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Golf is golf, and Hawaii is part of the United States, but Island golf nevertheless has its own quirks. Here are a few tips to make your golf experience in the Islands more pleasant.
If you are a fish or shellfish lover, then this is the place for you. One of the most wildly popular restaurants in Hawaii with locations on three islands, Sansei takes sushi, sashimi, and contemporary Japanese food to a new level. Favorite dishes include the mango-and-crab-salad handroll, panko-crusted-ahi sashimi roll, Asian shrimp cake, Japanese calamari salad, and Dungeness crab ramen with Asian-truffle broth. There are great deals on sushi and small plates for early birds and night owls. This busy restaurant has several separate dining areas, a sushi bar, and a bar area, but the focus is squarely on excellent food and not the ambience. www.sanseihawaii.com. Credit cards accepted. No lunch.
The flavors of Old Mexico are given new life here, where a dozen chilies are used to create the salsas. The owner, a former high-end food and beverage pro, spent three years visiting authentic eateries in 40 Mexican cities before opening this place. Tucked into an older and unfancy mall, this restaurant requires you to order at the counter and fill your own disposable beverage cup at the soda fountain. But as soon as you bite into a chipotle-citrus rotisserie chicken plate or, really, anything on the menu, you'll forget all about the plastic cutlery and lack of a view. The brilliantly colored, clever decor—a collection of worn-from-duty tortilla presses, now hand-painted—coupled with consistently excellent food at affordable prices more than makes up for the lack of fine dining amenities. www.cilantrogrill.com. Credit cards accepted.
You can tour Maui's only winery and its historic grounds, the former Rose Ranch, and sample such wines as Ulupalakua Red and Upcountry Gold. The top seller, naturally, is the pineapple wine, Maui Blanc. The tasting room is a cottage built in the late 1800s for the frequent visits of King Kalakaua. The cottage also contains the Ulupalakua Ranch History Room, which tells colorful stories of the ranch's owners, the paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) tradition that developed here, and Maui's polo teams. The old Ranch Store across the road may look like a museum, but in fact it's an excellent pit stop. The elk burgers are fantastic. www.mauiwine.com. COST: Free. OPEN: Daily 10--5; tours at 10:30 and 1:30.
Hawaii's favorite casual, eat-in, or takeout restaurant, Zippy's was founded more than 45 years ago. Today Oahu has more than two dozen locations from which to choose, and Maui waited a long time to get one. It's a 24-hour-a-day (takeout only after midnight Sun.-Thurs.), diner-type place with a big menu. Spaghetti with chili, oxtail soup, Korean chicken, chicken katsu, noodles, burgers, and burritos are just a few of the tasty menu options. Napoleon's Bakery counter up front serves its only-in-Hawaii-style turnovers, pies, cakes, and pastries, as well as made-to-order malasadas and andagi. www.zippys.com. Credit cards accepted.
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Oahu: Ocean House Restaurant
Kauai: Plantation Gardens