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.
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.
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.