1. Go to Town
When you get to the island, you should really go to Town (3435 Waialae Avenue, Kaimuki, Honolulu; 808-735-5900) or start your day off Downtown, Town's sister restaurant at the Hawaii State Art Museum (250 Hotel Street; 808-536-5900).
Downtown is only open for lunch and Saturday brunch. Town is a laidback neighborhood bistro in hip Kaimuki, a good bit off the tourist beat, but worth every inch of the detour.
Ed Kenney and David Caldiero?s passion for using organic and local produce and their commitment to recycling is impressive. Old menus become coasters. Used oils and kitchen waste are composted or recycled. The islands are scoured for local produce, with the best being flown in and dashed right to Kenney and Caldiero?s kitchen.
The former garage serves up unpretentious, mouthwatering fusion fare. Particular highlights are the Kabocha Risotto; sumptuous moi -- once the fish most favored by Hawaiian royals; grapefruit-Campari sorbet; and the delicious Lemonade Drop (made with Absolut Citron, fresh lemon, Nalo Mel honey and herb fruit juice). If you?re in Honolulu, go to Town or Downtown, or even better, go to both.
2. Northern delights
Oahu's northern shore, near Kahuku, is dotted with shrimp-farming ponds and you?ll find a true taste of the island parked alongside.
A slew of brightly colored shrimp trucks offer the freshest shrimp you?ll ever devour. Served in a number of sauces, choose from shrimp with garlic sauce, sweet black pepper sauce, lemon butter, "volcano sauce," and a tempting array of others for anywhere from $10-15. The shrimp trucks usually have picnic benches and umbrellas alongside. It's messy and delicious.
3. Fire it up
Outdoor lanai seating, fire pits, stunning Waikiki water views, and the best rum-based drinks menu I've ever seen star at the sultry RumFire (2255 Kalakaua Avenue; 866-952-3473) at the Sheraton Waikiki.
Sip treats such as a Cucumber and Lavender Mojito or a Ginger Banana Caipirinha as you look out at the sun setting over the ocean, or try selections from the largest selection of vintage rum in the U.S.
The thrillingly presented Hawaiian fusion fare on the food menu is also excellent. Tuck into Seared Kalua Pulled Pork Quesadilla, Shichimi Dusted Glazed Prawns with pomegranate peppercorn syrup, or Miso Sake Drunken Butterfish with tomato sea asparagus relish, look out over the idyllic scene, order another exhilarating libation, and enjoy.