Oahu, I love you! Let’s eat!

Oh, Oahu. I do love you! I was so sad to leave you. I felt like one of those little kids you see at Disneyland, kicking and screaming and rolling on the ground because they’re not ready for the fun to end. It was a perfect vacation, although much too short. I definitely could have used a few more days of sunshine and waking up to a view of the ocean.

My little brother was an awesome tour guide and shuttled us all over Oahu. We snorkeled, we explored, we chilled on the beach. But most importantly, we ate our way around the island. Here are some of the highlights, all shot with Instagram.

Warm malasadas from Leonard’s. Fried, cloud-like puffs of dough rolled in granulated sugar. The chocolate-filled are my favorite. We managed to eat malasadas twice during our short visit, and I secretly wanted to make one last stop at Leonard’s before we headed home.

You haven’t lived until you’ve had the shrimp scampi at Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck. Juicy, perfectly cooked, and finger-licking good. I am going to have dreams about those shrimp for days.

Shave ice from Matsumoto’s. This is nothing like the snow cones I ate as a child. This stuff is super-duper. It’s like fresh snow, more powdery than icy, drenched in the fruity flavors of your choice (I went with the tropical combo – passion fruit, guava, and papaya). And if you really want to indulge, you can have your shave ice over a scoop of vanilla ice cream and topped with a drizzle of condensed milk. It’s kind of like a 50/50 bar in a paper cone – fruity, icy, and creamy. The most amazing treat on a hot day.

This is what I call a Real Hawaiian breakfast: Spam and eggs over rice at Zippy’s. I rarely eat Spam in my real life, with the exception of a musubi once or twice a year. But I found myself eating spam and eggs for breakfast two days in a row at two different restaurants. As the saying goes, “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”.

I wasn’t even hungry when I arrived at Shirokiya. But when I spotted Takoyaki Yama Chan in the food court, I got in line. Takoyaki is a dumpling-like ball of batter, filled with pieces of octopus or other seafood. It is laboriously prepared in spherical cast iron molds in small batches. At Yama Chan, it’s a bit of a celebration each time a hot batch is ready to be served – there is shouting and the banging of a drum involved. The takoyaki is definitely worthy of the commotion.

We had lunch at Nico’s Pier 38 on our way to the airport. I would’ve been happy with pretty much anything on their menu, including the selection of pokes in their deli. Shrimp gumbo, fish tacos, and a cold beer was the perfect ending to a really fantastic trip. I cannot wait to go back. Aloha!