Tag Archives: featured_blogs
Iconic Hawaii eateries

Iconic Hawaii eateries

Well, who knew Monday’s blog would be such a talker!

But then again, I shouldn’t be surprised.

Hawaii has changed so much over the past few decades, it’s easy to find something to miss.

Longs Drugs Stores are now owned by CVS. Star Markets no longer exist. And the only place you can get a fresh waffle dog regularly is at the Panini Press at Kahala Mall.

But I didn’t want the blog to be a downer.

Though we don’t have Da Rink or Castle Park anymore, though restaurants such as Wisteria and Coco’s have long closed, though we’re seeing more Mainland big-box retailers open and local stores closing — there are some great places still around.

And today’s blog, I’m going to focus on those iconic restaurants, diners, drive-ins and take-out spots that make Hawaii, well, Hawaii.

Here’s the start to the list I’m sure you’ll finish: (Notice most of them don’t have websites yet!)

Rainbow Drive-In and its award-winning loco moco plate and slush float
• Like Like Drive Inn, one of the few local restaurants open 24 hours and serving breakfast all day
Liliha Bakery with its famous cocoa puffs and that old-school radioactive-red jelly served at the counter
• Wailana Coffee Shop on the outskirts of Waikiki
Zippy’s — it’s the closest thing to a locally owned chain restaurant and its chili cheese fries are a late-night nosh must
• Ono Hawaiian Foods on Kapahulu Avenue that’s still so popular you have to wait in line to get a table
Natsunoya Tea House on Alewa Heights
• W&M Bar-B-Q Burgers on Waialae Avenue — used to be on 9th Avenue — that still makes some of the best (and cheapest) burgers around
• Shige’s Saimin Restaurant, an iconic saimin stand in Wahiawa
Ted’s Bakery, though a tourist haven, still got great cream pies
• Gulick Delicatessen, one of the best-known okazuya located in Kalihi and serves the best vegetable tempura I’ve ever had

OK, finish my list! And tell me what to order next time I’m there!

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Castle Park and other things I miss

Castle Park and other things I miss

The other day, for whatever reason, I thought about Castle Park.

It was Oahu’s version of Disneyland — complete with a castle. I remember spending weekends there, playing video games in the arcade — I was a big fan of Mappy — maneuvering bumper boats and racing go-carts around an open track. There was nothing quite like it.

It got me thinking about all the things I miss — from the glazed donuts from Kimuraya Bakery in Kaimuki to

I’m too young to remember the termite-infested Honolulu Stadium, the Sky Slide in Waipahu, wrestling at the Civic Auditorium, even “Checkers & Pogo.” (Though I’ve heard stories.)

But I do remember seeing the monkeys at Pearl City Tavern, singing with my friends at Rising Star in Pearlridge Center, getting splatter-paint shirts at Guava Lane in Ala Moana Center, watching movies from the balcony in the Waikiki 3, playing video games at Joy Square in Waikiki and buying back-to-school clothes at Gems in Kalihi.

Here are more things I miss:

• The smell of pineapple around Dole Cannery, even when the water tower was taken down
• Icebox cookies from King’s Bakery
• The water and bird shows at Paradise Park in Manoa
• The food counter at Woolworth’s
• The annual Farm Fair at McKinley High School
• The smoke from sugar cane burning
• “Hawaiian Moving Company”
• The lighted cross at Camp Smith
• The return policy at Liberty House
• The manapua man
• Cinerama and Varsity theaters
• Raraya and Taishoken ramen shops
• Professor Fun (“Pow, pow, pow!””

I guess it’s true, though, what Billy Joel sang in “Keeping the Faith”: “The good ol’ days weren’t always good and tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems.”

Still. There are some things I reflect on fondly.

Got any to share?

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FUUD: The Alley in Aiea

FUUD: The Alley in Aiea

Hawaii has always had great restaurants attached to bowling alleys.

Consider Kapiolani Coffee Shop in Kam Bowl. Or the restaurant in Bowling City, where my grandfather used to serve his popular tripe stew.

And now there’s The Alley Restaurant in the renovated Aiea Bowl, an aging alley that got an expensive facelift a few years ago by brothers Gregg and Glenn Uyeda.

The restaurant concept was always a central part of their business model — and it’s obvious when you’re there how popular this alley eatery is.

While the menu remains fairly homestyle and local, it does offer gourmet twists to the usual fare, like the Tasty Chicken, essentially an upscale version of the popular Korean-style fried chicken. This blend of retro and nouveau cuisine is exactly what this restaurant works.

So after a morning of bowling — and working up an appetite — here’s what we ate:

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The Alley Restaurant, Aiea Bowl, 99-115 Aiea Heights Dr. Hours: 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, breakfast served from 7 to 10 a.m. daily. Phone: (808) 486-3499

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ASK DR. DISH: Royal advice

ASK DR. DISH: Royal advice

Question: I am totally obsessed with the Royal Wedding!!! I am so glad you asked yesterday (in Monday’s blog)!!! I have a question for everyone else who is just as obsessed as me — or not: What is your marriage advice for Prince William and Kate Middleton? I say sign don’t sign the prenup!!!

Answer: Thanks for the question! I love your enthusiasm!

I don’t think Kate will have much of a choice about signing the prenup before the April 29 nuptials. Britain’s royal family doesn’t have the best marriage record; three of Queen Elizabeth II’s four children have been divorced.

But that’s not really the point of today’s blog!

It’s hard for me to dispense marriage advice since I’ve never been married. And I hate to sound cliche — communicate, be honest and open, schedule date nights — but I don’t know anything else.

For me, being in a relationship takes work. I mean, a lot of it should come easily. You should want to spend time together, you should truly enjoy the other person’s company, and it shouldn’t be a burden to help each other. But everything else — carving out quality time, being patient, learning that what’s important to him is important even if it’s not important to you — takes effort. But if you love each other, you’ll want to do it — it’s not a problem.

Anyone got some advice for the royal couple? Hey, they might be Dr. Dish fans! You never know!

***

Here’s more advice: “The Best Marriage Advice I Ever Got” in Redbook.

***

Got a question? Email me at cat@nonstophonolulu.com.

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The Royal Wedding obsession

The Royal Wedding obsession

Get this: For $4,000, you can send your 8-year-old daughter to a princess boot camp — one of many that have sprung up prior to the April 29 nuptials of Prince Edward and Kate Middleton.

One in particular gathers wannabe princesses at a posh London hotel to teach them how to curtsy properly and what to say to the Queen, should these taffeta-wearing tweens ever cross her path in the buffet line.

We are obsessed with the Royal Wedding. Obsessed! You can’t turn on the TV without getting an update about William and Kate, where they’re planning to get hitched, who’s in her bridal party, what will she be wearing? We just can’t stop!

The royal couple is so lucrative, for example, Lifetime is airing a docuseries on them. Newspapers and TV stations have created special blogs centered around the wedding. And there’s even a “For Dummies” edition about the Royal Wedding. I’m not kidding.

More than 2 billion — BILLION — people are expected to watch the event live. It’s said to be more anticipated than Princess Diana’s fateful marriage in 1981 to Prince Charles, which was watched by about the same number of people.

But why?

Is it because we love a good romance? Are we just fascinated with royalty? Or are we desperate — after last month’s devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, among other awful things going on in the world — for some good, uplifting news?

What do you think?

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