Best of Honolulu 2014: Services
The 30 editorial and reader picks for the most helpful services from our Best of Honolulu 2014 issue.
Best Knife Sharpening
Chris Greywolf, aka Wolf, would rather be making armor and swords or leading the Khanate of the Golden Horde. But even the founder of a Mongolian living-history group has to pay the bills. Hence, Cutting Edge Sharpening. Greywolf sharpens blades for many of the meat markets and restaurants around town, including Whole Foods, Sansei Waikīkī and 3660 On The Rise. And if you really want a Japanese katana to slice through fish, he can make you that, too.
Cutting Edge Sharpening, 1822 Young St., 277-2738, by appointment only
Best Gourmet Chefs for Hire
For the ultimate dinner party, Philippe and Pierre Padovani will take over your kitchen and prepare the sort of multicourse French meal they once served at Padovani’s Grill. Although the brothers Padovani have closed their restaurant to devote themselves to making gourmet chocolate (guess what’s for dessert?), they have not lost their flair for filling dinner with French hospitality and panache. “We create a show, we speak to the guests and everybody feels great when they leave,” says Philippe. Rates start at $2,000 for six guests, and the Padovanis bring everything but the wine, which, presumably, you pull from your own personal wine cellar.
Philippe and Pierre Padovani, 536-4567, padovanichocolates.com
Best Jewelry Appraisal
Having a regular gemologist appraise your jewelry is kind of like having a geologist appraise iron ore from Mars—they both know the rock, but not necessarily the setting. When having jewelry appraised, it’s best to put a certified jewelry appraiser on the job. Karl Nakamura of Iridium Jewelry is a certified senior member of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers, as well as a second-generation jeweler who began polishing gems for his father at age 16. He also serves as an expert witness when jewelry disputes end up in court. Have him appraise your jewelry early on, and you can avoid disputes before they arise.
Karl Nakamura of Iridium Jewelry, 1162 Waimanu St., 597-8223, iridiumjewelers.com
Best Jewelry Repair
Any bargain-rate jeweler can repair inexpensive jewelry. But when the good stuff needs fixing, consider the guy many of Honolulu’s leading jewelry stores go to when they can’t tackle repairs in-house. Eric Gold of Nova Gold Jewels is a jeweler’s jeweler. He’s got some of the most state-of the-art tools on the island (a nifty laser welder, for instance), and he applies them with hands that have more than 40 years of experience. Repairs by appointment only.
Eric Gold of Nova Gold Jewels, 1314 S. King St., Suite 613, 592-4653, novagoldjewels.com
Best New Life for Old Patio Furniture
Nothing says faded glory quite like the broken straps on a fine set of outdoor furniture. Mekala Powdercoat & Patio Manufacturing, which has been building and restoring patio furniture for hotels and condominiums for three decades, makes weather-beaten loungers, tables and chairs look new again. After sandblasting the frames, Mekala bakes them in a powdercoating oven, where baby-powder-fine pigment is electrostatically bonded to the metal or aluminum, for a coating so durable it’s used on aircraft parts (which Mekala also restores). If the seats have broken straps, Mekala will re-strap them as tight as drum heads.
Mekala Powdercoat & Patio Manufacturing, 91-210 Kauhi St., 682-3881, mekalapowdercoat.com
Best Auto Glass Tinting
We know our limits when it comes to DIYing, and car window tinting is way over the line. We’ve seen too many botched, bubble-filled tint jobs on the streets of Honolulu to go there. But of all the professional window tinters on the island, who’s the best? We asked car care expert George Nitta, host of the Hawaiian Automotive 101 radio show on KHNR-AM. He recommends a small shop in Kalihi called ProTint Hawaii. “They do a really nice job,” Nitta says. Owner Dwight Matsuo has been darkening glass since 1982, and he does it with an old-fashioned attention to detail that the kids tinting windows today don’t seem to have.
ProTint Hawaii, 730 Moowaa St., Bay F, 847-8468
Best Independent Apple Repair
As a certified “iTech” for iCracked, the worldwide network of independent Apple repair technicians, Tim Chun of iTech Hawaii has been trained to repair Apple iOS devices. In other words, when you nearly destroy your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, he’s the guy who can fix it—and for less than the Apple Store will charge if your device is out of warranty. Chun has been tearing apart and reassembling computers since he was 14, so he knows his way around the motherboards of Macs and PC computers, too.
Tim Chun of iTech Hawaii, Chinese Cultural Plaza, 1260 Maunakea St., Suite 159, (818) 671-1942, itechhawaii.com
Best Open-Air Photo Booth Rental
When it comes to weddings, parties or any event with a lot of people, photo booths are the new trend. When you rent one from Studio X, even the most basic package comes with wacky props, an attendant and unlimited, customizable prints, plus a disc of all the photos. Since it’s open-air, you can cram more than a dozen people into each shot, and the dye-sublimation printer ensures the photos won’t smudge or fade. A DSLR camera and studio lighting mean you’ll get a professional-looking shot without the awkwardness of posing for a photographer, so feel free to ham it up.
Studio X, studioxphotobooth.com
Best Foot Massage
Lots of spas do foot massage. Oasis Spa specializes in it. All of its therapists are trained in Taiwanese foot reflexology, a sort of tough love for the feet. The system recognizes 32 pressure points in each foot, each corresponding to a different part of the body. Get the full hour ($65), and all 64 points get vigorously worked on, relaxing you from head to toe, while the therapist never moves above your ankles.
Oasis Spa, 1430 Kona St., 979-9000, oasisspahi.com
Best Way to Spoil Your Dog
Your dog is a raw-foodie at heart, so why not give the little carnivore what his or her heart desires? Raw Dog Hawaii has full meal plans that include beef, organic chicken, fish, a few veggies and lots of bones. All of it is fresh-frozen and, of course, mouthwateringly raw. The ingredient list reads like Alan Wong’s menu: “local grass-fed beef,” “in-season vegetables,” “local eggs,” “pasture-raised lamb … raised at the Tin Roof Ranch in Haleiwa.”
Raw Dog Hawaii, rawdoghawaii.com
Best Place to Get a Pet
All the pets at the Hawaiian Humane Society have had a bad break in life, otherwise they wouldn’t be there. That doesn’t make them bad pets. With about 100 animals ready for adoption at any given time, the Humane Society lays claim to the widest selection of pets on the island. It should be the first stop on any quest for a new dog, cat, bird, turtle, guinea pig, rabbit or lovable rodent. The online photo gallery (hawaiianhumane.org/adoptions) allows searches by breed, species, size, gender and age. Or just page through the whole heart-tugging lineup.
Hawaiian Humane Society, 2700 Waialae Ave., 356-2200, hawaiianhumane.org
Best Real Estate Firm
Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties, Multiple locations, cbpacific.com
Best Automotive Repair
Lex Brodie’s Tire, Brake and Service Co., Multiple locations, lexbrodies.com
Best Luxury Car Dealer
Servco Lexus, 650 Kapiolani Blvd., 545-3987, servcolexus.com
Best Dry Cleaner
Hakuyosha Clean Living, Multiple locations, hakuyosha.com
Best Hair Salon
W Salon, Ala Moana Center, 943-2700, wsalonhawaii.com
Moana Lani Spa, 2365 Kalakaua Ave., 237-2535, moanalanispa.com
Best Home Security Service
Alert Alarm of Hawaii, 2668 Waiwai Loop, 521-5000, alertalarmhawaii.com
Best Pest Control Company
Terminix, 550 Paiea St., Suite 508, 486-5097, terminix.com/exterminators/hawaii
Best Cell Phone Service
Best Internet Service Provider
Oceanic Time Warner, oceanic.com
Best Storage Company
Hawaii Self Storage, Multiple locations, hawaiiselfstorage.com
Best Insurance Company
State Farm, statefarm.com
Bank of Hawaii, boh.com
Best Financial Advisors
Best Solar Company
RevoluSun, 1600 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite 1700, 748-8888, revolusun.com
Mulkern Landscaping, 396-6595, mulkernlandscaping.com
Veterinary Emergency + Referral Center of Hawaii, 1347 Kapiolani Blvd., #103, 735-7735, verchawaii.com
Best Auto Detailing
Capone’s Ultimate Detail, 844 Queen St., 593-7784, caponesultimatedetail.com
Gourmet Events Hawaii, 2969 Mapunapuna Place, Suite 109, 735-7788, gourmeteventshawaii.com