Most people who live in Hawaii, including myself, can't afford to eat at Alan Wong's, Roy's, etc. much more often than the infrequent special occasion. However, most local people can and do eat regularly at the many mom and pop type hole in the wall restaurants that are all over the island, dining on things like saimin, chop steak, and loco moco. Two books have just been published that highlight many of these places that previously were known mostly by word of mouth:
The Puka Guide and The Okazu Guide, both by Donovan Dela Cruz and Jodie Endo Chai (Watermark Publishing, $8.95 each)
I have no idea how one would get these outside of Hawaii--Borders sells them locally here, perhaps they can ship?
I bought a copy of The Puka Guide, and can vouch for its authenticity--these are places that local people really eat at,and the food is what most homesick islanders really crave when they're away, and many of these places were ones that have been well kept secrets even to longtime residents who don't happen to live in that particular neighborhood. Good stuff; each one has enough information to keep you busy (and happy) for a long time.Today's online edition of the Honolulu Advertiser has a featured story on these books and their authors if you're interested.