But then again, I shouldn’t be surprised.
Hawaii has changed so much over the past few decades, it’s easy to find something to miss.
But I didn’t want the blog to be a downer.
Though we don’t have Da Rink or Castle Park anymore, though restaurants such as Wisteria and Coco’s have long closed, though we’re seeing more Mainland big-box retailers open and local stores closing — there are some great places still around.
And today’s blog, I’m going to focus on those iconic restaurants, diners, drive-ins and take-out spots that make Hawaii, well, Hawaii.
Here’s the start to the list I’m sure you’ll finish: (Notice most of them don’t have websites yet!)
• Rainbow Drive-In and its award-winning loco moco plate and slush float
• Like Like Drive Inn, one of the few local restaurants open 24 hours and serving breakfast all day
• Liliha Bakery with its famous cocoa puffs and that old-school radioactive-red jelly served at the counter
• Wailana Coffee Shop on the outskirts of Waikiki
• Zippy’s — it’s the closest thing to a locally owned chain restaurant and its chili cheese fries are a late-night nosh must
• Ono Hawaiian Foods on Kapahulu Avenue that’s still so popular you have to wait in line to get a table
• Natsunoya Tea House on Alewa Heights
• W&M Bar-B-Q Burgers on Waialae Avenue — used to be on 9th Avenue — that still makes some of the best (and cheapest) burgers around
• Shige’s Saimin Restaurant, an iconic saimin stand in Wahiawa
• Ted’s Bakery, though a tourist haven, still got great cream pies
• Gulick Delicatessen, one of the best-known okazuya located in Kalihi and serves the best vegetable tempura I’ve ever had
OK, finish my list! And tell me what to order next time I’m there!