Category Archives: 2018

Soup’er Salad

Soup'er Salad


Hawaiian Pho Noodles


Made with local pork and greens from a third-generation family operation in Hawai‘i Kai, Otsuji Farm, this Hawaiian-style pho noodle bowl makes for great, Island-inspired comfort food. Accompanied with fresh herbs, locally harvested basil and cilantro, and packed with wholesome goodness, this Asian dish is a hefty portion of hearty ingredients that will satiate your belly. A great thing about the restaurant is that it’s open from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., so even if you’re not craving a warm bowl of noodles, there are plenty of other breakfast, lunch and dinner options to choose from.


House Salad With Quinoa

Besides a gorgeous view of the ocean and warm salty air to accompany your meal, Kai Market offers fresh, flavorful dishes like House Salad With Quinoa. Local greens are mixed with ingredients such as zesty watermelon radishes and locally grown Kamuela tomatoes, and paired with the sweet pop of papaya and salty punch of feta cheese. The quinoa adds an extra essence to this simple but flavorful salad that’s yummy even without any dressing.


Cobb Salad

This mountain of goodness is piled high with all the classic ingredients you’d expect in a hearty Cobb salad—tangy tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, fresh mixed greens, shredded cheese and eggs, and the finest gourmet bacon and turkey breast. Choose a traditional blue cheese dressing to accompany your salad or any of the others offered at this New York style deli. In addition to its luxurious salads, this casual restaurant is perfect for families and has menu items for everyone, from pizzas to hamburgers, as well as plenty of local favorites.


Crab Ramen With Asian Truffle Broth

Save your appetite for this decadent dish. Served with a heaping portion of melt-in-your-mouth fresh crab, the ramen is perfectly seasoned with cilantro, Thai basil and mild jalapeños. The truffle flavor in the broth gives an extra kick to the combination of ingredients in this warming mixture that’s soothing for the soul. Also, this dish pairs well with the Seared Ahi Salad crafted with delicious locally caught fish and served over a bed of greens lightly drizzled with Sansei’s signature soy sesame vinaigrette.


1849 Spicy Ramen

Eating House 1849, located at the International Market Place, is noted for incorporating Hawai‘i’s many cultural flavors. For example, this Asian ramen dish is made in traditional fashion, served with a rich sesame broth, pork belly, dumplings and topped with a soft egg. The things that make eating in Hawai‘i so unique are dining establishments like this one where you can try a combination of Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese and Filipino-style dishes. And if you have a hankering for warm soup during the “chilly” winter eves in Waikiki, then this is your spot for tasty authentic edibles.

Introducing Authentic Japanese Cuisine with Local Flair

Dishes at ZIGU feature local ingredients, such as fresh seafood from Kaua‘i Shrimp.


EXPERIENCE JAPANESE FOOD like never before at this brand-new contemporary eatery and sake bar in the heart of Waikiki. The restaurant’s fine cuisine alone is enough to warrant a visit but it’s the atmosphere that’s the delicious icing on this dining experience cake.

Nested inside a historic apartment building that was built in 1939 on land revered by ancient Hawaiians, ZIGU maintains a feeling of yesterday, accompanied with modern-day décor. Earthy wood tones dominate the quaint interior where patrons will find seating at the bar. Those who enjoy fresh air while they dine will be delighted that the majority of seating is offered on the outdoor patio, streamlined with sleek tables in a simple, sophisticated setting.

The interior space at ZIGU is small but comfortable.
The interior space at ZIGU is small but comfortable.


Most of the seating at this trendy Waikiki restaurant is located outside.
Most of the seating at this trendy Waikiki restaurant is located outside.


Topnotch service can also be expected at this lovely nook, with servers who are highly knowledgeable about the dishes served, and the comfort of their guests. What’s more, at the kitchen’s helm is chef Masaki Nakayama, a culinary expert from Yaizu City, in Japan’s Shizuoka prefecture.

ZIGU almost didn’t have such an accomplished chef as Nakayama’s original intention was to become a jazz musician in America. His family ties to food are what ultimately caused him to gravitate toward making delectable cuisine. Aside from growing up in a commercial fishing port, his grandfather made katsuobushi (the dried, fermented and smoked tuna used to make edibles such as soup bases) for a living. Nakayama learned to craft his own food after graduating high school and was especially drawn to seafood after working at Tsukiji Market, which recently ceased operations after serving as a wholesale fish market for more than eight decades.

Chef Masaki Nakayama runs the show at ZIGU and brings his professional experience to the table with many sensational dishes, such as the Apple Wood Smoked Local Egg Potato Salad (below)
Chef Masaki Nakayama runs the show at ZIGU and brings his professional experience to the table with many sensational dishes, such as the Apple Wood Smoked Local Egg Potato Salad (below)


Apple Wood Smoked Local Egg Potato Salad
Apple Wood Smoked Local Egg Potato Salad


Nakayama has been a noteworthy presence in the restaurant industry, including working with Michelin-starred chefs. He held positions at several esteemed dining establishments in Japan, where he continued to gain knowledge in its traditional culinary methods. He eventually opened his own restaurant in New York City, Mr. Robata.

Luckily, Nakayama has since brought his seafood and culinary expertise, as well as his passion for fine dining, to the south shore of O‘ahu. ZIGU’s menu is filled with items that will have your mouth ablaze with anticipation. No matter what is ordered, every dish has such an artistic presentation that makes it obvious the staff takes great pride in what they do.


One of the many outstanding aspects of this restaurant is that every meal is prepared with as many fresh, Hawai‘i-made ingredients as possible. So besides placing an emphasis on Japanese cuisine, the dishes have a tropical flair. For example, a delicious mango cream accompanies the appetizer, Macadamia Nuts\ With Sweet-Soy Sautéed Burdock.

Other dishes at ZIGU that beautifully blend Japanese and Hawaiian fare include the Local Tuna and Kona Amberjack Poke Sushi served with fresh fish sculpturally wrapped with ingredients such as sea asparagus, seaweed and yuzu pepper. Also, Deep-Fried Kaua‘i Shrimp is made with locally grown and harvested crustaceans and paired perfectly with wasabi-basil aioli sauce.

Additionally, you’re unlikely to find dishes from ZIGU anywhere else in Waikiki, including the Apple Wood Smoked Local Egg Potato Salad with crispy potato sticks and Cold Kale Udon with Fried Kale Chips which comes with an exceptional sesame dipping sauce.


Cocktails also do not disappoint at this one-of-a-kind restaurant and are crafted with as much care as the edibles. Mari’s Garden Shiso and Fresh Berry Shochu Mojito, for instance, is made with fresh strawberries, blueberries and lime, and combined with a smooth shochu, a distilled Japanese beverage made from sweet potatoes, rice or barley. Big Island Ginger Moscow Mule is another drink at ZIGU handmade with the finest homegrown ingredients such as ginger from Hawai‘i Island and locally made vodka.

From vegetables grown on O‘ahu farms, macadamia nuts plucked from Big Island orchards to deep-water fish caught in the Pacific Ocean, the list of local ingredients is impressive. Add to it the exquisite taste of authentic Japanese cuisine and you’ve got a match made in culinary heaven.

ZIGU is located at 413 Seaside Ave. and is open daily for dinner from 4 to 10:30 p.m. The bar remains open from 10:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Validated parking is available at Hyatt Centric with a purchase of $30 or more. Call 808-212-9252 or visit for more information.
ZIGU is located at 413 Seaside Ave. and is open daily for dinner from 4 to 10:30 p.m. The bar remains open from 10:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Validated parking is available at Hyatt Centric with a purchase of $30 or more. Call 808-212-9252 or visit for more information.


Kunoa Cattle Company: Leading the Local Food Industry Moo’vement


A cowboy hat shades Bobby Farias’ eyes and his square-toed boots make imprints as he walks across the dirt at a Kunoa Cattle Co. ranch on Kaua‘i. He jumps in his truck and drives toward a herd of cattle grazing in what could arguably be the most beautiful location in Lihu‘e surrounded by jade mountains and endless fields. Cattle peer at him with innate curiosity, albeit a touch of caution, as he climbs out of the vehicle and calls to them. They steadily make their way closer, their big, brown eyes peering at him with interest.

Farias is a third-generation paniolo (cowboy), champion team roper and co-founder of the Kunoa Cattle Co., which includes more than 4,000 acres of land on Kaua‘i and O‘ahu with some 2,000 head of cattle. While he hung up his cowboy hat for about two decades to follow a different career path as a property manager, he got roped back into his family’s ranching legacy during the early 2000s after acquiring land in Kapa‘a.

Now, the operation he co-founded with CEO Jack Beuttell, which has since been named Kunoa Cattle Co., is reaching phenomenal local foodindustry heights. One reason is because Farias understood that the process of raising cattle required feedback from customers. He realized that information wasn’t trickling back to him or other ranchers from buyers and he was determined to close that gap. He recognized that the “producer” or rancher went through three years of work raising cattle to a “finished market animal” but never knew what the final pay-back would be.


Jack Beuttell (left) and Bobby Farias are the co-founders of Kunoa Cattle Co.

“He or she takes all the risks, and they have no idea what the outcome’s going to be,” Farias says. “We decided that if we’re going to stay in ranching, we’ve got to be part of the end product so that we can be part of the decision-making. We are the sellers, we have to go find the buyers.”

So, Farias began pounding the pavement becoming his own broker. A decade later and Kunoa Cattle Co. is now distributing its meat to several O‘ahu restaurants, including d.k. Steak House and Mahina & Sun’s in Waikiki.

He helps make this possible by aggregating large quantities of calves from other ranchers, who may not be able to take them all the way to finish due to a number of factors like drought. He hosts them so they can be finished in Hawai‘i or until they are ready to continue to the Mainland. Kunoa Cattle Co. currently purchases cattle from about three dozen ranchers statewide.


The processing facility in Kapolei on O‘ahu.

“Kunoa is an evolution of the ranching business, in that Kunoa brings the aggregator part to the table,” says Beuttell. “A lot of Hawai‘i ranchers can just concentrate on ranching and call Kunoa to continue them through the business chain so there is a positive economic impact for them.”

Another way Kunoa Cattle Co. has carried on Farias’ mission to help ranchers stay afloat is by providing processing services at the only USDA-inspected livestock harvest facility on O‘ahu, which the business purchased in 2016. The facility, located in Kapolei, processes more than 100 animals per month, but is capable of handling about 12,000 cattle and 48,000 hogs annually. Achieving this would help create an all-around more sustainable food industry, as Hawai‘i falls severely short in meat-processing infrastructure.

“We need five more Kunoas,” says Farias.

Kunoa Cattle Co. is working with lawmakers and ranchers statewide to develop a supply chain for local meats so that fewer animals need to be sent to the Mainland for processing. Currently, tens of thousands of calves are shipped to California or Texas each year, where they mature and are harvested and sent back— even though there’s no way of knowing for certain if the meat that’s returned is from the same animals. But even if all of Hawai‘i’s cattle stayed in the state until maturity and were processed locally, it would only account for a small percentage of the total meat consumption in the Islands. With more than a million fallow acres in the state, Farias says there’s plenty of room for alternative possibilities, and Kunoa Cattle Co. wants to pick up those reins.


Kunoa Cattle Co. distributes its products to several restaurants on O‘ahu.

“If all the ranchers could grow by just 5 percent each year, then we maybe could really take a big bite out of that red protein food security in Hawai‘i,” says Farias.

Moreover, cattle that get to live stress-free days grazing on grass in mild weather conditions in Hawai‘i provide a healthier final product. And a grass-fed diet also allows for a robust beef flavor profile that is higher in omega-three fats, has higher beta carotene as well as vitamins B and E.

“… it’s like the experience of terroir (meaning soil/earth) in wine, with pasture-raised beef, the minerality of the volcanic soil and the traits of the grasses carry through to the beef,” says Beuttell. “These cattle spend their entire lives in Hawai‘i, with no added hormones or antibiotics.”

It’s easy to tell that Farias and Beuttell are passionate about keeping food on the Islands. And if they continue on their current path, their dreams of keeping beef in Hawai‘i throughout the entire process might just come true.

“This is all about building more food sustainability,” says Farias.

Visit for more information.


Tasty Meets Trendy at MAHINA & SUN’S


CONTEMPORARY COLORS mix with subtle geometric patterns to adorn what could arguably be one of Waikiki’s most on-trend dining establishments. Tucked inside the Millennial-inspired Surfjack Hotel and Swim Club on Lewers Street, visitors and kama‘aina alike have been flocking to the fashionable Mahina & Sun’s since it opened in 2016. It’s hard to beat the restaurant’s relaxing beachy, poolside atmosphere with walls decorated by a number of modern local artists. Not to mention nightly activities and live music from some of Hawai‘i’s most cherished musicians, including Na Hoku Hanohano award-winners. But what’s really got people raving are the restaurant’s unbeatable flavors in every one of the dishes and cocktails.


Mahina’s Family Feast features a whole deep-sea snapper that comes with a variety of other sumptuous dishes to share.
Mahina’s Family Feast features a whole deep-sea snapper that comes with a variety of other sumptuous dishes to share.


The food, which is described as “elevated home cooking,” is based on the Hawaiian cultural “sense of place.” In other words, the menu is filled with ingredients centered around Hawai‘i’s seasonal bounty that journey straight from farms across the Islands onto every plate. Moreover, the culinary team at Mahina & Sun’s represents ethnicities from around the world and each cultural background has an influence in the recipes. This meld of culinary talent is in alignment with a mom-and-pop sense of nostalgia the owner, celebrated chef and restaurateur Ed Kenney, wanted to evoke in guests.




It helps that Executive Chef Erik Leong is at the kitchen’s helm. Born and raised on O‘ahu, he knows just what it takes to create comfort food with memorable mixes of cultural seasonings that once flourished in small businesses on the Islands. Prior to joining Mahina & Sun’s, he worked at Kenney’s Town Restaurant for almost a decade and moved up the ranks from a night cook to sous chef. His passion for food struck at an early age. After graduating from Kapi‘olani Community College with a degree in culinary arts, Leong worked for Sodexo, a sustainable dining program for students at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa.

Try a poke bowl (raw fish salad) or any number of other freshly made and locally sourced dishes at Mahina & Sun’s.
Try a poke bowl (raw fish salad) or any number of other freshly made and locally sourced dishes at Mahina & Sun’s.


Now he has formed the ultimate dream team with Kenney at Mahina & Sun’s to create breakfast, lunch and dinner offerings, as well as a special brunch menu on Sundays. Locally sourced ingredients are a prerequisite for every dish, including one of the most popular, called Mahina’s Family Feast. The meal is made for several people to enjoy, and features an “ocean-friendly” mochiko fried or steamed whole deep-sea snapper that comes with exquisite homemade dipping sauces, such as green chutney.

The restaurant goes above and beyond with this dish, not only by providing unparalleled, robust flavors in the main fish course, but in each of the sides that accompany it. From buttered ‘ulu (breadfruit) with chili-pepper-water aioli to Kualoa Ranch oysters, there’s something everyone can savor in this meal. Moreover, the feast’s grand finale is the Salted Mac Nut Pavlova (Australian for meringue-a sensationally sweet dessert that comes with local, seasonal fruit such as papaya and pineapple, a lemon-‘olena (Hawaiian turmeric) curd and vanilla cream.


The atmosphere at this trendy Waikiki restaurant is casual yet sophisticated. The poolside restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers menu items made with the finest ingredients, such as the Surfjack Breakfast.
The atmosphere at this trendy Waikiki restaurant is casual yet sophisticated. The poolside restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers menu items made with the finest ingredients, such as the Surfjack Breakfast.


Cocktails are equally as satisfying as the edibles at Mahina & Sun’s, including simple libations decorated with fresh herbs served during happy hour, as well as drinks with more gusto presented during Sunday brunch, such as the Bella Matina made with Prairie vodka, espresso, lemon and vanilla gelato.

Only the finest ingredients, many of which are gathered from local farmers and ranchers, are used at Mahina & Sun’s, where the atmosphere is avant-garde and the food evokes the flavors and feel of yesteryear.

“My ultimate goal is and has been to cook great food, and from my past that feeds my present that makes me hungry for the future,” says Leong.

Visit for more information.

Not Ordering Beef is a Missed Steak


If you’re craving a juicy, hearty piece of meat to sink your canines into then look no further than Waikiki. Some of the freshest and most flavorful beef dishes are created in this pristine South Shore location. Order a slab of prime rib, a sizzling fillet, or any of another number of beef-centric dishes and you’ll have the bonus of fantastic beachside settings to indulge every single one of your senses.




Made with 8 ounces of seared Island beef tenderloin, this dish is topped with gorgonzola fondue that packs a mighty powerful palate-pleasing punch. Vibrant sautéed veggies accompany this hearty meal, as well as fine, feathery mashed potatoes garnished with kukui nuts that will fill your belly and your soul. Finally, a marsala wine sauce adds a subtle essence to this Italian and Hawaiian fusion restaurant’s signature dish.


Straight from the ranch to your plate, you can’t get a fresher slice of meat. Besides being as sustainable as it gets, generated directly from Hawai‘i ranchers, its tenderness and taste exceed expectations. The Kaua‘i red dirt salt-rubbed steak sits perfectly on a bed of fluffy, roasted garlic-chive fondue and a red wine demi-glace. Flawlessly crisp Brussel’s sprouts and tasty cremini mushroom ragout add zest to this dish and a dollop of tarragon herb butter with a handful of Hamakua ali‘i mushrooms provide a combination of ingredients that are simply divine.



Known for presenting phenomenal local classics, this famed O‘ahu eatery gives you a chance to try beef crafted with cultural flair. This Korean specialty, for example, is created from a traditional family recipe and allows diners the opportunity to try the kind of food kama‘aina (Hawai‘i residents) grow up with. The rich, luscious meat
is served with a subtly sweet sauce and two sides of your choice, such as local favorites white rice and macaroni salad. Rather than a typical grab-and-go plate lunch, this is its elegant sister, with the added perks of friendly service and salty ocean air.


Besides being blown away by the generous serving of meat this dish has to offer, ordering this Tomahawk ribeye makes for a pleasurable dining experience. Created with artistic mastery, this grain-fed, pasture-raised “superior”-bred dry-aged ribeye has unparalleled tenderness. Furthermore, it’s adorned with garlic herb butter to make the meat even more succulent and paired with a delecta-ble dipping sauce, as well as garlic crostini and vegetables, such as cauliflower and sweet potatoes. The dish is for two and there’s more than enough to leave everyone satisfied.


Made at your table with a hot pot, the sensuous smell of this dish alone will cause your mouth to water with anticipation. Plenty of extras are thrown in with the 4-ounce serving of wagyu or Japanese beef cattle, including tofu, bamboo, Chinese cabbage and rice noodles. What’s more, you’ll have an epic view of Waikiki Beach while you savor the flavors of this comforting soup that not only can cure ailments but will lift your taste buds’ spirits.




Hawai’i’s Edible Canoe Plants


POLYNESIAN VOYAGERS CROSSED UNCHARTED ocean in double-hulled canoes to discover one of the most remote landmasses on Earth more than 1,000 years ago. These savvy sailors brought supplies with them that would allow them to inhabit territory they predicted would be unoccupied by humans.

More than two dozen “canoe plants” joined the ancient mariners in the form of roots, seeds and cuttings. The plants would allow the settlers to survive, serving as various resources, such as medicine, bedding and mats, and, of course, food. While they aren’t endemic to Hawai‘i, these species are considered indigenous, or native, because they were – and still are – revered by the Islands’ original inhabitants.

“They knew how important it was to be able to bring their plants with them,” says Michael DeMotta, curator for Living Collections at the National Tropical Botanical Garden.

Sabra Kauka and Michael DeMotta near lo‘i (taro patches) at the National Tropical Botanical garden on Kaua'i.
Sabra Kauka and Michael DeMotta near lo‘i (taro patches) at the National Tropical Botanical garden on Kaua’i.


By the time the Polynesians arrived in Hawai‘i, they had learned new ways to help the plants thrive, including the unique method of propagating kalo (taro) in wetland fields.

“We survived for many, many centuries with only these plants,” says cultural practitioner kumu (teacher) Sabra Kauka. “These plants and the kai, the ocean.”

Each plant carries its own cultural significance. Kalo, for example, represents the “staff of life.” The creation story of Hawaiians centers around two gods, whose firstborn did not survive. At the spot where their baby was buried, a kalo plant subsequently grew. Their second child, named Haloa in honor of their firstborn of the same name, was a healthy boy from whom the Hawaiian people are believed to be descended. Haloa went on to nurture the kalo that sprouted from his older brother – a reminder that the earth will provide if it is properly nourished.

Uncle Bo's serves "Hobo's"’ warm beignets made with   taro and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Uncle Bo’s serves “Hobo’s”’ warm beignets made with taro and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.




Because of the care that Hawaiians put into their food, the plants tended to them in return. Kalo, ‘uala (sweet potato) and ‘ulu (breadfruit) were their staple foods, usually steamed in an imu (underground oven) and paired with fish.

The edible canoe plants provided nourishment for Hawaii’s people for centuries, and many of the species still thrive today. Contemporary chefs in Waikiki are aware of the rich, authentic flavors they add to meals, and have found ways to harmoniously incorporate them into their dishes.

Sugar cane was originally brought to the Islands by Polynesian voyagers.
Sugar cane was originally brought to the Islands by Polynesian voyagers.


Moreover, Waikiki, during the 1920s, was once the prominent site of the state’s wetland lo‘i (taro patches). Other canoe plants were grown here as well, including niu (coconuts) and mai‘a (bananas).

“Honolulu was like the breadbasket of the island of O‘ahu,” says DeMotta who adds that O‘ahu’s south shore was where many of Hawai‘i’s ali‘i (royalty) resided. “You didn’t ever have to leave Waikiki.”

Sweet potatoes (left) and coconut trees were among the ‘canoe plants’ that ancient settlers brought with them to Hawai‘i in order to survive.
Sweet potatoes (left) and coconut trees were among the ‘canoe plants’ that ancient settlers brought with them to Hawai‘i in order to survive.

Consider sampling a dish with one of Hawai‘i’s famed canoe plants while you’re in Waikiki, and reflect in the significance of these mighty flora and their continued importance to native people. “If people embrace eating Hawaiian food, then that’s better for us; it’s better for Hawaiians and the culture,” says DeMotta.

Breadfruit is one of the most highly esteemed of the canoe plants, particularly on Kaua‘i, where it is said to have been brought by the Tahitian voyager, Mo‘ikeha, who later became ali‘i nui (high chief) of the island. The starch can be eaten in a number of ways and is a complex fibrous carbohydrate. When green, it can be baked or boiled and tastes like a potato. When ripe, it becomes sweeter and can be used in desserts.

Bananas in Hawai‘i today are nothing like those that were originally brought to the Islands. The fruit was used more like a starch and baked or boiled while still green. A little coconut milk was poured onto them after removing the bananas from an imu, creating a filling, nutrient-packed meal. Additionally, banana stumps were used to ignite heat in an imu. They were laid in the ground with water before a pig or fish was settled in, and the heat from the ground would cause the stumps to steam and cook the meat.

This plant is best known for being the main component of poi, the pounded and baked or steamed root of the plant. You’ll find this dish at several markets and places like lu‘au (Hawaiian feasts). Poi was a popular edible for natives because of its ability to keep its nutritional value for extended periods of time. The leaves of the taro plant, which are also edible, are heart-shaped, and its thick bulbous root, or corm, has a characteristic purple tint.

This plant prevailed in Hawai‘i long before sugar cane became a commodity synonymous with the Islands’ plantation era. Hawaiians used its sweetness for many purposes, including masking the bitter taste of plant medicine. Juices from its thick stalk were also used to sweeten desserts.

Calling All Veggie Lovers


You don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy the many delectable dishes sans meat at a variety of Waikiki dining establishments. Make at least one pass on ordering steak or seafood during your tropical vacation and take a chance on something that provides just as much of a party, if not more, for your taste buds.



Chopped Salad never looked or tasted as exquisite as the one at this Waikiki restaurant located on Beachwalk Avenue. An abundant dose of fresh, local vegetables is used in this dish. And even though it’s a salad, you’ll be hard pressed to finish this meal. Served in an ample sized bowl, the ingredients consist of hearty produce like grilled zucchini, local heirloom tomatoes that explode with perfection in your mouth, volcanic lettuce, Kahuku corn, cucumber, roasted beets, edamame and the option of buttery avocado. The salad is accompanied with flavorfully fried garbanzo beans tossed in furikake and seaweed sesame. And if that weren’t enough, the citrus sesame dressing is the sweet cherry on top of this veggie lover’s dish.




The caprese salad here is as elegant and refined as the restaurant. This Italian dining establishment, located within the Hilton Hawaiian Village, serves all kinds of fresh, locally sourced vegetarian dishes, including a succulent Insalata Caprese. Every one of the vegetables in this salad are organic and grown on local farms. Brilliant red and yellow Kamuela tomatoes are coupled with aromatic basil and macadamia-nut pesto, and topped with amaranth and mozzarella cheese, as well as a perfect dash of Hawaiian black salt. Begin any meal with this palate pleaser and your taste buds will beg for more of the restaurant’s high-quality Mediterranean cuisine.




Situated right on Waikiki Beach with a stunning up-close view of the pristine shoreline, this elegant restaurant has sensational options for vegetarian cuisine. The sunshine-flooded dining room located within the historic Moana Surfrider Hotel is a lovely place to try a non-meat dish like Beach Bim Bop. A clever play on words of the more famously known Korean dish, bi bim bap, its version offers a similar smattering of satisfying vegetables. The spicy Asian meal is created with fiddlehead fern salad, kim chee brussel sprouts, kalbi (Korean barbequed) ali‘i mushrooms, hapa rice and a sunny-side-up egg. Mix the ingredients together and create your own combo of the sweet and fiery house kochujang sauce served with a touch of soy. Add as much homemade chili spread as you dare, but be prepared to feel the fire.




This well-respected brand based out of California is known for its pizza made with a heavenly dough rolled fresh every day. Located within the Hilton Hawaiian Village is the chain restaurant’s No. 1 producing eatery out of its more than 500 establishments. That’s because the quality is just that good. One of the vegetarian pizza options here is especially luxurious, with an ultra-creamy garlic sauce crafted from a secret recipe. You won’t be disappointed by the blend of flavors in this melt-in-yourmouth pizza that has a combo of mozzarella, cheddar and provolone cheeses, and is topped with an assortment of vegetables including artichoke hearts, zucchini, spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes. Don’t forget, Round Table Pizza offers free delivery throughout Waikiki.


Fruit of the Sea


Shrimp are the perfect accompaniment to almost any dish. Bursting with salty sweetness, the “fruit of the sea” is one of the most versatile ingredients for chefs to work with and are therefore featured in a variety of ways in dishes at restaurants throughout Waikiki. Many dining establishments even go so far as to feature locally harvested shrimp, making the tasty invertebrates as fresh as they can get and adding just the perfect amount of flavorful crunch to any meal.


The view alone is worth a visit to this restaurant located at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort. What’s more, Kuhio Beach Grill offers something for everyone each night. The dining establishment presents hearty buffets that highlight different dining themes throughout the week. Arrive between 5 and 10 on a Wednesday or Sunday evening, for example, and create your own Hawaiian-style meal. These particular nights have a special poke bowl (raw fish salad) station where shrimp are offered as one of the many options for dressing up your dish. Indulge in the zesty local flavors of poke and opt for shrimp on a bed of matcha (green tea) seasoned rice with a sprinkle of seaweed and fresh herbs, such as green onions, to give it extra zip.



This trendy Mexican eatery is located on a rooftop in the heart of Waikiki on Kalakaua Avenue. The chic atmosphere is inviting, but the food and drinks are the real reasons to visit. Kauai Shrimp Ceviche is one example of an ideal way to embark on your dining adventure at this lively outdoor restaurant. Served with three large, crisp tortilla chips, the traditional Mexican-style ceviche is made with locally raised and harvested shrimp from the Garden Isle. Rather than prepared with heat, the shrimp are cooked by soaking them in lime juice. The juicy citric freshness of this appetizer is made even better with diced tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, avocado and cucumber.



The ample menu here highlights many all-American plates infused with traditional local ingredients. Tucked inside the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, this is a great spot to grab a quick meal that’s guaranteed to leave you satisfyingly full. You can’t beat its robust portions of signature dishes such as Garlic Shrimp. Exploding with garlic essence, the plate includes sautéed easy-to-peel shrimp that pop with perfection in your mouth and are dressed with a “secret” garlic-wine sauce. Also included are two hefty scoops of white rice and a side of comforting macaroni salad. Just pack a breath mint for afterwards—the garlic, while divine, packs a powerful punch.



The millennial-inspired Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club hosts this one of-a-kind poolside restaurant that appeals to people of all ages. Each dish here is authentic in flavor, using only the finest ingredients, such as the Kauai Shrimp Risotto. Created with large, succulent shrimp raised on the westside of the Garden Isle, this plate is exquisite in every way. While risotto is traditionally a heavy dish, this recipe is on the lighter side: so rather than weigh you down, the delicately creamy sauce, enhanced with zesty lemon flavor, leaves you wanting more. The shrimp and rice combo is served with shaved shallots and sugar snap peas that provide an extra savory zing, while fried capers and shaved radishes resembling flower petals add even more gusto and texture to this impeccable dish.