Too often, the trip from Honolulu to Kahuku is a well-beaten path from downtown to the comforts of a single resort.
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Fiji Market Curry
A family-owned business tucked in the back of the Kahuku Sugar Mill complex, the tiny takeout window at the back of the Indian specialty market pumps out amazing curry from a Fijian/Indian family recipe. The “pinch of this, dash of that” dishes are made in the back by Mom. Distinct in that there’s no coconut milk in the recipes, you can get tender lamb chunks, tiger shrimp sautéed to order and a rotating vegetarian dish, like eggplant in a curry tomato sauce. Each plate comes a side of fresh-baked roti flatbread or rice. Trust us, get the roti and sop up all the sauce by hand. 56-565 Kamehameha Highway, fijimarkethawaii.com.
Hilton Alves didn’t know what he was getting into when he invited 600 kids to help him finish an outdoor mural at Laie Elementary. “The kids just went crazy, painting everywhere!” he says, plastering fish and sea life well beyond the boundaries of the mural. A self-taught artist who moved to Hawaii from his native Brazil to stand-up paddle race, Alves loves these volunteer community art projects. “I started painting at 20. If someone had showed me how to paint when I was little, maybe I could have started sooner.” His sea life paintings are sold at Wyland Galleries—the artist is his hero—and he spends Sundays at the Haliewa Farmers’ Market selling his work. Ten of his murals pepper the North Shore, mostly on schools, from Kahuku to Waialua. theartofhilton.com.
Ice Cream Social
Nearly two decades before the food truck craze, Jerry Coffman was driving his Lickety Split ice cream sundae truck around Kahuku, Laie and Hauula. Today he has three trucks that pump out soft serve with all the fixin’s: real hot fudge and hot caramel, pineapple, strawberry and sprinkles. He does banana splits, brownie sundaes and floats. Though his mainstay is the North Shore—he winds through neighborhoods and beaches—Coffman’s trucks drive all the way to Aiea and Kaneohe, hitting each community every third day. “If I did it any more, the parents would kill me!” licketysplitoahu.com.