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Dining with Aloha

When visiting here on Oahu, you are going to have a lot of choices of where and what to eat! Making a decision may be difficult and often visitors just choose from the nearest options or go to a restaurant whose name and foods are familiar to them. If you do this, however, you miss out on some of the delicious options available to you, and Hawaii has so many foods to choose from! There is such a diversity of cultures here and each offers something tasty, from traditional Hawaiian foods to Filipino dishes, from Thai to Chinese, and from Japanese to Mexican. There are poke bowls (yes that’s raw fish and it is delish!), Korean ribs, Hulihuli chicken, and island specialties like our Kahuku shrimp.

Are we making you hungry? Good! If you are wondering where to go to find these ono grinds (delicious foods) then just look under the Restaurant section of Seek Spot! We give you information on some of the many great places to dine, no matter which part of Oahu you are in at the time. Be sure to also check for any coupons offered! Fill your days with fun and your tummies with great food. Add to the happy memories you take home by dining with Aloha, Hawaiian style!

Restaurants on the South Shore

Restaurants on the North Shore

Restaurants on Leeward Oahu

Restaurants on Windward Oahu

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GROW + GRIND Farmers Markets on Oahu

Farmers Markets are an authentic and delicious way to get to know Hawaii. You meet the farmers, chefs, and foodies while enjoying live music and trying new things. Indulge in seasonal produce and innovative prepared foods that you can only get here in Hawaii. Many farmers markets have a café where patrons gather with their market-purchased food and beverages, listen to live music, and talk story.

Most food vendors use only bio-compostable utensils and plates. Like many markets, customers are encouraged to bring their own shopping bags, and many vendors are coming up with unique ways to package items that we would usually find in small plastic bags. For example, using banana leaf or palm fronds to wrap up a handful of green beans. These markets do not allow any produce from the mainland, China or elsewhere to be sold — strictly locally grown. They also require that all the people selling produce at the market be the growers themselves. Regardless of what side of the island you’re staying, a farmers market will happen near you!

WEEKLY SCHEDULE:

Haleiwa (in Waimea Valley): Thursdays, 3 – 7 pm

Kakaako: Saturdays, 8 am – noon

Pearlridge:  Saturdays, 8:00-12:00 noon

Hawaii Kai: Saturdays, 8:00-12:00 noon

Ala Moana: Saturdays, 8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Kailua Town Farmer’s Market: Sundays, 8:30-12:00 noon

 

Grinds: The Story of Food in Hawaii – A Musical

Why do we eat what we eat? Where do we grow what we eat? Why does that even matter? This musical romp through Hawaii’s favorite subject mixes humor, history, and science to explore our community’s relationship with food. Built through extensive conversations with local farmers, chefs, and grandmothers, this is essential viewing for anyone who eats.

WHAT: For all of those kids who don’t believe that some food does grow on trees. This musical takes a look at what we eat and where it comes from with Hawaii Theatre for Youth’s signature humor, song and style. Opening night is already sold out so get your seats early.

WHEN:  The show opens Friday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m., then continues Saturdays, April 5, 12, 19 and 26, May 3 and May 10 at 4:30 p.m. All shows are at Tenney Theatre. Tickets are $20 for adults (age 18-59), $15 for seniors (age 60+) and $10 for youth (age 2-17), see www.htyweb.org or call 839-9885.

DETAILS:

  • Audience members are asked to bring a locally grown fruit or vegetable and participate in a pre-show procession that delivers the produce to the stage.
  • Some audience members will help with the produce’s actual preparation on stage, churning butter from cream or pounding poi.
  • Some will get a chance to sample the dishes that are created onstage.
  • Two breadfruit trees will be given away at each show via a drawing, courtesy of the Ulu Project.
  • Chef’s aprons with the HTY GRINDS logo and the GRINDS CD will be available for sale.
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WIN A TASTE OF FRANCE

BrasserieDuVin_editorial_image

We all remember when Lady and the Tramp shared that spaghetti noodle together in the candlelit alleyway—and the adorable meatball nudge that preceded. Or when Richard Gere’s character ordered champagne and strawberries to educate Julia Roberts’ character on the art of fine dining in Pretty Woman. Fine dining is often at the core of romantic moments because food is often an expression of love, or at the very least, lust. An elegant ambiance sets the stage for a variety of indulgences, divulgences, and kisses. There’s just something about soft lighting, crisp linens, and gourmet meals that enhances our ability to be sweet with each other. There are of course the aphrodisiacs that can be found in a find dining experience as well: oysters, champagne, truffles, chocolate—just to name a few.

Dr. Meryl Rosofsky, a noted aphrodisiac expert in New York City, says that even the act of eating oysters is seductive since the texture and shape requires that you suck, slurp, and eat them out of your hands. Oysters are high in zinc, which is thought to increase testosterone as well. In the spirit of this month of love, Seek Spot is offering a fine dining experience giveaway at an authentic French bistro in Hawaii, Brasserie Du Vin. This taste of France in the heart of Honolulu offers hand-crafted cocktails and beer, an award-winning selection of wines by the glass and bottle, and of course every culinary delight from appetizers to desserts. Indoor and patio seating is available.

In order to win a gift certificate for $50 to BRASSERIE DU VIN, comment below on this blog post and tell us whom you would like to take on a date here and why. We will pick a lucky winner at month’s end!

 

 

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TOP RANKED FOR ROMANCE

proposal sweetheart-shady-laneA recent survey by TripAdvisor.com found that 92 percent of its respondents are planning a romantic escape in 2014, up from 78 percent in 2013. Among that group, 17 percent will take a “couples getaway” trip for Valentine’s Day. Of all respondents, 61 percent were planning travel to a beach or ocean destination. Honolulu was listed third on the top ranking destinations for a romantic trip (San Francisco ranked first and Las Vegas second).

If you are one of those couples planning a romantic trip to Oahu, or a resident looking for unique date ideas, Seek Spot made our own “Top Three” for date ideas this Valentine’s Day:

1) Watch a Whale, Ride a Horse

February is the month to whale watch. Romantically enough, when you watch whales, you end up on a boat, which is often the perfect setting for an amorous time. Check out these options to find your ideal whale watching cruise!

Horseback riding is another romantic way to enjoy breathtaking views and do something adventurous with your amour. Gunstock Ranch in Laie is offering 20 percent off of their sweetheart rides special for the month of February. They also have a contest for free rides + flowers on Facebook until Feb 13!

2)   Get a Strike

Food, fun, and friendly competition can actually be quite romantic. Aiea Bowl is known among locals for its delicious food, namely the Tasty Chicken and all of their many desserts. For a fancier twist though, Aiea Bowl’s “Tasty Tuesdays” offer a five-course prix fixe menu. Cosmic bowling with live DJs happens four nights a week — Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays —late-night pupu and drink specials as well.

3)   Get Artsy, Foodie

Honolulu Night Market is happening on February 15 from 6 – 11 pm in Kaka‘ako. Each monthly event has a slew of food trucks, art and retail vendors, and live music. A date with fashion, food and music, how could you go wrong? Make sure to use our South Shore coupons page just in case you need to add a couple more stops to this Honolulu night out.

 

 

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A Day on Windward Oahu, Sample Itinerary

Taking a drive over to the Windward Side begins very dramatically when you head over the mountains on the Pali Highway, stopping for a fantastic view from the Pali Lookout! Take binoculars, if you have them, and your camera of course! After stopping at the lookout point, head down into Kailua town.
In Kailua, go straight to Twogood Kayaks and rent Kayaks for yourself and those with you. They offer different adventures, guided tours and turtle safaris. Head over to lovely Lanikai beach for a beautiful and leisurely place to kayak the waters of Windward Oahu. Travel a little farther down, to Kailua Bay, for more Kayak time and to enjoy the spectacle of wind and kite surfers who flock to this beach! After you return the kayaks, enjoy a little shopping at the cute boutiques of Kailua, such as nearby Maya Bella, where you will find great beachwear, accessories and one of a kind treasures. From Kailua take a drive towards Kaneohe to see the gorgeous Kaneohe Bay and then continue up the coast for a spectacularly beautiful and relaxing drive with lots of spots for more beach time, stopping for a bite of lunch along the way. Allow time for the return drive and head back to Kailua, stopping to take in the gorgeous sunset over the mountains, and then enjoy a delicious dinner at The Grove offering globally inspired island cuisine from award-winning Chef Fred DeAngelo. This will surely top off your day on Windward Oahu!

For information on activities, shopping, restaurants and more on Windward Oahu, CLICK HERE

*See itineraries in other regions for more ideas!

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A Day on Leeward Oahu, Sample Itinerary

Driving up the Leeward Coast of Oahu is an easy and relaxing way to spend a day. Start with an early morning visit to Pearl Harbor for a boat ride out to view the USS Arizona Memorial, or stop at the Pacific Aviation Museum. From there head to the Waianae Coast and take a scenic drive all the way up to Yokohama Bay. If the ocean is calm, take a walk along the beach, and if the waves are rolling in as they often are in winter months, you are sure to get some awesome photos of the impressive surf here! Now head back down to legendary Makaha Beach, home to big wave surfing since the days of ancient Hawaii, and then down to Waianae Boat Harbor for a fantastic snorkeling adventure with Under the Sea! This is an opportunity of a lifetme to see a very “unspoiled and natural” side of Oahu with tons of ocean life in pristine settings! Once you have enjoyed your underwater adventure, continue down the coast, stopping at beaches along the way such as Pokai Bay. At Pokai Bay you can take a short walk out to a point there which has the remains of an ancient heiau (Hawaiian temple). Further down the coast, at the southwestern end you will find the only large resorts on this side of the island. The lagoons at Ko‘olina, which are open to the public, are a great place to stop for a sunset view. There are many excellent restaurants in the directory to choose from for dinner before heading back to your vacation accomodations for the evening.

For more information on restaurants, activities, shopping, etc on Leeward Oahu, CLICK HERE

*See itineraries in other regions for more ideas!

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A Day on the South Shore of Oahu, Sample Itinerary

While many choose to simply “hang out” on the beaches of Waikiki, there is much more to see on this southern side of Oahu! Start with treating yourselves to a relaxing massage at Life Centered Acupuncture, where you can unwind and rejuvenate your body. Then take in some history and visit the only royal palace in the U.S, Iolani Palace, which has been restored to its former glory in the days of Hawaii’s monarchy! Afterwards, take a drive south, heading towards Diamond Head and around to Kahala. As you drive through this affluent neighborhood, you will see some very impressive homes on the hillsides overlooking the ocean. Further up is Hawaii Kai and Maunalua Bay Beach Park overlooking Koko Head Crater. Keep heading towards the southeastern point of Oahu, stopping for a snorkel at beautiful Hanauma Bay and then out to Makapu‘u Lighthouse for a fantastic view and some great photos! Returning back into Honolulu, stop by JJ’s Bistro for a delicious lunch. Make sure to try their authentic French pastries and delicacies. Then prepare yourself for an awesome adventure with Xtreme Parasail. Choose from Jet Ski’s, Parasailing, a Pirate Ship Cruise, or try the Honolulu Screamer, a twin- jet, water-propelled boat that will take you for high speed twists and turns along the Waikiki Coast, like a roller coaster on water! It’s a great way to end the day before catching the sunset and a delicious dinner at one of the many fine restaurants of Waikiki!

For more information on sights and activities, dining and shopping, on the South Shore of Oahu CLICK HERE

*See itineraries in other regions for more ideas!

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A Day on the North Shore of Oahu, Sample Itinerary

You can be to the North Shore from Honolulu in about 45 minutes, less if on the Windward or Leeward sides of Oahu. When coming from Honolulu, head towards Waialua first, which takes you out Farrington Highway for a gorgeous scenic view of the North Shore as you are coming in! Waialua itself was once a sugar plantation and is now a sleepy little town. The old sugar mill is still there but has been converted into the North Shore Soap Factory. It’s a fun place to stop to see soaps being made and pick up some great smelling, good for your body, authentic made-in-Hawaii soaps and lotions! After a little shopping here, drive a little further to Mokuleia for big, open beaches that are great for swimming and surf, while also providing an overhead “air show” of sky divers and glider planes from the nearby airfield! Then head into historic Haleiwa Town for some great burgers, sandwiches, salads and more at Kua‘aina. Enjoy a little shopping or art gallery browsing, and maybe a refreshing shave ice, before heading up the coast towards Sunset Beach, to see the renowned big wave beaches of North Shore legend. You will want to stop to enjoy the awesome views and gorgeous beach of Waimea, site of big wave surf meets in winter months and favorite beach for hanging out during the calm water days of summer! Take some time also to drive up to Waimea Valley, just above, and take a walk through tropical gardens, past historic ruins of ancient Hawaii, to a waterfall you can take a dip under! Continue up the coast through Kahuku and on to Laie for more beautiful scenery and great beaches. In Laie you will find the ever popular, fun, and educational Polynesian Cultural Center, where there are “villages” set up depicting life and the influence of all the Polynesian cultures. You could spend a whole day and not see all there is, but any time spent here will be enjoyable! Before the sun goes down, be sure to head back down and perch yourself at none other than famous Sunset Beach for that classic, not-to-be-missed, Hawaiian sunset photo. End your day with a great meal at one of the many restaurants of Haleiwa before heading back to your own vacation accommodations.

For more about the North Shore and all there is to see and do CLICK HERE

 

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Choosing a Wine for Your Holiday Celebrations

At this time of the year many people ask what wine is perfect for the holiday season.  There really isn’t a one size fits all answer because everybody has different tastes, and so much of the enjoyment of wine depends on the occasion, the company you are with, the setting, the food, and the mood.  Wine does enhance gatherings and it is always handy to have a few extra bottles around for the impromptu get together or the unexpected guest.  Instead of worrying about the perfect wine for the perfect occasion, pick a variety of wine or better yet, versatile wines that can fill the need of different situations.  Venture out of your comfort zone and try something different.  Sparkling Riesling and Viognier for white wines and Grenache for red wine are not mainstream wines, but they are versatile with different foods – perfect for a pot luck.  If you are a Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon drinker, try a Syrah or a Zinfandel, both full bodied red wines that can spice up an event.  The holidays are a special time so don’t do the run of the mill.  Do something new and exciting. Wine enhances family gatherings, and discovering a new wine will make it even more special.

Guest Blog courtesy of Jay Kam with Vintage Wine Cellar

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Two Fun North Shore Events Happening on November 9th!

 

There are plenty of great restaurants, shops, and interesting things to see and do on the North Shore of Oahu. Two events, both coming up on November 9th, are examples of the variety and fun to be had!

Serving a Fusion, Pacific-Rim inspired menu with some of the freshest fish available on Oahu, Banzai Sushi Bar offers a hip and trendy spot on the North Shore for great food, great drinks, and great fun. Now they invite you out for some great music too, as they celebrate their 10 year anniversary with a Dance Party on November 9th from 6pm to 2am! Hosted by six KTUH  DJ’s, with special guests, and free sushi at midnight, it’s their way of saying Thank You to the community and the visitors for all their support! Come on out, let loose, and be a part of the celebration!

Also happening on the North Shore on November 9th, from 6-8pm, is a fun fashion event at Mermaids Haleiwa! This fashion workshop will focus on helping you to choose the best colors, designs, and accessories to enhance your image. Discover your “inner mermaid” as fashion designer Maria Paz directs you on a guided shopping evening and offers you her fashion tips. You will need to make reservations for this fascinating event, but it promises to be fun and informative!

The North Shore of Oahu is not only beautiful but has lots going on, and is always an exciting place to go! To find out more about the restaurants, activities, etc…click here.

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