December 2008

November 2008 issue

“The Supermarket as Restaurant 11/08
John Heckathorn’s Dining review of prepared foods in local supermarkets.

I see restaurant writer John Heckathorn is ahead of the times as usual in “The Supermarket As Restaurant.” I read every word, nodding my head off.

I visited Oahu for an entire month to unwind, relax, windowshop with my mom, walk around Waikiki and just enjoy what once used to be my home. I noticed, with pleasant astonishment, that Hawaii has joined the Mainland finally in its vast, diverse array of prepared foods, especially at the Kahala Mall Whole Foods Market.

I went over there one weekend to see if my favorite Chinese restaurant, Yen King, still existed. Before my disappointment could take over, seeing it gone, I felt joy and bewilderment at seeing its replacement, Whole Foods Market.

I didn’t believe locals would take to such a Mainland concept, but they have, in droves. Of course, prices are much higher, but hey, it’s Hawaii.

Heckathorn did forget one other place I found even better than all the others, a true paradise for souvenir hunters: Shirokiya. The only Shirokiya left remains in Ala Moana Center. And thank God for that. I took thousands of digital pictures for my own amusement and regularly partook of the take-out (spicy tuna handroll, shrimp tempura, Korean plates). I really didn’t need to go anywhere else to get my fill of authentic local style.


“Cropping Up 10/08
In our “Farm to Table” supplement, writer Lavonne Leong discussed eight crops and food products that one might be surprised to find here in the Islands.

I would like to correct you on No. 8, Elk, where you write, “There may be no tundra in Upcountry Maui, but Ulupalakua Ranch’s 100-strong herd [of elk] is doing just fine.” Actually Caribou, not the North American Elk, cross land that is referred to as tundra. The elk reside mainly in the Rocky Mountains, from Idaho to New Mexico. In Europe, the elk is referred to as a moose. That’s Europe. Elks are magnificent animals. They inhabit the high mountain woods and meadows until fall and then descend to the valleys to avoid walking in deep snow.


“50 Reasons to Love This City 09/08
Our September cover story was devoted to things we love most about the city of Honolulu.

As I thumbed through the articles I found nothing really informative or amusing about this issue. The 50 reasons were mostly boring. If grumbling or drinking tea is a reason to love Honolulu I am embarrassed to have Mainland or international guests read this issue. There really was no logical point made to love this city. Of course I can relate to the manapua trucks, but I’m not sure that’s a reason to love this city.

I understand you were taking a break from gloomy news but I will be looking forward to future issues being more informative and well respected from others who do not live on the Island.


“Best of Honolulu 09/08
Our October and November issues contained reader ballots for the Best of Honolulu poll
For once I would like to see HONOLULU Magazine put out The Worst of Honolulu instead of The Best of Honolulu. Over the years, I have patronized a number of businesses, especially eateries, where the quality of the food, service and overall cleanliness have diminished. By voting for Honolulu’s Worst and having the results printed in HONOLULU Magazine, this will bring attention to businesses that are slowly going “downhill” from what they used to be.


Editor’s reply: We sympathize. In fact, we used to call this annual article “Best and Worst of Honolulu.” We dropped the “worst” in 1997 and haven’t looked back (see our annual Sour Poi Awards, in January, for a dose of social criticism). We figure our readers can always stop patronizing a place that’s gone downhill, while it’s incumbent upon us to help readers find out about great businesses they might not otherwise hear about.

Ahana Koko Lele

In our November 2008 feature, “The Way We Watched,” pg. 89, photo No. 4 is of Don Ho with, from left to right, Alex Among, Mike Garcia, Lani Kai Woods, Tony Bee and Gary Aiko. They were his back-up group from the early days at Honey’s in Kaneohe.   


Letters to the Editor may be submitted online here, e-mailed to: letters@honolulumagazine.com, faxed to: 537-6455 or sent to: HONOLULU Magazine, 1000 Bishop Street, Suite 405, Honolulu, HI, 96813. Letters may be edited for space.