Lunches: Marukame Udon, 2310 Kuhio Ave., Waikiki. There is an ever-present line but it moves fast, so after arriving around 1:30 PM I was in and out in about 40 minutes total. Had the bukkake udon, cold, plus one piece each of asparagus, sweet potato, and shrimp tempura. In all, a satisfying experience but probably don’t need to do it again. The food was good but not stunning. I did enjoy the asparagus tempura. Next time I might go for a hot noodle dish, but given that it was 80 degrees out, cold seemed more appropriate.
Dew Drop Inn, 1088 S. Beretania St. (near Honolulu Art Museum). Northern Chinese. This was the one meal I really would have liked to be sharing with someone so that I could get more than the one dish I ended up with, onchon (some kind of greens) stir-fried with lamb and garlic. It was very good, healthy and non-oily with a very light sauce (which I punched up with a little hot pepper sauce), but it was a sizeable plate full of food. I had wanted the sesame bread with ground pork too, but there was no way I could get two things. The menu is extensive and included a lot of interesting things that I really wanted to try. Very nice owner.
Musubi Cafe Iyasume, 2427 Kuhio Ave., Waikiki. Supposedly this is the best spam musubi, so I had one with spam/egg/bacon/avocado, which was pretty great although a lot of rice. Also had the salmon with spicy cod roe, which was only OK, very fishy and light on the roe. Again, a food experience that it was good to have had, but which I don’t need to have again, at least for a sit-down meal. I would get the spam/egg/bacon/avocado musubi again for a takeout snack, though.
Dinners: Nanzan GiroGiro, 560 Pensacola St., Ala Moana, Honolulu. Ate here for the second time. The food was again excellent, perhaps not as spectacular as my first visit but still well worth the price. This visit was also a little less social, as my 6 PM Monday reservation meant that for my first 3 courses I was the only person in the restaurant! Got some nice chatting in with the chef though, and staff could not be more friendly.
Yakiniku Kuhio, 407 Seaside Ave. (around back), Waikiki. Delicious dinner of thick-cut short rib, a wonderful sweet-spicy sauce, and four banchan (including macaroni salad!) plus rice for the crazy low price of $12. Super friendly owner convinced me to go for this option rather than bibimpap by saying that if I just mixed up all the food I would get, it would kind of be bibimpap anyway. I walked away completely stuffed and very satisfied with the quality of my food. Great hole in the wall find in otherwise-pricey Waikiki.
Breakfast: Heavenly, 342 Seaside Ave., Waikiki. On several “best breakfast” lists for the Waikiki area, so I ate my one restaurant breakfast here. I had the kalua pig eggs benedict, which seemed appropriate. The pork was the best part, but the rest of it was just OK. Starting off, it was quite disappointing that they did not serve any decaf coffee of any kind–how hard is it to stock this??? As for the food, the poached eggs were overcooked (that drives me nuts), muffin not toasted, raw kale salad quite plain, and the serving of potatoes positively microscopic (literally, three small cubes of cold boiled purple potato). I felt reasonably healthy and kind of still hungry when I left–not the sensation I tend to look for in a restaurant breakfast! If I wanted healthy and light I would have had another breakfast of yogurt and banana in my apartment. Oh well.