I really spent the majority of my time chasing food across Honolulu. I got some good tips from my friends who grew up in the state. I also sought out help through Couch Surfing to find a food guide. Both ways paid off handsomely as I ate the best week out of my travels so far. I grew up eating Hawaiian food as there was a large community in Torrance, home of various Hawaiian and Japanese companies. King’s Hawaiian, biggest maker of Hawaiian sweet bread, is based there. I could eat that stuff forever. It makes the best french toast that they serve with coconut sauce.
My friends’ food lists led me to places such as Like Like Drive Inn (why is it inn and not in?) They served variations of things I already love eating, like loco moco with fried rice. Regular loco moco is rice topped with two hamburger patties, fried eggs and gravy. I also ate meat jun, a dish I first had at a Korean restaurant in Burbank. I had no idea that was Hawaiian.
My favorite thing to eat on this trip must have been the abudance of poke, raw cubed tuna mixed with flavorings. I’ve always wanted spicy tuna bowls to exist, as they are my cheesy favorite type of sushi. I think I could eat this every day if I had to. My favorite single dish I got somewhere were the short ribs at Helena’s. The restaurant is great and the stories online are amusing. The place was run by an old woman named Helen who ran it til the day she died. She sent her son off to USC’s business school and he came back with grand ideas to expand and revamp, but she said no and kept him as an apprentice in the kitchen. She may be gone now, but he carries on her soul in the kitchen. And that soul makes some amazing short ribs, they are crunchy on the outside and fatty within. I also tried poi at this place, it was cold, sour, and I just could not eat more than a few bites. It would probably be a good idea to go to this place with more people to try more things. I went alone and just ended up very full.
There were so many things to try that I barely fit them in the week I was in Honolulu. Sadly I don’t have a picture of when I went to Alicia’s market, as I was too busy finding a strip of grass in the sketchy industrial neighborhood to eat it on. I really enjoyed making it out to the north shore to try a shrimp truck. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I received plump flavorful shrimp on top of a pile of rice covered in sauce. I also tried to go to every shave ice place I’d heard of. My favorite ended up being Waiola’s, which was conveniently close to Waikiki, where all touristy places to stay at night are. They’ll put a scoop of ice cream in the bottom of your cone, cover the cone in soft snow like ice, and then cover the whole thing in multiple syrups. I wish this was in California instead of the Asian shaved ice I’ve had up til now. I much prefer my ice with ice cream and colorful neon syrups instead of red beans and condensed milk, although they carry that too. I barely fit in all the eating I wanted to do. It’s been the best single eating week so far on this trip.