Roy Yamaguchi is one of the 12 founding chefs of Hawaiian Regional Cuisine—a culinary movement that put Hawaii on the food map back in 1991. Opened in 1988, his flagship restaurant across the highway from Maunalua Bay is still packed every night. Food-savvy visitors on a Hawaiian Regional Cuisine pilgrimage mix with well-heeled residents. (If you're sensitive to pressure to turn the table, it's best to visit later in the evening.) The wide-ranging and ever-interesting
Hawaiian fusion menu is made up of his longtime classics, like Szechuan-spiced baby back ribs and blackened ahi with soy mustard butter sauce, and contemporary creations such as a pork chop with Hawaiian-chili chimichurri sauce and andagi (an Okinawan donut hole) made with poi. There's also an exceptional wine list. The Waikiki location is equally busy and has a four-course menu for vegans and gluten-free eaters.