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Hula Dog(CLOSED): Great Tropically Flavored Dogs
Hula Dog (or Puka Dog as it was once called) has been on my list to try for many years. I first saw this place on a travel channel special and then Anthony Bourdain's No reservations. After someone like Anthony Bourdain gave it a thumbs up; I was set to try it for myself.
The place is a block behind the International Marketplace in a small storefront. As soon as we got there we had a "line" of about 12 people in front of us. So as we waited I checked out the menu board and directions on how to order a Hula Dog which is as follows:
Bread Type: White, Wheat or Taro Bread
Dog Type: Polish Sausage or Veggie
Garlic Lemon Secret Sauce: Mild, Spicy, Hot or Hot Hot
Relish: Mango, Coconut, Pineapple, Banana or Star Fruit
Mustard: Lilikoi or Guava
I chose the taro bread, polish sausage, spicy sauce, mango relish and lilikoi mustard. The buns are impaled on this point metal spear(it looks like a medieval torture device) that creates the hole for the dog. Inside the hole they fill in the mustard, sauce and relish before sliding in the dog. From the very first bite I was hooked. The flavors are incredible, so tasty and yet so hard to describe the flavor combination. God, this was incredible good. I can't wait to have another.
My wife doesn't eat pork sausages and thought ordering a veggie wasn't a good substitute so she ordered a Mango, Orange, Guava shave ice istead. She loved her shave ice but it was too large of a portion even with me helping her eat it.
Hula Grill: Delicious Breakfast
Our last visit to Waikiki brought us here for breakfast. We loved Hula Grill for lunch and dinner so we thought we'd give their breakfast a try. We love their veranda here and having a nice breakfast overlooking Waikiki Beach is a great way to start the day. We arrived around 7:45am for breakfast and the place was busy. We waited about 10 minutes for a table to become available.
Our table was right on the veranda edge with a great view of Waikiki Beach. Our waiter handed us menus and we began to peruse the breakfast offerings. It was really tough for me to narrow down a choice since they have so much to choose from: pancakes, waffles, omlettes, and eggs done in a variety of ways. After some debating I chose the Kahuna Burrito which has Eggs, sausage, bacon, ham, jack & cheddar cheese, with avocado, chipotle cream, salsa and homestyle potatoes. My wife decided to have the Apple Cinnamon Hawaiian Sweetbread French Toast. As for drinks I went with an unsweetened Iced tea and my wife chose her favorite POG (Pineapple, Orange and Guava) Juice.
I absolutely loved just watching the happenings on the beach as we waited for our food. There was so much activitity; surfers, body boarders, boats and the large array of sunworshipers below. The weather was perfect for eating outside with a nice breeze and blue skies. We were both so engrossed in the view that we hardly noticed when our breakfast arrived.
My Kahuna Burrito was massive. The eggs, sausage, bacon, ham, jack & cheddar cheese were rolled up in the burrito with a tasty chipotle cream sauce on top. On the side was the avocado, salsa and homestyle potatoes. The flavors of this dish were amazing...and the avocado was incredibly good. My wife loved her Sweet Bread French Toast. I had a bite of it myself and it was very tasty. The only dissapointment was that the maple syrup is immitation and not real Maple Syrup.
Food here is good, service is freindly and attentive. Prices here don't break the bank either with my big burrito being $10.75 and the french toast was only $8.50.
I loved our breakfast here it was delicious and a great way to start our morning in Waikiki.
Favorite Dish: The Kahuna Burrito was excellent. If you want a filling breakfast this is the way to go.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Hula Grill: Excellent Sunset Dinner
The Hula Grill was a place we absolutely loved both for the food and the atmosphere. The Hula Grill is located in the Outrigger Waikiki just upstairs from Duke's. When you first enter the place the Plantation Bar and Cafe is on the left. The restaurant has dining areas both inside and outside.
We preferred to sit outside on the terrace with a nice beach view so we made sure to make reservations in advance (the place does fill up). The menu here has a nice selection of appetizers, salads, main dishes, desserts and sides. Both of our meals here were right before sunset on the outdoor terrace. Our waiter Aaron was great and very attentive making sure our drinks were always full; Mai Tai for me and Unsweetened Iced Tea for Liz. They make incredible fresh foccacia bread here that is served with olive oil and chili oil for dipping. Aaron had told us to combine the two oils for an awesome taste (he was right, yum).
Liz loved their Tarragon Roasted Lobster Tail in a Lemongrass beurre blanc. The tail was from a spiny lobster and very sweet. It was served with wild rice and asparagus (I ate the asparagus for her since it is her least favorite veggie). I ordered the Kung Pao Vegetable stir fry. It was a combination of vegetables in a garlic, ginger, black bean sauce served with rice. It was very good and I enjoyed the intense flavors.
We already knew what we wanted for dessert; the homemade ice cream sandwich. We had been told it is the best dessert on the island next to Hula Pie. The dessert was fresh macadamia nut brownies with Tahitian vanilla ice cream in the middle; covered with whipped cream and raspberry sauce. My God it was divine on so many levels. ...the best dessert I have had to this day. I was glad though that we had agreed to split dessert since the portion was huge.
Hula Grill is an awesome place. We loved the calm atmosphere and the beautiful view. This is a nice place to have a relaxing dinner for two with incredible food and service. This is probably why we returned twice for dinner during our stay.
Favorite Dish: The Mai Tai's are very good here and I enjoyed the glass Tiki Head they were served in. The food portions were good and The Kung Pao Stir Fry was so good I ordered it twice. I loved the flavor of the sauce so garlic infused. The vegetables were crisp and not overly cooked which can sometimes zap their flavor.
I have to say that the ice cream sandwich was the best dessert I have had in a long time. The ice cream is creamy, the brownies are rich and moist and the raspberry sauce is a perfect contrast to the sweetness. I'd come here just for dessert...it is a meal in itself.
- Beer Tasting
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- Food and Dining
Buzz's Original Steak House: Lanakai Local's Pick
After spending much of the day at various North Shore beaches, our last destination was Kailua Beach Park where we watched a couple of kite surfers skimming over the waves. It was serene as the sun set and a quiet peace settled over the beach.
Across the street was a local restaurant called Buzz's. Their parking lot was filling quickly, so we dropped by for dinner. We waited on the outdoor patio, chatting with a couple from Philadelphia who were staying at Turtle Bay Resort. As they munched their appetizers, we sipped a glass of wine and swapped stories about visits to the City of Brotherly Love.
Buzz's had a full house, but we were shown to our table in a reasonable amount of time. Jim and I ordered the Teriyaki Chicken ($16.95) while our grandson chose the Baby Top Steak. Each of the entrees were very good! A small salad bar was available, but it was not extensive by any means.
The atmosphere was casual and friendly; candles were lit on the tables as darkness fell and the wait staff was attentive. Should we return to Oahu, we'd definitely stop at Buzz's for a return visit.
- Family Travel
Buzz's Original Steakhouse: Great food...awesome location
One of Oahu's first "surf-n-turf restaurants...after taking a dip at the Kailua State Park Beach, we headed across the street to Buzz's. A place where both locals and tourists can hang out, the place had Hawaiian surf memorabilia, history and great food. Yes, it's off the beaten path, but if you want to experience something outside the norm, then try here. Please note that they only accept cash or travelers checks (no credit cards).
Favorite Dish: LJ had the Fresh Fish Burger (charbroiled fresh fish fillet, tartar sauce, lettuce & tomato on a sesame seed bun) with a cup of gazpacho while I had the Teriyaki Steak Burger (marinated beef with mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion and teriyaki sauce on a sesame seed bun) with tempura fries.
- Food and Dining
International Market Place: International Marketplace - For Budget Meals
Lots of good restaurants inside the International Marketplace. Very friendly to the wallet. Just watch out for them pigeons!
Favorite Dish: The Korean dish was good. Lots of choices and very tasty.
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