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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, March 19, 2010

Daniel Dae Kim's guide to eating local

 •  Living local

By Kawehi Haug
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

If you spend any time out on the town in Honolulu, chances are you've spotted Kim at one of his favorite hangouts. What you might not know about Kim is that he's kind of a foodie. Here are his favorite places to eat, drink and be merry.

Side Street Inn: "I love this place a lot," Kim said, referring to Side Street Inn, where we met for the interview. "I love the food. I love the portions. I love that there's a wide variety of food — local food, Asian food and even fried chicken." His favorite Side Street dishes: kim chee yakisoba, poke, fried chicken and the signature fried pork chops.

Jimbo Restaurant: Kim and his kids, ages 8 and 13, love Jimbo for house-made udon and the "low-key, casual" atmosphere.

Yuchun Korean Restaurant: "We love Yuchun's Korean cold noodles. So good."

Imanas Tei Restaurant: For family-style Japanese, Kim and his family like Imanas Tei for the diverse menu.

Sis Kitchen: Kim says he was a fan of the original Sis Kitchen, and was happy to find the Kaimukí Korean eatery had recently reopened.


Nobu Waikiki: "When we want to be fancy, we always go to Nobu. The food is inventive, and the staff is great." Kim also likes Roy's Restaurant, La Mer and Michel's at the Colony Surf for upscale dining.


Town: "Kaimukí has great restaurants," Kim said. "Town is one of my favorites. Ed Kenney does a great job."

12th Ave Grill: "When I have out-of-town guests, I'll take them to 12th Avenue Grill or to Town. They aren't on the beach, there are no palm trees — they're kind of urbane, and it's a nice change of pace."


Nordstrom Marketplace Cafe: Kim says he likes Nordstrom Cafe for a quick lunch. "It's not a full sit-down place, but it's not fast food, and they have a great menu."


Orchids at the Halekulani: "I've had brunch at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills and at The Peninsula in New York, and the Halekulani has the best brunch, bar none."


The dungeness crab ramen at Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar, the ikura at Sushi Izakaya Gaku, the blue crab roll at Sushi Sasabune and, for a good steak, Morton's Steakhouse.


For a good cocktail, Kim says he heads downtown to thirty-ninehotel and NextDoor. "I guess because of my time in New York, I always associate going out with being among tall buildings and concrete."

Kim says he also likes RumFire in the Sheraton Waikiki.

And to throw back a beer? "Honestly, the best place for a beer is my living room." Kim says his favorite is a Japanese rice beer he first tried at Tokkuri-Tei called Echigo. (Kim says he buys the beer at Marukai Wholesale Mart.)

Reach Kawehi Haug at khaug@honoluluadvertiser.com.


12th Ave Grill, 1145 12th Ave., 732-9469

Imanas Tei Restaurant, 2626 S. King St., 941-2626

Jimbo Restaurant, 1936 S. King St., 947-2211

La Mer, Halekulani Hotel, 2199 Kalia Road, 923-2311

Marukai Wholesale Mart, 2310 Kamehameha Highway, 845-5051

Michel's at the Colony Surf, Colony Surf Hotel, 2895 Kalakaua Ave., 923-6552

Morton's Steakhouse, Ala Moana Center, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd, 949-1300

NextDoor, 43 N. Hotel St., 548-6398

Nobu Waikiki, Waikiki Parc Hotel, 2233 Helumoa Road, 237-6999

Nordstrom Marketplace Cafe, Ala Moana Center, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd., 953-6100

Orchids at the Halekulani, Halekulani Hotel, 2199 Kalia Road, 923-2311

Roy's Restaurant, 6600 Kalaniana'ole Highway, 396-7697

RumFire, Sheraton Waikiki, 2255 Kalakaua Ave. 922-4422

Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar, Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, 2552 Kalakaua Ave., 931-6286

Side Street Inn, 1225 Hopaka St., 591-0253

Sis Kitchen, 11th Avenue Atrium, 1137 11th Ave., 737-5678

Sushi Izakaya Gaku, 1329 S. King St., 589-1329

Sushi Sasabune, 1419 S. King St., 947-3800

thirtyninehotel, 39 N. Hotel St., 599-2552

Tokkuri-Tei, 611 Kapahulu Ave., 739-2800

Town, 3435 Wai'alae Ave., 735-5900

Yuchun Korean Restaurant, 1159 Kapi'olani Blvd., 589-0022