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Among restaurants with the best views in Honolulu, 30th-floor Sarento's, looking toward both the Koolau Mountains and the South Shore, is an especially favored date-night venue. Regional Italian cuisine is the specialty, and the wild tiger shrimp-stuffed potato ravioli and osso buco are local favorites. The filet mignon is a melt-in-your-mouth popular choice for meat eaters. The wine cellar contains some gems, and there may not be more attentive service staff in the city. For a less-spendy meal, you may want to opt for happy hour and order from their appetizer menu, which is filled with tasty choices. www.sarentoswaikiki.com. Reservations essential. Credit cards accepted. No lunch.
An all-purpose food and drink emporium, lively and popular Ryan's has an exceptionally well-stocked bar, with 20 beers on tap, an outdoor deck, and TVs broadcasting sports. Lunch, dinner, and small plates are served until the midnight closing time. The eclectic menu ranges from an addictive hot crab-and-artichoke dip with focaccia bread to grilled fresh fish, pasta, salads, and sophisticated versions of local favorites, such as the Kobe beef hamburger steak. ryansgrill.com. Credit cards accepted.
This beachfront restaurant offers indoor and outdoor dining for the full oceanside dining experience; even while sitting indoors, you can view the horizon through floor-to-ceiling windows. You can get a full meal here, but it's the ideal setting for noshing on appetizers while you enjoy an exotic tropical drink: try the kalua pig quesadillas and the ahi poke (raw fish) chips, which come with freshly-made condiments, including guacamole, salsa, and a special hot sauce. At night, Rumfire is a popular club/lounge for young locals. www.rumfirewaikiki.com. Credit cards accepted.
You know it's good if, despite being in a hotel, a Chinese restaurant still draws more locals than tourists as customers. Royal Garden is known as one of the best dim sum spots in town, and people don't mind paying a little more for the quality they get. Just point to the steamed and baked morsels that look good; chances are, they're as good as they look.
This restaurant overlooking Ala Wai Yacht Harbor is a multifaceted success, with exceptional high-end lunches and dinners, daily breakfast buffets, weekly dinner seafood buffets, and sold-out weekend brunches. With a truly global mix of offerings, the overall style is Eurasian. Their ever-changing prix-fixe buffet includes offerings such as Australian rack of lamb, Kahuku prawns, and medallions of New York Angus beef. Feel free to order a la carte as well. www.princeresortshawaii.com. Credit cards accepted.
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