On our fifth day of our week-long Oahu vacation, we had an early breakfast at the popular Bogart’s Café near Diamond Head. I had heard good things about the acai bowl here so wanted to check it out. We had eaten there before and had enjoyed it but I wish the seating situation was better since you order at the counter and then find a seat. There are occasions where you may not be able to find a seat especially when it’s really crowded and Bogart’s Cafe is small and fills up fast. Luckily today we managed to get a table for two right after we ordered. Whew, seating crisis averted. We ordered the aforementioned acai bowl and the crab and avocado omelet. We’ve had the omelet before and it was just as good as we remembered it. The acai bowl on the other hand was pretty standard. It was just a rather boring acai bowl – basic blended acai with some fruit and granola that tasted store-bought. I think it’s because I have had such great acai bowls with many unique toppings on previous trips to Hawaii that I just expected a little more. Many people like the acai here though, maybe because of its simplicity.
After breakfast we headed windward (east)! We were off to Lanikai beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Hawaii in my opinion. We found parking on the side of a road. Note, Lanikai does not have a dedicated parking area nor facilities but neighboring Kailua beach does. We walked through the access path to the beach in between stately beach homes.
It’s such a pretty sight to see the blue water and white sand as you get closer. Finally we see the beach and the Mokuloa islands in the distance. Then we realized it was probably the windiest day of the trip today, and we were on the windward coast. Holy wind tunnel batman! Boy, was it gusty on the beach! Hair and towels flying everywhere. We had to weight down each end of our towels with something because it was crazy windy. It was still very beautiful though, but I felt bad for the kayakers who were doing everything possible to stay on their boats. Despite the breezy morning we managed to have a lot of fun. At least it was sunny!
After battling the wind we left the beach and stopped by the Kailua Farmer’s Market. It was winding down when we got there but I recognize many of the vendors from the Saturday KCC farmer’s market and Wednesday’s Honolulu market. We headed back to Waikiki but we drove down the scenic longer route around the southeastern side of Oahu and stopped at the Halona Blowhole and Halona Beach Cove. Very beautiful views (still windy though) and Halona cove you will recognize as the beach from the movie “From Here to Eternity”. You can climb down some cheap lamisil rocks to access it too. A very nice picture spot!
Back in Waikiki we had a late lunch at the Waikiki Shoreline Hotel – at a newish café called Heavenly. We walked there from the Banyan and took us about 20 minutes. I had not heard too much about this place but everything I saw on it has been favorable. The restaurant has a chic beach-y ambiance and the food is organic and sourced locally where possible. The menu looked great, lots of interesting, healthy options with an ethnic twist. Steve got the shrimp pho noodle soup, and I got the Hainanese chicken rice, which is something I grew up eating (I’m from Singapore). I also got a green smoothie which I really enjoyed.
The shrimp pho was very surprising. It was hearty and quite complex. It exceeded my expectations because I have never had good pho outside of a dedicated Vietnamese restaurant. My chicken rice was slightly different than what I was used to but it was quite tasty! Brined and poached chicken breast is served chilled with rice cooked in chicken broth, and some condiments on the side. It also came with a bowl of broth. I thought the flavors were interesting and well-balanced. I would definitely return to Heavenly, maybe to try breakfast/brunch one day.
After lunch we wanted to walk around that end of Waikiki a bit but then it started to pour! We ducked into a dept store and waited it out for about half an hour, then it got sunny again. We walked around then went back to the Banyan.
We were heading to the North Shore the next day and needed to get some gas so we drove downtown to Costco to fill up. Gas filled, but not hungry enough for dinner, we spent our evening at the movies at Ward Center (we saw Spectre, which had just opened). I like theaters in Hawaii because you can get local snacks like fruit with li hing, and popcorn with mochi crunch.
We had a late night dinner at one of our favorites, 678 Hawaii, a Korean BBQ joint. Really yummy Korean barbecue they cook in front of you. Service is always on point here too. We got one of the sets which included different cuts of meat plus a tofu-kimchi soup. It was delicious and hit the spot!
Coming up, on our last full day we escape to the North Shore!
Read more about our November 2015 Trip to Oahu.