In Hawaii, it still isn’t unusual to find that businesses, especially restaurants, still have reduced hours or close entirely, either temporarily or permanently, including the two below.
First, a much-loved restaurant featured on “Diners, Drive-In and Dives” was among the earlier victims. Dean’s Drive Inn in Kaneohe just went out of business after many successful years. They said that both soaring prices and staffing issues were at fault. “The rising cost of food and supplies has made it impossible to stay in business,” said the owner. Guy Fieri previously featured their ahi fish cakes as one of his all-time Hawaii favorites.
Thai Hot Wings at Opal Thai Food in Honolulu appears to have closed recently. Google says that they are permanently closed, although others have said it is temporary. Their phone doesn’t appear to be working and we don’t know what that means or if they’ll be back or not. That’s how it seems to go nowadays. Guy said of the hot wings, “That’s the most garlic I’ve had on anything.”
The remaining 14 top Guy Fieri Hawaii pics are open and ready to receive guests.
Fried Boneless Pork Ribs at Thai Mee Up Maui. Not far from Kahului Airport, you’ll find one of Guy’s top Hawaii picks. He said, “On a scale of 1 to 100 that’s a 101.” We plan to try the pad thai, Panang curry, and green papaya salad.
Kalbi Short Ribs at Da Kitchen, Kihei Maui. Reopened at a new location. The favorite local dishes are ribs (they do 2k pounds a week), and loco moco. But we also plan to try the Mahi Mahi, among other things.
Lilikoi Pork Pizza at The Outrigger Pizza Company, Kihei Maui. Guy called it “terrific pizza in a parking lot.” He recommends lilikoi pork pizza and said, “You can’t get pizza that good in most restaurants.” We’re headed for the white cheddar mushroom, and the Maui onion varieties ourselves.
Oxtail Soup at The Alley Restaurant, Aiea Oahu. Also not far from an airport, this time HNL, with this top pick found in a bowling alley of all places. The chef hails from NYC and a specialty is oxtail soup based on his mother’s recipe. Guy told him “You win the best oxtail soup in the world award.” We plan to try the garlic shrimp among other things.
Mochiko Chicken at Boots & Kimo’s at Kailua, Oahu. Popular for everything from Hawaii-style pancakes to seafood omelets and loco moco to eggs benedict.
Ahi Tuna Poke at Fresh Catch, Oahu. Three locations. Poke is the specialty here and Guy said, I could sit here and eat this by the bucketful.” We’re also looking at the ahu katsu, furikake salmon, and the seared ahi salad.
Marlin Burger at Nico’s Pier 38, Oahu. Located at the pier, on the way to Waikiki from HNL. Whether for the fish burger, or any number of fabulous items on the ever-changing menu, we’ve been a fan since Nico first opened at his old and more quaint location on the same pier. We never get tired of Nico’s.
Crunchy Shrimp at Big Wave Shrimp Truck at Haleiwa Oahu. Guy mentioned their crunchy shrimp with rice and dipping sauce. Other favorites of ours include the garlic shrimp plate and the shrimp fried rice.
Chicago Dog at Hank’s Haute Dogs, Honolulu. We remember when Hank’s opened and the line went around the block. The chef hails from a lineage of hot dog stand owners. The Chicago Dog is said to be the top seller. It’s a place for meat eaters, although there are some limited veggie and seafood options.
Authentic Hawaiian Luau at Germaine’s Luau in Kapolei. Luaus tend to be cheesy, and we aren’t sure this is an exception. Guy liked it because it felt authentic to him. We’ll leave it to you to decide and let us know.
Rotisserie Chicken at Mike’s Huli Chicken in Kahuku, Oahu. Mike’s is a favorite of Guy Fieri, who says it’s “The crispiest chicken that anybody will every try that’s not been fried.” If you’re not in the mood for chicken, their Kalua pork and garlic shrimp are also very popular. We’ve not been there yet, have you?
Fried Poke at Like Poke, Kahului Maui. Fresh poke on a food truck from a pro-surfer turned chef. Some mention this as their first stop on arrival at Kahului Airport. Favorites include the ahi katsu sampler, furikake fries, and fried poke. This will be a new find for us.
Pork Lechon Special at Elena’s at Waipahu, Oahu. Filipino food that’s been going strong for 40 years. Specialties include Pork Adobo fried rice omelet, Sari-Sari, and their Lechon special. We’ve not been there, so please us know.
Glazed Mandrian Duck Confit at Uahi Island Grill. Guy’s favorite here at the restaurant that’s still going strong after 15 years, is the glazed Mandarin Duck Confit. From salads and appetizers to sandwiches and entrees.
If you tried any of these, which ones are your Hawaii favorites?