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An Army Food Advisor's View On Hawaii Restaurants
So in keeping in the spirit of simplicity,
this page shall be. No links, charts or tables. All restaurants will
be listed alphabetically.
Just scroll the page to go to the restaurant you want to read about. You will notice nearly all breakfast places are just maybe recommended; that's because I'd much rather eat a quick snack at home and practice gluttony for lunch and dinner. LOL.
All establishments were dined at among the years 2003 through 2005 with most being in either 2003 or 2005 due a year away to Iraq. Is not a comprehensive place of the places I've frequented which are too numerous for me to spend the time on such an undertaking as to try and remember all of them. All listed below are Oahu based. I did get to visit the big island and can without reservation recommend Cafe Pesto (DELICIOUS+ food) and Harrington's (TOP NOTCH above the call of duty friendly service)--both in Hilo.
One other oddity; you will note I have not reviewed any Chinese restaurants. That is because of all I have tried, I cannot say I enjoyed any of them!
places: La Familia-Waipahu, Compadres, Rosie's Cantina, California Pizza
Kitchen, Haliewa Joes--all recommended.
Cholo's Mexican, Pizza Bobs--both not recommended. (Cholos--crowded, confused place offering little value,
Pizza Bob's--You can't have it your way-that's for sure)
So enough blathering; on to the details. (Latest restaurant reviews--the name is in this color).
Anna Millers. Pearl Ridge. Along w/ Zippys it's the late night place. Actually it's the place where club goers, late night revelers are likely to end up. Nice Denny's style fare. You never know who you'll run into--I spied the Chick Click, a popular MidWeek columnist, several hours before the start of 2005's Honolulu Century Ride. The waitresses dress in mini skirts --and the strawberry pies they say are pretty good too. Recommended.
Antonios Pizzaria. Across from Kahala Mall. Here it is---the best pizza on the Island by far. I won't comment further. You must try it. The sandwiches are?; I tried the Philly cheese and wouldn't get it again. But for the pizza--Highly recommended.
Assagios. Mililani. Moderately Expensive. Pretty fair Italian fair in a somewhat upscale environment--but crowded and popular. Go at least once for the table-side prepared Caesar Salad. Recommended.
Auntie Pastos. Kunia. The new location. We arrived 11AM opening time on a Sunday. Our waiter was Eddy and he was very attentive and knowledgeable. The pasta w/shrimp in spicy sauce was good as was the bread w/oil and herb to dip it in. The caser salad was good. My Boy's pizza and soup were average. A weird blend of concoction made up a local iced tea--it grew on me. An Italian coffee also passed muster. What really shined were the deserts--sinful pie was just that, and the mango sorbet and a lemon square was simply delicious. I'll be back. Not inexpensive--about 65$ for entrees, deserts, drinks and 20% tip. Recommended.
A Taste of New York Deli. Kaimaku.
Very delicious piled mile high pastrami and assorted meat sandwiches. Hard
What ruins this is the check. Way to much scratch; no sandwich is that good. If you want a tasty deli sandwich, believe it or not, go to a Foodland Grocery Store Deli--where the prices are at least moderate. Not recommended.
Bogarts. Monserrat Ave/Diamondhead area. A vegetarian sandwich that will delight. The omelettes and breakfast bagels are also tasty. I tried a poppy seed with ham and egg and tomato and whatever else they had on there before my ride today 30 July, 2005. This is my 5th or 6th trip there and I can say I have been enthusiastic about this place every time. Service somewhat slow due to the tremendous popularity the place deservedly enjoys. Highly recommended.
Boston's Pizza. Aeia and other locations. Not to be confused by the Canadian chain also operating in the US and its extensive menu. This place does 1 thing--pizza--order a slice which really consists of 2 huge slices--and sit back and enjoy. Salads would make this place even better--but they have a philosophy of get in, eat fast, and get out. (The Kapolei location had salads on my visit in Oct 2005--this location is def carry out with only 2 TINY tables located inside) The pizza is not the best on the Island by any stretch---yet it does provide variety and is tasty enough. Recommended.
Cinnamon's. In Kailua. Awesome omelets and pancakes. Lunches are nice too. There is a specialty crusted chicken salad sandwich that is fantastic. Outdoor dining and tucked into a professional bldg/shopping plaza. Service can be slow; budget a minimum of an hour. Highly recommended.
Golden Coin. In the Wal-mart complex, central Honolulu. It's a Filipino Restaurant Chain. Try it for something different; I cannot remember the name of the dishes, but I always like the pork cubes with the hard crispy edges. The holo holo desert is a icecreamy type shave ice combo w/ lots of goodies loaded into it--yummy. Recommended.
Gyotaku. Pearl City. Just be careful if you have a bike atop the car. Yes I had an expensive mishap with the subie, my bike, and the under the place parking garage. I go for the Yakitori Bento Combo which I have ordered on all 4 occasions. Priced right, filling, and very good.
Ku' Aina Burgers. spelling?--yeah I'm too lazy to check. In Haleiwa and Ward Center-Honolulu--also Tokyo. The absolute best burgers on the Island. Huge variety of cheeses and toppings. I love salting and peppering each bite and pouring a dab of green pepper sauce too. Delicious. Fries aren't bad although I prefer Teddy's (another burger joint) better. A favorite-Highly recommended.
La Lieto. In an old Auntie Pasto's location just a few doors down from Island Triathlon and Bike shop (Kapahulu St). As of the end of July 2005 I've been here 3 or 4 times. Simply tasty pasta dishes for a very reasonable price on Saturday's for lunch. The greek salad made my taste buds delight both times i ordered it. The pasta that has the bacon, capers, butter garlic sauce and ? can't remember is my favorite. The other pastas looked good--tried the tuna pasta once--just not my thing though. Overall satisfying and at a good price--makes one want to go back and back. Highly recommended.
Loco Moco. Mililani Town Center. My favorite plate lunch place because it's close by. The Orange Chicken is good, the fried eggplant w/chicken even better. Mac salad is nice, and I like it even better as a side w/ a double cheeseburger. A local favorite and tables at the height of lunch is non-existent. Friendly help. Recommended.
Maui Tacos. Mililani. Outside seating only. But the burritos are big and tasty and you can have em fixed up a whole ton of ways. Plenty of sauces, cilantro and other goodies. No where near as good as Austin's Free Bird's but still--Recommended.
Mi Casa. Monserrat Ave/Diamondhead area. As of the end of July 2005--just opened in the old Pronto's place. The food is ok but not as inexpensive as say South shore Grill. Just too high for counter ordering. I tried the tacos carbon--tasty enough. The male employees running around with open armpits was not appealing. Not recommended.
Mi Casa (visit 2). One of the cycling couples I ride w/ regularly eat there so I thought I'd give it another shot. I had the enchilada, mulida combo w/rice, beans and limon soda. Even tastier than last time. They were low on change so my 13 something bill I only paid 11 for because they did not want to change a 20. Same underdressed male employees. LOL--guess I'll have to do my best to try and ignore... It was better dining there w/my friends than myself. Take it or leave it.
Nico's Grill. Tucked away on
pier 36 or is it 38? Anyway head oceanside across from the Bestbuy/Nimitz
Center area--rear of the fish producers' building. Sampled the homemade
double cheeseburger. Patties/toppings are tasty--but the bread just wasn't
right--the bun just didn't have an appealing texture/bite during
consumption. The wife enjoyed her fish of the day plate lunch. The
kids we had along liked the fries. We went on grand opening of best buy
day during lunch. The place has live music during lunch-a nice
touch. French trained chef. Pretty employees-lol--sometimes I can't
help myself. Will have to visit again.
The jury's still out.
Nico's (visit 2). The grilled mahi mahi was my choice on this re-look. The dish was resplendent and tasty all dressed in a saffron curry sauce. Deserts were as good as last time, and the same staff was working the counter and kitchen. The Jury's def back in with a new verdict and this time it is: Recommended.
Old Spaghetti Factory. Ward Center. Yes, the chain. Very nice decor, tasty dishes. Try the brocolli with the butter and assagio cheese. Even the boy likes this. Recommended.
Phuket Thai. Mililani
Town Center. The best Thai food on Oahu out of 3 places tried. The shrimp
pineapple fried rice is great--try it prepped w/medium heat (spice). The
lemon-grass soup is oh so good. I've noticed all the Thai places the help
does their job efficiently but not really friendly--but not unfriendly
either. And the decor is beautiful w/ real plates and linen. So well
worth multiple visits for a lower to moderate priced very delicious lunch in a
really nice atmosphere...Now if only there were Pinay's serving--j/k.
Pyramids. A greek place not far from downtown and Diamondhead. Been thrice on post-Saturday morning rides. The buffet is well stocked and the food is muy excellento. A must to experience at least once. Recommended.
Shorebirds. Waikiki. In one of the hotels not far from Hale Koa. Nice atmosphere for a breakfast buffet and not terribly expensive. Maybe recommended.
South Shore Grill. Monserrat Ave/Diamondhead area. One must try the fish taco plate with choice of 3 sides. At the time of writing about 7 bucks. A tremendous value and the taste is splendid. Hits the spot after a 30 to 50 mile bike ride. After this you may as well bypass all the other places offering fish tacos. I get mine w/ the tuna-mac salad, rice and slaw. Highly recommended.
Spaghettetini's. Haleiwa. Outside seating only. Very reasonably priced, and deliciously prepared, pizzas and pasta. Much, much better than Pizza Bobs--where you can't have it your way. Recommended.
Teddy's Bigger, Better Burgers. Kailua and Waikiki. The 2d best burger in town. The best fries in town. Nice shakes. Fun atmosphere. What more could one want--possibly some mid-town locations! Recommended.
The Shack. Mililani. One of multiple locations. Really a dance/sports bar w/ really good food and pleasant, good looking servers. Good for the occasional sandwich or nice big salad. Very popular with the GIs from Schofield.
Tiki's Bar and Grill. Located in
the Astor near the Diamondhead end of Waikiki. Service ok but somewhat
inattentive; however they will make anything wrong right. Food dishes are
hit and miss. The Island Fish sandwich is mediocre, the nachos merely
okay. Desert is very well prepared and made in house; it better be, the
chef is specialty trained in pastry. Next to the pool, 2d level, seating
inside or out; pleasant atmosphere with live music. Price is as usual for a
place like this--between 40 and 50 bucks for three with drinks and desert.
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