July 2023: Our Top 3 Most Popular Posts About the Local Food Scene

A closer look at chicken wings, only-in-Hawai‘i Japanese delis and the mystery of oxtail and goat curry.


No. 3: My 7 Favorite Fried Chicken Wings That Aren’t KFC


Yi Xin Haam Har Wings Credit Mahina Chong

Wings at Yi Xin Café. Photo: Thomas Obungen


Published July 27, 2023

In Hawai‘i, no cuisines own chicken wings the way Korean (more than 15 Korean fried chicken shops on O‘ahu) and American (buffalo wings and Popeyes) food cultures do. Mahina Chong’s roundup of her favorite spots for wings is a good reminder of the bigger world out there. Five of her seven choices feature wings that aren’t Korean or American, with roots ranging from Vietnam and Hong Kong to the U.K. Judging from the way her post flew into July’s Top 3 in just four days, thousands of other chicken fans are ready to spread their wings and follow.


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No. 2: You Voted: Here’s Your Top 5 Okazuya on O‘ahu


Nuuanu Okazuya Kelli Shiroma Braiotta

Early morning selection at Nu‘uanu Okazuya. Photo: Kelli Shiroma Braiotta


Published July 25, 2023

Okazuya, they morph with their neighborhoods. Shifting demographics and tastes mean that over time, sugar-shoyu flavors sharpen and sweeten, and chorizo and Hawaiian plates join the mix with chow fun and fried chicken. It’s one reason okazuya are loved by generations, why people from Waipahu to Kalihi to Kāne‘ohe are so ardent about their favorites that voting in this reader poll was very close.


Most of the voting was close, that is. Equally striking is that Fukuya Deli, the top pick with nearly triple the votes of its closest runner-up, is arguably the most timeless. Offerings have grown, reflecting the increasingly pan-Hawai‘i character of surrounding Mō‘ili‘ili, but among newer items like nori fried chicken and crab cakes, you’ll still find rare old-school originals like shiraae, takuan and chichi dango.


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No. 1: Don’t Sleep on the Oxtail or Curried Goat at Jr’s Jamaican Jerk


Jrs Jamaican Jerk Oxtail Courtesy Jrs Jamaican Jerk

Photo: Courtesy of Jr’s Jamaican Jerk


Published July 6, 2023

We obviously love the oxtail at tiny Jr’s Jamaican Jerk in Wahiawā, but we’re still trying to figure out how this piece quickly became Frolic’s most-read post not just for July, but all of 2023 to date. It looks like Gregg Hoshida’s article met a happy confluencean account named Local Kine Grindz posted the link on Reddit, and “oxtail” turns out to be a very highly searched term. Never mind that the headline also praised Jr’s curried goat, which is not a highly searched term. And unusually for Frolic, which covers the local food scene through a local lens, most page views came from the Mainland. All we can say is mahalo!


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