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Looking for ideas for first and last meals of trip


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Restaurants & Bars 5

Looking for ideas for first and last meals of trip

autumnmist | Mar 11, 2011 11:40 PM

I wanted to start out by thanking everyone for all the useful information on this forum. My boyfriend and I are heading to Oahu in a week and we're so excited about this vacation. We'll be staying in Kailua for 6 nights, arriving late Monday afternoon and departing Sunday afternoon (4pm from HNL).

Background: We are both grad students so money is something we have to keep in mind for meals. We are planning to cook/eat simple meals some of the time, maybe doing eggs etc for breakfasts, some picnic lunches, some farmer's market munching for brunch/dinner. We live in Chicago and love dining out when we can -- some of our favorite "fancyish" meals here have been at Boka, Mirai Sushi, Brasserie Jo, Naha, LM Restaurant, and Nacional 27. We usually take advantage of Restaurant Week to keep the total meal $80-$100 for the two of us, however we also equally love eating (typically lower-priced) ethnic foods (Ethiopian, Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Thai, Mexican--especially Bayless' Xoco). Also love Restaurant August in New Orleans and Sushi Yasuda in NYC (yeah ok we didn't pay for that one).

I haven't fully figured out our Oahu itinerary yet but will be posting about that soon to see what you all think about nearby places for food. In the meantime, I was hoping to get some suggestions for the following things:

1) first meal in Hawaii -- We will have a rental car and will be driving to Kailua from HNL. Where do you recommend for a first meal in Hawaii? I'm thinking nothing particularly fancy as we'll be in traveling clothes, exhausted from the nonstop 9hr flight, and starving (it'll be 9pm Chicago time when we land). Ideally we'll be able to drive to Kailua, drop off our bags and then feed ourselves somewhere nearby.

2) 1 or 2 fancyish meals -- Aiming for $80-$100 for two people, including drinks (we are always happy to share an inexpensive bottle, get glasses, or even no wine at all, so if the food is amazing, we won't miss the wine too much). If I had infinite money, we'd definitely go to Alan Wong's (maybe we can afford a la carte?) How about 3660 on the Rise?

3) last meal in Hawaii -- We need to be at the airport by Sunday 2pm to check in for a red-eye flight. Based on the timing, I'm guessing our last meal might be brunch. I'm a bit of a romantic so I've been imagining that we might have a romantic brunch in Waikiki before heading to HNL. I see that a lot of people recommend Orchids but it's expensive. I've also seen a few posts about the Oceanarium, and brunch at the Kahala hotel (but I couldn't tell if it was for the Plumeria Beach House or Hokus). Is it "worth it" to pay $50-60/person for brunch at these places given our plans? We certainly appreciate great atmosphere/ambience, but given a choice between two restaurants with equal quality food but $20/person more for nicer atmosphere, we'd choose to save the money.

4) food for a 9hr redeye flight back to O'Hare -- we're flying good old economy class (no meals included) leaving HNL at 4pm and arriving in the morning in Chicago. Any suggestions on takeout food/meals/snacks to pack to make the flight just a little less painful?

Thanks so much!

Alan Wong's Restaurant
1857 S King St Fl 3, Honolulu, HI 96826

5000 Kahala Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

Plumeria Beach House
5000 Kahala Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

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