Oft spotted bearing a contagious grin, Ert staffs his restaurant with like-minded folks who prepare hearty, diner-style dishes “cooked and served with love.” Chefs build breakfast plates atop a sturdy foundation of rice and eggs, incorporating the customer's pick of savory, often unexpected meats, such as hotdogs or Spam. The house specialty, a house-made hamburger-steak plate, causes customers to line up at the window of Ert’s mobile food truck and mail lovelorn letters to the restaurant's unassuming storefront.
The Gunstock Ranch has been a part of Greg Smith's family since 1973. Born and raised in Kailua, Greg grew up helping his father on the ranch, and today, he helps his five children with rodeo practice and 4-H studies. The local rancher leads a staff of experienced wranglers who share intimate knowledge of the land on a variety of scenic trail rides through the 650-acre property. Visitors explore winding paths through the Koolau Mountain Range like traditional paniolos, Hawaiian cowboys, and catch stunning views of Oahu and the ocean in the bright light of day or the warm glow of the setting sun.
Expanding beyond equine excursions and care, Greg's wife, Kyndra, brought swimming lessons and aquatics to the ranch as a way to help children in the community and disprove the myth that you can bring a horse to water, but can't make it swim the breaststroke. The ranch's gentle horses and aboveground pool also make the Gunstock Ranch an all-encompassing destination for children's parties and special events.
Because dogs often think they're people, Pets in the City treats them as such with doggie daycare that resembles a boarding school, complete with lessons. Pet parents drop off their charges for a day of fun and learning that starts with homeroom. After homeroom, dogs typically break off for breakfast, either eating what their owners sent from home or the cafeteria's tasty organic kibble. Throughout the day, they bound through a schedule that interweaves two to four walks and socializing with class sessions in agility, basic training, and advanced calculus. At nap and nighttime, they bunk in private spaces.
Puppy parents can also schedule spa treatments, all performed with gentle Pacifica products. The experienced groomers on staff safely trim nails and dislodge dirt from fur with soothing baths. Add-ons such as conditioning treatments, blueberry facials, and flea dips ready pooches for a showdown with the dog that lives in the mirror.
Umeke Market combines a deli teeming with toothsome reinterpretations of local dishes with a natural market supplying organic greens, health supplements, and eco-friendly household items. Championing locally sourced ingredients with their menu of eats, deli masters hoist Mother Earth's fist in the air as they dispense dishes such as the Umeke market burger, which blankets local grass-fed beef, all-natural turkey, buffalo, or portabella mushroom in accoutrements including maui onion, sprouts, and organic ketchup ($8.95). Alternatively, smoothie selections such as the kale blend namesake leaves, banana, and honey into waves of quaffable nourishment ($3.95). The grocery lines shelves with organic greens, natural foods, and premium supplements that may boost energy, alleviate stress, and activate latent telekinetic powers.
Animal-lovers at Calvin & Susie cater to four-legged customers, stocking premium chow, toys constructed from safe materials, and an array of wag-worthy gear. U.S.-made and durable toys such as floating throws, chews, and stuffed animals entertain dogs, and kittens can paw a Fling-ama-string cat toy ($30) or muse over back issues of The New Yorker. Calvin & Susie’s homemade treats ($7) incorporate crisp, human-grade ingredients and come in pooch-pleasing flavors such as peanut hearts and bacon bones and strips. Happy hounds dip muzzles into premium dog food, such as Great Life dry buffalo kibble baked without filler and animal byproducts ($47/17 lbs.). Bubble Shack dog wash ($12/16 oz.) and Nordic Naturals pet supplements ($15) maintain coats healthier than Olympians' track jackets, and shelves of gear for birds, fish, and bunnies keep smaller pets well-stocked with tasty nibbles.