Best of Honolulu 2019: The Best Services on O‘ahu

The 47 editorial and reader picks for the places in Honolulu that make our lives just a bit easier.

Editor Picks


Best Board and Stone Class

keiki o ka aina
Photo: courtesy of keiki o ka ‘Āina


For a decade, kumu Earl Kawa‘a has taught thousands of students how to hand carve traditional Hawaiian poi boards and stone poi pounders. The rigorous three- to four-month course is offered through Keiki O Ka ‘Āina in Kalihi, Waimānalo, Punalu‘u and Mā‘ili. The revered teacher emphasizes commitment, discipline and family bonds, values that go beyond a typical woodshop class. It’s open to the public and costs about $30 to $150 for materials. “Lots of people do board and stone, but there’s something special about the way Uncle Earl delivers it,” says Momi Akana, the nonprofit’s executive director. “It comes from the heart.”Jayna Omaye

<>3097 Kalihi St., (808) 843-2502,


Best Coworking Community

waiwai collective
Photo: courtesy of waiwai collective


There are plenty of coworking spaces in Honolulu, but none like the Waiwai Collective. During normal work hours, the ground floor of the Varsity Building near UH Mānoa opens its doors to whomever would like to grab a pillow and plop down on the “lawn” in the center of the room or in pods around the perimeter. But the focus here is on community, culture and commerce for Hawai‘i’s future, emphasized by evening workshops, panel discussions and events meant to build relationships with others as well as with the land. “We know we’ve done our job when our co-workers and guests leave Ka Waiwai feeling refreshed, inspired and better connected to other innovators, creatives and change makers who are focused on Hawai‘i’s resiliency,” says Mahina Paishon-Duarte, co-founder and managing partner.Katrina Valcourt

1110 University Ave., Suite 100, (808) 892-1813,


SEE ALSO: These Two Coworking Spaces on O‘ahu Are Serious Office Goals


Best Place to Trace Your Japanese Ancestry

japanese cultural center of hawaii
Photo: David Croxford


If you’re in need of help digging into your Japanese roots, the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i is a good place to start. The nonprofit offers public access to thousands of its archived books, periodicals, video recordings and oral history transcripts. Bilingual volunteers can also translate family registries, correspondence, immigration cards and more, as well as help find documents from Japan. Call ahead and schedule a translation session. “We can help you from the start all the way through the end,” says Jacce Mikulanec, JCCH president and executive director.—JO

2454 S. Beretania St. (808) 945-7633,


Best Way to Experience Local Art

pow wow
Gif: aaron k. yoshino


Local art enriches our daily lives, whether we’re driving by or paying a visit to an exhibition. But now you can step inside the process with the artist—including Pow! Wow! muralists, painters, sculptors, conceptualists and more, including the odd B-Boy dance troupe—with Art World Escape. The genius of AWE, the app that connects art lovers with art creators, is how it dissolves the barrier between artist and audience, even allowing for hands-on participation in selected art pieces. Work on a conceptual sculpture, make a handmade book, bust a move with a dancer or learn the art of floral arranging by hooking up on your phone.Don Wallace


SEE ALSO: Swipe Right for Art: This New App Lets You Experience Honolulu Through Artists’ Eyes


Reader Picks


Best Auto Detailer


Whether you’re driving a luxury vehicle or a custom street bike, the pros at Shea’s Luxury Detailing can protect and take care of your ride. Workers wash, wax, polish, coat and vacuum basically anything on wheels, and since many of their customers are collectors—or complete car fanatics—the Shea’s team pays attention to details. “We’re always learning new skills, new tools, products and ways to provide value to our customers,” says owner Shea Mirafuentes. “If we can provide something positive in their hectic daily lives, even if it’s just for them to look at their car at the end of a crazy day and be excited to jump in and drive, then we’re happy.”James Charisma

2908 Kaihikapu St., Suite 104, (808) 232-6502,


Best Auto-Insurance Company


Best Automotive Repair

Lex Brodie’s Tire, Brake and Service Co.

Multiple locations,

Best Barbershop

Mojo Barbershop and Social Club

Multiple locations,

Best Car Rental


Multiple locations,

Best Catering & Event Planning

Gourmet Events Hawai‘i

1917 Colburn St., (808) 735-7788,


SEE ALSO: Best of Honolulu 2019: The Best Food and Drink on O‘ahu


Best Cell Phone Service


Best Chiropractor

Global Health Chiropractic

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

Best Cleaning Service

The Maids

(808) 942-8080,

Best Cooling and Air Conditioning

Air Masters Inc.

1924 Republican St., (808) 848-2473,

Best Cosmetic Surgery

Dr. Shim Ching, Asia Pacific Plastic Surgery

1401 S. Beretania St., (808) 585-8855,

Best Day Spa

Heaven on Earth Salon and Day Spa

1050 Alakea St., (808) 599-5501,

Best Dry Cleaner

Hakuyosha Clean Living

Multiple locations,

Best Eyelash Extensions

The Beauty Room

Multiple locations,


SEE ALSO: Best of Honolulu 2019: The Best of Shopping on O‘ahu


Best Financial Adviser

Edward Jones

Multiple locations,

Best Financial Institution

Bank of Hawai‘i

Multiple locations,

Best Flower Shop

Watanabe Floral Inc.

1618 N. Nimitz Highway, (808) 832-9360,

Best General Contractor

Atlas Construction

2222 Kamehameha Highway, (808) 951-9500,


Best Hair Salon


Debra Wendt first opened Color Box Hair Studio with the goal of assembling a team of experienced hairdressers, with a minimum of five years or more in the industry, to focus on color and color correction. “We have nine chairs but 11 stylists. Everything’s a team effort,” says Wendt. Interested in a new color, highlights, retouching, Keratin treatments or balayage free-hand hair coloring? Wendt and her team have you covered.—JC

711 Kamokila Blvd., Suite 102, Kapolei, (808) 674-1020, Instagram: @colorbox808, Facebook: colorboxhairstudio


Best Handyman Service

Handy Andy Hawai‘i

2646 Kilihau St., Unit B, (808) 285-3443,

Best Hardware Store

City Mill Co. Ltd.

Multiple locations,

Best Home Appliance Store


Multiple locations,

Best Home Painter

Jade Painting Inc.

94-1410 Moaniani St., Waipahu, (808) 677-5233,

Best Home Security Service

Alert Alarm of Hawai‘i

3210 Ualena St., (808) 521-5000,

Best Home-Insurance Company

State Farm

Best Internet Service Provider



Best Landscaper

mulkern landscaping and nursery
Photo: courtesy of mulkern landscaping


In 1975, Kevin and Susan Mulkern opened a landscaping business with nothing more than a mower, several hand tools and a pickup truck. Over the decades, Mulkern Landscaping & Nursery’s services have expanded to include landscaping consultation; design and planning; sprinkler installation and repair; DIY gardening with plants from Mulkern’s Waimānalo nursery; building out water features, such as fountains or waterfalls; and everything from specific landscape installations to full renovations. More than 40 years after they started, one of the only things that hasn’t changed is the family’s focus on customers. “We work very hard to listen to what our clients want to accomplish,” says Kevin Mulkern. “Everyone has a different taste, so it’s not about us telling someone what we think will look good. It’s about listening and understanding their vision, so we can bring their goals to life.”—JC

41-639 Kaulukanu St., Waimānalo, (808) 396-6595,

Best Laser Hair Removal

Honolulu Medspa

1650 Liliha St., Suite 102, (808) 528-0888,

Best Locksmith

Salz Lock & Safe

3012 Wai‘alae Ave., (808) 734-6557,

Best Luxury Car Dealer

Servco Lexus-Honolulu

650 Kapi‘olani Blvd., (808) 564-1222,

Best Mani/Pedi

Heaven on Earth Salon and Day Spa

1050 Alakea St., (808) 599-5501,

Best Pest Control Company

Kīlauea Pest Control

Multiple locations,


Best Place for a Massage

Photo: Getty Images


With five locations throughout the state, Massage Envy has won over readers with its massages, skin care regimens and stretch therapy sessions. Local specialists are trained in exfoliating facials, acne treatments, microderm infusions and more. In March, Massage Envy also began offering Hypervolt vibration massages, voted best recovery tool for athletes by Men’s Health in 2018. multiple locations,—JC

Multiple locations,


Best Plumbing Service

T&C Plumbing

2472 Komo Mai Drive, Pearl City, (808) 456-2429

Best Podiatrist

Gregory Morris

Multiple locations,

Best Real Estate Firm

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Advantage Realty

Multiple locations,


SEE ALSO: Best of Honolulu 2019: The Best of Fitness and Outdoor on O‘ahu


Best Retirement Community

The Plaza Assisted Living

Multiple locations,

Best Roofing Company

David’s Custom Roofing & Painting Inc.

96-1217 Waihona St., Pearl City, (808) 833-1633,

Best Solar Company


660 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 220A, (808) 748-8888,

Best Storage Company

Hawai‘i Self Storage

Multiple locations,

Best Transportation Company


Best Veterinarian

Kaka‘ako Pet Hospital

815 Queen St., (808) 592-9999,

Best Waxing Salon

European Wax Center

Multiple locations,