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Growing up on an island you learn to eat just about anything...and in a place like Hawaii it can run the gamut from down home plate lunches to fancy shmancy pacific rim fusion food so pretty you are afraid to eat it. For me the foods of Hawaii are like music..encapsulating a feeling, a season, even an age in my life.. I went through many a food phase..but I can guarantee all of those phases included SPAM..even when for a year a briefly became a vegetarian..I still ate spam because no one could REALLY agree it was a meat haha.. so I have complied a list of my favorite foods big and small from Hawaii, and some of the places they can be found....

 in no particular order of favoritism...

KULOLO- this is a "desert" of sorts..a luau food of traditional hawaiian decent..it look like a solid square of well poi actually but tastes nothing like poi..so all you people with an aversion to poi do not I repeat DO NOT panic.  Thy best kulolo in my humble opinion is made on Kauai and luckily they ship it to all the islands so you can get it at most hawaiian food restaurants or my fave place to pick it up...a local FOODLAND grocery store...I buy one brick for me and one for everyone else..


KIM CHEE 2-Now this is my go to Korean Food joint..there are a couple different Kim chee restaurants and I like them ALL but I LOVE Kim Chee 2. It is located in the outskirts of Kapahulu and Kaimuki..the address is 3569 Waialae Ave Honolulu, Hawaii 96815 and EVERYTHING on the menu is good but I go for the Meat Juhn plate. If you stop in tell Jimmy I said hello you can't miss him he's the tall good looking Korean guy takin your order his family owns the place...

Spam Musubi's- this one is easy to find- look for your nearest 7-11 when you get off the plane and grab a few it'll tide you over till you get to Kim Chee 2,  try the chicken musubi's too if your feeling fancy.

Saved Ice- now I know there is a LOT of opinions on Shaved ice in Hawaii and it is kind of like the Jets and the Sharks you either belong to one camp or the other. But I am a purest..and I stick by MATSUMOTO's partially because I have been going there since Jesus was a baby..but also because simply put I love all the flavors..and the service can't be beat..the other places are good too BUT hey- all those hollywood movies can't be wrong...if it's good eough for Adam Sandler in 50 first dates...it's good enough for me..Matsumoto's is located in picturesque Haleiwa Town..66-087 Kamehameha Hwy..just drive through haleiwa town you can't miss it...try the li hing mui flavor if you DARE...I usually get a combo coconut, pineapple, and li hing dont ask me why.

House Of Dragon Chinese Food-Now there are MANY MANY great chinese restaurants in Hawaii, this place in the Pearl City Shopping Center is just sentimental to me cause it is in the neighborhood I grew up in and I still eat there whenever I get a chance..it is a little hole in the wall place but everything is SO GOOD...we order everything from Beef Brocoli to Pork Hash, Kau Yuk...Shrimp Canton...Cold Ginger Chicken  all of it is amazing..but the DUCK EGG...which is a hard boiled super salty duck egg split down the middle...and eaten as a side condiment with rice... is divine.

Crack Seed..you will find some places that still have big glass jars of preserved plums, a tradition brought to Hawaii by the in flux of Chinese Immigrants...it morphed into it's own unique Hawaii tradition and is so nostalgic to many of us born and raised in Hawaii...Crack Seed Center in Ala Moana shopping center is the easiest Crack Seed store to find as unfortunately a lot of the mom and pop shops have closed down...try the rock salt plum which is a fave from my child hood...or the seedless li hing cherry if you dont like to eat around a pit...it is all SO ONO or delicious as we say in Hawaii.

 Hope you take a chance on some of these "Hanabata days" food as we call it in Hawaii meaning my childhood faves.... ENJOY!

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Reader Comments (3)

Gurlie, you haven't even dented the many many wonderful foods of our Hawaii Nei...........(balut)

August 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCharles M. Akana 3rd

so, now that i have recovered from the trauma to my chin from it hitting the floor after getting to the end of this blog and seeing the GLARING OMISSION of a lifetime....i say, friends (and by that i mean, friend...brook lee) ...there is no way to get closer to God than to eat a hot, steamy, fresh out of the white paper bag MALASADA from LEONARDS...preferably on the sand, before 8 am...listening to the waves hit the shore before the tourists arrive... i can smell it and taste it now...all the way here in NYC. mmmmmmmmmmmm aloooooooooooooha

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