Best of Honolulu 2014: Food
The 32 editorial and reader picks for tastiest food from our Best of Honolulu 2014 issue.
(page 5 of 8)
Best Pearl Milk Tea
Did we really need another pearl milk tea spot? Looking to Taste Tea on a recent, humid Sunday night, when the line was 30 people deep, the answer appeared to be a resounding yes. What sets Taste Tea apart: more than six varieties of teas brewed daily, including jasmine green tea and chrysanthemum pu-er tea (the fragrant flowers blended with a Chinese fermented tea), and perfectly cooked, chewy tapioca pearls. Customize the sweetness level of your tea and add anything from coffee jelly to ice cream to your cup.
Taste Tea, 1391 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite 105, 951-8288
Best On-the-Farm Treat
However you get to the Kahuku Farms’ Farm Cafe, whether it’s by tractor after the farm tour or by car coming up Kamehameha Highway, you have to get the hot, grilled banana bread, doused in caramel and haupia syrup and topped with apple-banana ice cream. The bananas come from the farm, of course, and the deliciousness from pure magic. At least, it seems that way.
The grilled banana bread at Kahuku Farms’ Farm Cafe, 56-800 Kamehameha Highway, Kahuku, 293-8159, kahukufarms.com
Best Hidden Gem for Noodles
Ireh, a humble little place on Keeaumoku Street, is somewhere you can go anytime, morning to evening, for ultimate Korean-food comfort. But if you think that means just jap chae and bibimbap, prepare for something different. Ireh offers noodle dishes not found elsewhere in town: “chewing noodle,” extra elastic, chewy noodles made with potato starch; herb-y, sesame-leaf, hand-shaved noodles that are more like shards of dough; and noodles in a refreshing, cold soy milk and fresh-ground peanut broth. The Korean grilled-meat palaces are getting all the buzz these days, but it’s this little shop, with its fresh and homey preparations, that quietly satisfies from day to night.
Ireh, 911 Keeaumoku St., 943-6000, irehrestaurant.com