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What would you recommend in Honolulu?

hockeybrain

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Going again to HHV this February and am looking for suggestions for new things that are interesting for a family to do; new restaurants or old things all of you would want to go to and visit one more time. We can't spend the whole time trying to surf cheer: We should have a sticky thread about each Hawaiian Island recommended restaurants, activities etc. Any takers and thanks for your recommendations! :hi:
 

Maverick1963

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Some suggestions for your appetite.

I visited Honolulu in November. My friend couple living there took me
to Tango Contemporary Cafe for breakfast. I had egg benedict and
it was great.
http://www.tangocafehawaii.com

The Original Pancake House is a chain store but their pancake and omelet
taste wonderful. Their Dillingham store is always full with locals.
http://www.originalpancakehouse.com/phloc_hi.html

Me, my wife and our son love M&W Hamburger. You can tast a local
flavor there.
http://www.yelp.com/biz/w-and-m-bar-b-q-burger-honolulu

Have a nice trip.:)
 

optimist

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If you are there on a Friday night, walk over to the beach in front of Hilton Hawaiian Village after sunset to watch the firework display that they put on every week. I have never been so close to fireworks, it was so exciting and very loud!
 

dougp26364

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We ate at a little restaurant Jameson's by the Sea in Haleiwa when over on North Shore this past trip. It was nice sitting on their porch at sunset for a meal. We enjoyed it enough we went back for a second night later in the week.

The second time we spent a little more time in Haleiwa and found there were quite a few interesting looking little restaurants. Next trip we might spend more time in that little town for lunch and/or supper when spending the day watching the waves on North Shore.
 

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Haleiwa is a fun little town. We had our best lunch EVER at Waialua Bakery.

Deb
 

MichaelColey

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Generally, we like to GET OUT of Honolulu, but we do have a few favorite attractions/restaurants there:

The Honolulu Zoo (on the west side of Waikiki) is very enjoyable.

Alan Wong's is perhaps my favorite restaurant in the world. It's expensive, but well worth it.

We enjoyed Teddy's Bigger Burgers, right across from the zoo. We went there several times (this was pre-timeshares for us, so we were in a hotel). Tasty and a better value than most places in Hawaii.

We liked the Shore Bird breakfast buffet. Not outstanding (what buffet is?) but the location is great and we found discount coupons somewhere.

We had an incredible sunset dinner at Hula Grill. The view of Diamond Head made for some fabulous sunset pictures, and the food was above average and reasonably price.

I just noticed that there's a Lappert's (ice cream) at HHV. We haven't been to that one, but we went to a couple on Kauai and their Kauai Pie ice cream is awesome! I have a feeling we'll be buying/eating a bunch while we're there later this year.

There's a Cheesecake Factory in Waikiki. If you're looking for mainland prices (or close) for a nicer chain restaurant, this is a good choice. If you have one near you at home, it's probably a less attractive choice.

Also, there's a Bubba Gump's over in Ala Moana. Same thing - a fun chain, especially if you don't have a local one where you live.
 

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1. Definitely take at least one day to drive up to the north shore.
2. Take a hike up Diamond Head.
3. Go to the swap meet at Aloha stadium
4. Go to each end of Waikiki and spend a day at each beach (ie Hilton Hawaiian Village on one end, the zoo area at the other end)
5. Go to Pali lookout (if you have a car)
6. Ala Moana mall on a day the weather is bad (it does happen)
7. Go kayaking in Kailua (again if you have a car)
8. Sandy Beach (if you have a car)

pacman
 

BocaBum99

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Here are some food selections.


- Fatty's for noodles right next to International Marketplace ($)

- Hiroshi's for Yakiniku Waikiki ($$$$)

- Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin Waikiki ($$$)

- Hard Rock Cafe for Jumbo Combo ($$)

- Yardhouse for drinks and pupus

- Burgers on the Edge on Kapahulu ($$)

- The Counter for Burgers in Kahala ($$)

- Alan Wong's. Get the 5 or 7 course Prix Fixe with wine pairings. ($$$$)

- Pineapple Room (operating by Alan Wong's) in Macy's ala Moana ($$$)

- Maile's Thai Bistro in Hawaii Kai ($$)

- Curry House ($$)

- So Gong Dong for Korean BBQ ($$$)

- Royal Garden in ala Moana hotel for Dim sum ($$$)

- Atlantis Seafood waikiki for Fish ($$$)

- Harbor Village Koko Marina for Chinese ($$$)

- Shirokiya Food Court for Japanese ($$)

- Sasabune for sushi ($$$$)

- Whole Foods in Kahala for salad bar, asian bentos, Pizza, sushi ($)

- Cafe Maharani for Indian ($$$)

- Hanaki for Shabu Shabu in Manoa ($$)

- Tokkuri Tei for sushi on Kapahulu ($$$)

- Bogarts on Monserrat for breakfast ($$$)

- Kaila in market city for breakfast ($$)

- Jack's in Aina Haina for breakfast ($)

- Los Chaparros for Mexican ($$)

- Good to grill. Prime rib lunch plate $10 in Kapahulu ($)

- Frost City for Snow Ice (much better than Shave Ice) ($$)

- Waiola Shave Ice ($)

- Yotteka-ya for Ramen ($$)

- Leonard's in Kapahulu for malasadas ($)

- South Shore Grill for fish tacos on Tues ($)

- Ted's bakery for Chocolate Haupia pie ($$)

- Ono Hawaiian Foods for Hawaiian ($$)

- Lulu's in Waikiki for fish sandwich and entertainment ($$)

- Rum Fire (Sheraton) for drinks and pupus ($$$)

- DK Steak House waikiki for Prime Steak ($$$$)

- Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville for bar, entertainment, pupus ($$$)

- Mai Tai bar in ala Moana center ($$$)

-----------------------------------

Fast food:

- Subway
- Curry house
- Panda express
- Pearl's Korean
- Yummies Korean
- Taco Del Mar
- Teddy's Burgers
- Bale for vietnamese
- Blazin steaks
- Puka dog
 
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artringwald

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For food, don't forget the Hawaiian style hot dogs at Puka Dog, on Kuhio behind International Market Place.
 

alwysonvac

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Here are some food selections.


- Fatty's for noodles right next to International Marketplace ($)

- Hiroshi's for Yakiniku Waikiki ($$$$)

- Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin Waikiki ($$$)

- Hard Rock Cafe for Jumbo Combo ($$)

- Yardhouse for drinks and pupus

- Burgers on the Edge on Kapahulu ($$)

- The Counter for Burgers in Kahala ($$)

- Alan Wong's. Get the 5 or 7 course Prix Fixe with wine pairings. ($$$$)

- Pineapple Room (operating by Alan Wong's) in Macy's ala Moana ($$$)

- Maile's Thai Bistro in Hawaii Kai ($$)

- Curry House ($$)

- So Gong Dong for Korean BBQ ($$$)

- Royal Garden in ala Moana hotel for Dim sum ($$$)

- Atlantis Seafood waikiki for Fish ($$$)

- Harbor Village Koko Marina for Chinese ($$$)

- Shirokiya Food Court for Japanese ($$)

- Sasabune for sushi ($$$$)

- Whole Foods in Kahala for salad bar, asian bentos, Pizza, sushi ($)

- Cafe Maharani for Indian ($$$)

- Hanaki for Shabu Shabu in Manoa ($$)

- Tokkuri Tei for sushi on Kapahulu ($$$)

- Bogarts on Monserrat for breakfast ($$$)

- Kaila in market city for breakfast ($$)

- Jack's in Aina Haina for breakfast ($)

- Los Chaparros for Mexican ($$)

- Good to grill. Prime rib lunch plate $10 in Kapahulu ($)

- Frost City for Snow Ice (much better than Shave Ice) ($$)

- Waiola Shave Ice ($)

- Yotteka-ya for Ramen ($$)

- Leonard's in Kapahulu for malasadas ($)

- South Shore Grill for fish tacos on Tues ($)

- Ted's bakery for Chocolate Haupia pie ($$)

- Ono Hawaiian Foods for Hawaiian ($$)

- Lulu's in Waikiki for fish sandwich and entertainment ($$)

- Rum Fire (Sheraton) for drinks and pupus ($$$)

- DK Steak House waikiki for Prime Steak ($$$$)

- Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville for bar, entertainment, pupus ($$$)

- Mai Tai bar in ala Moana center ($$$)

-----------------------------------

Fast food:

- Subway
- Curry house
- Panda express
- Pearl's Korean
- Yummies Korean
- Taco Del Mar
- Teddy's Burgers
- Bale for vietnamese
- Blazin steaks
- Puka dog

Wow !! Thanks for sharing :)
 

slip

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I second Teddy's Bigger Burgers. For more fine dinning, Hy's Steakhouse was
Great. Have the rack of lamb.:D

Diamond Head,the zoo and aquarium are nice walks. Save a day to just hang
Around Waikiki beach.
 

alwysonvac

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Alan Wong's on King street is our favorite. We love their tasting menu with wine pairing.

I've taken my extended family members to the Cheesecake Factory, Hard Rock Cafe, Orchids Sunday Brunch, and Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar at the Waikiki Beach Marriot Resort. They all enjoyed it.

I generally use the restaurant reviews on tripadvisor, yelp and akueats.com.
I also look at the restaurant award & ratings:
- http://www.staradvertiser.com/specialprojects/2011/2011_ilima_awards.html
- http://www.honolulumagazine.com/Honolulu-Magazine/January-2011/2011-Hale-Aina-Award-Winners/
- http://www.gayot.com/restaurants/best-hawaii-hi_16hi.html

Next month, I'm trying the following restaurants for the 1st time.
Hoku's at the Kahala Hotel for their Sunday Brunch
Morimoto Waikiki
Azul at the Ihilani JW Marriott
Maybe during Happy Hour: Yardhouse, Hula Grill & Wolfgang’s Steakhouse


This old post might help with ideas on things to do depending on your interests - http://tugbbs.com/forums/showpost.php?p=995664&postcount=31

I suggest picking up the Oahu Revealed Book as well - http://www.wizardpub.com/oahu/oahcontents.html

Here's where I take my guests that never been to Oahu. I've been to these places several times and never grow tired of them...
- Pearl Harbor for the Arizona & Missouri. NOTE:There's also the Bowfin submarine & Pacific Aviation Museum
- National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (aka Punchbowl)
- Polynesian Cultural Center with evening show
- Iolani Palace
- Aloha Stadium Flea Market
- Bishop Museum
- Foster Botanical Gardens
- Circle Island tour with our rental car (Dole Plantation, Byodo-in Temple, Pali Lookout, Halona Blowhole, Lanikai Beach, etc)
- Ala Moana Shopping Center

Here are some additional places that I've taken guests depending on their interest. I've enjoyed them all...
- Waikiki Aquarium
- Hole in the Wall Food Tour
- Ukulele Lesson at the Royal Hawaiian Center
- Koaloha Ukulele Factory Tour
- Hanauma Bay for early morning snorkeling
- Diamond Head hike
- Lyon Arboretum
- Honolulu Academy of Arts
- Hale Koa Luau
- Farmer's Markets

Things on my wish list to do.
- US Army Museum located at Ft DeRussy
- Ho'omaluhia Botanical Gardens
- Royal Hawaiian Band’s free performances
- Waikiki Zoo
- Doris Duke Shangri La
- Hawai`i State Art Museum
- The Mission Houses Museum
 

poorguy

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When we were there several years go, we took a bus tour around the entire island, including stops at many of the places already mentioned (Pearl Harbor, the north shore, Diamondhead, etc...).

One of the places I haven't seen mentioned yet is the Dole Pineapple Plantation. We really enjoyed that. Get the pineapple ice cream while you are there.

Since we had never been there before, we really liked the organized tour. We got to see a bunch of highlights and didn't have to worry about figuring out how to get around. The guide was very informative. I don't remember the company, but we booked it through HHV as we were staying there.
 

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I would highly recommend Sansei Seafood and Sushi Bar (previously mentioned above) which is on the 3rd floor of the Marriott. The food was outstanding. It has a great view of the beach and if you sit outside at sunset the view is hard to beat.
 

puppymommo

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Boca that was a pretty impressive list!

I'm surprised, though. You didn't mention Zippy's!
 

BocaBum99

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Boca that was a pretty impressive list!

I'm surprised, though. You didn't mention Zippy's!

I didn't mention Zippy's because I feel the above are better. But, I just went to Zippy's last night after the Chinese New Year celebration at the Chinese Cultural Center. I had a hot fudge Sunday and some garlic fries. We do go to Zippy's a lot mostly because they are one of the few restaurants open 24 hours. But, it is really the Hawaiian equivalent of Denny's. A place to go, but not a place to recommend as a top place to eat. For the record, I usually get the open face turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes. And, I get the full meal that comes with a drink, Portuguese bean soup and dessert.

If I included a comfort food category, here is what I would include:

1) Big City Diner. Good breakfast. Went there this morning for steak and eggs.
2) Zippy's. They are famous for their chili, but I don't like it. I prefer the chili cheese fries at Teddy's or The Counter.
3) L&L. My kids love this place. I don't. I always end up going to McDonald's when my kids want to go to L&L. But, the beef curry is decent.
4) Duke's. Great view. Good salad bar which is unusual in Hawaii. Sometimes decent fish. Go here mostly to feel like you are in Hawaii.

These first three places are for locals.

Tonight, we are going to Maile's Thai Bistro for dinner. I'll have yellow curry, jasmine rice, spring rolls, a Thai bloody mary and the Thai crepe for dessert.

Last night for dinner, I had Subway. Lunch was leftovers from Maharani. I had Chicken Vindaloo and garlic naan.

When I first moved to Hawaii, I didn't like the food because I kept going to the wrong places. then, I got a clue and now the food here is an unbelievable experience.

I am setting up a dinner at Alan Wongs for my wife's birthday.
 
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Sunshine Wanted

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We just this year found a great, old fashioned steak house! Hy's Steakhouse, just up a few blocks from the beach at Waikiki in an older hotel (can't remember which one). We had dinner there on xmas, and it was wonderful. Very classic; lots of locals! It has been around for 36 years I believe they said. I would go back in a second...
 

DaveNV

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Others have covered the food portion very well, so how about seeing some non-tourist Hawaiiana?

Visit Iolani Palace, the only royal palace on American soil, and learn the real story of how the USA "annexed" Hawaii. (What American Business and the Federal Government did to Queen Liliuokalani was criminal and unthinkable.) http://www.iolanipalace.org/

And for something quite amazing, go to the Bishop Museum, and see the ancient Polynesian exhibits. It's a beautiful museum in its own right, but the historical artifacts from old Hawaii and other South Pacific cultures are incredible. (One example: Imagine a heavy war club embedded with shark's teeth pointing outward. Holey Crap! No wonder those guys were so tough!) Note that the museum is closed on Tuesdays. http://www.bishopmuseum.org/

Hawaii is an amazing place, but I think sometimes we think it's all about tourism and vacation fun and Pearl Harbor tours. These two places should not be missed.

Dave
 

alwysonvac

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Forgot to mention...

Waikiki Happy Hour List - http://www.waikikimenus.com/happy.php (includes the bars at the Hilton Hawaiian Village see below)

Gayot's Hawaii Culinary Event list - http://www.gayot.com/restaurants/hawaii_events.html

From Waikiki Menu's Happy Hour List

Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort & Spa
- Tropics Bar & Grill 3:00pm – 5:00pm
“Made in Hawaii” Happy Hour
Maui Ocean Vodka & Kona Brewing Beer on special
- Tapa Bar 4:00pm – 7:00pm
Mai Tais, Draft Beer, select Wine on special
- Hau Tree 4:00pm – Closing
“Sunset Happy Hour”- overlooking the beach


NOTE: You can find discounted food as well during Happy Hour. For example:
Happy Hour Menu from Tropics Bar & Grill - http://www.hiltonhawaiianvillage.com/dining/documents/TropicsHappyHourMenu2011.pdf
Aloha Hour Menu from Hula Grill - http://www.hulagrillwaikiki.com/menus/plantation-bar (scroll down to the Aloha Hour menu)
Yardhouse Happy Hour - http://www.yardhouse.com/happyhour/Default.aspx (select Waikiki from the location dropdown list)
From Gayot's Hawaii Culinary Event list

Nobu Waikiki has introduced a very appealing happy hour cocktail and tapas menu (strictly available at the bar and in the lounge) showcasing signature Nobu dishes for $10 or less. The cocktail menu is available Sunday through Thursday 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. and features such inspired concoctions as a Japanese cucumber and white peach sangria and the delicious lychee martini which uses fresh lychee juice. You'll find black cod butter lettuce cups, Wagyu foie gras gyoza and Kampachi sashimi with aqua de chile amongst others on the tapas menu which is available anytime during regular restaurant hours. We can't think of better way to relax and start your evening! Call 808-237-6999 for reservations and information. Nobu Waikiki, Wakiki Parc Hotel, 2233 Helumoa Rd., Honolulu, HI 96815, 808-237-6999.

Tuesdays
The party really gets going at Tiki's Grill & Bar on Tuesdays from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. when this open-air spot throws its "Tiki Taco Tuesdays" weekly event. Not only are tacos just $2, host Tom Stokes buys the first 100 guests a Longboard Island Lager. Drink specials are in order as well with the aforementioned lager plus rum, vodka and tequila cocktails going for $3. Tiki's Grill & Bar, ResortQuest Waikiki Beach, 2570 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu, HI 96815, 808-923-8454.

Thursdays
Every Thursday evening at Vino (when there aren't private events going on), an eight-ounce aged NY steak goes for only $12. At that price, you can splurge on the wine. In true Vino fashion, the steak was selected via "blind tasting" and won out over other cuts and agings. Reservations are available for parties of five or more. This special is not available for take-out. Vino, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96813, 808-524-8466.
 

BocaBum99

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We just this year found a great, old fashioned steak house! Hy's Steakhouse, just up a few blocks from the beach at Waikiki in an older hotel (can't remember which one). We had dinner there on xmas, and it was wonderful. Very classic; lots of locals! It has been around for 36 years I believe they said. I would go back in a second...

I've been to Hy's and I found it overrated. It is really popular. The sides are really below average when compared to the alternatives. The chains of Ruth's Chris and Morton's are better. The reason I recommended DK Steakhouse is that they have a 30-day dry aged bone-in rib eye that is out of this world. If you haven't had dry age beef for this time, it takes a few bites to get used to it, then it's a fantastic burst of flavor.

Hy's claim to fame is their cheese bread which is good and their barrel grill which you can see behind the glass and they cook it. Then again, I thought Peter Lugar's was over rated, too.

New York Prime in Boca is my benchmark for a great prime steakhouse.
 

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We have been to the HHV three times and the places we really liked were Jameson's by the Sea and Duke's. But the best is Leonard's in Kapahulu for malasadas.
 

MichaelColey

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I didn't mention Zippy's because I feel the above are better. But, I just went to Zippy's last night after the Chinese New Year celebration at the Chinese Cultural Center. I had a hot fudge Sunday and some garlic fries. We do go to Zippy's a lot mostly because they are one of the few restaurants open 24 hours. But, it is really the Hawaiian equivalent of Denny's. A place to go, but not a place to recommend as a top place to eat. For the record, I usually get the open face turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes. And, I get the full meal that comes with a drink, Portuguese bean soup and dessert.
We've been to Zippy's once, too, and weren't that impressed. The comparison to Denny's (another place I don't care for) is appropriate.
 

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Azuls at the Mariott ihilani has changed its menu to Italian. Doesn't seem quite as expensive as before. Havent tried it yet. Roy's in KoOlina is closed for a couple months because of a fire. I like the Japanese restaurant in the Ilihani.
We like Schooners at Pearl Harbor. Lots of military go there and the prices are military. The food is quite good and so are the prices. Try the Arizona Burger or my favorite is the deep fried Calamari. The view of Pearl Harbor is great.
Uncles on pier 38 is great for fresh seafood.
We also like the Greek restaurant in the Hawaii Kai marina.
 

BocaBum99

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Azuls at the Mariott ihilani has changed its menu to Italian. Doesn't seem quite as expensive as before. Havent tried it yet. Roy's in KoOlina is closed for a couple months because of a fire. I like the Japanese restaurant in the Ilihani.
We like Schooners at Pearl Harbor. Lots of military go there and the prices are military. The food is quite good and so are the prices. Try the Arizona Burger or my favorite is the deep fried Calamari. The view of Pearl Harbor is great.
Uncles on pier 38 is great for fresh seafood.
We also like the Greek restaurant in the Hawaii Kai marina.

Wow! I forgot my favorite Greek restaurant. You are right. It is called Greek Marina and it is right next to the Jamba Juice and Kona Brewing Company.

Another popular Greek place is The Olive Tree cafe. It is in Kahala next to the mall. They have out door tables and you bring your own wine. It's a bit pricey, but good.
 

alwysonvac

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Azuls at the Mariott ihilani has changed its menu to Italian. Doesn't seem quite as expensive as before. Havent tried it yet. Roy's in KoOlina is closed for a couple months because of a fire. I like the Japanese restaurant in the Ilihani.

Thanks for the info.

I read about the changed menu at Azul. Here's a recent mini dinner review with photos from the Disboards.
photos - http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=43401721&postcount=6
mini review - http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=43403747&postcount=18

I also wanted to do the Japanese restaurant Ushio-tei at Ilihani after reading Werner's review on yesterland.com but the restaurant only offers dinner Friday thru Monday from 5:30pm to 9:00pm.

from Werner's review at http://www.yesterland.com/disneykoolina18.html

I’ve tried all three table service restaurants at the JW Marriott.

Azul, the resort’s elegant signature restaurant, only serves dinner. In January 2011, my wife and I had the prix fixe 3-course dinner ($45) with wines ($20). We enjoyed everything about it and look forward to going back the next time we’re at Ko Olina.

Ushio-Tei Japanese Restaurant is only open for dinner, and only on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday—so plan carefully. It’s worth it. You can order from a menu of sushi, sashimi, and Japanese specialties, or you can choose the buffet ($45). In general, I’m not a fan of dinner buffets, but I’ve now had the Ushio-Tei dinner buffet three times. The quality was excellent, with different buffet choices each time. I’m eager to return.

Naupaka Terrace is a casual, open air restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Considering that it’s in Hawaii and it’s at a JW Marriott property, the value is very good—especially the 3-course sunset dinner specials (5 p.m. to 7 p.m) for $25. But my favorite meal at Naupaka Terrace is breakfast.
 
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