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.
The menu at Maili Sunset Bar & Grill specializes in the ocean's bounty. Combo meals bring together clams, shrimp, crayfish, and king-crab claws slathered in garlic butter. Sauces and shallots coat glistening oysters on the half shell and fresh chunks of fish poke. Other finger-friendly foods include chicken wings, egg rolls, Cajun fries, and Korean fried chicken. In addition to sating the masses, Maili serves as a venue for watching broadcast sports and live entertainment such as bands and hip-hop open-mic nights with prizes awarded in cash and rhyming dictionaries.
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.
The friendly staff at Lisa's House pairs cold beer with pupu platters and fresh seafood—all served in a fun, laid-back atmosphere. Diners can fuel up before limerick-style rap battles with an array of poke plates, including spicy Korean salmon poke ($8.75) and fresh Hawaiian-style ahi poke (market price). Lisa's House also serves chicken ($7.75–$8), pork ($8.75 each), and steak dishes, including the house-specialty New York steak awash in ginger-cilantro pesto ($9.75). Patrons who are concerned about sinking their steeds during dolphin rides can dine on lighter fare, diving into more than 15 pupus, including kim chee kamaboko dip ($7.75) and portobello fries ($7.75).
A more than 50-year-old throwback to the gastro-glories and tiki traditions of Hawaii's past, La Mariana solves its visitors' palate puzzles with the help of a broad menu encompassing some of the best of both surf and turf. Amidst a festively decorated interior heavy on natural materials and whimsical lighting, guests can enjoy the fork-ready finery of steak and prime rib, "local-style" curries, and a multitude of fresh seafood while chatting with the tiki-faced cups containing their mai tais, zombies, and other cocktails. Sandwiches, such as the shrimp and avocado sandwich, are $8–$13, and entrees, such as grilled mahi mahi, are $7–16.
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.
Created by local indie rocker Josh86 and his business partner, Serena Hashimoto, as a comfy, stylish diner to lounge about, the Downbeat Diner & Lounge attracts famished lunch munchers and night owls with a vegan-friendly menu of American classics. Patrons can sprawl out in the funky-patterned booths before downing the American burger, which is topped with cheddar and doused in house sauce ($7.50). Those who wake up late can still snack on the breakfast menu all day, filling bellies with the Loco Moco, a gravy- and egg-slathered burger or veggie patty ($7). Like the vegetarian superheroes of the 1930s, every menu item has its vegan foil—even dairified desserts such as the milkshake ($5) and meaty meals such as the bacon, lettuce, avocado, and tomato sandwich ($7.50).