Just returned from another trip to Honolulu. We continue to enjoy the local comfort food and expanding number of solid Japanese spots (and I’m going to argue a unique and seminal experience at Sushi Sho, Waikiki). We missed a few others this time around but we’ll be back soon.
Alicia’s Market part plate lunch and part Chinese deli. This is a casual neighborhood take-out spot for plate lunch in the back of a market right off the Nimitz highway - it’s on the way to Waikiki from the airport, and we stopped by to grab some quick chow. They have Chinese roast pork, turkey legs, Hawaiian food, and dozens of types of poke. Since we’d be eating sushi 3 nights in a row, we skipped the poke in favor of roast pork and kalua pig.
It’s comfort food and portions are big. Kimchi was a bit sweet, but kalua pig and Chinese roast pork were fine. I prefer Helena’s for Hawaiian food, but Helena’s doesn’t do plate lunch.
Pierre Marcolini in Ala Moana Center for chocolates. Chocolates for gifts - I raided some and they are pretty good. Macarons were not bad, but not quite what you get in Paris - maybe a 7 out of 10. I think I could buy a better selection.
Aloha Gelato a few stores down. Everything I’ve had here is very good - their fresh waffle cone smells and tastes very much like Hong Kong eggettes.
Yakitori Hachibei for dinner in Chinatown. This is a relatively new branch of a Tokyo and Fukuoka-based yakitoriya. Here, they use chickens from North Shore, Oahu. Fried items were pretty nice and not oily, but their “Butabara kushiyaki” (pork belly skewer with tare sauce), kampachi carpaccio with yuzu sauce, and their chicken ramen were excellent. The yakitori is well-executed, often grilled slightly indirectly by binchotan. It’s a lighter touch, but all the skewers (gizzard, heart, thigh, bacon-wrapped enokis with quail egg, wing, liver) were cooked nicely. The liver with onions was especially good. If you need a comparison, I slightly prefer the yakitori here more than Ippuku or Hina Yakitori in Berkeley.
Their ramen was really nice to finish with - tasting of ultra clean and pure chicken, nourishing, refreshing even. The neck and knee bones contribute a great amount of depth.