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Article Source: Copyright © 2012 by Fodor’s Travel, a division of Random House Inc. All rights reserved.
Like the more famous restaurant on the North Shore, Haleiwa Joe's serves standard surf-and-turf favorites in a casual and friendly atmosphere, but the view of the Haiku Gardens directly behind the restaurant makes the difference at this Kaneohe location. Come for an early dinner or fantastic Sunday brunch and enjoy the stunning views. Be sure to leave time for a stroll around the pond and through the garden. www.haleiwajoes.com. Reservations not accepted. Credit cards accepted.
One of Oahu's first Vietnamese restaurants, this popular neighborhood spot expresses its friendly character with its name: hale (hah-lay) is the Hawaiian word for house or home. If you're not sure what to order, just ask. The staff is known for their willingness to help those who don't know much about Vietnamese food. Be sure to try the piquant and crunchy green-papaya salad. Reservations are taken for groups only. Credit cards accepted.
Closet-size and fronted by a green door and a row of welcoming Chinese lanterns, this Chinatown café has introduced Honolulu to budget- and taste bud-friendly Malaysian and Singaporean foods, redolent of spices and crunchy with fresh vegetables. The restaurant's owner gets mixed reviews, as she may be rude to customers who question her cooking. Just order from the flavorful menu of fewer than 10 dishes, and you'll do fine. Reservations not accepted. No credit cards. Closed Sun.
Specializing in grilled meats, this casual restaurant is a good choice for a full, quality meal at reasonable prices. From prime rib to melt-in-your-mouth short ribs to garlic shrimp pasta, you can count on a consistently good experience every time. It's modest but tasty and well-prepared food. The reasonable breakfasts on weekends and BYOB policy are definite pluses. No wonder Scott Caan of Hawaii Five-0 is a repeat customer. www.goodtogrill.com. Reservations not accepted.
All but invisible on the back side of a strip mall, this wine bar seeks to communicate the feel of a catacomb in Italy, and largely succeeds, with dim lighting and soft, warm tones. Choose a small sip or an entire bottle from the many wines offered, enjoy the music, then ponder the small-dish menu of pizzas, panini, and hot and cold specialties such as eggplant Napoleon and melting short ribs in red wine. formaggio808.com. Reservations not accepted. Credit cards accepted. Closed Sun. No lunch.
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