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Trip Report - Oahu Feb 2014

KatBurglar | Feb 18, 201409:51 AM

Good day Chowhounders... thanks for all the help for my recent trip to Oahu. Here is my report in case it is helpful to others!

Kani Ka Pila Grill (Outrigger Reef). This is the poolside bar in the hotel where I stayed, so I had snacks there a few times plus breakfast once. Snack type foods were very good, especially the coconut shrimp and the kalua pork quesedilla, but the drinks were expensive. There is a $7 breakfast special, fried rice, eggs and ham, tasty and good value.

Shore Bird. Also in the Outrigger Reef. Went for one supper. This is grill your own meat plus a salad bar. I can imagine some people like the grill your own meat thing but it didn't appeal to me. I can grill at home anytime, when I'm on vacation, I'd really prefer someone else to do it for me. However, this place has $3.50 mai-tais on the beachfront, so visited several times for drinks.

Gionvanni Pastrami - Waikiki - went for breakfast. I had eggs benedict, pretty typical, fairly expensive, nothing special.

House Without a Key. Went for supper, it was a mixed experience. Cocktails were fabulous, easily the best of the trip (although expensive, $12-13). Salads were delicious, seems odd to get excited about a salad but they really were amazing. However, main courses were only average and the service was lacking. Waitress was completely unfamiliar with the wine list and unable to recommend anything, service was slow, and empty plates sat in front of us for a long time.

The Pig and the Lady. This was one of the true Chowhound experiences because I would never have known about this place otherwise. Went for lunch, we went early which was lucky because it was soon lined up onto the street. I had pho, which I have all the time at home, but not like this! Only a few ingredients but so good. Why can't pho taste like this all the time?!

Side Street Inn. This was my only repeat from my previous trip to Oahu because it was just so good before and it did not disapoint. I only wish I could eat here with a big group to be able to order more dishes. With just two of us, we had mahi mahi, short ribs and fried rice. All was amazing and the leftofter ribs and rice made for another meal.

Wailana Coffee House. Went for breakfast twice. Delicious and affordable.

Doraku sushi. Decent sushi but not mind-blowing. Wish I could have made the transportation work to try one of the recommended places out of Waikiki.

Haili's Hawaiian foods. Went on the recommendation of a cab driver. Had a combo plate that was enough for lunch for 2 for $15 with poke, kalua pork and some other Hawaiian foods that I don't recall, but everything was good.

Jameson's - on the north shore. It was pouring rain so we switched plans from a shrimp truck to a restaurant to warm up and get dry. Seafood chowder was exactly what a damp cold person needed.

MW. This was the most expensive dinner of the trip, totally worth it. We did the chef's 5 course tasting. Started with an appetizer sample of 4 little appies. Wish there was more of the nachos topped with poke, absolutely delicious. Then went to a white fish with a long Hawaiian name that I can't remember, but was perfectly cooked with a crispy crust, one of the best pieces of fish I've had in a long time. A seafood pasta, also lovely, and then beef tenderloin. Lilokoi creme brulee for dessert. All of the food well executed. Small hiccup with service; we had ordered wine pairing with the chef tasting and never got the wine meant to come with the appies until after we'd finished them. But there was an immediate apology and we were not charged for that one. I also didn't enjoy the first two wine selections of the 5, but I'm prepared to chalk that up to personal taste and not the restaurant's fault.

Overall lots of great eating on this trip! Thanks Chowhound.

Giovanni Pastrami,
Side Street Inn,
Side Street Inn Kapahulu,
Wailana Coffee House
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