For me, no visit to Honolulu would be complete without a stopover, not to mention a meal, at the food level of Shirokiya, the Japanese department store in Ala Moana Shopping Center. I might lust after a ramen shop here, a tonkatsu restaurant there, poké at various places, Leonard’s, even mochi ice creams at Bubbies. But when it gets right down to it, none of these places holds a candle to Shirokiya for its eye candy and staggering variety of food, all conveniently packaged in plastic containers, ready to pick up at one of many specialty stations, to eat at one of the few tables there or take out. A big part of the allure is the ability to eat whatever fancies you at the moment, whether it’s tempura, sushi, nigiri, musubi, fried or mochiko chicken, takoyaki, tonkatsu, tsukemono, and a seemingly endless selection of little side dishes. The wonderful displays make you want to buy one of everything. It’s basically the biggest display of my comfort foods ever. We made our usual careful rounds whenever we visit, as if circling our prey, and settled on a good, eclectic selection.
If I had to put together a bento or provisions for a day-long hike, I would most definitely come here.