Taste of Hawai‘i

January 15, 2015 | By Lianne Bidal Thompson

Dishes around Waikiki that take ‘farm-to-table’ seriously


The loco moco is definitely a Hawai‘i creation: usually a hamburger patty on a bed of rice, topped with an egg (or two) and brown gravy all over. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more suitable meal to sate your hunger after a grueling surf session. However, you’ll find a much more refined version of this dish exclusively on the Taste of Japengo Menu. The Loco Lobster Moco elevates the loco moco to a whole new level. Here, treat your taste buds to a 3 oz. Hawaii Ranchers filet mignon, Kona lobster, Hamakua mushroom rice, delicate quail egg and bordelaise sauce. It’s paired with other menu items: “North Shore” Garlic Shrimp, Hawaiian Bouillabaisse and the restaurant’s signature Coconut Crème Brulee.




“Hyatt believes in giving our guests food that is locally sourced and carefully served,” says Chef Sven Ull-rich, Executive Chef at Hyatt Regency Waikiki. “The ingredients we use are obtained here on the islands and our celebrated chefs know the best way to share their love of the islands is to bring them to our menus. From the housemade granola mixed with our honey harvested on property for the Acai Berry Bowl to Japengo’s chic Loco Moco, we have found a way to bring the best of the islands to our guests.”

The Taste of Japengo Menu is $70, guests may special order the Loco Lobster Moco for $38.

Japengo Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort & Spa
2424 Kalakaua Ave. [C:9 Waikiki Map]
(808) 237-6180 | waikikihyatt.com


This cozy and chic café has garnered quite the following since its opening last fall. Offering up healthy and hearty versions of favorite dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, diners always make a return trip to try new things on the menu. And, talk about taking “farm-to-table” seriously: the menu features a map of the state that lists the farms from which all the restaurant’s produce is sourced.

Choices include the Local Farm eggs Benedict, $13.50, that features a homemade hollandaise sauce with lilikoi butter, poached local farm egg and served with University of Hawai‘i Okinawan purple potatoes and fresh local salad. This can be topped with local Shinsato pork belly, kalua pig, Hamakua tomato and local avocado or salmon and spinach. Another breakfast favorite is the Big Island Honey French Toast, $13.50: locally made sweet bread, Hawaiian vanilla beans and whipped cream.

For later in the day, nosh on Avocado Guacamole made with local avocados, $9.50 and Kahuku Garlic Shrimp for a taste of the North Shore, $16. Come dinnertime, dig into the Kauai Makaweli Ranch Ribeye Steak served with local grilled vegetables and Naked Cow Dairy truffle sauce, $25.

Heavenly Island Lifestyle
Joie de Vivre Shoreline Hotel
342 Seaside Ave. [B:7 Waikiki Map]
(808) 923-1100 | heavenly-waikiki.com


Sansei has its roots on Maui and is known for its contemporary sushi and new wave Asian offerings. No doubt, playing with fresh ingredients leads to many of this restaurant’s culinary masterpieces.

One such example is the Aloun Farms compressed Watermelon & Pepper Seared ‘Ahi with crispy Kahuku ogo and sea asparagus, kisami wasabi and yuzu kosho. This star appetizer features Aloun Farms (located in Kapolei, O‘ahu) watermelon, Kahuku Farms (located on the North Shore of O‘ahu) ogo (seaweed) and sea asparagus.

“Supporting our local farmers has always been an important goal for Sansei,” says Chef Jason Miyasaki. “We strive to nurture our relationships with these small farmers so that they can stay in business, and this also ensures we have a great and quality product to work with. We try to source local when we can as much as possible.”

Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar
Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
2552 Kalakaua Ave.
[C:11 Waikiki Map]
(808) 931-6286 | sanseihawaii.com