Best of Honolulu 2016: Services
The 10 editorial and reader picks for the best services in the city.
In a field where any “man with a van” can go on Craigslist and call himself a mover, Kama‘āina Movers rose to the top for moves within O‘ahu the old-fashioned way: word of mouth. The company ranked in the top three of recommendations in calls to Realtors and real estate companies. “Moving to Hawai‘i” forums and tip websites narrowed the field to two. Social media and online reviews produced a clear people’s favorite in Kama‘āina Movers, so don’t be put off by the no-frills website; call the number or fill out the online form. If they can’t take your call, they’ll automatically text you (only if you’re calling from a cell).
2630 Kapi‘olani Blvd., 275-7155.
Best Way to get Ikea items to Hawai‘i
Photo: David Croxford
In recent years, Honolulu has been blessed with many of the formerly Mainland-only chains we once pined for—Target, Zara, Magnolia Bakery. One of the last hold-outs: Ikea. Fortunately, there is a way to get that fantastic Swedish design into your house: Haul2HI. This locally based reshipping service will bring your Ikea order to Hawai‘i for you—anything from a dresser set to a bed frame. And, if you’re wary of buying furniture sight unseen, owner Jane Murao keeps a 600-square-foot showroom stocked with examples of Ikea’s most popular items. “I visit Ikea stores on the Mainland pretty frequently, to stay as up to date and knowledgeable as possible,” she says. Haul2HI brings in a new shipment every two weeks—visit haul2hi.com to get started. Now the main reason to visit a Mainland Ikea location will be the meatballs.
1216 Kaumuali‘i St. #B, 462-9544.
Best Restaurant Supply
Photo: David croxford
Most people assume ChefZone is only for restaurant owners and chefs. Not so. The 45,000-square-foot facility located on Ualena Street, which opened last year, welcomes anyone looking for restaurant-quality produce, ingredients, equipment and utensils. Consider it a one-stop shop for serious home cooks. You can find everything from locally baked breads to silicone forms to make the perfect nigiri sushi to five-gallon buckets of shoyu. It’s also the only place on O‘ahu where you can buy grass-fed Paniolo Cattle Co. beef that’s raised and finished entirely on Hawai‘i Island. Fresh fish is coming soon.
2888 Ualena St., 852-6700, chefzone.com.
Photo: Catherine Toth Fox
There are five things we look for in a coffice (half coffee shop, half office): great coffee, comfortable seating, outlets for charging your phone and laptop, friendly staff who don’t kick you out, and free (and reliable) wi-fi. Bread & Butter has all that plus stellar French toast. With huge, floor-to-ceiling windows that let in natural light, and cozy seating complete with pillows, this café and wine bar is our favorite place to work on our laptops, meet appointments and ponder assignments over fresh coffee and a smoked-‘ahi-salad sandwich. (You can even order a glass of wine or pint of craft beer, too, if that’s the kind of day you’re having.)
1585 Kapi‘olani Blvd., 949-3430, alohabreadbutter.com.
Best Custom Calligraphy Services
Photo: Courtesy of Kelsey Nishi
Kelsey Nishi founded Hawai‘i Calligraphy two years ago, and her gorgeous, eclectic lettering prowess and versatility have won her a devoted following with wedding coordinators, stationery makers and brides to be. “In a way, I feel like I get to be a part of the happiest day of their life,” says Nishi. That means addressing envelopes, crafting wooden signs and whipping up laser-cut cake toppers in styles ranging from whimsical and organic to elegant and ultra-classic, with swirling flourishes and crisp lines. Nishi also offers regular beginner classes and even calligraphy starter kits stocked with everything you need to embark on a lettering journey, including nibs, ink and paper.
Best Dog Kennel
Photo: Aaron Yoshino
“Nalo” is a name that comes up frequently when talking to owners of purebreds and show dogs. “To me, if you do good work, the mouth does the advertising,” says Bonnie Duarte, who, with husband Wayne, has run Nalowinds Boarding Kennels in Waimānalo since 1979. All dogs are boarded on the 1-acre site, unlike those outfits that farm dogs out, VRBO style. And they get Bonnie’s trained eye, honed from 35 years of working for a veterinarian clinic (now part time). “That couple of hours at work really helps in keeping up with the latest medical developments. You have to be able to know dogs, not just love them.” Book a couple of months early for private and public-school vacation periods.
41-502 Flamingo St., 259-7349, nalowindskennels.com.
Best Bike Shop
Photo: Aaron Yoshino
With a missing letter O, the sign out front technically reads, “Sporting Gods,” but the name fits. Since 1923, McCully Bicycle and Sporting Goods has been taking care of Hawai‘i’s bikes as part of a tradition passed down from grandfather to father to son. The store is packed with more than 50 kinds of bikes, as well as fishing and athletic equipment, GoPro devices, even vitamins and meal supplements. Down the street, close to Puck’s Alley, McCully Bicycle also operates a separate, dedicated warehouse for repairs and maintenance.
2124 S. King St., 955-6329, mccullybike.com.
Best Plumbing Service
You know the slogan already: If you can see Diamond Head, call them. Owner Bob Hazzard originally developed this longlived catch phrase as a way to attract customers: “[Diamond Head] is a geological fixture, half a million people can see it, it’s perfect.” Since 1977, Diamond Head Plumbing has been O‘ahu’s plumbing expert, offering pipe and drain repair services, 24-hour emergency response and (if can) same-day service. Licensed and insured to top industry standards, the best part about being in business for nearly 40 years on one island is that there’s little that stumps these guys when it comes to pipes, fixtures, tanks, heaters and more. They’ll even do bathroom and kitchen remodels.
1039 11th Ave., 734-4344, diamondheadplumbinginc.com.
Best Painting Contractor
It’s not hard to find a company that can give your place a fresh coat of paint. But how about one with 20 years of experience, DBE, UDBE and Lead (RRP) Safety certified, and an accredited A+ with the Better Business Bureau? That’s Kalakoa Painting, which has worked with everything from painting 100-home subdivisions on the Big Island to striping the H-1 Freeway on O‘ahu. “Our motto is quality, safety and integrity,” co-owner Mihwa Jervis says. “We deliver that message to all our employees, to look at each location we visit like it’s our own house or business and to treat it as such.”
354 Uluniu St., Suite 102, Kailua, 744-0082, kalakoapainting.com.
When the furriest member of your family gets sick or injured, you look for the best care possible. Head to Kaka‘ako Pet Hospital for its top-of-the-line medical, surgical, and dental services, plus alternative Chinese herbal therapy and even acupuncture. “Both our doctors are certified acupuncturists,” practice manager Laura Tavares says. “And no anesthesia necessary. The dogs especially love it; it makes them really relaxed and they usually get a little massage, too.” Pet health care is more than just emergency services: Kaka‘ako Pet Hospital offers preventive and upkeep care, too, including boarding and grooming, new puppy exams and vaccinations—everything to keep your pet healthy and happy.
815 Queen St., 592-9999, kakaakopethospital.com.