Taiwan's Ice Monster is coming to Waikiki

38 new & coming restaurants: Foodmap December 2018

Everything from Taiwanese shave ice to fish tacos, Hawaiian plates and cream puffs
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Local food and Japanese cuisine are surging, Korean hot dogs are here, and from Kapolei to Kailua, Pearl City to Kakaako, eateries continue to open. We've spotted 38 buzzworthy new and coming restaurants, to be exact – a new record for us. Craft cocktail bars, AYCE Korean barbecue, a national fried chicken chain, Kona lobster rolls: Here's a Foodmap to track them all. 

 

 

22 Kailua

22 Kailua

Where: 22 Oneawa St., Kailua
What: Casual coffee shop with sushi and nabe bar in the evenings
The scoop: This boutique-turned-cafe is the cozy new home of Taka Kijima, who ran Kohnotori with Takashi Ando of Kaimuki's new Japanese chicken skewer shop Yakitori Ando. Now, partnering with Dustin Iwabuchi with Hamakua Cafe, he's serving up perfect pour-overs and iced cold brew coffee in a setting reminiscent of cafes in Osaka, complete with friendly dogs. Japanese-style egg salad sandwiches and pastries are planned for daytime snacking, with limited sushi and nabe hot pot planned for evenings.
When: Opened late November
 

Alicia's Market Poke Express

Where: 267 Mokauea St., Kalihi
What: Poke shop
The scoop: Poke Express is a temporary shop in the same building as Alicia's Market, which is still shuttered after a fire earlier this year. Alicia's fans are just relieved they're back with a limited selection of poke in additon to their smoky roast beef. The Kam family is completing renovations to the original market and expects to reopen in the second quarter of 2019.
When: Opened Dec. 10
 

 

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Asato Family Shop

Where: 1306 Pali Hwy., Downtown
What: Sherbet and ice cream shop
The scoop: Neale Asato is a master of nostalgic flavors like crack seed and all things local people like fo' eat. He's also a real talent in the kitchen with stints at Vintage Cave, Livestock Tavern and his own food truck. Now that his pastel scoops of sherbet have reach viral status, he's finally setting up shop in downtown.
When: Opening December
 

Bar Maze

Where: 600 Ala Moana Blvd., Kakaako
What: Craft cocktail bar
The scoop: When Chris Kajioka of Senia combines his culinary prowess with the cocktail magic of  Justin Park and Tom Park of Bar Leather Apron, there's cause for excitement. Bar Maze (ma-ze is Japanese for mix) will be a welcome addition to the emerging Kakaako scene.
When: First quarter 2019
 

Beard Papa’s Ala Moana

Where: 1450 Ala Moana Blvd., Ala Moana Center
What: Japanese cream puff shop
The scoop: Beard Papa's is making a comeback with their light-as-air choux cream puffs filled with vanilla-tinged custard.
When: First quarter 2019
 

Blind Ox 

Where: 3464 Waialae Ave., Kaimuki
What: Speakeasy cocktail bar
The scoop: The new cocktail speakeasy's liquor license has been approved and a permit for construction was filed for a space between Mud Hen Water and Kaimuki Superette. We're keeping our ears to the ground for updates.
When: 2019
 

Down to Earth Pearlridge

Down to Earth Pearlridge Center

Where: 98-211 Pali Momi St., Pearlridge Center
What: Local organic and vegetarian market
The scoop: In addition to new spacious digs, the new Down to Earth features an expansive all-vegetarian food selection with fresh-baked pizzas, made-to-order rice bowls with Asian-style toppings, vegetarian sushi with a tofu substitute, baked goods and more. Frolic's Kelli Shiroma says it's like Whole Food Market Queen, but with local flair. And it’s always nice to support local.
When: Opened Dec. 1
 

 

the spread of food at Feast, Jon Matsubara's pop-up at cafe anasia

Feast @ Cafe Anasia

Where: 2227 S Beretania St., Moiliili
What: Plate lunch pop-up by chef Jon Matsubara
The scoop: What does a local boy who's worked for Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Floyd Cardoz, Alan Wong and Peter Merriman do when he finally launches his own concept? Jon Matsubara is popping up in Cafe Anasia with weekday lunches of butter-poached crab sandwiches, crave-worthy salt meat watercress soup, chow fun with Hainanese chicken, and a hamburger steak so perfect, you'll ge tempted to order a plate to take home.
When: Opened Dec. 5
 

Fish Hawaii

Where: 324 Coral St., Salt at Kakaako
What: Raw bar and seafood restaurant
The scoop: Gilbert Arangure is no stranger to Hawaii's kitchens. A former chef at Vintage Cave under Chris Kajioka, he's popped up with fabulous tacos and helped Chris Oh open Chingu, the lively LA K-Town-themed joint on the outskirts of Kakaako. Now he's got his own open-air spot in Salt that's all about seafood.
When: Opened November
 

Fresh Fish Hawaii

Where: Banzai Pipeline, North Shore
What: Poke shack
The scoop: Fresh Fish Hawaii reels in their own catch and sells ahi filets and poke from their new trailer. It's a perfect setup for the hungry surfers and onlookers at Pipeline.
When: Opened November
 

Gen Korean BBQ

Where: 98-1005 Moanalua Rd., Pearlridge Center Downtown
What: All-you-can-eat Korean BBQ
The scoop: This California chain draws crowds anywhere it opens and Pearlridge will be no exception. AYCE Korean barbecue with tons of choices at reasonable prices is an irresistible combination for ravenous locals.
When: First quarter 2019
 

Goen Chicken Bao buns

Goen Dining + Bar

Where: 573 Kailua Rd., Kailua
What: Roy Yamaguchi's latest restaurant
The scoop: Thirty years after opening his Hawaii Kai flagship, Hawaii Regional Cusine icon Roy Yamaguchi has opened a casual concept in the heart of Kailua Town. Pupus, cocktails and chill vibes make this spot Kelli Shiroma's new pau hana hangout when she needs a GNO with her roomies in their hood. There's no chocolate molten cake, but the desserts are still pretty good.
When: Opened November
 

H&T Burgers

Where: 98-1005 Moanalua Rd., Pearlridge Center Downtown
What: Teri burgers, hotdogs and french fries
The scoop: A Windward staple, H&T Burgers has crossed the Koolaus to join the new mix of food tenants at Pearlridge Downtown. Their teriyaki sauce, a work of art in its complexity, can be had on burgers, beef, hotdogs, chicken and fries. Grilled on a flattop and served on butcher paper, the burgers are from a bygone era, and boy do they taste good.
When: Opened Dec. 7
 

Hamakua Cafe

Hamakua Cafe

Where: 5 Hoolai St., Kailua
What: Poke and lobster roll food truck
The scoop: Dustin Iwabuchi was one of Taka Kijima's right-hand men at the former Izakaya Kohnotori on Piikoi. In the months since its closure, he's been working on new projects in Kailua, the first being Hamakua Cafe, a mobile cafe in Manuhealii's parking lot that serves up Kona lobster rolls, lobster bisque and ahi poke bowls. He's developing the evening concept for nearby 22 Kailua with Kijima; plans are for sushi and nabe hot pot, a staple at Kohnotori.
When: Opened November
 

Hapa Restaurant

Where: 829 Kapahulu Ave., Kapahulu
What: Asian fusion restaurant
The scoop: After popping up at Moena Cafe in Hawaii Kai, chef Lianna Melo has been working on her new restaurant on Kapahulu. As the name suggests, Hapa's menu will be a fusion of American and Asian influences with prices in the $15-30 range.
When: Opening December
 

HiCraft Kitchen

Where: 516 Keawe St., Kakaako
What: Gourmet sandwich shop
The scoop: Chef Carlos Jorge is back in the islands readying HiCraft Kitchen, which will be serving his artisanal sandwiches and cafe fare in Kakaako's Keauhou Lane apartments. He opened and oversaw the restaurants at St. Regis Princeville Resort on Kauai in 2009 and has been cooking around the country, most recently at New York City's popular Zuma izakaya.
When: Opening January 2019
 

Il Tappo

Where: 2181 Kalakaua Ave., Waikiki
What: ltalian restaurant
The scoop: Il Tappo debuted at La Festa Italiana in October before easing into a lunch-only soft opening. The modern Italian spot in the Hokulani Hilton timeshare plans to offer dinner starting in December. The menu runs the gamut of salads, pizzas and pastas, so we'll need to check it out.
When: Opened November
 

Ice Monster's strawberry sensation snow ice

Ice Monster

Where: 2255 Kuhio Ave., Hyatt Centric Waikiki
What: Taiwanese snow ice and boba milk tea
The scoop: For nearly 20 years, Ice Monster has been the top shop in Taiwan when it comes to shaved ice snow, similar in texture to icy cotton candy. With flavors like milk tea and the signature mango shaved ice, the chain sometimes has lines topping three hours. They're serving out of a truck at Don Quijote Kaheka until the brick-and-mortar shop opens.
When: Opening in December or January
 

Liliha Bakery

Where: 1450 Ala Moana Blvd., Ala Moana Center
What: Breakfast, brunch, pastries
The scoop: Coco Puffs and mochi donuts are coming to Ala Moana! Liliha Bakery is taking over the old Pineapple Room by Alan Wong in Macy's come February or March. Whether it's their charbroiled burgers or extra fluffy hotcakes with loads of butter and syrup, there's something that keeps us lining up for more.
When: First quarter 2019
 

Love & Limes

Where: 735 Iwilei Rd., Dole Cannery Iwilei
What: Vietnamese-inspired fast casual and take out
The scoop: Love & Limes took over the former Aloha Tofu Town space with a fresh take on Vietnamese. Think vermicelli noodles and salads topped with your choice of protein in addition to crab cakes. Their version of fish and chips is a poke nachos spin with cubes of ahi tossed in sauce over taro chips.
When: Opened November
 

Lucky Belly 

Where: 91-5431 Kapolei Pkwy., Ka Makana Alii
What: Modern noodle bar
The scoop: After nearly seven years in Chinatown, Lucky Belly is expanding westward with a new location planned for Ka Makana Alii. Full-bodied ramen like the Belly Bowl, known for its punch of umami with pork belly, bacon and sausage in a thick bone broth, and signature apps like bao buns are sure to be a hit with the west-side crowd.
When: Second quarter 2019
 

Myungrang Hotdog
photo courtesy Myungrang Hotdog

Myungrang Hotdog Hawaii

Where: 1450 Ala Moana Blvd., Ala Moana Center Makai Market
What: Korean-style hot dogs on a stick
The scoop: Frolic's pidgin Jedi Lee Tonouchi blogged about his chance discovery of Korea's hottest street food, Myungrang Hotdog, at its first Hawaii location at Ala Moana's Makai Market food court. These deep-fried dogs often come stuffed with gooey mozzarella and sometimes have potato or rice cakes stuck on the outside, but you'll also want to top them with any one of the unique condiments.
When: Opened Nov. 23
 

Minori Craft Japanese Tavern

Where: 1731 Kalakaua Ave., Ala Moana
What: Locavore izakaya
The scoop: Tsukada Nojo is being rebranded as Minori Craft Japanese Tavern. Based on recent activity on Instagram, it looks like much of the izakaya menu will remain without the emphasis on ingredients from local farms and purveyors. I was a fan of Tsukada's fresh approach and am hoping Minori wont stray far.
When: Opening February 2019
 

Niu Baguette & Noodle 

Where: 709 Cooke St., Kakaako
What: Vietnamese restaurant
The scoop: A new casual banh mi and rice plate spot for the tower dwellers around Cooke Street. Menu looks straightforward, but it's just what this area needs.
When: Opened November
 

Paia Fish Market Laylow Waikiki

Paia Fish Market Waikiki

Where: 2299 Kuhio Ave., Waikiki
What: Seafood restaurant
The scoop: Maui's popular Paia Fish Market has set up a second location in the red-hot Kuhio corridor of Waikiki. Expect lots of beachy fare like fresh catch plates, fish tacos, char burgers and pastas.
When: Opened November
 

Pizza Press

Where: 1000 Kamehameha Hwy., Pearl City
What: Pizza and beer
The scoop: Fresh from Southern California, Pizza Press is bringing its fast-baking custom pizza experience to Pearl Highlands Center, the first of a few locations planned for the state. Pizza Press looks to be a good hangout with TVs and plenty of local and domestic craft beers on tap.
When: Opening Dec. 14
 

The spread at Raising Canes

Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers

Where: 2615 S. King St., University
What: Louisiana chicken finger chain
The scoop: I've dreamt of the day Raising Cane's would make it to Hawaii. I've known about this chain for a couple of years and have been craving a basket of chicken fingers with a bucket of secret sauce. Well, dreams do come true: The first location opened this week near the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a second is slated for Mililani Town Center in 2019.
When: Opened Dec. 11
 

REAL, a gastropub

Where: 502 Keawe St., Kakaako
What: Gastropub
The scoop: Kakaako is the craft beer capital of Hawaii. With everything from microbreweries to canning facilities and tap rooms, it's the best place to be if you're in love with the sudsy stuff. Real, a Gastropub was one of the original hangouts for beer aficionados, but closed ahead of the redevelopment of the Marukai Market warehouse. This new home a few blocks away in the Keauhou Place complex will be a welcome resurrection.
When: Opening first quarter 2019
 

Ripple of Smiles

Where: 3040 Waialae Ave., Kaimuki
What: Vietnamese restaurant
The scoop: Ripple of Smiles seems more a name for a mural by Takashi Murakami than a Vietnamese restaurant. In the corner spot where Franky Fresh and the Fat Greek once stood, this new space is as inviting as a sidestreet villa in Hanoi's French Quarter during a rainy season downpour.
When: Opened December
 

Seoul Kimbap

Seoul Kimbap

Where: 1111 Bishop St., #4, Remington College Downtown campus
What: Korean sushi rolls
The scoop: Seoul Kimbap opened in the former Boa Sushi spot with a simple menu of kimbap options large and small, fishcake soup and a couple of rice bowls. Kimbap are the perfect food for snacking between meals or if you need a quick lunch that's ready to go.
When: Opened November
 

Shorty’s Island Cafe

Where: 1200 Ala Moana Blvd. #215, Ward Village
What: Local cafe and plate lunch spot
The scoop: Shorty's took over the space occupied by Mocha Java Cafe for about 30 years. A preliminary look by Frolic blogger Gregg Hoshida nets a thumbs-up for the loco moco. Other items we need to investigate include saimin, crispy corned beef hash and Hanamalu Cafe's fried chicken.
When: Opened November
 

Spicy Indian Chick 

Where: 66-235 Kamehameha Hwy., Haleiwa
What: Indian restaurant
The scoop: It's refreshing to see something other than tacos or shrimp on the North Shore. Spicy Indian Chick is high on my list the next time I find myself in Haleiwa, with roti and a variety of curries. They can even roll you an Indian burrito. Doesn't that make you want to jump in the car and drive up there right now?
When: Opened November
 

The Hibachi

Where: 502 Keawe St., Kakaako
What: Poke and plate lunch shop
The scoop: The Kailua spot known for fresh poke, a decent wine selection and ready-to-cook food is coming to Kakaako's Keauhou Lane condo along with Uncle Bo's, Real a Gastropub and HICraft Kitchen. Shoppers can have their food prepared for them in the shop or to take it home to cook.
When: Opening first quarter 2019
 

Tiny Pyramid (chocolate bonbon)

Tiny Pyramid Iwilei

Where: 560 N Nimitz Hwy., Na Lama Kukui Iwilei
What: Pastries, lunch and dinner
The scoop: Tucked away in the former Gentry Pacific Design Center is a treasure trove of pastries glimmering like gemstones in a glass case. Patissier Praseuth Luangkhot, known to most as JJ and the creator of the chocolate pyramid, has set up in a new location since closing JJ's Bistro in Kaimuki when the lease ran out. Daughter Natda is running operations at Tiny Pyramid, a full-blown restaurant with many of the Laotian and French-inspired favorites from the old spot.
When: Opened November
 

Uncle’s Fish Market

Where: 98-1005 Moanalua Rd., Pearlridge Center Downtown
What: Seafood and plate lunch restaurant
The scoop: Owned by the state's largest fish wholesaler, Uncle's serves fresh seafood in a spacious new spot that might help ease crowds at its longtime Pier 38 location.
When: Opened Dec. 12
 

Ya-ya’s by Uncle Bo's

Where: 502 Keawe St., Kakaako
What: Local hangout, pupus
The scoop: With locations in Waikiki and Haleiwa, Uncle Bo is reconnecting with locals when it opens Ya-ya's in Kakaako. I'm salivating at the thought of boca rota cheese breads and Thai-style clams. Pupus are the name of the game here and they come ready for sharing.
When: Opening first quarter 2019
 

Young's Fish Market Hawaiian Bento

Young’s Fish Market

Where: 4450 Kapolei Pkwy., Kapolei Commons
What: Hawaiian food
The scoop: The longtime Kalihi institution is opening a second location at Kapolei Commons. That means ono bentos with laulau, kalua pork and pipikaula will be readily available for us Westsiders! It also makes it convenient to pick up some frozen laulau for omiyage on the way to the airport.
When: Opening second quarter 2019