Best of Honolulu 2014: Food

The 32 editorial and reader picks for tastiest food from our Best of Honolulu 2014 issue.


Published:

(page 4 of 8)

Best Smoothies

Bodhi Cafe’s smoothies are like the fruit stands of Honolulu’s Chinatown mixed with the healthy attitude of Whole Foods. You’ll find tropical fruits such as soursop blended with almond milk, or pineapple and mango sweetening a kale-and-Okinawan-spinach concoction. Thanh Bidwell, co-owner of the now-closed, beloved Spices, opened the smoothie and juice bar in the former restaurant space. He brings a Southeast Asian bent to his drinks, opting for locally grown fruits such as durian and green mango instead of the ubiquitous frozen berries you find everywhere else. Now that’s a sensible—and sweet—sip. 
Bodhi Cafe, 2671 S. King St., Suite D, 949-2679, bodhihawaii.com

 

Best Steak Tartare

In a town where raw ‘ahi is king, it can be hard to find a good steak tartare. But it was a quest we undertook because there’s something deliciously primal about raw beef. It’s a staple of steakhouses and French brasseries, but given that we don’t have an abundance of the latter, we expanded our search into other cuisines. At Wada, we found a lovely and rich version with beef hand-sliced to order, spiked with sesame oil and chili and served with nori. Budnamujip’s yukhoe, the Korean steak tartare, was more refreshing, with crisp Asian pear and a squeeze of fresh lemon. But, in the end, a steakhouse trumped them all: BLT Steak, serving a classic version of hand-chopped beef, chunky, almost like poke, mixed with red onion and topped with fried capers for the perfect bite to cut through the meatiness. 
BLT Steak, 223 Saratoga Road, 683-7440, e2hospitality.com/blt-steak-waikiki

 

Best Salad

Honolulu is a salad desert. Thank goodness for newcomer Bills Sydney, which brings a slew of fresh dishes to town. The most famous, of course, is its ricotta hotcakes. But the sleeper hit here is one of the best salads we’ve had in a long time: the quinoa salad. Shredded beets and sprouted sunflower seeds combine with quinoa, endives and feta, finished off with a shower of chili flakes and a squeeze of lime. It’s available in the downstairs café, which, incidentally, is also where you can find some of Honolulu’s most exciting ice cream sundaes. Because who said anything about skipping dessert? 
Bills Sydney’s quinoa salad, 280 Beachwalk Ave., 922-1500, billshawaii.com

 

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