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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

OAHU - PART 1 - North Shore

I recently had the chance to visit the island of Oahu in Hawaii. First time there and it was pretty epic!! I can't wait to go back! :)

But unlike most other trips I take, the food was not the star... I ate some good meals, but overall, the food wasn't spectacular. Although I have to thank all my friends that gave me recommendations of places to eat and visit. :) They definitely made the trip planning much easier!

I'll be doing this in 3 parts since there are A TON of pictures. Part 1 is up in the North Shore area of Oahu, and Parts 2 & 3 are in the south by the Honolulu/Waikiki area. We actually stayed 2 nights in Waikiki, then drove up to North Shore for 4 nights, and then back down to Waikiki for 5 nights. So the food will not be in order...

North Shore was probably my least favorite part of the trip. There wasn't much to do and the weather was windy, cold and overcast the entire time we were there. 4 nights there was overkill. I think 2 would've been plenty.

Anyways, on to the food. We tried to hit up the more local, hole in the wall type places on the trip. We didn't want anything we can find back in Dallas.

On the drive up to North Shore, we stopped by the Dole Plantation. Definitely a good place to go if you've never been. Really fresh pineapples!
Dole Plantation
64-1550 Kamehameha Hwy.
Wahiawa, HI 96786
(808) 621-8408
- Dole Whip (cup with topping) $4.95~
The soft serve is sooo good! It was creamy, fresh, and great with the fresh pineapple chunks. I'm mildly allergic to pineapple so I had to really restrain myself from eating too much!

First night in North Shore. Unfortunately it was Thanksgiving night and most places were closed. We found a 7-Eleven and a grocery store that also sold food and got some dinner there.
- Deluxe Spam Musubi (spam & egg) $1.69~
I've heard of how good the 7-Eleven spam musubis are... and I wasn't impressed...But then again, it tasted like all the other musubis I tried during the trip. haha. So I guess for the price, go to 7-Eleven to get your musubi.

Kahuku Superette
56-505 Kamehameha Hwy.
Kahuku, HI 96731
(808) 293-9878
- Seaweed Salad $3.69~
- Shoyu Poke $9.99/lb~
Online reviews said they had really good poke. Poke is basically a raw fish salad usually served over rice. This was my first time having it. I didn't care for it even though I love sashimi. Something about it didn't sit well with me. I think the fish wasn't really that fresh.

Day 2 in North Shore was better... when the sun is out and you can actually see everything! haha. We hit up a highly recommended shrimp truck.
Giovanni's Shrimp Truck
56-505 Kamehameha Hwy.
Kahuku, HI 96731
(808) 293-1839
- Shrimp Scampi (a dozen shrimp - marinated in olive oil, fresh chopped garlic, lemon/butter and sauteed in a pan; served with 2 scoops of rice) $13~
This is definitely the best one to order. The shrimp was cooked well and I liked the garlic bits on the rice a lot.
- Hot & Spicy (a dozen shrimp - cooked and covered in own special blend of hot sauce; served with 2 scoops of rice) $13~
This was eh. It was definitely spicy but was also quite sour. I didn't like the sourness.

BBQ Corn Stand
56-505 Kamehameha Hwy.
Kahuku, HI 96731
- Island Style (butter, sea salt, garlic salt, black ground pepper) $3~
- Baja Style (butter, mayo, lemon/lime juice, Baja seasoning, Parmesan cheese) $3~
This was just behind Giovanni's Shrimp Truck. I think this outshined the shrimp truck. The corn was amazing! I liked the Island Style better because it didn't overwhelm the flavor of the corn. But both were fantastic. I think I'll try to recreate it myself one day! hehe.

Before dinner we went to get some shave ice. This is HIGHLY recommended by my friends.
Matsumoto's Shave Ice
66-087 Kamehameha Hwy.
Haleiwa, HI 96712
(808) 637-4827
- Small Shave Ice (Cherry, Blueberry, Coconut Cream flavors) $2.25~
- Small Shave Ice (White Cake, Strawberry, Banana Cream flavors) $2.25~

I'm not really a fan of shave ice since it's just ice and sugar syrup. But I have to say this is BY FAR the best shave ice on the island (we've tried some others during the trip). The ice is so fine and delicate and the sugar syrup was pretty good. I know some places have weird tasting syrup. The line is super long, but it didn't take too too long to wait. I wouldn't go back all the time, but I'm glad I tried it. Btw...the banana cream is the best! :)

We just went down the street from Matsumoto's to get some dinner.
L&L Drive In
66-197 Kamehameha Hwy
Haleiwa, HI 96712
(808) 637-4700
- Seafood Combo (Fried Mahi Mahi, BBQ short ribs, 2 scoops of rice, macaroni salad) $9.25~
- Kalua Pork and Cabbage (served with 2 scoops of rice and macaroni salad) $7.75~
We have a L&L in Plano, so it wasn't a big deal. The food was ok. Nothing special to mention. The cabbage did leave a pool of grey watery mess at the bottom of the container so that was kinda gross.

Day 3... This place wasn't on my list but we just drove by and decided to check it out.
Surfin' Taco
54-296 Kamehameha Hwy
Hauula, HI 96717
(808) 293-4440
- Two Surfin Tacos (fresh fish, corn tortilla, jack cheese, fresh lettuce, pico de gallo, signature Surf sauce; served with side of rice and beans) $9.95~
- Da Kine Quesadilla (grilled steak, jack and cheddar cheese, signature Surf sauce; topped with sour cream, guacamole and pico de gallo; served with side of rice and beans) $8.95~
It was pretty good. Good sized portions. I think the quesadilla is a better deal than the tacos.

Day 4. It was a Sunday and not much was going on in North Shore so we drove back down towards Honolulu area.
Food Truck @ Aloha Stadium Flea Market
99-500 Salt Lake Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96818
(808) 483-2756
- Mini Loco Moco (served with 2 scoops of rice, 1 hamburger patty, 1 egg) $5.50~
So far I'm not too keen on Hawaiian food. Just a lot of meat and rice and not a lot of difference in texture. This was ok. It was an ok snack to tie us over to our next destination.

904 Mokauea Street
Honolulu, HI 96819
(808) 832-1755
- Mini Zip Pack (fried chicken and teri beef over rice) $6.10~
- Surf Pack (2 pieces of fried chicken, spam, teri beef over rice) $9.40~
- Mini Korean Fried Chicken (1 scoop of brown rice and salad) $6.25~
This was my order. I really liked it. They were pretty good about getting the flavor profile of Korean fried chicken! And I liked the fact that I could choose brown rice and salad instead of macaroni salad. The mini portion was perfect.
- Vic Pack (chicken katsu, sausage, spam, teri beef over rice) $8.48~
The chicken katsu was good too. The others really liked the teri beef.
I actually really liked this place. I thought it had more variety than other Hawaiian food places. I was a little over the Kalua Pig by then. haha. Plus it was cheaper! Local Hawaiian food was more expensive than I expected!

Our last day in North Shore was the best meal for me in that area.
Kahuku Grill
56-565 Kamehameha Hwy
Kahuku, HI 96731
(808) 852-0040
- Grilled Seafood Combo (Garlic Lovers' Shrimp & Coconut Macadamia Nut Shrimp; served with rice and fresh mixed Pupukea green salad with papaya seed dressing) $13~
- Grilled Seafood Combo (Grilled fish (Basa) & Coconut Macadamia Nut Shrimp; served with rice and fresh mixed Pupukea green salad with papaya seed dressing) $13~
- Side of Fries $3~
This was a great recommendation by a friend of mine. I'm so glad we went. It's a tiny place, slightly hidden, by Quizno's. They are famous for their coconut macadamia nut shrimp and it was awesome. Yes, there was wayy more batter to shrimp ratio but the batter was delicious. Super crispy and sweet from the coconut. The grilled fish was cooked to perfection and amazing. Plus I love the spices they sprinkle over their rice. Definitely makes it more interesting! And the salads are made with locally grown greens and the dressing is homemade as well. Definitely one of the best meals of the whole trip for me!



  1. I liked your pictures of "local" food, at least you tried it...good for you! Next time you are on oahu, spend more money at the hotel buffets and you will have tastier food to eat, like Prince Court restaurant, Orchids, or even some of the lower priced normal buffets in Waikiki...if you haven't tried them already. Cheers!

  2. Thanks for the tip! :) I REALLY hope to go back to Hawaii soon!