Field Guide: Waipahu

This former sugar town offers good eats, unique furniture and a lesson in history.

Photo: David Croxford

Poke Stop

Chef and owner of the Poke Stop, Elmer Guzman (in photo at left) has worked under famous chefs such as Alan Wong, Sam Choy and Emeril Lagasse, but now spends his time preparing unique poke and seafood dishes. “Poke Stop has a gourmet touch and quality, but you’re paying plate-lunch prices,” he says. The shop packs in more than 25 varieties of poke behind its glass containers. Guzman says he has a wide variety of loyal customers and some of the poke favorites include creamy ahi, hamachi, ginger-scallion shrimp and king crab leg. Customers can get their poke fix at the Waipahu or the Mililani Mauka location, and this spring the shop will appear on the Food Network. 94-050 Farrington Highway, 676-8100.




Photo: David Croxford

Hawaii Plantation Village

Take a step back in time as you enter the Hawaii Plantation Village. This outdoor museum exhibits the lifestyles of the Islands’ plantation workers, who arrived between the late 1800s and the 1940s to work in the fields and mills. You can check out original and replicated homes and community buildings of the era, complete with plantation artifacts. The Hawaii Plantation Village opened in 1992 and is operated by the Friends of the Waipahu Cultural Garden Park. 94-695 Waipahu St., 677-0110.


Photo: David Croxford


Highway Inn

This Hale Aina Award-winning restaurant boasts a delicious and authentic menu of Hawaiian food. The small restaurant, which opened in 1947, is a Waipahu mainstay, its tables always filled and its waitstaff friendly and helpful. We recommend the kalua pig combo, which comes with big portions of kālua pig, poi or white rice, mac salad or lomi salmon, pipikaula and haupia. You’ll want to take a nap afterward. 94-226 Leoku St., B1, 677-4345. 


Photo: David Croxford


Oriental Furniture Outlet

You won’t find particle-board shelves or dressers at the Oriental Furniture Outlet; the warehouse specializes in rosewood handcrafted in China. The spacious warehouse has rows of sofas with ornately carved wood backs, rosewood hutches, armoires and grandfather clocks. Oriental Furniture Outlet also carries small and large Asian vases, and jade and ceramic figurines. 94-303 Farrington Highway, 678-8888.




Did you know?

The Cutter Chrysler Jeep dealership in Waipahu is the former home of Top’s Restaurant, part of the now defunct Spencecliff chain of restaurants. You can still see traces of the restaurant’s architecture, such as the turned-up corners of the roof and the brick walls.