Honolulu Aquarium’s Giant Clams

As aquariums go, Honolulu's in Waikiki may be small, but it is no less interesting than others twice its size. It has several captivating specimens, all of which inhabit the Pacific Ocean. The collection includes several species of giant clams (Tridacna gigas). When I first saw one there, I couldn't tell it was a clam. I was looking for colossal... Continue Reading →

The Conservatory at Foster Botanical Garden

Foster Botanical Garden in Honolulu is known for its outstanding collection of tropical trees, including an impressive set of palms. There is also an orchid garden, but we didn’t see many flowers in bloom. Inside the conservatory was another matter. Although not the largest orchid collection I've ever come across, there were some beautiful specimens interspersed... Continue Reading →

Mo’ Betta No Can Get: Side Street Inn on Da’ Strip (Honolulu, HI)

It wasn’t until Anthony Bourdain in 2009 featured Side Street Inn on “No Reservations” that this local hangout became nationally famous. It’s the answer to the oft-asked question, Where do famous chefs go to eat after work? Some of Honolulu’s top chefs, including Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong, had been coming all along just to “hang... Continue Reading →

Back to Jimbo (Honolulu, HI)

One of the under-appreciated Japanese restaurants in Honolulu has to be Jimbo, which specializes in udon. The buses and people lining up in Waikiki suggests that Japanese tour companies favor Marukame Udon, which features make-your-own udon, a concept that has been picked up by U:Don in Seattle's University District. Jimbo is located in a part... Continue Reading →

Mana Nalu Mural Project (Honolulu, HI)

In the middle of Ala Moana (between the shopping center and Ward Center) is a mural painted on the side of a building. Like many murals, you wouldn't notice it unless you're oriented correctly. It was difficult for us even when we were looking for it. The work is a masterpiece of trompe l'oeil as... Continue Reading →

Lunch at Shirokiya (Honolulu, HI)

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... Continue Reading →

Breakfast at Rainbow Drive-In (Honolulu, HI)

One of the island's favorite foods is loco moco, a fried ground beef patty served over two scoops of rice, all smothered in brown gravy and topped with two fried eggs. Personally, I find very little to get excited about basically a hamburger without the bun, even with gravy and rice. But, we were standing... Continue Reading →

Happy Hour at Taormina and Afterward (Honolulu, HI) **No Longer Observed**

An Italian restaurant doesn't immediately come to mind when trying to decide where to have a happy hour drink in Honolulu. Along the short stretch of Lewers Street south of Kalakaua, several cafes, restaurants and bars compete for your happy dollar. We intended to get a drink at Yard House known for its plethora of... Continue Reading →

Barbecued Abalone at the Saturday Farmers’ Market (Honolulu, HI)

Last time, we missed out on the grilled abalone at the Saturday Farmers' Market. How is it that a mollusk long banned from fishing can make an appearance here in Hawaii? It turns out they are farmed off the coast by Big Island Abalone, which cultivates a Japanese species primarily for export. I was (am)... Continue Reading →

Eat the Streets (Honolulu, HI)

You could make a case that the biggest development in American dining trends in the last few years has been the explosion of food trucks. Literally, an explosion. Maybe the weak economy has been somewhat responsible. For a business, it kind of makes sense because you don't have huge capital expenses, can "move" your restaurant... Continue Reading →

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