The staff at Banzai Sushi Bar serves fresh, flavorful fish in a down-to-earth atmosphere, earning accolades as one of Oahu's top restaurants in the Star Advertiser for several years running. Nestled in a corner of Haleiwa's North Shore Marketplace, the restaurant offers casual fine dining outdoors on Japanese-style seating or conventional tables?with projected surf videos and live music playing in the background. Maki rolls and nigiri are crafted with organic, locally sourced produce and fresh fish purchased daily at the Honolulu fish auction. Salads, tempura, poke, and specialty sashimi pair with an extensive list of sake.
Breakers Restaurant & Bar exudes a laid-back vibe that carries through its dinner menu of casual surf 'n' turf dishes favored by a regular clientele of North Shore boardriders. Test your hunger's waters with the Breakers Cakers ($12.95), crab cakes plated with a zesty homemade tropical salsa and a creamy garlic mayo. The beer-battered fish ($16.95) cloaks a fresh catch in a crispy, suds-laced jump suit, and the Hawaiian burger ($11.95) sports a festive pattern of grilled pineapple, teriyaki sauce, and traditional fixings. With prowess over land and sea, the surf 'n' turf entree ($23.95) tackles barren bellies with coconut shrimp and an 8-ounce new york strip steak. Breakfast and lunch menus ably accommodate morning wave riders and morning DJs done surfing radio waves.
Universe Juice Café harnesses solar energy to blend and squeeze organic fruit into refreshing drinks that complement a menu of fresh, healthy fare. The Mantra smoothie mixes together berries, bananas, papayas, and positive thoughts ($6.75), and the Malo Man swaggers out of the blender with banana, ginger, pa'i 'ai, and noni ($6.50), and refuses to ask directions to the nearest glass. Signature poke bowls layer spicy or shoyu-style Hawaiian ahi over rice ($8) and kale ($10.50), as savory naan flatbread paninis embrace vegetable and turkey fillings ($8.50+). Universe Juice Café's warm-colored walls and intimate café seating abut a wood-topped juice bar, creating a cozy atmosphere for dining, drinking, and blending in time to live music showcases.
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.
Featured on the Food Network, Da Pokeman Fish Market dishes out a menu of Hawaiian flavors from recipes passed through generations for more than 70 years. Succulent cubes of ahi tuna dive into tangy shoyu soy sauce or limu algae in the quarter-pound bowls of poke ($9.95–$11.95). The Squid Luau plate snugly bundles two bales of rice beside poi and lomi ($7.95), and the Hawaiian Combo plate's exclusive guest list includes laulau, kalua pig, chicken long rice, lomi salmon, rice, and poi ($9.45). Ordering à la carte, diners can pair a helping of kalua pig ($6.95/lb.) with a side of pickled ogo ($6.95/lb.). Patrons can get carryout to enjoy meals in an oversize aquarium castle.
From beneath Ola's open-air beachside dining room, it's not too hard to see where the restaurant sources its ingredients. In many cases, all you have to do is turn your head. It's located right on the sandy beaches of Kuilima Bay, giving parents a chance to enjoy a special keiki menu while their kids play in the sand.
Ola translates to "life" or "healthy," and for Executive chef Fred DeAngelo that means partnering with local farmers to source ingredients for his original grass-fed Moloka'i beef, fresh island fish, and goat cheese nachos, in addition to a bounty of fruit and vegetables grown on Oahu's North Shore. His flavor profiles have also garnered ample accolades, including recommendations from Fodor's and Frommer's.
The magic here doesn't end with the food or the view, though. Bartenders mix tropical drinks like the signature pomegranate cocktail and serve an impressive variety of wines (58 by the bottle; 42 by the glass). Ola's on-beach location also hosts the occasional jam session on weekends from 2?5 p.m., and at sunset tiki torches are lit, giving meals an extra romantic kick with private, candle-lit tables near the ocean. Considering the setting, it's no surprise that the restaurant has seen its fair share of marriage proposals since opening in 2005. It has also been the setting for numerous television shows, including the 2008 film Forgetting Sarah Marshall.