I was on the island for a week in May with my mother and grandmother. As we rented a house, we ate many meals at home, so this is a short report.
Assaggio - Hawaii Kai
Convenient to get to from the house we rented in Aina Haina, this was one of our first meals out. Everything was fine, though not outstanding. I realize Oahu is not known for Italian - it was just an easy choice for my mom and grandmother, particularly with location. We particularly enjoyed the caesar salad, which was made tableside and the server made it without anchovies for my mom and then added them in for me.
The Pineapple Room - Mother's Day Brunch
I took my mom and grandmother to the Pineapple Room for Mother's Day. I wanted to go to Orchid's and even with contacting them six months in advance, they were already booked and had a full waiting list. It turned out well, as Mom and Nan enjoyed being able to shop at the Ala Moana Centre before brunch! The food was fantastic, the service (as needed given a brunch buffet) was prompt and friendly, after a bit of a rocky start. We had reservations for 12:30 and showed up a bit early to a packed and busy room. I know this will sound ridiculous, but I hadn't really thought about the number of children that would be out for Mother's Day lol. It was noisy! Anyway, my mom is a diabetic, my grandmother is 90 - so after 15 minutes, I asked about being seated and was advised that we just had to wait our turn and they had no idea how long it would be. I explained about my mom and grandmother, and pretty much said that if we weren't seated in 5 minutes, we would leave - and sure enough, we were seated shortly after. The food really was great, particularly for a buffet. We tried a variety of items (for me, this was an opportunity to try some different food without dragging my mom and grandma somewhere too different for them) and while not everything was to my taste, it was all well prepared and presented. I think my mom could have eaten a dozen of their mini scones!
Jameson's by the Sea - Haleiwa
We went here twice, we so appreciated the food, location and service. Both times for lunch, so we had sandwiches, burgers, etc. Funny to comment on coleslaw but it really was delicious with some crushed pineapple added to the mixture. Everything was good but the reuben was a standout - huge, good amount of meat, tangy sauerkraut. Definite highlight was the pie - it was the macadamia nut cream pie from Ted's Bakery that brought us back the second time. The service was outstanding - friendly, helpful, prompt. Our first meal was for my grandmother's birthday and they provided her with a complimentary pie.
What's there to say, huge portions - my mother and grandmother shared a lunch sized portion of shepherd's pie and still couldn't finish it! My meatloaf was similarly sized. Food was okay - the shepherd's pie and meatloaf tasted the same, maybe made from the same base? None of us had been to a CF before (we're all from Canada), so glad to go, but I wouldn't seek it out again. Again, great service - appreciated that the server noted that my mom and grandmother could likely share a lunch portion and be just fine.
So, not the most spectacular report I've written. I was thrilled to get to a Leonard's truck on my first morning - the malasadas were delicious. My grandmother loved the custard ones - with her small appetite, it was great to see her enjoy them. I never did get to House without a Key or numerous other places, but this trip really was about spending time with my mom and grandmother and in that case, it was perfect! Thanks to all those who provide advice!.