Honolulu Restaurants Where Visiting Chefs Eat

Chef Boston

Prolific Boston chef Ken Oringer aggressively pursued local cuisine in Honolulu.

Plenty of publications, websites and apps have taken an interest in where chefs eat when they’re off duty, but another interesting aspect of the community is where out-of-town chefs eat. During the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, seven chefs shared Honolulu dining choices.

David Burke

I ate at a diner last night across the street. I had a Local Boy omelet made with char siu. This morning, I had loco moco, a hamburger on rice with fried eggs, here [at the Hilton]. And then I went to Side Street Inn for lunch. I had a bunch of stuff, fried chicken gizzards, ceviche of clams, pork belly with steamed buns, and I had some Korean barbecued short ribs.

Joanne Chang (Flour Bakery & Myers + Chang)

The first night, Sushi Sasabune. We went with some friends who live here. My assistant manager, at one of my bakeries, is from here. She gave me a list of places to go, and that was one of them. That was the first night. Last night we went to Side Street Inn. That was fun. Three of my pastry cooks, and my husband. We ordered what we thought was a decent amount. The waitress was like, “Oh, you ordered way too much.” Really? She’s like, “I promise you ordered way too much.” The food came out, we were like, “Oh, my god.” It was so much food. It was so good. We really enjoyed it…We’ve been going to a place called Sushi2Go, which is right near the Halekulani. Last time we were here, we stayed at the Halekulani. It’s a tiny little takeout sushi place – I was telling my husband it’s probably like going to McDonald’s – but it’s really fresh and really good, teenie tiny. We were there three or four times last time, and we’ve been there twice since we’ve been here, today and yesterday.

Josiah Citrin (Melisse + Lemon Moon + Sure Thing Burger)

So far, I’ve actually eaten at Chef Mavro. He e-mailed and invited me in and it’s really a good meal, a very good meal. Hiroshi, and that’s really it, because I haven’t been out too much. And I ate at the Halekulani because the view is just amazing.

Josh Feathers (Blackberry Farm)

We’re trying to take in as many local places as we can, little mom and pop places. Then we’re also going to eat at Alan Wong’s one night. You can’t be in Honolulu and not eat at Alan Wong’s.

Ken Oringer

Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin. They pound the sesame seeds fresh and then they put in the tonkatsu sauce that they homemade. It was amazing, so good. There’s a soba noodle place called Matsugen right next to it where they make their own soba, which was awesome. Whole Ox. Amazing, amazing place. The porchetta sandwich. The burger was amazing. The roast beef sandwich, because they basically get in half a cow a week, and it’s phenomenal.

Ron Siegel (Parallel 37)

We went to the Whole Ox, Prima, excellent, both of them outstanding. Hey, Yoshi. [Yoshi Kojima enters.] I want to eat at this guy’s place. He’s at Morimoto now. He’s from San Francisco.

Nancy Silverton (Mozza + Short Order + Short Cake)

Do you know the Halekulani? I’ve had two fantastic meals there. I’ve had lunch there and I had dinner there. It was really, really terrific. Last night I ate at a Eurasian tapas bar, Hiroshi, it was absolutely delicious…I’ve had great experiences.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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