It was just under 8 months ago that we were in Hawaii for the wedding of some friends. The dead air was wrought with a heaviness caused by the extreme humidity and the strangely absent trade winds that usually bring a cooling breeze to the Sandwich Isles. Being the end of August, we had already braced ourselves for the brightly shining Hawaiian sun that was awaiting us. Instead, we were greeted by an extreme weather system bringing torrential rain showers that flooded the sewers and invoked a “brown water” advisory that kept us out of the ocean for most of our trip.
Thankfully, the wedding in picturesque Laie went off without a hitch and the weather cleared up just in time. Even though the weather finally let up towards the end of our stay, we felt like we needed to come back for a revisit.
Fast forward just over seven months and we were finally back in Honolulu… this time, the weather was cooperating with us and the trade winds did their part to temper the blazing sunshine. We found ourselves staying at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, named after the last Crown Princess, Ka’iulani, and located in the heart of Waikiki. The hotel is directly across from the historic Moana Surfrider (the oldest hotel in Waikiki) and has views of the stately “First Lady of Waikiki” as well as the beach and ocean behind it.
As we arrived earlier than our friends, and we were starving to try some new eats, we ended up at Tonkotsu Ginza Bairin (review forthcoming). We enjoyed the deep-fried cutlets so much that we wound up bringing our friends back here later in the week.
Since we had already visited the North Shore on one of our prior trips a few years ago, we decided not to go through the trouble (time and cost) of renting a car just to see the beaches and taste the wares of the garlic shrimp trucks. Fortunately, as we recalled on our last trip in August, there was a garlic shrimp stand that was located right in Waikiki, outside of the Pacific Beach Hotel. They’re only open from Wednesdays to Sundays from noon – 9pm but you can smell the garlicky goodness in the air while walking along Kalakaua.
Another reason why people visit the North Shore is because of Ted’s Bakery and their famous pies. But in actuality, you can find Ted’s pies in many places… even inside Longs Drugs (review forthcoming). I know it might seem a bit strange, but in Hawaii, there are many grocery stores that sell ready-made food.
For example, Coco Cove (review forthcoming) is one such grocery store. On our last visit, we saw the vast selection of poke that they offer but we didn’t get a chance to sample them. On this latest visit, we knew to correct our mistake. While it’s true that the poke at Coco Cove is made with previously frozen seafood, that doesn’t seem to prevent droves of people from buying out all of the poke by the end of the night.
We actually wound up going back to many restaurants that we’ve tried previously: Sansei and DK Steakhouse, https://pennyandrusty.wordpress.com/2016/04/21/eggs-n-things-hawaii-2016-acai-bowl/, Heavenly, Duke’s, Marukame Udon, The Cheesecake Factory, Ono Seafood, Magoo’s Burgers, Leonard’s Bakery. But we also wound up trying some new restaurants: Tonkatsu Ginza Bairan, The Best Garlic Shrimp, The Pig and the Lady, Poi Bowl, Uncle Tetsu’s Japanese Cheesecake, and Henry’s Place
There’s just so many great places to eat in Hawaii so make sure to check out some of our past reviews.