Featured on the Food Network, Chef Elmer Guzman harvests the sea’s bounty to proffer a menu that combines polyflavorful batches of the classic Hawaiian dish, poke, with other varieties of sea fare at Poke Stop, a combination seafood market and upscale eatery. Marinated cubes of tender raw fish dance with Hawaiian sea salt and seaweed, sashaying across a near-infinite spectrum of ingredient possibilities to help the chef keep more than 25 varieties of freshly prepared and chilled poke in stock at any given time. Try the spicy Korean octopus poke for internat ional ocean zing, or take a smaller leap of food faith with one of several salmon varieties ($8.99–$14.99/ lb.). Chef Guzman’s Asian-food expertise graces dishes such as the deconstructed sushi bowl, piled high with blackened ahi sashimi and Asian shrimp, with a garnish of ginger and grated metanarratives ($9.95). A coating of the chef’s house blend of herbs and spices prepares an island fish for blackening in the fires of culinary acumen ($8.95), and the seafood combo pits seared island poke against furikaki salmon belly in a struggle for savory supremacy ($7.95).
The chefs at Tanioka's Seafoods and Catering may specialize in fresh, locally caught ahi and aku tuna, but their dishes also reflect the diverse cultural influences that have shaped Hawaii's cuisine. Sushi platters, chicken katsu, and bacon-wrapped meatloaf are presented alongside island classics such as pork lau lau and more than 40 different kinds of poke. The international dishes are served up at Tanioka's market and catered to hungry crowds at weddings, company-wide food fights, and other special events.
When Mel and Lynn Tanioka founded Tanioka's Seafoods and Catering in 1978, they inadvertently created a family legacy. The couple's daughter and son, Jasmine and Justin, joined the team in the following decades as the business continued to expand, providing more and more customers with hearty portions of traditional Hawaiian home cooking. Today, Tanioka's has become a local institution and garnered multiple awards, but its commitment to fine foods hasn't changed.
A more than 50-year-old throwback to the gastro-glories and tiki traditions of Hawaii's past, La Mariana solves its visitors' palate puzzles with the help of a broad menu encompassing some of the best of both surf and turf. Amidst a festively decorated interior heavy on natural materials and whimsical lighting, guests can enjoy the fork-ready finery of steak and prime rib, "local-style" curries, and a multitude of fresh seafood while chatting with the tiki-faced cups containing their mai tais, zombies, and other cocktails. Sandwiches, such as the shrimp and avocado sandwich, are $8–$13, and entrees, such as grilled mahi mahi, are $7–16.
It begins with a private elevator ride. An uninterrupted, 36-floor ascent that ends at the top of the Ala Moana Hotel, also known as The Signature Prime Steak and Seafood. Upon stepping off the car, eyes are drawn to nearly every detail of the expansive restaurant. In one corner, a wooden installation mushrooms over an art-deco bar that gleams with crystal and marble. In another corner, an ornate butterfly chandelier is reflected in the lid of a white grand piano.
During happy hour, guests can gather in the area around the piano, or they can cozy up in one of the room's many dining areas. Some include leather-wrapped booths, the curved seats of which open toward floor-to-ceiling windows that frame the Waikiki skyline. These views are perhaps what the restaurant is best known for. Depending on which area you sit in, you'll take in panoramic views of the ocean, the city, the mountains, sunset, and on Friday nights, a fireworks show.
Those more interested in oenology than topography might consider reserving the private wine room, a 10-person space enclosed by wine displays. The elegant wine list includes both Old World and New World varietals available by the glass, bottle, or half bottle. The food is equally elegant with a classic steakhouse selection that includes everything from prime porterhouse and rack of lamb to Maine lobster. There's a light Asian influence as well, evidenced by beautifully plated appetizers of ahi sashimi and ahi katsu.
Fresh fare can be found at Duke's Restaurant and Barefoot Bar, where diners seek to sample every seafood dish on the menu. No need to miss out on Duke's Restaurant and Barefoot Bar just because you are avoiding fat or gluten. The restaurant has tons of options that can accommodate your dietary needs. Drinks are also on the menu here, so guests can start the night off right. Take the kids along too — Duke's Restaurant and Barefoot Bar is a great spot for families with food that even little ones will love. Swing by after work for happy hour, featuring a wide range of discounted drinks and appetizers. You'll find lots of space for you and the whole gang to spread out at Duke's Restaurant and Barefoot Bar, which accommodates plenty of large groups. Summer meals will taste even better when you enjoy them on Duke's Restaurant and Barefoot Bar's gorgeous patio.
If you're in a hurry, place an order for pickup instead.
Checks are bigger than average at the restaurant, so prepare your wallet. All major credit cards are accepted. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner, but it's the brunch menu that draws the most rave reviews from patrons.
Featuring a sophisticated presentation of sushi, Mitch's Fish Market is an upscale sushi restaurant that aims to please. Low-fat foods are not on the menu at Mitch's Fish Market, though, so plan to indulge a bit.
Leave the fancy duds at home — patrons at the sushi spot dress informally. If you need to get somewhere fast, the sushi spot also serves up grub to go.
Street parking is available, or, on busy nights, a nearby lot is another option for drivers.
Checks are bigger than average at the sushi spot, so prepare your wallet. The dinner menu is a crowd pleaser at the sushi spot, though breakfast and lunch are also served.