Best of Honolulu 2014: Food
The 32 editorial and reader picks for tastiest food from our Best of Honolulu 2014 issue.
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Best Uni Pasta
Ocean’s butter melting into hot pasta, its creamy brininess coating every strand—uni pasta is luxe comfort food defined, what you eat when you’re wearing sweatpants and a pearl necklace. Except you might want to leave the sweatpants at home when you head to Arancino at The Kahala for its decadent spaghetti ai ricci di mare (available a la carte at lunch or as part of the prix fixe dinner). What sets this one apart is the abundance of uni, which leaves a lingering sweetness to haunt your dreams.
Arancino at The Kahala, 5000 Kahala Ave., 380-4400, arancino.com
We tried more than a dozen pancakes around town, and, despite new competition in the past few months, it came down to two time-tested stacks. Cafe Kaila and Liliha Bakery served the two fluffiest and most tender pancakes our forks have ever met. There were slight differences that made the decision tough: Liliha Bakery’s are lighter and more delicate, while Cafe Kaila’s have a touch of cinnamon and come with real maple syrup. But, in the end, there could be only one winner, and it’s Liliha Bakery, for its no-frills, pure pancake perfection. Plus, you can get them for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and any time in-between.
Liliha Bakery, 515 N. Kuakini St., 531-1651, lilihabakeryhawaii.com
Best French Toast
Sweetbread French toast? We’re over you. Koko Head Cafe ditches the usually soggy, one-note dish for a version we like to think of as chicken-fried French toast. It’s rolled in cornflakes and deep-fried and, as if that weren’t enough, crowned by frosted-flake gelato and candied bacon.
Koko Head Cafe, 1145C 12th Ave., 732-8920, kokoheadcafe.com