Aloha Cuisine

View of Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head

After 5 long years of marriage, our schedules finally aligned and we had enough money to go on our honeymoon.  This past May we spent 10 days in the Aloha state basking in the sun, swinging through the trees, chasing aquatic life in it’s natural habitat, and eating the pure freshness of the islands.  It was a dream and it was too short.  2 days in and Zach asked “so what do we need to do to move here?”  This came from a red head who has to reapply 1,000 SPF sunblock every hour or he would die.  My favorite part of the islands was the freshness of air, food, and water.  It felt strange but also natural to jump into a waterfall on the Road to Hana in Maui.  The ocean didn’t smell oceany like it does at the Jersey Shore (I’m a Jersey girl at heart), instead it was just fresh clean air.  The crunch you get from a fresh mixed green salad filled with papaya and mangos that came from the farm up the street personified freshness and local food.  The abundance of wild mango along the roads is quite different from the concrete jungle of Chicago.  Hawaii is truly paradise and I can’t wait to go back and explore the rest of the islands.  If you ever get a chance, don’t hesitate and wait 5 years, get on that plane and bring your appetite.

Here’s a glimpse of our culinary tour around Oahu and Maui:

Hawaiian Hula Bread:  If you like King Hawaiian bread from the grocery store, you'll LOVE this hula bread we found at the Swap Meet at Aloha Stadium in Oahu.  Perfect with a little butter or just plan!

Hawaiian Hula Bread: If you like King Hawaiian bread from the grocery store, you’ll LOVE this hula bread we found at the Swap Meet at Aloha Stadium in Oahu. Perfect with a little butter or just plan!

Perfect with a little butter or just plan!

Perfect with a little butter or just plan!

It's a specially seasoned polish sausage put into a hula bread roll and filled with your choice of sauces.  DELICIOUS!

It’s a specially seasoned polish sausage put into a hula bread roll and filled with your choice of sauces. DELICIOUS!

They have a huge array of relishes and sauces for you to choose from.

They have a huge array of relishes and sauces for you to choose from.

Alan Wong, one of the 12 co-founders of Hawaiian Regional Cuisine.  He focuses on food grown and raised on the islands with Asian fusion.

Alan Wong, one of the 12 co-founders of Hawaiian Regional Cuisine. He focuses on food grown and raised on the islands with Asian fusion.

iPad drink Menu, fun to pay with, but why not put the whole menu on the iPad?

iPad drink Menu, fun to pay with, but why not put the whole menu on the iPad?

Ginger Crusted Onaga - Long-tail Red Snapper with miso sesame vinaigrette

Ginger Crusted Onaga – Long-tail Red Snapper with miso sesame vinaigrette

Twice Cooked Shortribs Soy Braised & Grilled "Kalbi" Style - extremely tender and flavorful

Twice Cooked Shortribs Soy Braised & Grilled “Kalbi” Style – extremely tender and flavorful

Complementary Li-Hing Strawberry Cheesecake- Strawberry Watermelon Sorbet, Vanilla-Yuzu Panna Cotta, Granite, Housemade Graham Crackers, Housemade Malasadas

Complementary Li-Hing Strawberry Cheesecake- Strawberry Watermelon Sorbet, Vanilla-Yuzu Panna Cotta, Granite, Housemade Graham Crackers, Housemade Malasadas

We stopped off at the Dole plantation for some yummy treats

We stopped off at the Dole plantation for some yummy treats

It's called a Dole Whip - pineapple softserve and it can't be missed when at the Dole plantation!

It’s called a Dole Whip – pineapple softserve and it can’t be missed when at the Dole plantation!

I went the more traditional route and had it with fresh pineapples

I went the more traditional route and had it with fresh pineapples

Along the North Shore of Oahu you'll find a number of "Shrimp Trucks" along the road and all claiming to be the original.  I don't know if Giovanni's is the original, but it is definitely worth a stop.  Next time, I will have to try some others to compare.

Along the North Shore of Oahu you’ll find a number of “Shrimp Trucks” along the road and all claiming to be the original. I don’t know if Giovanni’s is the original, but it is definitely worth a stop. Next time, I will have to try some others to compare.

We ordered the shrimp scampi.  Garlic and butter with a little bit of lemon, messy, juicy and never to be forgotten.

We ordered the shrimp scampi. Garlic and butter with a little bit of lemon, messy, juicy and never to be forgotten.

Ola at Turtle Bay on the North Shore of Oahu

Ola at Turtle Bay on the North Shore of Oahu

The location is unmatched, right on the beach and serene.

The location is unmatched, right on the beach and serene.

Kalua Pork Nachos with Goat Cheese - Ok but not spetacular

Kalua Pork Nachos with Goat Cheese – Ok but not spetacular

Misoyaki Butterfish - Sautéed Hamakua Ali’i Mushrooms, Wilted Baby Bok Choy, Kabayaki Butter, Jasmine Rice

Misoyaki Butterfish – Sautéed Hamakua Ali’i Mushrooms, Wilted Baby Bok Choy, Kabayaki Butter, Jasmine Rice

True local cuisine in Oahu!

True local cuisine in Oahu!

We had a little bit of everything:  poi (taro mush they eat like rice, not my fav), kalua pig, laulau (pork wrapped in banana leaves), lomi salmon (like cheviche), short ribs Pipikaula style (delicious!), fried butter fish collar (awesome!), and haupia for dessert (coconut jello)

We had a little bit of everything: poi (taro mush they eat like rice, not my fav), kalua pig, laulau (pork wrapped in banana leaves), lomi salmon (like cheviche), short ribs Pipikaula style (delicious!), fried butter fish collar (awesome!), and haupia for dessert (coconut jello)

My favorite meal of our trip and it was at our hotel in Maui (the Grand Wailea) - Humuhumu by Mike Lofaro

My favorite meal of our trip and it was at our hotel in Maui (the Grand Wailea) – Humuhumu by Mike Lofaro

Pupu platter (funny name, yummy food) - Caramelized Diver Scallops, Moloka'i Tisane Black Tiger Prawns, Lemongrass Baby Back Pork Ribs and Firecracker 'Ahi Tartare

Pupu platter (funny name, yummy food) – Caramelized Diver Scallops, Moloka’i Tisane Black Tiger Prawns, Lemongrass Baby Back Pork Ribs and Firecracker ‘Ahi Tartare

Crab Crusted Hawaiian Hapu’upu’u (Sea Bass) - Nahiku Watercress, Pohole Fern Salad, Fingerling Potatoes, 3-Peppercorn Au Poivre Sauce

Crab Crusted Hawaiian Hapu’upu’u (Sea Bass) – Nahiku Watercress, Pohole Fern Salad, Fingerling Potatoes, 3-Peppercorn Au Poivre Sauce

Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi - Tahitian Vanilla Scented Moloka’i Sweet Potatoes and Pineapple - Tamarind Sauce (Zach LOVED the vanilla sweet potatoes)

Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi – Tahitian Vanilla Scented Moloka’i Sweet Potatoes and Pineapple – Tamarind Sauce (Zach LOVED the vanilla sweet potatoes)

Humu Hula Pie - Layers of Lappert’s Macadamia Nut and Kona Coffee Ice Cream on an Oreo Cookie Crust, drizzled with Kahlua Chocolate Sauce and Macadamia Nut Crunch Topped with a Chocolate Tiki (it was huge and we ate it ALL!)

Humu Hula Pie – Layers of Lappert’s Macadamia Nut and Kona Coffee Ice Cream on an Oreo Cookie Crust, drizzled with Kahlua Chocolate Sauce and Macadamia Nut Crunch Topped with a Chocolate Tiki (it was huge and we ate it ALL!)

And a beautiful view of the sunset

And a beautiful view of the sunset

Tobi's in Paia Maui

Tobi’s in Paia Maui

Sorry for the crappy picture, but I ate it before I remembered to take a picture.  Now it's "SHAVE" ice, not "SHAVED" ice and it can not be missed in Hawaii.  I had mine with Tiger Blood (watermelon+strawberry+coconut) and mochi balls

Sorry for the crappy picture, but I ate it before I remembered to take a picture. Now it’s “SHAVE” ice, not “SHAVED” ice and it can not be missed in Hawaii. I had mine with Tiger Blood (watermelon+strawberry+coconut) and mochi balls

Mama's Fish House in Maui

Mama’s Fish House in Maui

All their menu items showcase local fishermen and what was caught that day!

All their menu items showcase local fishermen and what was caught that day!

Mama’s Lobster Stuffed Mahimahi Stuffed with lobster & crab, baked in a macadamia nut crust.

Mama’s Lobster Stuffed Mahimahi Stuffed with lobster & crab, baked in a macadamia nut crust.

Silvermouth Pink Snapper (Lehi) caught in the deep Olowalu reefs by Layne Nakagawa Mama’s Sauté - in garlic butter, white wine and capers.

Silvermouth Pink Snapper (Lehi) caught in the deep Olowalu reefs by Layne Nakagawa Mama’s Sauté – in garlic butter, white wine and capers.

Stop at the Keanea Landing for the best banana bread on the Road to Hana, straight from the oven!

Stop at the Keanea Landing for the best banana bread on the Road to Hana, straight from the oven!

We ended our trip with a traditional Luau in Maui - good show, traditional foods, and unlimited fruity drinks!

We ended our trip with a traditional Luau in Maui – good show, traditional foods, and unlimited fruity drinks!

Traditional Kaula Pig in the sand pit ready for eating!

Traditional Kaula Pig in the sand pit ready for eating!

Fruity drinks galore

Fruity drinks galore

My buffet selections

My buffet selections

6 thoughts on “Aloha Cuisine

  1. Nicole says:

    Why did I look at this right before lunch…my caferteria black bean burger…surely did not surfice…smile…can’t wait to visit Hawaii. Patti…I want to go everywhere you went…and eat everywhere you ate!

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