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Lanai Eats

Lanai's new blog that will take you to a tour of hawaii locals favorite eateries!

Lanai Eats!

Tip Top Cafe

Tip Top Cafe

Tip Top Cafe on Kauai opened in 1916 and is now 103 years old. Tip Top is run by 4th generation owner Jonathan Ota and the place still maintains its old school feel. What started off as a motel, bakery, and restaurant has become famous for its original recipe pancakes, loco moco and Ox tail soup. They do 800 lbs of Ox tail a week and its always ono.

Tip Top Cafe has an original recipe for oxtail soup that includes long rice and the most meat I have seen anywhere in one serving. I remember coming here as a kid eating the hamburger steak. It is nice to see that the have maintained the original decor and the food is still simple but delicious. Please continue to support our nostalgic local spots as they are becoming increasingly harder to find.


Lanai Eats!



Saimin: which means thin noodle, was introduced on the sugar plantations by Chinese immigrants. The broth is made with a shrimp base and is not like ramen which is made with pork and beef bones. Itʻs so popular in Hawaii that itʻs the only place in the world you can find saimin at McDonalds. Charles and Aioko Hamura created @hamurasaimin in Lihue Kauai on Kress Street in a back alley. Today its one of the most visited hole-in-the-wall’s in Hawaii, and Itʻs one of the last places that still make the noodles by hand. .

I have been eating at Hamura’s the last 25 years and the manapua and the lilikoi chiffon pie is a must try.
Mahalo to aunty Pearla Yago for always taking care of us, she has been making the Saimin at Hamura’s for almost 50 years and we appreciate her! Support the old school local companies when ever you can.


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Fukuya Okazuya

Fukuya Okazuya

Fukuya Okazuya

Fukuya Okazuya is one of my favorite Okazuya’s in the state. Fukuya Deli & Catering has served as one of Oahu’s most popular Japanese delicatessen since 1939.

Fukuya Okazuya 1It’s a traditional okazuya owned by Arrison Iwahiro. I have been going since high school.

The Japanese term “Okazu” means “food served with rice” and “Ya” means “store”. “Okazuya” is said to be a localized Hawaii-based combination of the two. They became popular during the plantations and we have less then 10 left. If we don’t support them they will all disappear soon so go out and visit one. Support these mom and pops local spots and keep them alive!





#supportlocal #buylocal #momandpops #okazuya #fukuya #lanai #hawaiianstyle #food #localkinetings #food #foodporn #cooking #travel #hawaii #hawaiimade #instastory #instaphoto #follow

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Ethel's Grill #2


Ethel's Grill #2 @ethelsgrill_kalihi has been one of my regular spots the last 25 yrs. Ryoko and Yoichi Ishii opened Ethel's Grill, in Kalihi, in 1978. Their daughter Minaka and Robert now run it. If I could I would buy the apartments above it so I could eat there everyday.

Ethel's only has 7 tables and is only open for breakfast and lunch. Some of my go-to’s are the goya champuro, deep fried turkey tails, ume chicken, pork soup and of course their world famous ahi tataki.

In the photos you have hamburger curry loco moco, tataki, taco rice, and the tonkatsu sandwich.

They used to have the best cheeseburgers in town but they don’t make them anymore.
Hawaii has so many local spots closing because of inflation, or the next generation doesn’t want to take over, so we have to support our mom & pop locations or they wont be around long. Support local! Mahalo @ethelsgrill_kalihi @arashirq for always taking care!

Ethels Grill 2                     Ethels Grill 2 2

Ethels Grill 2


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Sushi Sasabune


When Sushi Sasabune opened 18 years ago I went for lunch. The place was empty and Seiji Kumugawa and his wife where running it by themselves.

The Omakasi was $50 for 13 rounds of sushi so we would go there at least twice a week.
Since then they have won numerous awards like restaurant of the year, #1 Zagat, top 10 sushi bars in the US, and the list go’s on.

Back in the day sushi was served on hot rice and cold fish was sold on carts. Seiji’s style is very old school no California rolls, no tempura and the rice he says took him 10 years to perfect. I been lucky enough to watch this place grow to what it has become today. As much as I go to Japan I always appreciate what Seiji has created by still keeping it old school.

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#sasabune #sushi #sushisasabune #lanai #hawaiianstyle #food #localkinetings #food #foodporn #cooking #travel #hawaii #hawaiimade #instastory #instaphoto #follow