I’ve been doing research on activities and luaus lately because my parents are arriving from Long Island for a little visit. I’m very excited. I miss them. I hope they have fun here. So I did some digging around online and found these:
I also found something called Hawaii Food Tours run by Matthew Gray. The Hawaiian Feast Tour sounded so perfect. I was very excited about it but when I called today I spoke to Matthew himself and he said that there was little interest, and sometimes even disappointment in traditional Hawaiian food so they discontinued the tour.
This from MSNBC’s 8 best islands for food:
When you travel to Oahu, you have arrived at the culinary epicenter of the Pacific-Asian world. In Honolulu you’ll find Asian-based dishes with a bit of Americana (dare we say, SPAM) thrown in, as well as an island twist based on local ingredients. Join Hawaii Food Tours’ Hole-in-the-Wall Tour (www.hawaiifoodtours.com; rates from $99). It’s offered every day but Sunday and is your chance to taste the treats that local chefs seek on their day off. You might try a Hawaiian plate lunch, Chinese dumplings, pastries, Thai noodles, barbecued meat satay, Vietnamese summer rolls, Bento Boxes or crack seed, a snack of dehydrated fruit that was introduced by the first Chinese plantation workers.
Matthew Gray was really really nice and emailed me his recommendations for Hawaiian restaurants that I could take my parents to. Here’s what he wrote:
Helena’s Hawaiian Food
1240 N. School Street
Tuesday-Friday 10am – 7:30pm – Closed Saturday, Sunday & Monday
Local Telephone: 845-8044
A winner of the James Beard Foundation Award in 2000, this classic Hawaiian restaurant is a treasure. The pipikaula-style short ribs are awesome.
Atmosphere & Decor: A very “local” place. Casual & bare-bones.
Ono Hawaiian Foods
726 Kapahulu Avenue
Monday-Saturday 11am – 7:45PM
Local Telephone: 737-2275
Close to Waikiki this famous Hawaiian food restaurant always has a long line of customers waiting to be seated. It’s all good.
Atmosphere & Decor: Casual & bare-bones.
Young’s Fish Market
City Square Shopping Center
1286 Kalani Street #101
Monday-Friday 8am – 5PM Saturday 8am – 4PM; closed Sunday
Atmosphere & Decor: Even more casual & bare-bones then the rest.
Best lau lau (pork and salted butterfish (wrapped in ti leaves and steamed to form a meal in a bundle) in town.
The best luau is the Old Lahaina Luau on Maui. Almost all the luaus are best for the show, dance, and celebration aspect. *Leave your food expectations at the door* is what I always suggest to our guests when it comes to luaus. One note: the Polynesian Cultural Center does not serve alcohol or caffeine; that’s why we suggest Paradise Cove or Germaine’s.
He was more than generous to share his expertise and time. I can only imagine that he runs his tour with as much aloha.
Finally I figured out how to cook this mahi mahi dish and apparently most of the time it comes out well. The only thing is that the seafood at Foodland isn’t really so awesome. So I started looking for where to buy fresh fish and this is what I found from kaina on chowhound:
There is a wholesale fish auction, United Fishing Agency at pier 38. Kind of resembles the fish auction at Tsukiji in Japan but on a much smaller scale. There is a tour of the auction on Saturdays I believe with a talk radio dj named Mike Buck. On the Big Island there’s the Suisun fish auction in Hilo. If you’re wanting to buy some fresh fish I’d suggest going to Tamashiro Market in Kalihi on Oahu.