Island Eats-Part I

Aloha from the Big Island!  Hubby and I have been here with dear friends, Emi and Jeremy, until today.  E and J left on a flight this AM to be home in time for their twin boys’ birthday party.  Hubby and I have one last day/night here in Kona before heading back to Seattle.  Although, I’m pretty excited to return to the Emerald City, as I hear we’ve been having some pretty spectacular weather back home.

Favorite things to do while in Hawaii………….eat. lay in the sun. drink Kona coffee. snorkel. oh and did I mention…..eat!

Like I said in my last post, Hubby had his annual conference in Honolulu.  We arrived at the Moana Surfrider last Friday and stayed there until Monday afternoon.  The hotel is gorgeous!

“The First Lady of Waikiki”

Upon arrival after a super early flight and lunch with my Uncle, we unloaded in our room, took a much-needed nap and later headed poolside/beachside for an afternoon delight.

My Lilikoi Coconut Mojito…..looks refreshing, huh?!

This was our view of Waikiki Beach while we sipped our drinks. Luckily we could see the water as it wasn’t too crowded at this time of day.

I like to consider myself somewhat of a Foodie and am always taking restaurant recommendations, for places in Seattle, but especially when traveling domestic or abroad.  A friend and colleague of mine always has great recommendations, him and his wife travel to Hawaii often, so he has a list of great places on the islands.  One recommendation he has for Honolulu is the Side Street Inn.  The Side Street Inn has two locations-one near Ala Moana Shopping Center (where we went) and another off Kapahulu Avenue.  This place gets tons of great Yelp and Travelzoo recommendations and my friend and the sites all recommended the kim chee fried rice.  My Uncle and Mom (my Mom is originally from Hawaii and came with Hubby and I to visit her brother and family) came to pick Hubby and I up at our hotel and we headed to the Side Street Inn for dinner.  We arrived around 7:15 PM and were told it would be a 45 minute wait, the place was packed!!

We finally got seated after drooling at all of the plates coming by and had the tough decision of what to order.  We were starving and everything sounded amazing.

The furikake encrusted Ahi…..the sauce was a wasabi sauce and OMG….this was so good!

The kim chee fried rice, this was huge, plenty of rice for a rice lover like myself to share with 3 other people and still be happy.  If I were to go back, I would probably order the Side Street Inn signature fried rice.  I love kim chee, but it was a little overpowering.

And lastly, we ordered the teriyaki beef (or as islanders say “teri beef”).  The beef was sliced really thin and had a nice sugary crispness to it.

We were thoroughly full and happy after dinner and retreated back to the hotel to bed, Hubby had to be up early to attend conferences in the AM.

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On our second night in Honolulu we met up with former co-residents of Hubby’s from Boston University.  One is living in Virginia and the other back in her home country of Saudi Arabia (she traveled VERY far to be in Hawaii for the conference).  We made reservations for Alan Wong’s  back in January, we ate here when we visited Honolulu in February and knew we wanted to come back during the conference.  Alan Wong’s is very unassuming from the outside.  You enter a plain white building, get into an elevator and go up to the 3rd floor.  But once the elevator doors open, it’s a beautiful restaurant that has no ocean view, but rather a view of the beautiful, lush green mountainside and an open kitchen that is buzzing with chefs.

Once seated, the server brings over an iPad which has their drink menu on it…..pretty high tech!  The dinner menu is fairly condensed, and pretty much anything you choose will be tasty.

Chopped Ahi Sashimi and Avocado Salsa Stack

Hubby and I shared this appetizer of ahi sashimi with avocado on a bed of crispy wontons.  This was by far my favorite part of our meal.  So light and refreshing, and who can’t pass up fresh Ahi tuna when in Hawaii?!

Richard Ha’s Whole Tomato Salad

Hubby and I shared this salad, it is one of Alan Wong’s signature salads, the dressing is a Li Hing Mui Ume vinagrette.  The salad was light, but the dressing was very sweet and not my most favorite.  Hawaiians love Li Hing Mui, which is a very sweet powder that they put on almost everything from gummy bears to dried mangos to shaved ice.

Ginger crusted Onaga-long-tail red snapper

This was my main course, the Onaga was served with a miso sesame vinaigrette and hamakua mushrooms and corn.  The fish was very delicate and had a thin panko breading, the sauce again was a little on the sweet side, but overall it was tasty.  Last time we ate here I had the Opakapaka and enjoyed the preparation much better.

I couldn’t believe it, but after our entrees, I was so full that we skipped dessert, so unlike me!!

With all of this eating, it was a good thing our hotel had morning yoga.  I love yoga, so it was nice to be able to do it while traveling.  Plus, we got to do it outside with an oceanview.  If only I could have this view everyday during my yoga practice.

View from my yoga mat!

These were the highlights from our time on Oahu, I’ll be posting again to highlight the food from the Big Island and the beautiful beaches here.  Hubby and I are heading down to Don the Beachcomber at the Royal Kona Resort soon (the place that has Hubby’s absolute favorite dinner on the Big Island, which I mentioned in my first post).

A Hui Hou-“until we meet again”!!!!

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