A couple of 50 year olds, my wife and I have been here a # of times and we're back for 11 days this trip. Already spent 3 on Oahu ("borrowing" a friend's condo in Waikiki: not a bad life, huh?). Here's the report:
We still love "House With No Key" in the Halekulani for sunset w/music. The drinks & food are very reasonable considering the ideal setting and we wound up splitting apps. for dinner last night, getting back in the swing of things here. Personally, I wouldnt have cared if the food was barely mediocre; however, it was much better than that and we had a great time. Coconut crusted shrimp especially tasty finger food, but the salads were good as well. Go 6pm and get a prime table. Watch the water, see the sun go down and listen to the live Hawaiian music. They absolutely welcome non hotel residents. Glasses of wine for $6 or umbrella drinks for $7 will be all you need spend. The crisp hawaiian potato chips are free.
Ate at Hau Tree Lanai at sunset tonight and, again, all was excellent. It's become our regular place to go for an idyllic setting with above average food at "worth every penny" prices. However, if you're based in Waikiki prime, you need a car to get there(did I mention that the condo came with an indoor parking space?! I know, gloating isnt good manners). Six of us sat under the 2 front row trees and watched the scene in awe, while eating well above average food (no, it's not Roy's nor Alan Wong). My grilled mixed seafood entree included excellent swordfish, simply prepared and very fresh, and included a medium size lobster tail, a large shrimp and several scallops, all with garlic mashed potatoes & broccoli ($30). That, plus a spinich salad ($7) was a perfect meal. My wife & 2 others got the fixed price ($45) dinner, which had a huge shrimp app. (either grilled or cocktail) followed by a combo platter of swordfish with a crabmeat crust, 2 sizable fillet mignons, and a lobster tail, followed by dessert and coffee. All good. Enough food for 2 but I dont know the sharing policy. Only the umbrella drinks were mediocre. Stick to the reasonably priced wine list (J.Lohr chard. or cab.sauv. for $7/glass is an example). Total was $120/couple; given the entirety of it all, quite all right by me.
The daily excursions have yielded excellent ice cream at Dave's (North Shore, between Pali Hiway & Sea Life Park) & very good dim sum in Chinatown (forget the name of the place but its a large space with a sign saying "all dim sum $1.50". On King St. off Maunukea?: great selection, all good, and you can ask for takeout if you want to walk & eat; they'll put a selection of dumplings in a styrofoam container). And... my favorite every time... a trip to the Farmer's Mkt behind Ward's Warehouse (Ala Moana) for a great selection of poke (sort of "poor man's ceviche", if you dont already know). I mean, for $6.95/lb. there's a very large assortment, ranging from ahi (tuna) prepared several ways to tako (octopus) to mussels w/red pepper and all is perfectly fresh and unavailable (at least to my knowledge) anywhere in NYC. I would fly out here just to eat poke!! Havent been yet this trip, but the other poke place to go is Tomashiro's (spelling?) on King St. So... what does everyone else think of poke? Sounds like a perfect chowhound food to me. Jim: do you know about this stuff?
Off to Maui tomorrow. Back to Oahu on Friday (already have next Sunday res. at Michele's). No other islands this trip. Will probably post again. (since the condo also came with a computer and Road Runner: damn, I love this!). 'Night all.