Shogunai Tacos's oversized kitchen-on-wheels cruises around Honolulu to quell hunger pains with its eclectic array of globally-inspired tacos. Chef Kamal Jemmari whisks his customers around the world with his panoply of dishes, all served in the form of tacos. Melted cheddar cheese with pastrami and Japanese-inspired ginger- and shoyu-marinated pork create unique taco hybrids, and tender lamb, kalamata olives, and feta cheese soak in tzatziki sauce on the Greek taco. The chef's internationally infused take on the Mexican staple has attracted media attention, with favorable reviews from KTV4 and articles on the owners' love of Japanese cuisine. Jemmari ramps up his production with the catering menu, eschewing tortillas altogether in favor of expansive, multi-course Moroccan dinners.
Hungry hoards seeking house-made comfort food visit Paul's Poppers for chicken katsu with house-made gravy, Portuguese sausage breakfast plates, and, on Aunty Lani's Fresh Bread Mondays, oven-fresh loaves. Diners also swarm the restaurant for?you guessed it?poppers. They're wontonlike fried dumplings whose crispy, flaky exterior hides a host of ingredients. The Original bursts with pork, jalapeno, and melted cheddar, while the Caprese clasps tomato, basil, and mozzarella. Poppers come as single-serving combos?say, eight with a side of kimchi fried rice?or in quantities of up to 75 to feed a party or a friend who only eats things in quantities of 75.
When Antonio “Trigo” Da Silva moved to Hawaii in 2007, he found a community of people who wanted to learn more about their own Portuguese heritage. That’s why he opened Adega Portuguesa Restaurant in Chinatown. There, visitors can sample traditional dishes such as Portuguese-style bean soup, Northern Portuguese–style codfish, or bitoque—a dish made by crowning a new york strip steak with brown gravy and a fried egg.
On Fridays and Saturdays, the eatery’s cooks also prepare Brazilian dishes such as feijoada, a medley of black beans, beef, pork, sausage, and bacon stewed with farofa and sliced orange. Beer, cocktails, and imported wines wash back each bite. In addition to tasting traditional foods, guests can dance to live Portuguese music or learn the native tongue in Portuguese language classes.
With a futuristic white bar illuminated from below, cushioned benches and luxurious pillows, an expansive dance floor, and a breezy patio—M seems to be ready for anything. The elegant space welcomes revelers for happy hours, private events, and live music, combining the raucous with the refined. Revelers take advantage of the bar's bottle service, feast on specialty sushi rolls, sip expertly mixed cocktails, and resist the urge to fingerpaint on the brilliant white walls.
Taking its name from the Hawaiian word for "adopt", Hanai Tours helps visitors become better acquainted with the people, food, and culture of Honolulu. Over the past 10 years, founder [Ed Korybski] http://www.hanaitours.com/about.html) has promoted Honolulu's Chinatown by producing street festivals, setting up commemorative plaques, and rehabilitating the facades of historical buildings. Today, he and his guides lead curious tourists through the beloved neighborhood, taking them through pub crawls and restaurant samplings that allow them to taste some of the local specialties and ethnic dishes. A dessert tour, for example, might include a stop at Mauankea Marketplace and a taste of homemade mango ice cream or Chinese candies, while a tour of Pau Hana—once known as Chinatown's red light district—might focus on area nightlife destinations and samples of wine and sake. Regardless of the food served, each tour also includes interesting historical facts and stories enhanced by digital photographs and video.
According to psychologists, the color red makes people hungry. So it's no wonder that Rakuen Lounge?s combination of vibrant, crimson tabletops and artistically plated sushi consistently incites stomach rumbles. Here, the chefs design their specialty rolls with organic ingredients and a whimsical touch: their Mr. Miyagi roll arrives with soy-sauce footprints drawn beside it, a presentation style that was oohed and ahhed over by Non Stop Honolulu?s Tracy Chan. The chefs also fold fresh fish, including sashimi-grade ahi, into don-don rice bowls.
Rakuen's bartenders congregate in the center of the dining room at a square-shaped bar where they shake up signature martinis with sake and yuzu, fresh fruit juices, and other seasonal ingredients procured from local vendors, rather than intergalactic grocery stores. They also fill glasses with sake or send full bottles of it or shochu out to tables.