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DINING IN KALIHI
By Lisa Scontras | Photos by Camera Cliq
Kalihi may be best known for some of the most legendary restaurants, bakeries and fish markets on the island. But here is something you may not know about these local favorites.
Best New York Bagels
Lox of Bagels
111 Sand Island Access Road (808) 845-2855
Whether you like yours with cream cheese, with lox, toasted or un-toasted, for breakfast or for a midnight snack, you’re sure to find some new ways to enjoy these delicious treats — in ways you probably didn’t know even existed.
While you may have heard of bagel chips, bagel sandwiches and even bagel dogs, what might come as a surprise are the bagel Danish and the bagel puff.
The bagel Danish is more than just a bagel with cream cheese and a fruit topping. In flavors of apple, strawberry and blueberry, these sweet donut shop hybrids are a celebration of warm and yummy like no other.
For those on the go, looking for a quick, no mess twist to your ordinary bagel — manapua style, with the goodies neatly packed inside — bagel puffs are filled with cream cheese or a combo with peanut butter or chocolate. Be forewarned. These are habit forming.
Great for a special weekend breakfast, or a treat any day of the week.
1620 North School Street in the Kamehameha Shopping Center (808) 841-0931
This iconic Kalihi landmark has been serving up hot meals since it opened in 1966. And perhaps its popularity is, in part, due to the fact that many residents grew up eating there with their families.
“It holds very special memories for me,” says one former Kalihi resident. “It’s been around forever. They used to have a Kenny’s Burgerhouse where the McDonald’s is now, where you could grab a quick meal … or go to the restaurant and dine in. Everyone is very friendly and they have a lot of good food options.”
If you’re in the mood for a vanilla latte, or you’re counting calories, Kenny’s has a variety of healthy choice options, noted with a red heart on the menu.
But typically, it’s the bottomless coffee and large portions of classic diner-style food folks are craving when they come to Kenny’s. That and the casual, sit-in-a-booth and chill-for-as-long-as-you-want atmosphere.
The menu includes a full breakfast menu, a variety of sandwiches for lunch, including a Reuben, classic club, turkey avocado bacon, or French dip for $11.55, that comes with a choice of fries, tossed green, Caesar, or macaroni salad or soup. Or maybe you’re in the mood for Kenny’s famous mushroom burger. Dinners include turkey pot pie, a selection of steaks, prime rib, pork chops and pizza as well as a selection of noodles, udon, chicken katsu, yakitori and a variety of other Asian dishes.
And Kenny’s specialties, Kalua pig or Laulau plate, are both served with chicken long rice, lomilomi salmon, haupia, and rice or poi, for $16.99. Kenny’s Hawaiian Plate, for $21.99, includes both laulau and kalua pig.
For dessert, you can order pie, an ice cream sundae, an apple dumpling (yum), or s’mores made the old-fashioned way with toasted marshmallows, melted chocolate and graham crackers.
In fact, everything at Kenny’s is made the old-fashioned way. That’s why folks keep coming back for more.
515 N. Kuakini Street (808) 531-1651
Celebrating 64 years of business, Liliha Bakery’s secret is that their baked products are made from scratch. Pastries are baking around the clock from 2 a.m. to 10 p.m., infusing the coffee shop and pick up counter with fresh-baked goodness no matter what time of day you stop in.
They are best known for their coco puffs — baking 3,700 a day on weekdays and 5,100 on Saturdays and Sundays — but have recently introduced a new bakery item, banana and mango chiffon cakes, that are quickly gaining a following.
But before you splurge on a flakey, buttery specialty, sink your teeth into the hamburger steak plate, the beef curry, a mahi sandwich, steak and eggs, or saimin.
Open 24 hours a day/6 days a week (closed on Mondays), the bakery crowd is steady all day long as is the coffee shop, which serves up meals from breakfast to dinner including pancakes, Portuguese sausage and eggs, grilled mahimahi and beef stew.
The most popular item at the breakfast counter is the Country Style Omelet, with your choice of meat and hotcakes.
Yes, pretty much everything at this legendary bakery is on the splurge list. But it is worth every bite (and every calorie).
Best Fresh Seafood
802 North King Street (808) 841-8047
Today, the grandsons of the original owners, Chogen and Yoshiko Tamashiro continue the family business, offering seafood direct from local fishermen and the fish auction, as well as live and fresh seafood air-flown from around the world.
If you love steamers, oysters on the half shell, decadent abalone, Maine lobsters or Samoan crabs, Tamashiro’s is the place to buy the freshest live shellfish — without paying the premium for these at high-end restaurants.
Dozens of fresh whole fish options include red snapper, flounder, catfish, opakapaka, ono, onaga, and many more. Fresh poke includes ahi Shoyu poke, blackened ahi poke, ginger shrimp poke, Hawaiian style raw crab poke, lomi salmon and spicy scallop poke, to name a few. Make your own feast with local fillets of monchong, ono, opah, ahi, and from around the world: sea bass, butterfish, hamachi, king salmon, Atlantic salmon, and many, many more.
Having a party? Why not try one of the shrimp, sashimi or poke platters in sizes to serve anywhere from 15 to 50 people?
Or check out the poke counter for lots of ready to eat bentos or poke bowls. The Hawaiian pork lau lau, kalua pig, lomi salmon and rice for $7.95, or Kalua pig plate with lomi salmon and rice for $6.45. Call 841-8047 to hear today’s specials.
1366 Dillingham Blvd. (808) 842-3663
There is something about summertime and barbecue. And if you’re looking for the best barbecue around, it’s gotta be Bob’s in Kalihi. Specializing in authentic mouth-watering, slide-off-the bones baby back ribs, the tangy hibachi chicken, and sweet, succulent kalbi short ribs, Bob’s Bar-B-Que is known for their, beef, pork, chicken and seafood plates, combos and generous portions. The diverse menu includes breakfast, burgers and sandwiches. And chocolate malts that go well with it all.
Also, find out about how partnering with Bob’s can help your favorite organization to make money. Bob’s Famous Kalua pig in 1 pound containers are not only delicious but selling them can help suit up the team in new uniforms or awards for your group’s banquet.
Did you know? You can now buy Bob’s special teriyaki sauce in a bottle for your summer barbecues at home.
Landmark worthy for making the slowdown at the H-1 Middle Street merge smell soooo good, Love’s Bakery is Hawaii’s local bakery — a tradition that began with Robert Love in 1851. Celebrating 157 years in operation, Love’s has become part of the very fabric of Hawaii’s way of life and local heritage. The bakery produces more than half a million pounds of baked products each week — including 383,000 bread units a week and 83,000 cake units — for distribution to grocery stores, military bases, restaurants, schools, and hospitals across the state.
Known for producing soft, fresh and tasty products that kids of all ages love, today, Love’s Bakery produces 144 varieties of bread, 113 varieties of buns and rolls and 114 varieties of cakes. The most popular item: wheat sandwich bread. The newest menu item: Hawaii’s Hearth Multigrain, added nearly two years ago. All of Love’s products are baked fresh in Hawaii, not shipped frozen from the Mainland — that’s what makes Love’s unique. That’s why it is so soft, and that’s why it smells so fresh.
In 1990, the bakery moved from its Kapahulu site to its current location in Kalihi. The company prides itself in being locally owned and operated. Buy local. Buy Love’s.
Love’s Bakery offers fundraising opportunities, giving organizations something other than the typical Portuguese sausage, cookies or candy bars to sell.
“Our fundraising program consists of organizations pre-selling tickets for selected bakery products,” says a spokesperson for the company. “They place their order through Love’s Bakery and pay us in advance. The organization picks up the product or we deliver to their distribution site and tickets can be redeemed at that time.”
If you are looking for a way to raise money for your organization, contact Love’s by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Kalihi location is also a Love’s Bakery Thrift Outlet Store, one of seven throughout the state. Store hours at Kalihi are Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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*NOTE: data deemed reliable but not guaranteed
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