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Korean is spoken here, in cooking style and in language, but you can make yourself understood with the help of menu translations and pointing. Mikawon is one of few grill-it-yourself restaurants to use real, charcoal-burning grills, considered the sine qua non of this Korean style of cooking which has been adopted by Japan. Their specialty is wang galbi—ribs seasoned in the style of Su Won, Korea, a mellower style than the usual soy sauce-soaked kal bi ribs. Credit cards accepted.
Diners can get a uniquely New York-style steak dinner with gruff New York-style service, but in a uniquely open-air, Waikiki-style restaurant. Located on the third floor of the Royal Hawaiian Center, this classic steak house serves up excellent steaks, thanks to an in-house dry-aging room. Even nonsteak items are of the highest quality; people come in just for crab cakes or the famous slabs of Canadian bacon. Stop by for happy hour to get some good deals. wolfgangssteakhouse.net.
An island dream, this buffet restaurant is made up of pavilions overlooking a network of ponds (once natural streams flowing from mountain to sea). The Island-style comfort food includes the trademark Willows curry along with Hawaiian dishes such as laulau (a steamed bundle of ti leaves containing pork, butterfish, and taro tops) and kalua pig. willowshawaii.com. Reservations essential. Credit cards accepted.
Despite the notoriously inattentive waitstaff, budget-conscious snowbirds, night owls with a yen for karaoke, all-day drinkers of both coffee and the stronger stuff, hearty eaters, and lovers of local-style plate lunches contentedly rub shoulders at this venerable diner and cocktail lounge at the edge of Waikiki. Most checks are under $11, and there's a $2.50 children's menu. It's open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year (except Tuesday, when the restaurant closes from 10 pm to 6 am), but the place fills up and a line forms around the corner at breakfast time, so arrive early or late. Reservations not accepted. Credit cards accepted.
The three-tiered Top of Waikiki has amazing 360-degree views of Honolulu, but unlike many revolving restaurants it also has an award-winning menu that features delicious new American cuisine with island flavor. The lobster-crab cake salad or the coconut shrimp are great ways to start the evening. For dinner, although they may sound basic, the seafood pasta and garlic rib eye are the most popular entrées because they're just that good. To get a sunset view, grab dinner from 5 to 6 pm and enjoy the added early-bird dishes starting at $17. topofwaikiki.com. Credit cards accepted.
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