April 2023: Our Top 3 Most Viewed Posts About the Local Food Scene

New and coming eateries took over in a complete sweep of Frolic’s top posts.


No. 3: 3 New and Coming Eateries in Chinatown and Downtown Honolulu

Arabic letter street art on a window

Photo: Tracy Chan

Published March 30, 2023

This post by Tracy Chan was also Frolic’s second-most viewed post of March. It highlights one of at least five buzzy spots that have opened this year in ChinatownObake Honolulu, Beach House Beer Co., Dash of Sazon, HK Cafe and The Lei Stand, in case you’re countingand several in Downtown. And if you’ve really been paying attention, you know that amid Downtown’s continuing evolution, more eateries are coming, including a Korean bakery and a Korean supermarket and food shop in the old Longs Drugs space. Keep reading: We’ll be on top of both.

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No. 2: Shirokiya’s Tanto Gyoza & Ramen Bar Reopens in Mō‘ili‘ili

20 gyoza lined up on a plate

Photo: Thomas Obungen

Published April 26, 2023

This post, which ran last Wednesday, blew up almost immediately. In a city obsessed with ramen, this latest Japanese chain isn’t pricey (hi, Kamukura Ramen) or in Waikīkī (Camado). Tanto is in the former Nook Neighborhood Bistro spot at Puck’s Alley, and aside from a slew of traditional bowls, it specializes in fried-to-order, bite-size gyozaa vast improvement over its previous incarnation as Tanto Gyoza Izakaya in long-closed Shirokiya Japan Village Walk, where pre-made gyoza were sold in plastic boxes (but hey, in a $1 beer garden). Years after the wave of craft ramen chains reached Honolulu, it looks like there’s still room for more.

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No. 1: Peso, a Modern Filipino Restaurant, Is Coming to the Piggy Smalls Space

vibrant purple ube swirl on french toast

Photo courtesy of Peso Neighborhood

Published April 12, 2023

Shoutout to Alex Le of The Pig & the Lady and Piggy Smalls, who let us know early this year that while the latter was closing, a new Filipino eatery from L.A. was taking its place. Talk about a silver lining: Not only are most of Smalls’ staff and its famous mandoo, Burmese tea salad and other dishes now at the Pig, the one detail Alex mentionedthe name of the new eatery’s chefopened a big door. You may not have heard of Ria Dolly Barbosa, but if you know the L.A. food scene, then you know her restaurants. Barbosa helped open the brunch hotspot Sqirl and was chef and partner at Petite Peso. That’s peso as in the currency of the Philippines, sharply undervalued among world currencies. At Peso Neighborhood in Kaka‘ako, Barbosa and her partners aim, in her words, “to take Filipino food to the next phase of evolution and innovation.” It will be a first for Honolulu, something for which we’ve been waiting a long, long time.

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