Eat, travel, adventure. That’s my mantra. Is there a place in this cold, cruel world that combines all of these things???
Yes, yes there is. And that place is Hawaii.
I was going to write about all of the reasons why I loved this trip, but it was a long post. So, I’m breaking it up based on the mantra (you can see some of the outdoor things I did in this post). Here are the foods/restaurants that I LOVED in Oahu. Notice the distinction between loved and LOVED.
Also, a HUGE THANK YOU to all my friends and family in Hawaii who showed me around and their favorite spots. You are all awesome 😍
Growing up, corned beef hash was like a comfort food. I learned from the 7-11s here (which are much cooler than 7-11s in the US) that all of my comfort foods are things you can get normally in Hawaii. When I tried this place’s corned beef hash, it was that comfort food but on steroids. Garlicky, flavorful steroids.
They are something you can get here or make yourself pretty easily, so I was very doubtful that they would be any different than what I was used to. To assume makes an ass out of u and me because they were freaking awesome here. I try not to repeat foods (especially in foodie havens), and I had like four because they were so refreshing, yummy, and easy to grab. I never had a bad one, but Kokonutz is Obama’s favorite so it was cool to try there.
Again, I was doubtful. How different could good shrimp here be vs good shrimp anywhere else? Again, perfectly soft/tender flavor explosion over here. I randomly walked into Andy’s Kahuku Shrimp and I was so grateful I did. Not only was the shrimp amazing, but it also has really good Korean food! So I got kalbi and shrimp and banchan, and honestly I would be okay if I died after. Also I would recommend the shrimp food trucks.
UBE. PANCAKES. YogurStory’s was HANDS DOWN one of the best things I’ve ever eaten- not too sweet, but so much flavor. I’m such a huge eggs bene for brunch person, and it’s very rare for me to not get them. But I would get these ube pancakes over eggs bene any day. Or I would be fat and get both like I did here. Their pork belly eggs benedict was tasty (clearly not ube pancakes level though).
Traditional Hawaiian food is so good! The poke at Yama’s Fish Market was AMAZING. This was another thing I was doubtful of because I’ve had really good poke in other places, but this one beat them out of the WATER. And their kahlua pig, lomi lomi salmon, and haupia were freaking awesome too. And I tried poi here for the first time and I actually really liked it.
Asian food in Hawaii is so good! I’ve had ramen in Japan and Yotteko-Ya’s noodles (firm style!) and broth are legit. I don’t even get ramen at home anymore, unless it’s very clearly a funky fusion, because it’s disappointing.
Try malasadas and then try malasadas with island flavors inside at Leonard’s. I died and also repeated this place and then took a box home. You can get something similar at General Porpoise here in Seattle, but it’s less fresh, with less island flavors, and for $5 instead of $1.
(Honorable mention food). Just because this picture came out so well, here’s shave ice from Matsumoto’s which when I was there was newly redesigned/really cute. My favorite shave ice though is the Taiwanese style which was really good at Coffee and Tea.