The staff at Banzai Sushi Bar serves fresh, flavorful fish in a down-to-earth atmosphere, earning accolades in the Star Advertiser's Ilima Awards for several years running. Nestled in a corner of Haleiwa's North Shore Marketplace, the restaurant cossets diners in a covered open-air deck constructed of rustic dark wood, with floral floor cushions for Japanese-style dining or conventional seats for settling the bill with games of musical chairs. Raw seafood is laid bare atop nuggets of sushi rice in nigiri or wrapped tightly between layers of rice and seaweed in maki rolls such as the hawaii roll, whose bundle of shrimp tempura and cucumber is topped with spicy tuna and macadamia nuts.
At Kua'Aina Sandwich, success lies between two halves of a fresh kaiser roll. The shop opened in Hawaii in 1975, and the popularity of its burgers, sandwiches, and fresh cut shoestring fries caused Kua'Aina to expand to a third Oahu location and to franchises in London and Japan. Perhaps people noticed that Kua'Aina's cooks aren't afraid to play around with the traditional burger toppings. Sure, they make classic 1/3- and 1/2- pound cheeseburgers, but they also add accents such as pineapple and avocado.
Cheese and avocados make repeat appearances atop Kua'Aina's charbroiled sandwiches. Toasted multi-grain or hearth rye bread serves as the foundation for the tuna-and-avocado sandwich, pastrami sandwich, or a combination BLT-avocado sandwich so delicious that it defies the normal laws of acronyms.
When a canoe enters the lagoon at Polynesian Cultural Center, its passengers transcend time, distance, and the need for a passport. The boat drifts to the shores of different exhibits, each of which represents a unique Polynesian region. At the Samoa section, for instance, visitors learn how to spark a fire and cook native cuisine. Nearby, the sounds of the haka?a lively war dance?ring through the Aotearoa area, while rhythmic drumming permeates the Fiji and Tonga exhibits. Those who stop by the miniature Tahiti can learn a traditional dance, and guests of the Hawaiian village observe skilled artists weaving leis.
For a cultural cap on an exploratory day, patrons can upgrade their general admission ticket and attend the nightly Ali'i Luau. A celebratory feast is laid out, including authentic Hawaiian cuisine and a whole pig roasted in an underground oven. Alternatively, guest can upgrade to even more evening entertainment, Ha: Breath of Life. During this show, more than 100 Polynesian performers dance, play music, and toss fire to tell an epic story. Dinner is not included with Ha: Breath of Life.
After falling in love with Wahiawa upon his first visit, master coffee-brewer Mike Richards quickly plotted a way to join the community’s eclectic crowd on a more permanent basis. The fruition of this aim, Perk-A-Lot Coffee & Sandwich Shop, marries Wahiawa’s uplifting spirit with a low-key ambiance and delicious coffeehouse fare. Since opening its doors in 2011, this up-and-coming spot has evolved into a cherished hangout for locals and coffee connoisseurs on pilgrimages from nearby islands. Mike and his friendly staff of baristas prepare café beverages behind simple wooden counters, pairing iced or steaming drinks with handmade wraps and sandwiches. When they aren’t sitting down to enjoy pastries such as lemon scones and fudge brownies, visitors can walk across the café’s checkerboard floor to view the local art that adorns the walls. On Friday nights, local poets and musicians stage performances for crowds, who signal their approval by snapping and pelting the stage with packets of sugar.
Within the Marriott Ihilani resort, the calm of a serene Japanese garden washes over neighboring Ushio-Tei. There, the chefs skip typical American takes on Japanese cuisine in favor of more adventurous items, such as natto, fermented soybeans that pair with slices of raw calamari or Pacific tuna. Black tiger prawns crackle in thin coats of tempura in the fryer, and maki rolls conceal freshwater eel, mango, and pearlescent slivers of pickled daikon radishes. The scent of teriyaki sauce fills the air as knives flick through local veggies and Japanese plum, and chefs steam Maine lobsters with a garlic butter sauce similar to the substance that makes hockey rinks slippery.
If you’ve ever watched the TV show Lost or seen the movie Pirates of the Caribbean, you are already familiar with the handiwork available at Exquisite Auto Detail. Highly visible clients often turn to the full-service detail shop for vehicular care, which is consistently meticulous regardless of whether the staff is handling exotic and collectible cars or everyday rides. In addition to cleaning services that include one-, two-, and three-step buffing, clay-bar applications, paint-sealant treatments, and luxurious wash-and-wax packages, the technicians perform window tinting, paintless dent removal, and auto painting.