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Fun/ quirky restaurants in Oahu

Greenwich, London
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Fun/ quirky restaurants in Oahu

Hi all,

I've finally finalised my Hawaiian plans after much help from you guys. You'll be happy to know I've gone down from 4 hotels which I originally planned on staying in to 2.

We are now booked in to royal Hawaiian for 4 nights and the four seasons maui for 7 nights (who knew it is MUCH cheaper to stay 7 nights as opposed to 4!) in August.

Anyhoo, my question is I'm looking for some quirky/ cheesy restaurants with all the memrobilia on the walls or surf board tables etc to visit and experience the real hawaii not just the high end expensive restaurants. Any suggestions?

California
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for Oahu
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1. Re: Fun/ quirky restaurants in Oahu

Start by looking to your right on this screen and reading Amberloo and food.

Dallas
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2. Re: Fun/ quirky restaurants in Oahu

Maybe Jimmy Buffets right across the street in the Waikiki Beachcomber is one option for that kind of place.

Aloha, Oregon
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3. Re: Fun/ quirky restaurants in Oahu

Cheeseburger Waikiki on Beach Walk has all kinds of stuff "hanging" around. The guys have on hula skirts too. Burgers are pretty good & so is the breakfast special.

Oahu, Hawaii
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4. Re: Fun/ quirky restaurants in Oahu

Aloha,

Check out the La Mariana Sailing Club.

http://www.lamarianasailingclub.com/

The last of the iconic tiki bars of the 50's

yelp.com/biz/la-mariana-sailing-club-honolulu

Aloha

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Fun/ quirky restaurants in Oahu

My vote goes to La Mariana as well.

Nothing like it......this is how it used to be.

Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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6. Re: Fun/ quirky restaurants in Oahu

My eyes are bleeding.... avoid at all costs Jimmy Buffet's and Cheeseburger Waikiki if you want to experience anything close to the "real" Hawaii.

La Mariana is a great place, evocative of an era in Hawaii that passed a while ago, the kitschy Tiki era that was mostly brought about by guys who moved to Hawaii in the 30's & 40's and opened bars and restaurants.

I am not sure if "quirky/ cheesy restaurants with all the memorabilia on the walls or surf board tables" was a separate request from "and experience the real Hawaii" or if that was one request. The places with surfboard tables and memorabilia on the walls are unlikely to anything close to what I would call the "real Hawaii", those places are usually faux playing into stereotypes. It doesn't mean they are bad restaurants, in fact I like several them, like Duke's Barefoot Bar, but it isn't quite the same as the very elusive "real" Hawaii.

The House Without a Key at Halekulani and the Banyan Courtyard at the Moana Hotel aren't cheesy or kitschy, but they are two, old important spots in the development of Hawaii and Waikiki. It was under the Banyan tree at the Moana that Webley Edwards started his radio program, Hawaii Calls, in 1935 that captured the imagination of the world.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4bNqECDU84

It was The House Without a Key, the first novel introducing Honolulu detective Charlie Chan, that introduced Hawaii to a different segment of the world.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-1kaQGSvOQ

For one slice of the real Hawaii, as in a spot the local folk go, look at the Rainbow Drive-in. (as a side note, "local" in Hawaiian isn't just someone who lives there, but someone who has lived there a long time and maybe has native blood in them.... or not... it is complicated)

For different, but not necessarily Hawaiian, you have the yakiniku places, izakaya, robata and okonomiyaki places too. You can do a search for the terms in Yelp.com for ideas on them (or look at the ones mentioned in Amberloo and Food). Hawaii is a blending of cultures and these Japanese/Korean places are a big part of the culture.

So is Chinatown and the dim sum restaurants, but London has some really fine dim sum places, so that may not be as unique.

If you can get to a Hawaiian food restaurant like Helena's Hawaiian Food or Ono Hawaiian Food you can experience foods like Kalua pig, lau lau, lomi lomi salmon, luau squid, opihi, poke and more. Here is a good primer on Hawaiian food.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuisine_of_Hawaii

A lot of the modern local food in Hawaii is a local adaptation of something from someplace else; manapua is a larger, local version of a Chinese, char siu bao; saimin is a local soup like ramen; because of WWII Spam became a local favorite; loco moco is an adaptation of US mainland meat & gravy dishes; you also have Filipino food, Portuguese, Spanish, Vietnamese and more as these cultures mix and mash in Hawaii.

Diamond Head Market & Grill is a fun local spot, slightly quirky, so is the Barefoot Beach Cafe, Steak Shack and the Bafefoot Bar at the Hale Koa (different from Duke's Barefoot Bar).

Keep your eyes open for local festivals and events as you get closer to August or note to ask as the day approaches what is happening locally.

Mentioned in this post
Hawaii
Hawaii
United States
Waikiki
Waikiki
Oahu, HI
Honolulu
Honolulu
Oahu, HI
United States
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7. Re: Fun/ quirky restaurants in Oahu

La Mariana is definitely a cool experience, an original "tiki" style bar.

Dallas
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8. Re: Fun/ quirky restaurants in Oahu

I have to agree with scottca, and I completely overlooked your comment about experience the real Hawaii. I saw the "cheesy/quirky" part, and completely missed the other.

If you want the real Hawaii, the completely skip Jimmy Buffets, and Cheeseburger Beachwalk. I can't speak to La Mariana since I have not been there, but I definitely plan to check it out next trip.

Sorry about the bad advice.

Aloha

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Hawaii
Hawaii
United States
Honolulu, Hawaii
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9. Re: Fun/ quirky restaurants in Oahu

I agree on La Mariana. I recently had friends in town and met them there for lunch. They loved it.

Saint Cloud...
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for Oahu
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10. Re: Fun/ quirky restaurants in Oahu

Duke's

Lots of photos.