Sidestreet, revisited

People are always asking me where to take their out of town guests — some here in Hawaii for the first time, whereas others have been here many times. It got so frequent that I once made a handy dandy list for people to use, and as you can see, it got a lot of responses. It’s probably time to make a new or expanded list.

In the meantime, I thought I’d tell you about a recent outing with my own out-of-town guests: My own family. My cousin Yolanda Chew Griffiths is from here, and while in college at the University of Puget Sound, met her husband, Calvin. They were able to live in Honolulu for a while, thanks to his career in the U.S. Air Force, and had three lovely daughters who learned to live local (my cousin Megan busted out some super old-school pidgin that even I had never heard, but knew was legit). That same career took them from Hawaii to Papillion, Nebraska, where they’ve lived for the last decade or so … far from anything you would ever eat in Hawaii.

They arrived for a family reunion while I was still in Taipei, so I only got to see them just as they were heading back to the midwest. In true Chinee style, the rest of my family had taken them out for a lot of dim sum and buffets, and they were tired of it. Okay, Yolanda was tired of it. In any case, I wanted to send them off with something that was full of local flavor, but not Chinese, and Sidestreet seemed to be the best bet. We went to the original Sidestreet on Hopaka Street, and my cousins were excited to see that it was not only a hidden hole in the wall, it is still a place that local chefs like to frequent after work.

Sidestreet, revisited

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My cousins Cal and Yolanda Griffiths, left, still live in Nebraska, while my cousin Megan now lives in Los Angeles. They got to meet Chris, the manager at Sidestreet, to thank him for a nice sendoff meal.

I’ve never been to the Sidestreet on Kapahulu, but that’s okay. The Hopaka Street location has a more homey feel, like it’s been there forever. Tip: if you take your visitors there for a late lunch when they open at 2 p.m., there’s no crowd. There’s actually parking on the parking deck above the restaurant, and you drive up on the Kona Street side.

Sidestreet Inn
1225 Hopaka St.