Local Hawaiian food, or Pacific Rim cuisine, is the best! Well, I’m partial since I grew up on it, but I do highly recommend that you try all the local goodies like Portuguese sausage, poi, moi, poke and more. The Cravings Honolulu feature may give you some ideas, and I also recommend checking out Onokigrindz, a Honolulu-based food blog.
The following is a list that the Halekulani Concierge has helped to compile. I have put a star next to the one's that are my favorites.
At Hiroshi Eurasion Tapas, the creative and inventive talents of Chef Hiroshi Fukui and Master Sommelier Chuck Furuya come together to create a dining experience that draws upon Chef Fukui’s deft touch with contemporary Japanese cuisine, infused with Furuya’s wine expertise and fondness for the foods of France, Italy, and Hawaii.
(Restaurant Row, 500 Ala Moana Blvd)
Perfectly ambient with a chic sensibility, Chef Glenn Chu’s menu blends unique flavors for a multicultural dining experience. The Euro-Asian-Indian inspired cuisine is endemic to Honolulu and it’s accompanied with an amazing wine list and specialty cocktail menu to delight the best of aficionados. The Green Room is Indigo’s martini lounge which hosts a phenomenal ‘happy hour’ alongside the more provocative Opium Den, which on weekends plays host to ambient Budda Bar-esc sounds.
(1121 Nuuanu Ave)
This is one of Honolulu’s most popular restaurants. Chef Alan Wong is a front runner in the Honolulu dining community when it comes to Hawaii regional cuisine; contemporary yet familiar, it’s no wonder why he was awarded the prestigious James Beard Award in 1996. Advance reservations are highly recommended.
(1857 South King St)
A local favorite since 2004, 12th Avenue Grill serves an ingenious bistro fare in a lively post-modern diner. It boasts an eclectic menu full of contemporary comfort foods and some of the best desserts in town.
(1145 12th Ave, Suite C)
Chef de Cuisine Jon Matsubara has crafted a menu where fish and the freshest fruits de mer are the restaurant’s forte. Whether it is ahi, opah, onaga, uku, or moi that whets your appetite – locally caught fish are selected each morning at daybreak from the Hawaii fish auction and then prepared with your pleasure in mind. Their ambiance has been designed with a chic sensibility to enhance your dining experience; couture cocktails contribute to a feeling of Miami meets Hawai’i where contemporary Pacific Rim cuisine done the right way.
(The Royal Hawaiian Hotel, 2259 Kalakaua Ave)
A Halekulani Concierge favorite, Chef Chai’s innovative Pacific Rim cuisine relies heavily on fresh local ingredients and seafood which are endemic to Hawaii. In regards to restaurant entertainment, like his cuisine; Chai’s has the best to offer in contemporary Hawaiian music.
(Aloha Tower Marketplace, 1 Aloha Tower Dr)
Chef Mavro is actually James Beard Award-winning George Mavrothalassitis – Mavro’s offers seasonal French/Pacific Rim prix fixe menus which are highlighted with the most sensational wine pairings. It’s safe to say Chef Mavro himself is one of the most passionate chefs you will ever meet. Mavro is known for not owning a single freezer in his restaurant and eagerly boasts of his support of the local Hawaiian farmers and fishermen. His attention to detail and passion for food has earned him the prestigious Five Diamond Award. Reservations are required.
(1969 South King St)
Immortalized in a 1925 Charlie Chan novel, House Without A Key is Halekulani's popular indoor/outdoor gathering spot for informal breakfast, lunch, cocktails, appetizers and entertainment. One of the favored traditions of the original Halekulani - cocktails and Hawaiian music under the century-old Kiawe tree - has been faithfully preserved here. Memorable sunsets with distinctive Hawaiian music nightly: Two former Miss Hawaii's, Kanoe Miller and Debbie Nakanelua, complement the music with their graceful traditional hula dances. Casual resort attire.
(Halekulani Hotel, 2199 Kalia Rd)
Perhaps nowhere is the Halekulani spirit captured more than at La Mer. That's because La Mer is more than just a restaurant. It is Halekulani's finest and is the first of only two Five Diamond Award restaurants in Hawaii. The internationally-acclaimed menu features Neoclassic French cuisine expertly crafted and served amid majestic oceanfront views. Fresh island ingredients are uniquely blended in dishes inspired by flavors from the south of France to produce a dining experience unsurpassed anywhere in the world. Menus are pre-selected, with a choice of entrees offered to satisfy individual preference. An award-winning wine list is also available to complement these fine foods. Long-sleeved collared shirt or jacket required for gentlemen.
(Halekulani Hotel, 2199 Kalia Rd)
Bob Longhi, who opened Longhi's in Lahaina in 1976, owns Longhi’s at Ala Moana. His son, Charlie Longhi is currently serves as general manager of this open-air, Italian-Mediterranean restaurant overlooking romantic sunset views of the ocean. It features the family's famous cooking -- lobster Longhi over linguine, prawns Amaretto, and puttana, a spicy calamari pasta dish with 35 whole garlic cloves. Meals can be pricey, in part because everything comes a la carte, but the view is spectacular and the service is prompt. It also is a great place for breakfast (their French toast, with a "touch" of Grand Marnier, is divine, and their baked goods are delicious) with moderate prices and that terrific view. Lunch, which can get crowded, features amazingly crisp salads, sandwiches, pastas, and excellent fish entrees.
(Ala Moana Center, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd)
A hi-tech ambiance (concrete floors, highly polished steel tables) draws a hip crowd to this Waialae eatery where chef-owner Ed Kenney creates a modern fusion of Italian fare and Pacific Rim cuisine with fresh, local, organic ingredients; during lunch and dinner, he also serves breakfast Monday – Saturday.
(3435 Waialae Ave, Kaimuki)
Orchids; Halekulani's four-diamond, casually elegant oceanfront restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner amidst a profusion of brightly-colored tropical orchids. Creative seafood specialties are presented throughout the day in a relaxed setting. Specialties include ahi-seared sashimi with Cajun spices, island-raised moi with hearts of palm, and oriental style steamed onaga. Orchids' Sunday brunch is legendary and has been named Oahu's Best Brunch year after year…truly something not to miss.
(Halekulani, 2199 Kalia Rd)
Winner of dozens of awards, rave reviews locally, nationally and internationally, and the many thousands of happy patrons served at two Maui restaurants and one O‘ahu location all attest to the success of Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar. There is no more creative or delicious New Wave Sushi and Contemporary Japanese Specialties to be found anywhere. From teriyaki chicken to casual contemporary cuisine, there is always something to please everyone.
(Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, 2552 Kalakaua Ave)
The Beach House serves the finest quality steaks, fresh seafood and vibrant island-inspired cuisine, utilizing the freshest Hawaii ingredients. Located in the historic Moana Surfrider Hotel the ambiance is tranquil and relaxing as if you were dining in someone’s elegant beachfront estate.
(Moana Surfrider Hotel, 2365 Kalakaua Ave)
Opened in 1962, Michel's remains one of Hawaii's longest-standing and finest restaurants, offering delectable dishes celebrating the rebirth of classical French cuisine. While enchanted by Michel's breathtaking ocean view, diners enjoy the first-class service provided by Michel's tuxedo-clad wait staff. Delectable culinary masterpieces incorporating fresh island ingredients and an extensive wine list provide for the most unforgettable dining experience.
(The Colony Surf Hotel, 2895 Kalakaua Ave)
Roy Yamaguchi's Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine blends fresh local ingredients with European sauces and bold Asian spices, always with a focus on Hawaiian seafood. Roy's offers a tantalizing range of appetizers, amazing entrées, the freshest Hawaiian fish dishes and an array of beautifully wonderful desserts. Nowhere else will you find a culinary experience quite like the flavors, textures and colors created in Roy’s kitchens.
(226 Lewers St, Waikiki Beach Walk)
Taormina serves the timeless cuisine of Southern Sicily with contemporary style and flair. Inspired by the authentic flavors of Taormina, a seaside village in Sicily, Executive Chef Aki Yamamoto pairs fresh pastas with the highest quality seafoods and meats; unspoiled by heavy sauces, Sicilian style pastas are dressed in pure, extra virgin olive oil. Fresh vegetables, lightly grilled fish, and lamb seasoned with herbs offer diners a healthy range of options.
(227 Lewers St, Waikiki Beach Walk)
Nobu Waikiki was greeted with much fanfare when it opened mid-summer 2007. The quality of the ingredients, the precision with which the food is prepared and presented and the spot-on service distinguish this as a superior dining experience. The sushi is of particular note. Even though there are more than a few excellent sushi spots in Honolulu, sushi aficionados can appreciate the freshness and quality here.
(Wakiki Parc Hotel, 2233 Helumoa Rd)