First, thanks to all for the tips and Honolulu recommendations! We were only able to make it to Honolulu for a meal at House Without a Key after our trip to Pearl Harbor, and to Roy's Waikiki right before we dropped of our rental car and returned to the frigid Midwest. I can't exactly remember when we ate where as we were constantly snacking and trying new things, but, here's a quick rundown of what I remember and my favorite parts.
We stayed at turtle bay for a week and got there around 10pm, we were starved after 15 solid hours of airports and airplanes. We checked in, grabbed a couple adult beverages and checked out the resort a little. Ended up ordering room service off the late night menu. I believe it was from the north shore kula grille. I had a huge roast beef and Gouda sandwich, gf had turkey with jalapeño jack chess I believe. Each was $19 and huge! Worth it? No, but there weren't any other options. The next day we headed down to haleiwa town so the gf could do a little shopping. I ended up finding souvaly's Thai truck and grabbed some chicken pad Thai to share. Nothing special, but we can't get any Thai at home so it was quite good to us. We follewed it up with a shave ice at matsumotos, touristy but tasty, I had the lychee and enjoyed it. Now things get fuzzy as to when we went where so I'll just list em all. Pa'akai at turtle bay resort late one night. Gf had ahi, and I did a surf and turf with the catch of the day. She loved the ahi, my steak was cooked perfectly and the fish was amazing. Only thing I can complain about was them being out of our first two choices of bottled wine. We settled for a glass each. Price wasn't too bad, portions were though, I finished her ahi and was still hungry after. Kula grille at turtle bay. I was craving chicken for some reason so just my luck they were out. So I went with the pork belly and it was good, not great. Gf had the Hawaiian beef hot pot which we both liked. It was even better the next day as leftovers. Tasted like something grandma used to make. We also started with the cheese board, which was good. And also the taro purée. Kind of bland but I've never had taro. Room service one evening we ordered a club sandwich for the gf and a burger for me. Cooked mid-rare to order was very good, with surprisingly good fries.
In haleiwa we ate at Jameson's, gf had pink snapper, I had stuffed shrimp. Breading seamed soggy but flavor was very good. We both enjoyed an evening on the patio by the ocean. Could have served us anything and I think we would have had a good time.
Quick bite at Cholo's, we each had a taco and shared taquitos. Ok but nothing special.
Banzai Sushi. I got a seaweed salad and was amazed at how good it was! We also shared the red dragon roll. Spicy tuna and cucumber roll with avocado, jalapeños and ahi. Just great, wish we could've went there again.
Opal Thai. Highlight of the trip for me. If your familiar with the place you know how to order. But the owner comes out, asks you what you know about Thai food, what you like and cooks you something. I'm adventurous, gf not so much. We got pork laub, which was unlike anything I'd ever had. Gf loved it. Then came a duck curry which was absolutely amazing!! Gf said she didn't like duck and I said I did. She likes it now. We got another dish and neither one of us knows what it was but it was just as good if not better(gf says better). A bunch of veggies and some rice. Whatever it was it was great!
There's a little place next door, I forget the name, but we shared a loco moco there before opal Thai opened. Tried something new and it was good.
Ted's bakery. my cousin who lives on the island swears by this place. I tried my second loco moco and it was better than the first. Gf had a chicken sandwich which she said was good. Brought a piece of chocolate haupia pie back to the room. amazingly good, and I'm not big on sweets.
Scoop of Paradise. I had vanilla macadamia nut waffle cone, gf had chocolate macadamia nut, both were good. We voted mine to be a little better.
After spending a day visiting the kua'loa ranch with family, my cousin said a had to go to 7/11 and get spam musubi. We stopped at the first 7/11 on our way back to the resort.I couldn't believe how good it was. We then stopped at Giovanni's shrimp truck in kuhuku I believe. I got my shrimp truck and I thoroughly enjoyed making a mess of myself, gf had had enough seafood so she got the hot dog. In her defense I make us get a hot dog in every town we go to just to try it the local way. We walked over to the next truck down, some sort of shrimp truck with Thai food. Ordered some spring rolls, drowned them in chili sauce and cock sauce. Nothing to write home about.
Back in haleiwa. Waialua bakery. Stopped in for chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies and I grabbed a turtle ball. A gooey ball of raw deliciousness. We stopped back on our way to the airport for a sandwich( turkey with a pepper jelly I believe) very good. The bread was amazing, and of course more macadamia nut cookies and some sort of bar.
Honolulu. After Pearl Harbor and a morning of getting drenched, with a hot dog at Pearl Harbor. We drove down to Waikiki beach and parked at the halekulani sp? Anyway we arrived around 330 and gf had the cured beef panini with a watercress aioli which she though was great. I had chicken curry which was probably pretty good, but, I've never had any food spiced the way this was. I liked it but it was definitely new to me. We have no Indian cuisine at home.
Roy's Waikiki. Our last meal before heading home. In our goofy style we decided we'd get 3 apps. I wanted the butterfish with Japanese black rice. We both wanted to try the pork and beef potstickers, and the baby back ribs. All three were phenomenal! We sat in the bar on Ala Moana blvd and enjoyed our last and maybe best meal on Oahu.
Anyway thanks to everyone who replied to my original post. The folks never wanted to go out to a nice meal with us. Theirs was a surf n turf with scallops, and the butterfish at Ola at turtle bay. And they complained about the price. One day I'll get them! Hope this dumb little list helps anyone going to the north shore for the first time. Mahalo