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HAWAII Magazine picks: Six great dinners on Oahu

On vacation, many of us budget for at least one great dinner. You know, the kind that makes you feel you are really living—and sampling the best of the place you are visiting. Of all Hawai‘i locations, Honolulu has the richest supply of outstanding restaurants, many headed by award-winning chefs.

If you’re looking for one spectacular night out on O‘ahu, here are our top six recommendations (in alphabetical order):


Alan Wong’s Restaurant

1857 South King St.
(808) 949-2526, www.alanwongs.com

Chef Alan Wong is running out of wall space for his awards. These include 10 Restaurant of the Year honors from Honolulu Magazine and a 1996 James Beard Award for best chef.

Wong helped invent Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine. If you want to eat local ingredients and sample the best of Hawai‘i flavors, you’ve come to the right place. Wong’s goal is to provide an authentic taste of Hawai‘i. His menu reads like a roster of the state’s best farmers and ranchers. Even the coffee menu tells you which farm grew the beans.

But long before coffee, you’ll sample such delights as chopped ‘ahi on Asian guacamole, butter-poached Keāhole lobster on crab dumplings, onaga (a prized local snapper) with a miso-black sesame vinaigrette, or a twice-cooked local beef short rib topped with a gingered prawn.

The entree pictured above? Wong's "bambucha steak"—a grilled 1 lb. rib eye from the Big Island's Kuahiwi Ranch.

Save room for pastry chef Michelle Karr’s chocolate sampler: ice cream, crème brûlée, molten cheesecake, Hawaiian crunch bars and caramels, all made with chocolate grown in nearby Waialua.

Wong’s is on the third floor of a nondescript office building a few minutes outside Waikīkī. Don’t worry about finding it, every cab driver in town knows where it is.

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