Best of Honolulu 2015: Services

The 41 editorial and readers’ pick for the most helpful services from our Best of Honolulu 2015 issue.

Best of Services Editor’s Pick

Best One-Stop Shop for Film Photography

Photo: David Croxford


Whether you’re a novice looking to get started or a seasoned pro, Treehouse has the best selection of film, analog cameras and darkroom supplies on O‘ahu, plus helpful workshops, film swap meets, walkabouts and exhibitions of local talent. If you’re a film enthusiast, this is the place to be. You can also drop off your undeveloped film at Treehouse, which sends the rolls out to one of three local photo labs (including Rainbow Photo Video) or The FIND Lab, a Utah company that specializes in film, founded by local photographer Jonathan Canlas. Owner Bobby Asato says Treehouse even supplies schools to “keep the art alive” through education, as more and more people  turn to digital. But, as Treehouse proves, film is certainly not dead. 

250 Ward Ave ., Suite 233, 597-8733,


Best place to get your film developed

As Longs Drugs phases out its photo film-development services, it’s time to look for a local alternative that won’t ship your precious rolls to the Mainland. At Rainbow Photo Video’s photo lab, you can develop regular 35mm as well as 120 and 220 medium-format color film, plus 135mm and 120 black-and-white film, all within one day (or one hour, if needed). Manager Eric Phillips says they use a chemical process—not dry, as many labs do—to develop film because the prints last longer that way. He also says Rainbow is the only photo lab on the island that does E-6 processing for color reversal film such as Fujichrome. Plus, prices start at $5 to process a roll, 24 cents a print. It pays to shop local.

661 Ke‘eaumoku St., Suite 101A, 943-0276, 


Best chinese herb shop

Photo: Thinkstock 


Chinatown can be an intimidating and confusing place to navigate if you’re not sure what you want, but Gary and Nancy Lin make you feel right at home in their shop, Hou Ren Tong. Glass cases filled with prepackaged medicines and supplements make up the counter, behind which are dozens of drawers filled with loose herbs ready to be weighed out and combined in personalized treatments. The Lins are both licensed acupuncturists, as well, so go for the full traditional Chinese medicine experience.

183 N. King St., 521-7623 


Best Watch Repair

Stopped watches run in our family, so thank goodness we happened to pass by the fourth-floor counter at Macy’s at Ala Moana to find loyal customers from back when it was located at Sears. Four repairs later—two sports, two treasures inherited—we’re hooked. Doesn’t matter if it’s crowded, manager Jason Billand (who was manager at Sears) and associate Mason McWayne are never less than charming. Not running, soaked in the bath, new band or battery—Billand will whisk Grandma’s sparkler into the back room and work
magic. “People come from Maui and (other) Neighbor Islands now,” says McWayne. “Nobody else can do what Jason does with repairs.” Plus, they don’t even try to upsell you a Rolex, as happens everywhere else.

On the fourth floor, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd., 955-1059,


Best Tattoo Artist

Photo: David Croxford


Tattoo art is subjective—so how to find the best local artist? We posed a single question to more than a dozen local tattoo shops and artists: “Who, on O‘ahu, excluding yourself (or anyone in your shop), would you want to tattoo you?” Billy Whitney rose to the top. A founder of 808 Tattoo Studio, Okinawan-born Whitney came to Hawai‘i when he was 15, graduated from Mililani High, apprenticed with Jesse Perrin and, in 2000, started working at Gunpoint in Kailua. From quiet beginnings, he pushed himself artistically, going back to Okinawa to study Asian art and tattoos. He opened 808 Tattoo with Brian Takishita on his return; today, the studio has nine artists. “I do Japanese-style tattooing, but more traditional Japanese than you see now—I borrow lots from the 1930s and 1940s,” he says. “The old style was meant to last a lifetime; nowadays you see a lot of crazy detail, but it goes bad in four or five years, especially with the sun here in Hawai‘i.” With a wait time for appointments running three to four months, a Whitney tattoo isn’t an impulse decision. But, since tattoos are for life, there’s no need to rush.

46-018 Kamehameha Highway, #211, Kāne‘ohe, 234-1501, 


Best old-house whisperer

For an older house, a handyman like Jeff Jersets is a craftsman who time travels. Making old things work in the present—like those beautiful but tricky 1930-era sash windows—he isn’t stymied by hardware selections and screen sizes City Mill and Home Depot have never heard of.  His immaculate mobile workshop, an ark of ingenuity, is one reason his praises are sung by clients, including regular hosannas in Japanese on KZOO. Another secret to his success? “I always return phone calls.” (Just not when he’s on the job.)

Professional Home Repairs, 396-1697 


Best of Services Readers’ Pick

Best Landscaper

Photo: David Croxford

Mulkern Landscaping & Nursery, our readers’ top pick for the best landscapers in Honolulu, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Over those four decades, Kevin and Susan Mulkern have cultivated a purposely small, devoted clientele base. “It’s a family business, and my dad has wanted to keep things on a small, personal scale,” says daughter and assistant vice president Dorothy Mulkern. “He knows all his customers by name.” The company offers a full range of services, from garden maintenance to ponds and waterfalls, and Dorothy says one of the biggest benefits they provide is their network of related experts. “Our customers usually value their gardens and want someone they can trust,” she says. “Someone who can spot problems before they get worse. You need somebody who knows when to call a mason because a wall next to the garden is breaking down. Or when to call an arborist. It’s not just about the landscape itself, but about paying attention to the surroundings.” Remember, the nursery is only open on Saturdays.

41-639 Kaulukanu St., Waimānalo, 396-6595,


Best Eyelash Extensions 

Photo: Courtesy of Luxe Lashes

“What sets us apart? We’re more of a beauty boutique,” says Leann Kirk of Luxe Lashes. “We customize the different looks for each customer after an initial consultation to find out about their lifestyle, what look best suits them.” Kirk’s technicians go through a six-month training and apprenticeship. “We are known for excellent service and highest-quality products, which includes the assurance that all of our technicians are licensed and certified,” adds Kirk. “We also provide a different ambiance. Husbands and boyfriends are welcome to come and wait.” Customers choose between Prime Silk, Faux Mink and Authentic Siberian Mink, but also between levels of technicans and price points: $250/senior, $150/junior, $100/apprentice and $300 for Kirk herself.

Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., 2-E; 566-0929,


Best Laser Hair Removal

With some of the most advanced technology on the market, treatments that last a mere 15 to 30 minutes and a sparkling, luxe facility that puts guests at ease, Honolulu MedSpa has a bevy of devoted followers who are smitten with their smooth new skins. Not to mention that it emphasizes absolutely painless procedures in its laser hair removal. (Honolulu MedSpa was the first laser hair removal facility to introduce the painless Soprano ICE technology to Hawai‘i.) All procedures come with a free consultation in order to discern how to best and most comfortably tackle a client’s skin tone and hair texture within a schedule that fits the client’s needs. Treatment areas range from upper lips and chins to legs and bikini areas.

1650 Liliha St., Suite 102, 528-0888, 


Best Car Rental

For O‘ahu residents, renting a car isn’t just a vacation thing—it’s a real-life thing. Sometimes we’re moving and need extra space, or our own car is in the shop for a few days—either way, we usually are in no mood to make a long side trip to the airport. That Enterprise has locations not just at the airport but spread through town and even in Kailua makes it much easier to rent a car without throwing off our hectic schedules. No wonder HONOLULU’s readers voted Enterprise as their favorite car rental option. 


Best Veterinarian

Since opening in 2010, the Kaka‘ako Pet Hospital has impressed pet lovers with its full range of services, from medical to alternative treatments to grooming and boarding. But readers really gush about Dr. Pauline Koreyasu, a DVM who also specializes in veterinarian dentistry, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, citing her openness and creative approach to treatment and rehabilitation. Born and raised on the Windward Side, she is joined by Big Island native Dr. Warren Sakamoto, DVM, who recently returned to Hawai‘i after 30 years in practice in Long Beach, California. Reflecting his passion for continuing education in best practices, Sakamoto is the only Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in the state.

815 Queen St., 592-9999,


Best Auto Detailer

Capone’s Ultimate Detailing

844 Queen St., 457-1519,


Best Auto-Insurance Company


711 Kapi‘olani Blvd., Suite 300, 593-1010, 


Best Automotive Repair

Lex Brodie’s Tire, Brake and Service Co.

Multiple locations,


Best Bank

Bank of Hawai‘i

Multiple locations,


Best Catering & Event Planning

Gourmet Events Hawai‘i

1917 Colburn St., 735-7788,


Best Cell Phone Service


Multiple locations,


Best Chiropractor

Global Health Chiropractic

677 Ala Moana Boulevard, Suite 914, (808) 521-9686,


Best Cleaning Service

Maid in O‘ahu

333 Saratoga Road, #89602, 664-0036,


Best Cosmetic Surgery

Asia Pacific Plastic Surgery

1401 S. Beretania St., Suite 888, 585-8855


Best Dry Cleaner

Hakuyosha Clean Living

Multiple locations,


Best Financial Advisors

Edward Jones

1001 Bishop St., #1080,    


Best General Contractor

Atlas Construction

1302 N. School St., 951-9500,


Best Hair Salon

W Salon

401 Kamakee St. Suite 104, 943-2700,


Best Handyman Service

ABC Handyman Hawai‘i

430 Lewers St., 722-1120,


Best Home Appliance Store


Multiple locations,


Best Home-Insurance Company

State Farm


Best Home Painters

Bernardo’s Painting

94-716 Lanikūhana Ave., Mililani, 384-0864,


Best Home Security Service

Alert Alarm of Hawai‘i

2668 Waiwai Loop, 521-5000,


Best Internet Service Provider

Oceanic Time Warner Cable Road Runner


Best Luxury Car Dealer

Servco Lexus-Honolulu

650 Kapi‘olani Blvd., 545-3987, 


Best Mani/Pedi Spa

Heaven on Earth Salon and Day Spa

1050 Alakea St., 599-5501,


Best Pest Control Company

Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions

96-1385 Waihona St., Building A, Pearl City, 456-7716,


Best Plumbing Service

Diamond Head Plumbing

1039 11th Ave., 734-4344,


Best Pool Service

O‘ahu Pool & Spa

4218 Wai‘alae Ave., 735-4548,


Best Real Estate Firm

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Advantage Realty

4211 Wai‘alae Ave., Box 9050, 738-3600,


Best Retirement Community

Kāhala Nui

4389 Malia St., 218-7200,


Best Roofing Company

David’s Custom Roofing & Painting

96-1217 Waihona St., Second Floor, Pearl City, 833-1633,


Best Solar Company


210 Ward Ave., Suite 140, 748-8888,


Best Storage Company

Hawai‘i Self Storage

Multiple locations,


Best Waxing Salon

Aimee French Waxing

1272 S. King St., Suite 203, 226-0686