Sunday, August 9, 2009

Vacation Journal: Hawaii Updates

I'm back in Hawaii for vacation. Last year, I did an extensive journal of my island eats. This year, I'll stick to a few updates and some new finds. Our original plan was to head to the Big Island today and do some excellent local eating in Hilo, which I haven't visited in years, but between being laid up with a bad case of food poisoning (an occupational hazard of the food blogging hobby) and the impending visit of Hurricane Felicia, it looks like that will have to wait for next year.

Today, a few Oahu updates:

  • Eggs 'n Things. My traditional first day breakfast spot has changed ownership and location since my last visit. (It's now located at 343 Saratoga Road, right off Kalakaua on the west side of Waikiki). Thankfully, the food hasn't changed. My beloved mac nut pancakes were as delicious as ever and the loco moco special was a solid traditional version of the great island dish. The staff seems largely the same and the new location is more spacious, with a nice balcony area. My only complaint is that the new ownership changed the hours. Eggs 'n Things used to close only from 2pm to 11pm, making it the perfect spot for jetlagged mainlanders. Now it opens at 6:00am, making it less of an option when I'm up at 4:00 on my first morning (Luckily, the excellent Liliha Bakery is open 24 hours). Parking is also difficult at the new location.

  • Diamond Head Grill, which I loved
    last year, now has pancakes. I loved the coconut pancakes, studded with shredded coconut throughout and topped with coconut syrup. Luscious. Between Eggs 'n Things, Liliha and now Diamond Head Grill, is it possible that Honolulu is becoming the pancake capital of the US?

  • Sam Choy's Breakfast Lunch and Crab gets worse every year. Nearly everything I had was salted into submission, though my favorite kalbi marinated butterfish was still good. It's sad how Choy has fallen and my hopes for a resurrection are beginning to wane.

  • The popular Chinatown bakery Shung Chong Yuein has reopened as Sing Cheong Yuan Bakery, with the same layout and wares of the bakery that closed up shop last year. They make moon cakes and various traditional Chinese cookies, though these weren't as good as I remembered from the previous store. Of particular note, though, are their macadamia nut caramel candies which come in several varieties; I especially like the coconut-Mac candies.

On Friday, an update from the North Shore of Oahu.

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