2013 Hale Aina Awards: When to eat where
Our readers named the best restaurants in the Islands. To help you navigate the wealth of great dining, we lead you through a year-long itinerary of Hale Aina eating: when to eat where.
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Fish souvlaki at Olive Tree Cafe.
Photos by Olivier Koning, Martha Cheng
To whet your appetite for the Greek Festival and Olive Tree’s loukoumathes, fried dough tossed with honey and nuts, stop by the Olive Tree Café (Best Greek, gold). Dine on fresh fish souvlaki, doused in tzatziki and wrapped in a warm pita, or perhaps the shawarma, a spicy ground lamb patty balanced with tahini. Yeagantes, a giant white bean salad, and tabbouleh are among the piquant starters. Add a bottle of wine (Olive Tree is BYOB), settle into the summer night air on the outside patio with Greek music playing, and pretend you’re at a Santorini café, not next to a parking lot. Make sure to finish with dessert—the orange-flower-water perfumed baklava, perhaps, or choose from recently expanded dessert offerings that have included a mascarpone tart and date and rum cake.
Warm August evenings, check. What about August mornings? Answer: breakfast at Longhi’s (Best Breakfast, bronze), with its open-air seating overlooking Ala Moana Beach Park. Order fresh-squeezed orange juice (founder Bob Longhi was adamant that all his restaurants serve fresh-squeezed OJ) and French toast or buttermilk pancakes and pour on (real) maple syrup. Those who prefer a more savory breakfast veer toward Longhi’s benedicts, such as the crab cake or lobster ones, which ditch hockey-puck English muffins for toasted, airy French bread slices.
French Toast at Longhi's.
Photo by Martha Cheng