Frolic’s Top 10 Stories of 2022

The posts you bookmarked, shared and drooled over the most.


No. 10: The Best Things We Ate in Hawai‘i in 2021

Kapa Hale Char Siu Tako Melissa Chang

Kapa Hale’s char siu tako. Photo: Melissa Chang

Published: Jan. 3, 2021

Smoked oxtail, curry noodles, pizza (of course) and yes, even a salad topped Frolic writers’ highlights from a year of nonstop tasting. The best part: Some dishes, like Kapa Hale’s grilled tako with black garlic char siu (above), are still available.

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No. 9: 14 New & Coming Restaurants to Watch for on O‘ahu: May 2022, Part 1

Tight Tacos Carnitas Credit Thomas Obungen 6

Tight Tacos. Photo: Thomas Obungen

Published: May 12, 2022

Our updates of who’s opening, who’s expanding and who just opened on O‘ahu’s food scene are perennial favorites. But here’s the thing: When there’s too much to fit in one post, we split it into two—and Part 2 NEVER gets as many views. This one’s an example: A viral hit, it covered 14 eateries. But Part 2, a wealth of info about 17 eateries, got less than half the page views. We’re still trying to figure this out, especially since our first New & Coming Restaurants post of 2023 is coming up soon.

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SEE ALSO: My 5 Favorite Tacos on O‘ahu Right Now


No. 8: My Top 5 Favorite Restaurants on O‘ahu Right Now

Yakiniku Seoul Credit Martha Cheng

Yakiniku Seoul. Photo: Martha Cheng

Published: May 2, 2022

Posts like these are snapshots of our lives, since our personal go-to spots keep changing. Why? Weather (muggy days = chilled dishes, while chilly nights = hot, soupy comfort), workload (heavy deadlines often mean staying close to home), budget, mood, you name it. And sometimes, as Martha Cheng’s roundup reveals, a dining editor rediscovers a classic that’s so good she goes again and again.

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No. 7: 17 New & Coming Restaurants to Watch for on O‘ahu: February 2022

Clubhouse Mililani Sashimi Pc Clubhouse Mililani

Photo courtesy of Clubhouse Mililani

Published: Feb. 10, 2022

The good news: Eleven months after publication, most places listed as upcoming in this post have opened. The bad news: We’re still waiting for Lebanese food to return to Chinatown. Though delayed, we understand it’s still in the works.

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No. 6: You Voted: Here’s Your Top 5 Dim Sum Restaurants on O‘ahu

Mei Sum Dim Sum Assorted Mari Taketa

Mei Sum Dim Sum. Photo: Mari Taketa

Published: Aug. 16, 2022

Dim sum delivered the closest results in the history of Frolic polls: Literally one vote separated readers’ No. 3 and No. 4 favorite dim sum restaurants, and the gap between No. 1 and No. 5 was less than 2 percentage points. The obvious conclusion? When it comes to eateries specializing in the steaming morsels, O‘ahu has five winners.

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SEE ALSO: A Dim Sum Crawl of Chinatown


No. 5: What You’ll See at the New Nijiya Japanese Market at Ala Moana Center

Nijiya Japanese Supermarket Credit Thomas Obungen

Photo: Thomas Obungen

Published: Dec. 2, 2022

At its old spot on Pi‘ikoi Street, catering to expats hungry for Nihon-esque bentos and seasonal Japanese produce, Nijiya Market was never crazy busy. It remained fairly quiet even after it moved into a vastly bigger new space in Ala Moana Center—until Thomas Obungen’s quick video look went viral.

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No. 4: You Voted: Here’s Your Top 5 Oxtail Soups on O‘ahu

Zippys Oxtail Soup Mari Taketa

Oxtail soup at Zippy’s. Photo: Mari Taketa

Published: Jan. 27, 2022

A local chain, a bowling alley, a luxury retailer and two diners showcase the range of one of Hawai‘i’s favorite cold-weather classics.

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No. 3: Jan. 31 Will Mark the End for a Whole Block of Ke‘eaumoku Eateries. Here’s Where They’re Going

Sorabol Exterior Mari Taketa

Photo: Mari Taketa

Published: Jan. 17, 2022

We published this bombshell, which every local TV news outlet subsequently picked up (thanks, Hawai‘i News Now, for crediting Frolic), not just to let people know a favorite foodie neighborhood was disappearing. Many of the affected eateries were tiny, with no way of letting customers know except through Instagram or signs taped to their vacant windows. We published their relocation plans and contact info to help keep them connected with a public that wanted to support them. Three-fourths of the eateries in this post have reopened elsewhere or are working toward reopening. We’re still crossing our fingers for the rest.

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SEE ALSO: Where Are They Now? Restaurants from Ke‘eaumoku Street


No. 2: My 9 Favorite Bakeries in Honolulu

Cakem Assorted Cake Stand Aaron Yoshino

Assortment at Cake M. Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino

Published: June 30, 2022

Custard pie, ube ensaymadas, anpan and rustic loaves highlight Martha Cheng’s pan-ethnic love letter to Honolulu’s bakeries. Seven months later, her enduring roundup still appears near the top of our weekly page views.

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No. 1: You Voted: Here’s Your Top 5 Manapua on O‘ahu

Manapua Aaron Yoshino

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino

Published: April 12, 2022

Long past the days of the manapua man, (most) manapua trucks, and even (R.I.P.) Char Hung Sut and Libby Manapua Shop, your ardent response to this reader poll proves not just how passionately Hawai‘i loves manapua, but how the humblest foods define a local food scene with roots as deep in our history as they are in our hearts.

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SEE ALSO: Battle of Two Manapua: Sing Cheong Yuan and Royal Kitchen