acai

I didn't think I liked acai bowls, but Yolanda took me to enough of them that I formed an opinion.

Island Vintage Coffee

Pretty good. I think this one is tied for first with Crispy Grindz. My favorite is the liliko'i moana bowl. The honey is what makes it work.

Crispy Grindz

Despite the unconvincing name, the acai here is really good. The acai base is not blended with other junk. I like to get it with honey and extra granola.

The non-acai menu items are okay but not special.

Banzai Bowls

The bowl is massive but sadly, not very good. Tasted more like an apple juice smoothie than anything else. Ratio of acai puree to other toppings is off.

Haleiwa Bowls

It's okay. The bowls are slightly on the bigger side. I tried both the mana and hapa bowls, but both kind of tasted like juice.

Sunrise Shack

Not very good. The acai is blended and doesn't taste like acai.

snacks

Angel's Ice Cream

The shaved ice was fine. The real star is the Ube Milkshake. So creamy. So ube-y. Very good.

Matsumoto Shave Ice

It's simple but good.

Kona Coffee Purveyors

The coffee is fine. The gem is that they serve pastries from b. patisserie. The kouign amann is quite good.

Musubi Cafe Iyasume

Great spam musubi. I like the regular kind.

Paalaa Kai Bakery

The signature pastry is the Snow Puffy. Worth a try.

Duke's Food Hall

It's a big food hall with a few different shops. In particular, the mochi malasada is good (and sometimes runs out).

activities

Climbworks

I did not expect to enjoy this (ziplining) as much as I did. It's pretty fun! A little terrifying to start.

Aweoweo Beach

Kind of hidden, though we happened to live behind this beach. When the waves aren't rough, it's really good for snorkeling.

I consistently see a family of sea turtles here, so I'm not sure why anybody is causing a traffic jam at Laniakea.

Don Quixote

Your one-stop shop for anything you could possible need on a trip. It's like a Japanese Wal-mart.

The only bad thing I can say about this place is that they don't play the theme song.

Hanauma Bay

A bit of a hassle to get into. You need timed-entry tickets a couple days beforehand.

Beach itself is nice but rather crowded. You can see a lot of fish here. A lot of families come here it seems.

Honolulu Museum of Art

Kind of neat art museum. I liked the contemporary exhibitions and the courtyards are nice to stroll through.

Marukai Market

Apparently it's owned by Donki too. There's an expansive ready-to-eat food section. Nothing in particular is outstanding, but it's all not bad. Good variety.

Ka'ena Point

Ka'ena point is the western most spot on Oahu. It's a 2-3 mile hike that's relatively flat and along the beach. We went on the first day after a rainy spell, so the ground was a bit muddy.

Waiamea Valley

It's more of a botanical garden than anything else. Nice to stroll through, but kind of pricey ($20/per) for what it is.

dinner

Japanese Food Truck No. 7

Pretty good for food truck food. Sometimes I crave udon so this place hits the spot.

Mitch's Fish Market

It's not bad - the nigiri is fine. The hand rolls were quite good. Apparently Obama has been here.

Opal Thai

Kind of cool. The head chef takes a survey on what the table likes and doesn't like and makes food from there. He's very opinionated.

Yamada Chikara

Everything is delicious and the stream of food feels never ending. Come with an empty stomach.

Sadly, it looks like this spot closed for good recently.

Fooki

The pork belly rice and the beef scallion noodles were really good. Other dishes were a miss.

Izakaya Pau Hana Base

It's not bad, but not super special. The mackerel was pretty good.

Zippy's

Apparently this is a Hawaiian staple. I thought it would be fast food but feels more like a diner.

lunch

Poke for the People

Pretty good poke, though not anything special.

Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin

Delicious, but you do need a reservation. We got the specialty pork katsu which was quite good.

McDonald's

Yes, it's just McDonald's. But they have some Hawaiian specialty items! We had the Saimin (kind of like instant ramen with a seafood broth maybe?) and a breakfast plate (rice! and sausages). Not amazing but worth a try.

Machete's Mean Sandwiches

A refreshingly simple, but tasty sandwich. I like that they use plain sliced white bread.

transit

Rental Car

Transit more or less doesn't exist. There's The Bus, but service is infrequent and inconvenient.

Unless you're exclusively doing things in Waikiki, getting a car seems to be an unfortunate necessity.

sushi

Sushi Maru

I recall this being good, though I'm writing this 6 months after the fact. Atmosphere was pretty relaxed and I remember enjoying talking with the chef.

Sushi Sho

Unfortunately, I haven't eaten at the restaurant yet - it seems hard to get into. They sell takeout bento boxes though, that are quite good.