Everyone knows Liliha Bakery, but there’s a lot more to this historic neighborhood than coco puffs.
photography by David Croxford
1 Shimazu Store
Shave ice has evolved considerably since its plantation beginnings, but the icy treat is still measured by its original flavor. “Today, all good shave ice is judged by strawberry,” says Shimazu Store owner Kelvin Shimazu. “I feel like I make the best strawberry.” Treat yourself to a bright red cone or the 56 other exotic flavors—many of them invented by Shimazu himself—that fill out the extensive menu. Be your own judge of such flavors as sweet wholeseed, li hing pickled mango and even durian. 330B N. School St.
2 Jane’s Fountain
The jukebox. The handwritten menu. The affordable comfort food. The only thing missing at Jane’s Fountain is Fonzi in a leather jacket. As old-time diners go, Jane’s is one of the last relics of a simpler Hawaii. In 2006, however, rumors swirled that the long-time establishment was ready to say aloha. Fortunately for saimin-lovers, it appears that the diner still has a few more bowls of won ton min in its future. That’s a relief, because unlike the Fonz, classic eateries like Jane’s never appear on reruns. 1719 Liliha St., 533-1238.
3 L&L Drive-Inn
At the original L&L Drive-Inn, that delicious smell isn’t hamburgers, it’s nostalgia. The restaurant may have the same name and familiar menu—manager Sam Pun says the barbecue chicken is as popular as ever—but this 31-year-old eatery looks nothing like the shiny franchises that have sprouted all over Hawaii. Grab a plate lunch and party like it’s 1976 all over again. 1711 Liliha St., 533-3210.
4 Korean Christian Church
When it came time to replace the deteriorating entryway to the Korean Christian Church, Pastor Samuel Kim says the church “wanted to preserve some significance of Korea within the building.” That’s only fitting, since the church was founded in 1918 by the first president of the Republic of Korea. It took six years to complete the 42-foot pagoda-style structure, but when it was dedicated in 2006, the mammoth replica of Seoul’s 600-year-old Kyung Bok Palace proved to be a vibrant link to the country. 1832 Liliha St., 536-3538.
5 Creations by You
From wedding favors to chic jewelry, Creations by You is a fun hideaway for do-it-yourselfers. “We carry things that no one else carries,” says owner Debbie Chaiprakorb. For more than 18 years, customers have jumped at the chance to be their own designers at this family-run store. Don’t know which ribbon to choose or how to start that handmade bracelet? Not a problem. There are completed samples throughout the store as well as twice-weekly classes for eager learners. 1801 Liliha St., 536-5255.
|Did you know? Liliha was named for the woman who became governor of Oahu in 1829, after her husband, Gov. Boki, disappeared, according to Place Names of Hawaii. In 1831, Liliha tried, but failed, to organize a revolt against Kamehameha III.|