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Can Foodies Overcome the Flu in Honolulu? A March 2013 Oahu TR...

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Mar 11th, 2013, 05:57 PM
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Can Foodies Overcome the Flu in Honolulu? A March 2013 Oahu TR...

Aloha everyone! We just got back this morning from our 10 day trip to Oahu. Since everything is still rather fresh in my mind, I thought I'd get a good head start on the TR.

My husband and I, both in our late 30s, flew from JFK to HNL on March 1st. We spent 6 nights in Waikiki at the Fairway Villa in a unit we rented from VRBO, then moved to the north shore for 3 nights at Turtle Bay resort, with a deal I booked through Travelzoo.

A bit of background on our flights, I had purchased our flights around September of last year, on what I thought was a pretty good deal. Little did I know that flights from NYC would start dropping drastically, so much so, that I wrote a little email to Hawaiian air to see if I could get a price adjustment (and to rant a little too). Although I wasn't able to get the price adjustment, I did end up with 2 free checked bags per person as a courtesy from them. I guess it was better than nothing, but now I am so unsure as to how far out I should book flights in anticipation of future fare sales...argh.

On the day of our departure, I was super excited to leave for vacay. After hurricane Sandy, and a few painful nor'easters, we were soooo ready to head someplace warm and sunny. Would we get the weather we hoped for? A friend of a friend was there the week before us reported that it was rain rain rain. Our fingers were crossed.

Day 1: Departing the cold...with a cold

Our flights left New York's JFK at 9:00am. We were able to sit in the 2-top seats, so it was just the two of us which was nice. Lot's of Alohas from the flight attendants. We're so ready for this!! My husband starts sneezing as we departed. I thought it was just dust. We watched movies on our ipad on the 10+hour flight...midway through Skyfall, I look at him and he's just a mess. Congestion, cough, and a slight fever...oh dear. Not a good start to the vacation. I gave him some cold medicine and Advil PM which I carry in my travel bag so he can just sleep it off. He tries to as best he can. By the time we arrive in HNL, he sounds like he has bronchitis and a hoarse voice, but luckily the fever seems to be gone.

The good news is that we arrive to bright sunny skies, no rain in sight! We land at around 2:45pm local time. No wasting time for us...the hubs goes off to pick up our rental car from Alamo, and I stand to wait for our luggage at baggage claim. We did this on our last trip and found it a good time saver. I get our bags pretty quickly and stand outside to wait for him. There is a pretty strong breeze at this time and I actually thought it felt chilly!

My husband drives up in the biggest forest green Jeep ever. I had rented a mid-size SUV from priceline at a great rate. It was such a good rate that I had to call up priceline customer service just to make sure that this rate was for real. (they said it was). But this Jeep seemed a lot bigger than just a mid-size to me. Turns out he was about to leave the lot with a Subaru Forester but noticed that it was a bit banged and scratched up. So they allowed him to switch SUVs and this one was the only other one available. I hoped that it fit in the little parking space provided with our condo.

We usually travel with a portable GPS and I highly recommend it. Since I am usually a pretty dismal map reader, I would have been no help in the passenger seat. It was already pre-programed with addresses from our last visit (June 2012, you may have already read my other trip report for my Oahu and Big Island TR), so that made it more convenient for us. My husband was having a hard time trying to get rid of his congestion, so our first stop was Don Quijote - what I call the Asian Target. They pretty much have everything Target has, with the addition of Asian foodstuffs and products. We bought enough cold medicine to last 2 weeks, water, soda, juice, coffee, and snacks. Of course I couldn't resist my favorite golden-flesh papayas, and I found a ripe pile of Laie-grown papayas as big as my head! So a couple of those went in the cart with us too (and a nice juicy lime). Why oh why is produce so much better here!?! The avocados were so big and buttery looking, and so much cheaper than what passes for avocados in New York.

As for the title of my TR...we are big foodies, and a big part of why I chose Oahu over other islands was because of the amazing array of restaurants and foods on this island. I wanted this primarily to be a food-centric trip, and I had crafted a plan of attack at different food spots around Oahu. Although now with my husband's poor appetite (he claimed he couldn't taste anything at this point) - we weren't sure just how much of the plan we'd be keeping to. Nonetheless we weren't planning on cooking all that much. My poor husband looked like he was going to pass out so we hurried out of Don Quijote and drove to Waikiki.

Our unit at the Fairway Villas is a small studio-sized unit with a full kitchen, washer dryer, and most importantly, parking! Luckily our hulk of a car managed to pass the clearance of the parking lot (just barely). We've stayed in this unit before and the prices cannot be beat for a nice renovated unit in the heart of Waikiki. There are a few downsides - the pool is rather small and located on the roof and it was always windy and cold up there. The bathroom in the unit is also a bit small, but nicely decorated with natural stone and tile. When I started my search for March, I realized we had some slim pickin's because almost all the good condos in our price range were taken! Luckily there was a gap in between stays at this condo which we managed to squeeze in to work with our dates.

Here's the condo we stayed in: http://www.vrbo.com/323532

My husband downs the cold medicine and proceeds to take a long nap. During this time, I unpack and put everything away, and also manage to make short work of one of the papayas. I ate out on the lanai which had a view of the Ala Wai canal. Ahhhh....

When the hubs wakes up, I'm starving, so we head out to get some grub, I originally wanted to do a run of different take out spots and eat back at our condo since I knew we'd be to tired for a full sit-down dinner, but with my husband as ill as he was, I thought we should just do one place...initially it was to be Rainbow Drive-In but we checked and they were sold out of their shoyu chicken for that day (chicken thighs braised in a sweet and garlicky soy sauce). It was also surprisingly chilly that night - cold enough for a sweatshirt or light jacket so I knew we had to decide fast.

I realized then that we were a few blocks away from A Place to Eat, a fairly new take out place popular with the university crowd. We also had a Groupon for this! So we make our way there and park along the side road. The menu consists of gourmet takes on local favorites including fried soba, kalua pig quesadillas, and mahi mahi. I get the scallops adobo served over rice, and hubs gets the fried soba. The chef is a nice friendly guy who also took our order at the counter. We decided to just eat there so we settled into a table. There were students and a few families there and the place was about half full.

http://aplacetoeathawaii.com/

Our food comes out piping hot, served by the chef, in nice biodegradable take out containers. My scallops adobo were delicious. It didn't seem like typical Filipino adobo, which has more of a soy-vinegar glaze, but it had a creamier, almost mushroom-y type gravy which hinted of white wine, garlic, and heavy cream. The scallops were large and perfectly cooked. The hubs soba was not bad, it had lots and lots of fresh vegetables, and a subtle wok-charred flavor but since hubs can't taste anything that isnt' pungent, we both agree that the garlicky adobo scallops were the winner. It could do with a little less salt though, but I guess that's what the rice is for!

Back at the condo, we called it a night...I was just about to turn the lights out...when I let out a loud "AH CHOO!!!" Oh no! Was I gonna be sick too? I guess it was inevitable...

Stay tuned...
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Mar 11th, 2013, 06:21 PM
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Just realized I posted the wrong link to the condo we stayed at. It's here: http://www.vrbo.com/289228
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Mar 11th, 2013, 06:52 PM
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Enjoying your report. I visit Oahu pretty much every year, for a week or so, usually in September. I am not a foodie, but I am going to enjoy your restaurant suggestions, so keep them coming. Hoping the illnesses didn't last the whole visit to Oahu!!
Carol
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Mar 11th, 2013, 07:32 PM
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Welcome back and looking forward to more!
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Mar 11th, 2013, 08:29 PM
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That's apretty nice looking studio! Good find.
Waiting for good food chices. Bummer about the flu!
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Mar 12th, 2013, 09:56 AM
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I was so happy when I got to work this morning and I saw your trip report was there to read! I love your reports!

I can't believe you and hubs got sick......curse the timing! A coworker of mine went to Oahu for the first time a couple of years ago and got a stomach bug/food poisoning on the first day and didn't feel better until the last day! Getting sick on vacation is the worst!

Hope you still saw rainbows through the sickness! Can't wait to read more!

When's your next trip to Hawaii?
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Mar 12th, 2013, 11:49 AM
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@simpsonc510 - Thank you! We try and eat at places which aren't too touristy and have unique and interesting foods.

@Patty - Thank you for reading!

@Taconic Traveler - Thanks! Yes it was a good condo find. I like to bookmark condos which appeal to us in location and amenities, and when it came time to book, almost all of them were booked for our dates except for this one. We had to alther our dates slightly just to keep in line with this condo's availability. Literally we checked in just hours after the cleaning people left, and also the day we checked out there was someone else slated to arrive. Lessons learned: book EARLY!

@louistraveler5- Mahalo! Good to see you here! Yes bummer about the flu - but it only gets better, right? You'll have to wait and see. Hmm, our next trip to the islands...I don't know when that will be! I want to go in the fall...but we'll have to see how airfare prices are then. Your trip is coming up soon right? Lucky!
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Mar 12th, 2013, 11:57 AM
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Day 2: The Farmer’s Market and more eating

Usually with the time difference we wake up before sunrise the first few days but I guess being sick and tired meant we needed more rest so we didn’t wake up until close to 7am. The hubs was feeling (slightly) better so we stuck to our plan of going to the KCC Farmer’s market which happens every Saturday morning. I was beginning to feel congested myself, so we both loaded up on the Sudafed and headed out.

http://kapiolani.hawaii.edu/object/farmersmarket.html

Kapiolani Community College is right by Diamond Head so on the way there I had to stop by the Diamond Head Market for one of their delicious blueberry cream cheese scones. Now, I was told by my doctor that I had to cut back on sweets because of a glucose intolerance, therefore I had to spend my “sweet credits” wisely (that’s the term I gave them). As someone with a bonafide sweet tooth, this was at first devastating, but I had trained myself over the past month to not eat sugar or sweets, so I don’t crave them as much. So no more Leonard’s malasadas, POG, coco puffs from Liliha, or mac nut pancakes with coconut syrup this trip *cries silently* However I did want to eat my favorite scone, and a shave ice or two, oh and maybe a few lava flows here and there, so I was definitely saving up those credits for later.

http://www.diamondheadmarket.com/

At the KCC farmer’s market, we joined both locals and tourists in sampling fresh island products and prepared foods from local vendors. I’ve noticed that the tourists seem to outnumber the locals on Saturday. There is now a weekday farmers market near the Blaisdell arena which is more frequented by locals. One day I will check that out too. We made a quick survey to see what we wanted to eat, and I definitely wanted to get a meal at The Pig and the Lady, which is a Vietnamese/SE Asian vendor who often does pop-up restaurants around Honolulu. I had a meal at this vendor last time and loved it. But first we got a freshly made Portuguese sausage, grilled on a stick, by the Kunio sausage company. Yum yum, you can definitely taste the difference between the Portuguese sausage you get at the supermarket and a fresh one. It’s almost like a hot dog because you can feel the “snap” of the casing as you bite into it, but much more flavor packed into each bite.

We settled down for a meal at The Pig and the Lady. This is one of the few vendors that actually has a few tables set up in their stall so you can enjoy your meal sitting down. I started with a Vietnamese iced coffee, and got their savory Vietnamese crepe – which is more like an omelet, filled with shrimp, vegetables, and pork. It’s all bound together with a savory mung-bean filled batter and includes a delicious nuoc cham dipping sauce. I also sprinkled on some of the chili pepper water which they had as condiments at their table. Ono!

My husband who could barely breathe settled for a comforting hot chicken ~pho~ - which is much like the traditional Vietnamese pho made with beef, but this one had a chicken-based broth instead. It had noodles, shredded chicken, and served with sides of bean sprouts, mint, Asian basil and lime which you add to the broth as desired. Paired with some hot sauce, this was definitely helping to clear his sinuses!

http://thepigandthelady.com/

After breakfast, we headed back to change for the beach. Our condo was equipped with beach chairs, towels and coolers which was great, however we prefer the bamboo mats and they didn’t have any this time. Not to worry since they are cheap and easily available everywhere so we picked up a few at the ABC store. We headed out to Kuhio beach park, which is one of my favorite areas in Waikiki for swimming because of the wall which breaks the waves. The wind, however, was picking up that day and there were some waves which came in over the wall. There were a lot of people at the beach, which is to be expected with Waikiki, but it is not close to the crowds I had seen at one point. The water was COLD! This is our first time visiting in March – and definitely the coldest water we’ve experienced. It wasn’t too bad though as you got used to it. The sun and saltwater were definitely helping clear out the congestion for my husband although it wasn’t helping me all that much but I enjoy swimming so spent as much time in the water as I could.

After a few hours on the beach, we returned to Rainbow Drive-In so I could finally get some shoyu chicken. Luckily they weren’t sold out yet. We split the shoyu chicken and also a slush float since I had never tried it before. It’s basically a strawberry slurpee with vanilla ice cream in it. Definitely too much sugar for me, good thing we shared it. I like how everything is still served old school at Rainbow – plate lunches served in cardboard boxes with a piece of wax paper covering the food. The shoyu chicken was good – super tender fall-off-the bone chicken in a delicious sauce. I wish I had asked for more sauce on the rice!

http://rainbowdrivein.com/

After lunch we went to Ala Moana mall, a.k.a. the best mall in the world. I just love walking around there. I love the fact that it is open to the elements, and I love all the different stores, some of which are not available on the Mainland, such as Q-pot, which is a quirky Japanese jewelry store where their designs resemble realistic edibles such as cupcakes, macaroons, ice cream sundaes and even hamburgers. I have long stared at the hamburger necklace. The price is what prevents me from purchasing it.

We stopped at Patisserie La Palme D’Or, which is a French/Japanese bakery, to use up yet another sweet credit for a coffee jelly drink. It’s basically coffee flavored jello which fills up a cup halfway, and then the other half is topped with milk (choice of soy or whole). You then use your straw to break up the jelly into little bits and you sip the whole concoction through the straw. It ends up tasting like a milk coffee. It’s very popular in Asia, and you can also get this in some places which sell Asian bubble tea (if you’ve ever had grass jelly, it’s very similar). It was quite yummy! Damn I miss my sweets.

http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/patis...PORHuM0ToXIYNw

Dinner that night was one that I had been anticipating for a while…the much lauded Sushi Sasabune. I was ready for omakase all week, but of course when we sat down at our table, I had concerns that I wouldn’t be able to do much of the omakase because I was beginning to feel much more under the weather than I had been all day. Maybe we should have rescheduled this dinner for later in the week – but we kept to our plan. Honestly, it was a great dinner, although we could only go through 7 of the usual 13 omakase courses. The fish was extremely fresh, and prepared with care and unique flavors. Some highlights were a tuna tasting, including the yummy fatty parts of the toro, a baby squid stuffed with blue crab, and an order of Hokkaido uni (sea urchin), which has now ruined all uni for me. Most uni that is served is Santa Barbara uni which is what I usually eat at sushi restaurants, but this uni…holy cow, delectable, creamy, buttery goodness with a flavor that tasted fresh from the ocean with a clean finish…now THAT is what I call uni!! How will I ever eat regular Uni again!?!

The hubs was a trooper throughout the meal…he said it was all good, although I knew he didn’t taste much, and this is by no means a cheap meal. Luckily we called it quits after the 7th course so it didn’t cost us too much as we knew all 13 courses would have. As sick as we were, we still had a great time, and service was wonderful. We didn’t sit at the sushi bar which is where I hear you get the most chef-centric experience – so we’ll save that for another trip, one where we are up for doing the whole omakase. If anyone is interested, there are 2 types of omakase, an American and a Japanese. The Japanese one is much more traditional but the American one is typically more popular so that is the one that we chose, although uni is not offered on the American one and that’s why I ordered it extra. There is also a Sushi Sasabune in Los Angeles.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/sushi-sasabune-honolulu

It was chilly that night too! Definitely remember to pack a jacket and cardigans if you go in winter! The temp dips low during the morning and evening hours, although the afternoons are nice and toasty.

When we got back to the condo I started myself on a regimen of antibiotics, nasal sprays, and cold medicine which I keep in my travel bag. I was hoping to beat the symptoms before it ballooned into a full blown cold like my husband. But, I was limited on my quantity of antibiotics (and also the hubs was taking some too) – so let’s see if this works…

Until Day 3...
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Mar 12th, 2013, 12:41 PM
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FWIW...Regarding your lower fare experience with Hawaiian...Alaska Airlines has a policy that if the fare that you paid for the same flight goes down (and you notice it and contact them), they will credit you the difference between what you paid and the lower fare. We've taken advantage of this twice with flights to Hawaii over the last year or so.
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Mar 12th, 2013, 01:05 PM
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wekewoody - thanks for the info. I tried that with Hawaiian air but apparently there are such high processing fees, that they evened out any fare difference regardless. Did Alaska Airlines have fees like this or did they just process the difference between fares? I have to do research to see if they fly from NYC. I probably would have to do a codeshare. Hawaiian is easy because it's a direct flight.
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Mar 12th, 2013, 01:09 PM
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tifa:
I'm waiting on the edge of my seat to find out what happens!
Yes, my trip is coming up...May 25! For your next trip, you should go to Kauai. It's been awhile since you've been!
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Mar 12th, 2013, 03:04 PM
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I was told by my doctor that I had to cut back on sweets because of a glucose intolerance

That is truly devastating!

The Pig and the Lady was one of our favorites last time!

Bummer on both of you getting the flu. Same thing happened to us in October. My husband starting getting sick the night before we left and then proceeded to give it to me and his parents. Luckily we didn't have any big dining plans at the beginning of the trip.
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Mar 12th, 2013, 03:07 PM
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Hi tifa,
There were no fees. They just credited my account with the difference between the fares. Once I buy, I usually don't check because I am afraid to look. I am glad I looked.
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Mar 12th, 2013, 03:18 PM
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We've also gotten credits from Alaska when fares went down on the Hawaii routes.
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Mar 13th, 2013, 07:34 AM
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@louistraveler5 - thanks! You make me sound like I'm writing a cliffhanger...it may prove to be anti-clamatic at best. I would love to go to Kauai again. I just have to see if prices work in our favor. Usualy Maui is a little cheaper for us because there are direct flights to Maui from New York, unlike Kauai.

@Patty - yup, unfortunately sugar is not part of my diet...well I try not to make it. It is sometimes unavoidable You guys were lucky you didn't have any nice meals planned while sick. But I think I still enjoyed my meals despite feeling icky.

@wekewoody & sf7307 - thanks again for the info on the Alaskan flights. It's good to know they have such a good policy. I thought Hawaiian, which is usually graded so highly would have that sort of policy but I guess I was wrong.
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Mar 13th, 2013, 01:11 PM
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Forgot to mention that on Day 2 we did also stop by our favorite poke place, Ono Seafoods off of Kapahulu, for a few boxes of their poke (shoyu ahi is my fave, and hubs likes the creamy spicy ahi) which we were able to snack on all week. Poke is so good!

Day 3: Tantalus, Pineapples and Fireworks,

We woke up – and surprise surprise, I felt 10x better. Hubs was still a bit sick, but not as bad as he was before. Woohoo the medicine cocktail worked! We stopped at starbucks so I could get an iced coffee - did you know you can order any coffee “Thai Style” and it basically means they add condensed milk to your drink – so that’s what I did. Oops, forgot about the sugar content of condensed milk…but what the heck, I’m on vacation anyways…

Today’s plan was to take a leisurely drive at Round Top and Tantalus Drives, enjoy the view at the top, and then head to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (aka Punch Bowl) on the way back down. Then we would enjoy brunch at Alan Wong’s Pineapple Room. Yum. But first, in order to get some fuel for the drive, we walked a few blocks over to Iyasume Musubi, which is a small little take out place in a hidden alley off of Koa Ave in Waikiki. We initially thought there was one closer and a yelp search resulted in us walking into the lobby of another hotel which just happens to serve musubi for breakfast – but we were mistaken so we went to the other address listed, which was the correct one. There were quite a few Japanese tourists there and it seemed like one of those hidden gem places, which the musubi are made fresh throughout the day (they close at 3 pm I think). I just got a spam and egg musubi, and another rice ball for later, hubs got a mini miso soup and a curry rice. There are only a few very small tables there so most of the business is take-out. However, we managed to get a table for two so we ate there. The musubi are pretty good since they were made fresh. My spam was on the well-done side (which is how I prefer it anyways), and prices are cheap. They had many different musubi which you can order and they are packaged in plastic wrap so keep well throughout the day.

http://www.tonsuke.com/eomusubiya.html

Looks like the have a few other locations and some which serve bento (Japanese box lunches) as well.

We walked back to the condo and picked up the hulking jeep and made our way towards Round top drive. It didn’t take much time to get to the base of the drive, and pretty soon we were driving the winding route up to the top of Mount Tantalus. It’s pretty windy but not crazy, nothing like Haleakala or Road to Hana. It’s very peaceful and the views got better and better the higher you got. There are plenty of houses up there too. Some of them had the steepest driveways ever, I wondered how difficult it was to get in and out. After stopping at a few lookouts for some pictures, we parked at Puu Ualakaa Park for some of the best views of Honolulu. It was quite amazing, and we could see Punch Bowl, Diamond Head, Waikiki and the rest of Honolulu. This is a great spot to take those panorama pictures, which I tried for the first time with my iphone. Pretty cool feature!

Round Top drive soon turns into Tantalus drive as you make you way down. Here’s a short guide as to what you can expect with this drive.

http://gohawaii.about.com/od/oahusights/ss/tantalus.htm

On the way down, the road leads past Punch Bowl so we stopped there to view the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. It was our first time here. It was quite interesting and I recommend visiting. In fact, I highly recommend this drive in general. First of all, it’s free, it doesn’t take that much time unless you want to stop and have a picnic at the park and then visit Punch Bowl, and the views are amazing! If you stop at Punch Bowl, it doesn’t require strenuous walking either. I’m all for easy and free!

We spent about an hour at the memorial before we headed back down towards Ala Moana. The Pineapple Room is located in the Macy’s dept store on the top floor. This was our first time here, as we usually frequent the more expensive and fancier Alan Wong’s over on S. King Street. Since we wanted to try new restaurants on this trip, we settled for Pineapple Room because we knew we enjoy his food. We checked in and were seated quickly. I ordered a plantation iced tea – I didn’t know it was sweetened already so I had to share it with the hubs. Tasted like a pineapple-infused iced tea.

We started off with a watermelon and tomato salad with a li hing dressing. The dressing was delicious! I never knew what li hing vinaigrette would be like, but it’s good. I do however enjoy li hing powder on my fruit. The watermelon and tomatoes were so juicy, I am not a huge fan of raw tomatoes and even I ate them because they were sweet, and they came in both the yellow and red variety. I ordered the Pineapple Room’s locomoco which had a fresh island beef patty served over fried rice and topped with 2 over easy eggs and doused with a light brown gravy. The husband ordered the Pineapple Room burger – it had avocado and a battered onion ring in it. Both were tasty and filling. We definitely had to take leftovers back with us.

http://www.alanwongs.com/pineapple-room/home-pr

We walked around the mall a bit, did a little bit of shopping – and then went back to the condo to change and headed back to Waikiki beach. There was a Honolulu festival parade going on so we got to enjoy a bit of it. It’s funny because I don’t plan my vacation around festivals and events, but as luck would have it, it kind of just happens. In 2010, we went to the Big Island the week of the Kona Coffee festival, and last year, we were in Oahu for the King Kamehameha day festivities. This Honolulu festival was pretty cool because there would be fireworks on the beach, viewable from almost any spot on Waikiki. We were definitely checking this out tonight.

After sun time, we went back to the condo and rested up for the evening – so we could be awake at 8:30pm for the fireworks. I wanted to check out a few places for dinner that evening – specifically Japanese Italian food, so I called up Arancino at Beachwalk to see if they had any spots open. They did not but mentioned that they do take walk-ins. They were also open late which means we’d be able to eat there after the fireworks. We both weren’t hungry at that point because of our huge lunch! We decided to take a chance and go there post-fireworks. We made our way down to the area of beach in front of the Outrigger Beachwalk. I do like that hotel, it’s very Hawaiian – and the people are so friendly. They did however stop us this time to try and pitch us their Wyndham timeshare. We politely declined then proceeded to have a nice chat with the fellow who thought we were locals (then why try to sell us a timeshare!?!)

15 minutes before the fireworks and the beach was packed. We managed to get a good vantage point by the Shorebird bar and grill. The fireworks were great, a nice treat! Would be better if they had piped in some music, but hey, this isn’t Disney World. They were over in about 20 minutes so we headed out to Arancino which was only a few blocks away. Luckily they were not crowded at that point so we were able to be seated immediately. The reason I wanted to come here was to try the uni pasta – titled “spaghetti ai ricci di mare”. Hubs got the “spaghetti al nero di seppie” a squid ink pasta with garlicky squid. They brought us some hot focaccia to start – nice. Our entrees came after, piping hot and perfectly al dente. The uni pasta was great, very subtle uni flavor, with undertones of garlic and white wime. There were some chunks of uni on top which I appreciated. Hubs dish was equally as tasty. Their other items sound great too, and we saw other people ordering the pizza and that looked good as well. I’d return.

http://www.arancino.com/en/mainmenu.html

By this time, it was way beyond our bedtime so we made the long stroll back to the condo. It actually wasn’t very long but considering it was the equivalent of 3am for us…it felt like forever.

Next up – Ala moana beach park, and more non-stop eating!
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Mar 13th, 2013, 04:04 PM
  #17
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,772
I'm enjoying your report. The Pineapple Room is a lunch spot for us on every visit we make to Oahu. I love the pineapple tea.
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Mar 14th, 2013, 10:23 AM
  #18
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 465
Day 4 Part I: There’s barely anyone at the beach and yet…a drowning?

It was Monday today – which meant the beaches which were usually packed on weekends with both locals and tourists would be fairly empty today! I learned that one year when we went to Ala Moana beach park in the middle of the week in October and had practically the whole beach to ourselves. So my plan was to head there again today.

Our first stop that morning Wailana Coffee House for breakfast, which is across the street from the Hilton Hawaiian Village. We decided to drive there so we didn’t have to walk back to pick up all our beach gear. My husband drops me off to wait on line, while he found parking. He didn’t manage to get any street parking but did you know if you park in the garage below Wailana coffee house, it is only 75 cents if you get it validated? Pretty sweet, we didn’t know this before but now we do! The line was only a few people so we didn’t wait too long. It seems busy there all the time!

I always start with the muesli at Wailana, it’s just so yummy. Cold creamy oatmeal mixed with apples, raisins, and topped with bananas and mac nuts. I wasn’t feeling terribly hungry so I just ordered a side of Portuguese sausage which was a generous portion. My husband always orders the Irish breakfast – he cannot pass up a good deal, and this is one of the best deals on the menu. A large omelet stuffed with corned beef hash and topped with a grilled pineapple spear, served with hash browns or rice, toast, coffee and a (tiny) glass of juice of your choice. It’s a LOT of breakfast for one person, and it’s a good thing I didn’t order more food as I had to help him finish his.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/wailana-coffee-house-honolulu

Now, the mornings had been chilly - sunny but breezy in Oahu lately and today was no exception, so instead of heading to the beach so early and freezing, we decided to walk off breakfast a bit and wait for it to warm up. We drove on over to the Ward Center – but their stores don’t open until 10, and that was about 20 minutes away. We walked across the street to the Marukai Japanese supermarket to wander around until Ward was open. There are some interesting things there, including a sun visor which I’d seen Asian tourists wear before, the visor part was huge and looked like a welding helmet. I took a picture with it on and sent it to my sisters back home who got a good laugh.

I enjoy shopping at Ward. There aren’t too many people there compared to Ala Moana, and there are stores which I like, such as Cinnamon girl, which I like to call the Anthropologie of Hawaii, cute clothing stores Eden in Love and Basique Threads, and local footwear Island Slipper. If you haven’t tried Island Slipper, you should, they are some of the most comfortable sandals and flip flops I’ve worn. They can be pretty pricey considering they are just sandals, but they are made with quality and care in Hawaii and I like to support local businesses like theirs. If you go into the back of the store, there are usually sale items and I picked up 2 pair of flip flops for me and the hubs and I love them! Sooo comfy!

http://www.islandslipper.com/

http://www.wardcenters.com/

I had wanted to hit up more stores such as the Island Soap and Candle Works for some gifts, and the Crazy Shirts outlet, but the sun was blazing at this point so we headed on over to Ala Moana beach park. What I really like about this beach is that you can park very easily right in front of a spot you want to lay out on, since there is a road which runs parallel to the beach with parking spots. We easily found a spot as there were maybe about, oh 8 people total at the beach. It was wonderful! We brought out the beach chairs, cooler, umbrella, mats, towels, the whole works, it was only 10 meters to our car so we could bring all the stuff we wanted! I highly recommend this beach (on weekdays only, weekends are packed). It’s also the perfect place for swimming as they do have a wall breaking the waves, so it was calm as can be.

After enjoying the water and sun, reading a few chapters of my novel, and overall having a very swell time, my husband comes out of the water, looking very worried. He was talking to me and I couldn’t hear him because I had my ipod on and I forgot that I did (being in a state of beach bliss does this to you). “What? What happened?” I finally asked. Turns out…my husband went swimming with his brand new iphone 5 in the pocket of his swim trunks. Oh shucks…the first drowning on Oahu. I’m not talking about a phone dropped in water and immediately picked up, this was a good 20 minutes of being submerged. I knew it was a goner…apple products and water do NOT mix well…I tried to be helpful though, I suggested we get some uncooked rice and stick the iphone in it to help draw out the moisture. We googled to see if there was anything we could do. Seems that many have tried the rice trick and it works a small percentage of time. Since there really was nothing we could do except pay for a new phone at this point (we had no insurance on the phone) we decided to go get some rice.

I suggested Chinatown because I assumed we could find rice there and I could also stop by Thang’s for a smoothie. Thang’s is a stand located in the Maunakea Marketplace and they have Asian style fruit smoothies and bubble teas. I wanted to try an avocado smoothie there. I regularly make them at home using avocado (about half per serving), milk, condensed milk, and ice. Simple ingredients that when blending in the right ratio becomes the most perfect green concoction. I knew that it would be taken to the next level using the ripe buttery Hawaiian avocados, and I was not wrong. My smoothie was rich, creamy, and bursting with avocado flavor. It was bright green too, loved it (and no coloring or artificial flavors are added). Can I talk any more about avocados? LOL. I got it with the tapioca pearls at the bottom, but decided it would be much better without them for next time. Also, the price cannot be beat. My huge smoothie was about $3.50.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/thang-coffee...e-tea-honolulu

We walked around Chinatown looking for rice, it was actually our first time walking in Honolulu Chinatown, can you believe that? Being of Chinese descent, you’d think this would be the first place we’d check out but we just never got the opportunity to, until the hunt for rice brought us here now. Surprisingly, the first few grocery shops we walked into did not sell bags of rice! Some only had giant bags of rice, but we finally found a store which sold small bags of rice. Rice in tow, we headed back to the condo to resuscitate the phone.

But first…lunch!! Stay tuned…
tifa2276 is offline  
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Mar 14th, 2013, 02:51 PM
  #19
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,995
Oh, dear, poor iPhone. I would have cried. But first...lunch!!
Good cliff hanger!
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Mar 15th, 2013, 03:49 AM
  #20
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 53
Oh my! Whilst I completely understand your husbands reaction to his possible and more than likely MMM - tell him his mishap is completely forgiven 'when in paradise.' My 87 year old mum however just lost her brand new iphone5 to a leaking water bottle in her walker....not discovered for 24 hours....unfortunately no hope for that one! He should feel better hearing this! The solution for her next iphone purchase was to buy a waterproof 'Lifeproof' cover possibly not a bad idea for your DH!
I love reading your reports so many great hints for our big trip in December - I am creating a huge reference source from all of this. It is so lovely how you have given online reference to all your experiences. Thank you for sharing and can't wait to hear the hopefully (always the optimist) happy ending to this story!
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