockout. I could have eaten a plate of these by myself. Then we had the hot California roll. This was baked lobster mousse in nori with avocado stuffing. Good, although kind of hard to eat without them falling apart. There was no relation at all to sushi California rolls except for the nori. I had the Kalbi Short Ribs. Nothing like the thin grilled meats you’d expect and were the thick braised kind. They were fork tender and very rich. Also topped with a couple grilled shrimp. I can’t remember what wifey had other than it was fish and it was good. They have an extensive list of coffees and tea. Coffee is French press and $6 or more. Tea is served as a wad of leaves in a cup. For dessert we had the chocolate sampler. I can’t remember much about it other than it was chocolaty and good.

Roy’s Honolulu
We’ve always had good meals at this Roy’s. We started with the Canoe Appetizer. It had shrimp, ribs, seared ahi, chicken spring rolls and pot stickers. The ahi was exceptionally good. I don’t know why, but I always order the pork pot roast here. I did again. It was pretty good. Fork tender served with mashed potatoes (I was getting rather tired of rice by this time, and I’m Asian) and some brocolini. Mrs. Zippyh had some kind of Hawaiian fish that translates to some variation of snapper. We shared the haupia sampler. It was okay.

Seafood Buffet Dinner at the Hawaii Prince restaurant (Prince Terrace I think it’s called)
We were very pleasantly surprised by this. As part of the room package, we got $100 dining credit so we went here one night. It’s a nice location with a view of the Yacht harbor (Allegedly the original opening to Gilligan’s Island was filmed there. Strangely enough, we were eating breakfast there when we read that Bob Denver had died. Circle of life and all that I guess.). There was an extensive selection of good (for a buffet) seafood and salads. Dungeness crab, boiled shrimp, mussels, raw oysters. There was also a make to order sushi bar and a pho bar(!). I think the price was about $40 per person.

Breakfast Buffet at Hawaii Prince.
It was included in the room rate. It was okay. Friendly service. Kept your coffee cup filled.

Lunch at Alan Wong’s Pineapple Room in Macy’s at Ala Moana
We at here twice. Wifey had the Thai Cobb (get it?) salad. She liked it a lot except she picked off the blue cheese, which I love, and gave it to me. I had the loco moco. This was the fanciest loco moco I’ve ever had. It was fried rice with lots of Chinese sausage bits, topped with a big thick coarsely ground hamburger patty, two eggs, and veal jus. It was very good. The second time we came here I had the Kalbi short ribs which ended up being the thin grilled type over that same fried rice. They were good enough but nothing real special. Wifey had kalua pork nachos. These were on taro and corn chips I think. It was a huge portion.

Northshore Shrimp Truck
We ate at the one near the Turtle Bay Resort. Long wait for our shrimp but it was worth it. I had spicy and wifey had lemon garlic. They’re served headless and split up the back with shells and legs. I guess you could eat it all but the legs creep me out so I shelled mine. For some reason I don’t mind eating the heads fried, go figure. Anyway, the shrimp were tender and sweet and fresh. Mine were fairly spicy but they didn’t overpower the shrimp. They use chicken sauce (i.e. sriracha with the chicken on the label). Served with rice, salad, and pineapple. Pineapple was amazingly tender and sweet. We also ordered corn on the cob which was sweet but somewhat tough. Each plate was $11. The coconut shrimp (deep fried) looked pretty good but they ran out while we were there.

Pupus at House Without a Key at Halekulani
There was some street festival going on closing down Kalakau Ave so we bagged going out and just had pupus at House Without a Key. We ordered a hot pupu platter (coconut shrimp, ahi skewers, and spring rolls) and an order of coconut shrimp. Mmmm, coconut shrimp. We watched the hula and listened to the band. They’ve been doing the same set for as long as I can remember. After mai tais and pupus, we went and wandered the street festival. I’d never heard Every Breath You Take (Police) performed by a band with an electric ukulele before that night. After walking, we returned to the hotel where I returned to the room to put long pants on and we went to the lounge. There used to be a mean old witch who used to bar entry to bare legged men in the evening. We ended the evening with coffee and coconut cake. Or in my wife’s case, champagne and coconut cake. Halekulani coconut cake is one of the best things in life.

Orchids at Halekulani for dinner
We each had the steamed Onaga with Chinese vegetables. It’s finished with hot oil. We ended with more coconut cake.

Halekulani Brunch
It’s good. It’s expensive $50. I like the salad and dessert selections the best. There’s all the coconut cake you could dream of.

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