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>>Best Bar Food


2233 Helumoa Road | 237-6999 | noburestaurants.com/waikiki

photo: rae huo



"Bargain” might not be a word you associate with Hale Aina Award-winning NOBU WAIKIKI, but that’s exactly what you’ll find at happy hour in its bar and lounge area, between 5 and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. For $10 or less per plate, you can savor yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno, Wagyu beef and foie gras gyoza, truffle cabbage tobanyaki and a bunch of other gourmet treats.



1683 Kalakaua Ave. | 942-2237

photo: rae huo



Sometimes you want foie gras and Wagyu beef; other times, nothing hits the spot better than fried potatoes drenched in gooey cheese and sour cream. HOME BAR AND GRILL’s Tater Tot Nachos might not make your arteries, or your trainer, happy, but there’s no denying the primal appeal of this amped-up version of comfort food.






>>Best Local Rum


photo: david croxford

Hawaii’s rum industry has blossomed, with four Hawaii brands now sitting on liquor store shelves, and rumors of a fifth in the works. We rounded up a half dozen of our non-teetotaling colleagues, opened four bottles of local light rum and a box of palate-cleansing crackers, conducted a blind taste test and declared a winner: KOLOA RUM CO.'s Kauai White. It’s both distilled and bottled locally (not all of the brands can say that) using Garden Isle water and sugar. Before Kauai’s last sugar plantation folded in 2010, Koloa stockpiled tens of thousands of pounds of its sugar, enough to last, at this point, another three to five years. In the meantime, the distillery has planted its own sugarcane and is experimenting with replacing processed sugar with fresh-pressed cane juice. Our taste testers gave second place to Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum, made on Maui. Honorable mentions went to both Old Lahaina Silver Rum (which hinted of rubbing alcohol) and Maui Platinum Rum (with notes of shower curtain and vinyl swimming pool).