While visiting Honolulu, I have been treated to a bevy of new restaurants with a broad range of cooking styles and flavors to keep my taste buds on their toes. I have experienced everything from Hawaiian, Thai, Japanese, Seafood, American, and Vietnamese. Visiting Hawaii is something everyone should have on their bucket list. Before you hop on a flight, be forewarned that if you fall in love with a food dish, you will never find it anywhere else but Hawaii. Today I am going to talk about three different restaurants that have won a place in my heart.
1. Pho 777
Vietnamese food is something I know little about. I can count on my hands how many times I have dined on this type of food. While here on the island, I have made it a point to allow the natives to pick their favorite spots so that I can make sure I come back with all new experiences. Sunday’s dining partner, Kaeola, took me to his favorite restaurant that specializes in Pho. Now what’s funny is this location is literally a block away from my house. Had he not taken me there, I would have never thought to visit while here in Hawaii.
Kaeola and I dined on spring rolls, spare ribs, grilled shrimp, and pho. I actually did not try the Pho because it was hot outside and I can’t eat hot soup in warm weather. And secondly, I am not risk-taker when it comes to soup. I need to know every ingredient involved, especially those I cannot physically see on top. There were too many questions and not enough answers, so I passed on this dish. My social media yelled at me for not saying yes to the soup… once I have figured out all of the ingredients, I will move forward, loll. I did, however, love the spare ribs, and eggrolls that we wrapped in lettuce and mint leaves, then dipped in sauce. The plates were both visually beautiful and flavorful.
Pho 777: 1960 Kapiolani Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96826
2. Ono Hawaiian Restaurant
I found this restaurant on YELP! The reviews were so amazing, I had to give it a try. Plus, while here in Hawaii, I want to eat native food as much as possible… regardless of how hard it is to find. Ono lived up to its reputation.
I had a table full of food set in front of me that I have never tried before within seconds of sitting down. We tried things like poi, roast pork from the ground, purple sweet potatoes, coconut custard, and tomato salad with fish to name a few. I absolutely adored the food here and hope to find more restaurants similar to this one.
Ono Hawaiian Restaurant: 726 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816
3. Tropics Bar & Grill inside of the Hilton Grand Hawaiian
This is the place where I tried Hawaiian Poke for the first time. It is raw ahi fish that is marinated in sea salt, olive oil, and herbs. I didn’t initially pick this dish for myself; the bartender sort of suggested it, and ordered it before I could even say yea or nea, loll. *shrugs* As long as I know what it is, I will give it a try. I have had Poke at two different locations since this place and neither of them are as good as the tropics’ version. I am not sure if I would ever try this on the mainland. You absolutely must use fresh fish!
Tropics Bar & Grill: 2005 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815
Well that concludes today’s food adventures. I hope that you are able to come to the island of Honolulu and create your own food experiences.