My Point of Heu
July 8th marks one year since I completely healed from my bilateral simple prophylactic mastectomy - which in simple english means I had both of my breasts surgically removed to prevent breast cancer. Bilateral means two, simple means they did not attempt to save my nipples, prophylactic means preventative and I also opted not to have reconstruction, which means I went flat with no implants and no other surgeries. After a strong family history of breast cancer and a genetic predisposition to the disease I felt the best chance of preventing breast cancer was to have this surgery which reduces my chances by over 90+%.
I've been taking this recovery in stages... first going public about my decision one year ago after I was all healed, then sharing bits and pieces about life, this process and experience. Everyone has been so supportive and 100% positive which has been very uplifting and kind. Being recognized by those in community who say words like "brave" and "strong" made me really think about my decision and how it was impacting others.
I've had countless women reach out to me... a broad range from breast cancer survivors, women on the verge of diagnosis, women who were amongst the first to have this type of surgery done and women who are running high with emotions because they fear the C word. I've spent many hours answering questions, speaking in public and sharing my story. It wasn't until recently that I started to realize I am ready to share my videos of the process and recovery.
When I was researching how this would happen and what to expect I watched all the mastectomy videos I could and spoke to as many survivors as I could find from all walks of life. I realized there is no one like me and I am very unique. I do have a special story to share and I think no matter how it is perceived or viewed it would be helpful to share these videos with others. It is surprising to me how many women out there are full with emotion and angst. I've noticed women who have had breast pain, burning, lumps and bumps and don't want to seek help or treatment. I've heard from women who don't have cancer, are pre-cancer their relative had cancer and they feel extremely motivated to do what I did. For me it was a way to evaluated the numbers - here is my risk and here is the best way to reduce the risk. I thought the decision I made was the best and most effective for me. I encourage others to speak with their doctors and also work on getting even a second or third opinion, because there isn't a magic bullet and despite what you think might be the right choice for you - you need to do your research.
Yes, I was perfectly healthy and did not have cancer. My journey is about me doing something some might say is extreme with the hopes of saving or prolonging my life. Since 1% of the people on social media are confused and seem to think I had cancer, even though I've made it very clear that I did not have any cancer cells and this was all preventative to prevent cancer... I am not going to post these videos on Facebook or Instagram. I am going to post them on YouTube with the comments turned off simply as a resource for others to see, watch and learn. I think because this is a new concept some can't seem to wrap their head around what I did or why i did it, so I think it's best to just upload it out there and those who seek it out and want to learn more can.
My YouTube channel name is Olena Heu.
Feel free to like and/or subscribe - I will begin uploading the journey videos in the next few days and put them all in order from the day before surgery to fully healed.
So... I am slightly mildly maybe embarrassed, which is why I was hesitant to blog about this... but I feel that those who take the time to read this may be saved or helped by my experience. I will ruin the ending for you right now and let you know I ordered products and did in fact receive them, but I have extremely high suspicions that this would not be the case for 90% of the other people who make the same mistake that I did.
Last month, I saw one of those ads online advertising apparel and "Looking for Brand Ambassadors," I had seen it so many times that it was just like white noise to me. Then something caught my eye, 'that is a cute shirt'. So I went to their page and it seemed very authentic, actual regular women posting empowering photos, quotes, empassionned posts, inspiration and etc. I thought 'this is pretty cool'. Then I browsed their website and saw that it looked legit. So I messaged them. I immediately got a reply... here's how it went:
May 22: Hello, I am messaging to learn more about your ambassador program.
2 min later: Hey! I am Megan, thanks for the message how are you?
Olena: I am great, doing well. I am an entrepreneur who started a digital marketing firm 6 years ago.
Megan: Awesome, so happy you reached out. Have you heard of us before?
Megan: I started the company last year, Our mission is spread empowerment to women and 25% of our profits go to organizations globally to empower women globally.
Olena: That's amazing and awesome, I fully support that.
Megan: Take a look at our website let me know what your favorite piece is.You can check the link in our bio for our collection on the site.
Olena: Ok awesome.
Megan: We would love to collaborate with you as an ambassador and share a discount with you for everything on the site. Once you receive your order, posts photos and we will share on our website and instagram and would be happy to tag your account or any other account that you have.
Olena: Awesome, I believe in your mission. Props you are very responsive.
Megan: I just made you a discount code for you, your family, friends and followers. When it arrives feel free to tag us or send it here an you can share in your story too if you want.
Olena: Ok, sounds good. Thank you. I will go shopping now and get some gifts for my friends as well.
Megan: If you let me know your order number I will be sure to throw in an extra secret gift for being an ambassador.
Olena: I think my order number is xyz
Megan: Perfect, so excited.
Olena: Thank you so much, I am looking forward to sharing.
So here's where it gets interesting... I placed my order. They sent a confirmation that it was ready for USPS pickup on May 26. When you go to the USPS link and input your tracking number -- it says the item was never shipped. They also have a disclaimer that even though someone says they are shipping a box, that doesn't mean it actually is making it's way to them as USPS is waiting for it to be dropped off.
June 1st, I wait one week and the item still hasn't shipped. I send a message to the insanely responsive Megan who claims to have started this company in Boston.
Olena: Hi, just checking in. USPS says the item was called for shipment but wasn't shipped yet.
I start cyber stalking their social media pages and notice amongst their hundreds of comments there are a handful that say "I am waiting for my order" "never got my order" "you wont ever get your order" "they delete all the negative comments and you won't get your order."
Ugh, I never saw this before... so I message one of the girls that said she ordered a month ago and it never came. She replies that yes, she never got it and never heard from them again. She also posted the same email confirmation that I got saying the order was shipped with the USPS tracking info, but just like me the order was never shipped.
I immediately call my credit card to contest the charge. I reported that I ordered the item, they never shipped it and have been unresponsive. Then magically 10 days later, they pop up in my DMs.
"Hey babe, we apologize for the wait, as current events in the world are significantly impacting us, and we are finding new ways to do our part. The good news is I see your order is in transit and should be at your front door soon. We thank you for your support and continue to spread kindness."
In the midst of all this... I was concerned that my credit card information was potentially compromised, so I canceled it and had a replacement card with a new number sent to me.
Yes, the package eventually came on June 12, 21 days after my order was placed. Was there a special additional gift inside, no. Was it everything I ordered, yes. Did it come from Boston, no. Was I happy with it, meh...it was just ok. Would I order again, no way!
So, I recently saw the ads popping up again and went to scroll through... I noticed a bunch of gals saying they ordered and couldn't wait for their shirts. There were a handful of replies under their posts that were deleted, I am guessing the ones that said "you won't ever get it." I personally do think it is some sort of scam to get your money, but since I had contested the charge once they were contacted by my credit card company they realized they better send it. I won't be sharing the discount code with anyone as I don't want others to fall victim to the thieves because I endorsed it and gave them a shopping code. I thought I was thorough, I even researched their website, other sites, pages and watched a few YouTube videos about these kind of scams, but this one was different and very convincing in a very personal way. I have seen ones where you have to pay for shipping or pay for the costs and they claim to send you all this stuff, or it is a pyramid scheme of sorts. But this one seemed like a great cause, they offered a swell discount and were very responsive until I placed the order.
Word to the wise, make purchases from a trusted source, do your research and be sure to use a method of payment that is insured or has your back. Avoid debit cards or anything that is connected to your bank accounts. I also used my P.O. Box as my address because I was hesitant to give them my home address and as it turns out your subconscious is usually right. So in the end I quite possibly almost maybe could've potentially gotten scammed.
I have no doubt this era that we are living in is a double edged sword. While I try to maintain a positive attitude and share inspiration, hope and joy... We are human and it does take a toll on your mental health to encounter all of these challenges, changes and the new normal of life.
On The Bright Side
1. I've enjoyed all of this quality time at home with my husband. I feel our relationship has only grown stronger and better with each passing day. We have and will always compliment each other and balance one another -- and that is perhaps the most gratifying experience I can share so far since March. As a life partner who has loved unconditionally this only intensifies these feelings of deep love, appreciation and support.
2. Tele-Work - I've been working remotely and from home for 6 years now... so nothing is new for me, but many others have discovered how great it can be to be just a productive from the comforts of home. It can still be rewarding, productive and efficient if you do it correctly. At home projects all got done and all this downtime was a great way to reconnect on all levels. I am also extremely grateful to still have work!
3. Takeout and Delivery - at it's peak when we all feared going out in public and were ordered to stay in our homes, the joy of home delivery and restaurant food for takeout was a pleasant experience. perhaps it was seeing other humans, encountering other people, seeing something new and trying something new that helped bring a spark to your day. From that we discovered a few gems and also learned to really appreciate our small businesses who are working so hard to stay afloat, always adapting and pivoting to stay alive.
4. Communication is Key - with the advent of FaceTime, Zoom, video conferencing, text messaging, direct messaging, group chats and etc... keeping in touch, sharing a message and just engaging with others really helped to uplift and inspire. I tried to keep in touch with close friends regularly and hoped that my messages and frequent check-ins also kept their spirits up.
5. Mother Nature Reset - the water is clearer, the oceans are cleaner, life is rejuvenated and wildlife found some restoration. I first heard about it when dolphins were swimming in Venice, the fish returned to parts of Waikiki and coral started to grow again. Our reduced impact on the environment really helped mother nature experience a rebirth or sorts.
On The Down Side
1. After one month in isolation, the lack of social encounters and in-person engagements led me to a somber place. I felt frustrated, defeated and emotionally lost. I believe the unknown and fear created these feelings of angst and fright. There were so many questions about this new virus, sickness, death, hospitalization and more. Obviously, there are still a series of unknowns but Hawaii has emerged as one of the lowest regions of infection and has done very well keeping the health and safety of our residents in tact. Being cooped up at home isn't the best and most ideal choice but I am grateful to be safe, healthy and virus free.
2. Too much social media - while I manage social media for others as it is part of my business, also for Da Best Hawaii and my own personal pages this, as you can imagine, is somewhat cumbersome. Posting for my clients is fun, exciting and inspires me... but keeping up with Da Best Hawaii and maintaining posts for myself leaves me weary. I worked tirelessly to help my clients as best I could, doing 5Xs the amount of expected work and often fielding, calls, meetings, texts, emails and etc from 5am-12am daily. When the work started to taper off I found myself frustrated by others on social media who opted to unfollow, block or disengage with me personally. I think when you are living your daily life you wouldn't notice these things, but since all we had was time at home and on the internet, being social, it lead to some common frustrations. For me, I feel social media is a place to entertain, educate and inspire others. For others I think social media is a game... It's a place where they can create a facade, find false affirmations of themselves and investigate what others are doing and how they are living without them noticing. To put it in it's simplest terms much of what we see is fake, fake altered posts, fake followers, fake likes and fake friends. Now don't get me wrong this is just speaking from a personal perspective, this isn't related to marketing or business reach at all. This is mainly an observation regarding the cognitive behaviors of humans on social media. For some they are seeking validation through "likes" and "followers" and thus begins this cycle of inauthentic relationships, engagements and unvalued worth. So what does this all mean? We will never know because each person is unique in their motivations and desires through social and it depends on how authentic and true they actually are.
3. I think I definitely gained weight - I don't have a scale and I am uncertain how much I weighed in February but I am pretty sure my waistline has seen better days LOL. A combination of inactivity, gym closures and lots of snacking has led to my realization. My husband did a great job of cooking for me and we ate everything that made us happy and content. I find a great sense of happiness and joy because of good food and I don't regret it, but it may take some extra time making my fitness goals again.
In the end
You can see the benefits outweighed the negatives. I do believe we will make it through and the world may in fact become a better place, I hope. Moving forward it'll be a world that is more cognizant of the way we interact, the way we treat each other and the decisions we make. I can only hope that we can always consider what is best for the soul, for others and for the planet.
Being at home in isolation, socially and physically distancing from others has been a roller coaster of emotions. But as the days pass you start to adapt and things have changed to accommodate our new lifestyle. Here are the best things I have found since being quarantined and ordered to stay home, work from home and remain safer at home. -- I love these innovations and options!
1. Home Delivery
Market home delivery is amazing. Being able to shop online and have the items you have chosen hand delivered to your doorstep saves a lot of time, effort, energy and is exceptionally convenient. I also had a poke delivery service bring poke to my front door as well and that was the most exciting thing about last month. What I love about the freshBOX market is they feature only local treats and products - it is hand delivered in an insulated box with frozen ice packets. Everything is fresh and you get to try new things too. We loved the HI FIVE ULU Waffle batter and even though we didn't have a waffle maker it was a spectacular pancake too!
2. Sauces are everything
With all of this stay at home cooking going on... we discovered the specialty sauces by M from Chef Marvro Restaurant and they were mind blowingly delicious. Imagine pristine culinary french cuisine... what elevates it and takes it to the next level? The elegant and expertly made sauces. These were definitely worth their weight in gold. I loved all of them... Ginger Scallion, Eggplant Miso and Pistou were amazing and inspired us to make more food at home enhanced by these phenomenal sauces. Psst, I even added the Ginger Scallion to my fresh poke and that was unreal. Use sauces to help let your creative juices flow. I feel having great sauce inspires your cooking!
3. Wear Face Coverings
I've always been a big fan of wearing a face mask while traveling. There is something comforting about it and when you aren't feeling well it's a great way to keep your throat warm and to feel secure. I first saw these being worn in public in Asia, notably in Japan about 20 years ago. It is nice to see that as a society we can begin to respect and feel at ease knowing it is ok to opt to wear these in public spaces. With the efforts to reduce the spread of germs I am glad we've all adopted this way of life and have learned to utilize it. Some say they have a hard time breathing, get a mask that is easier to breathe or try breathing through your nose and essentially don't touch your face... or stop touching your face so much.
4. Buy Family Packs
I recently ordered a specialty pak from Ahi Assassins and it was probably the best food deal I have consumed this whole year. Because eateries aren't making the usual sales they would normally see on the daily or from events, they are getting creative and offering incentives. This is also a way for them to get rid of inventory and add more value for your dollar. For $25-$100 you can score a huge meal for your whole family and then some to freeze if need be. I saw similar options for other eateries... where you essentially get a whole meal at a discounted price.
5. Drive Thru Pick-Up
Probably the most convenient and greatest no-contact option around.... preorder via phone or online, swing by and pick up your items by having them hand delivered to your vehicle and go. I have done this at restaurants, stores and shopping centers. This is probably the most efficient and easiest option around. Seriously, I told one girl to just open the backseat and put it in and done. I guess it would be even better if they didn't touch the vehicle but hey door to door service is amazing and so convenient.
So... I am probably the most affectionate and huggable person you know. I might dare to say I am actually quite famous for my hugs, full, unique, ultimate and with all my heart and body. I am going to go out on a limb and say they are pretty legendary.
Now with the social distancing and physical distancing requirements in place... it has hurt my heart not to hug people anymore. But you may recall when Hawaii's flu season was rampant this winter I tried to initiate a no-hugging policy, so as to avoid getting sick. But I was met with abrasive gestures, multiple scoffs and forced hugs. Fast forward to January and yes, I got sick. It was definitely some sort of corona virus in that I had a fever, cough and was down for about 4 days with a lingering cough for about a month. Luckily when I recovered, and prior to COVID, I went out and got my flu shot - amen.
Now that COVID-19 has resulted in 4,525,497 known cases globally and 307,395 confirmed deaths (as of May 17, 2020) even with global lockdowns and stay at home orders for millions... I am noticing some people are still hugging and kissing like there is no risk and no reason not to hug. When this happens I feel a great sense of awkwardness and uncomfortableness. Why? Well... if I am the only one not hugging, then it honestly makes me look like some sort of killjoy or physically and mentally withdrawn from the situation or person.
The real answer is I rather be safe and not spread germs. I don't know who you've been in contact with and who you have hugged and kissed prior to me... and I honestly tend to have a sore throat often and what if I am sick? Even worse is the possibility of exposure. There are some people who are asymptomatic and show no signs of infection at all; how horrible would it be if I was that person and I brought it to your house and spread it to your entire family?
But as I start to see this sense of rebellion or disconnect from medical suggestions/government orders - I begin to observe that many choose to disregard precautions and live their day-to-day lives like there is nothing to be concerned about. If I am the only person out of 10 who isn't hugging, then I guess it is inevitable that I will eventually contract whatever it is that you may be carrying, and you will contract what I am carrying too.
Luckily, here in Hawaii we are amongst the best places in the world with the lowest COVID-19 infection. I feel that I have taken all the precautions to not get sick and have followed them to a T (since early March). Now as we slowly transition to normal life... I can see people initiating handshakes, hugs and close contact again. I thought perhaps that distancing would be the new norm, but I feel it isn't the case. Many news agencies are reporting contact isolation as the best method to reduce the risk, but those are people who are already infected.
So here is the question? When will I be comfortable hugging people again? What do I do when people forcibly try to hug me? And should I just bite the bullet and hug again because we are all going to get sick anyway? In the meantime I have tried the shaka, bowing, and touching other parts like feet, butt and elbows - but still people are so awkward and it's just an awkward situation to be in because everyone's boundaries are different.
Food for thought:
"Hugging loved ones who don’t live with you is “not recommended” until a coronavirus vaccine is found, U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said." - Forbes
5 Best Spots for Mochi in the Morning
By Olena Heu
Craving something sweet, light, fluffy yet chewy and perhaps a texture that you’ve never encountered before? Enter delightfully delicious mochi pancakes and mochi waffles, that are artfully created using rice flour. This iconic Japanese treat which originally dates back to just before the 800’s is now setting a new trend. Here’s a look at five of the most innovative and mouthwatering mochi pancakes and mochi waffles you must try on Oahu.
Mochiko Chicken & Mochi Waffles has been a mainstay on the menu of this rustic brunch spot for several years now. Double the mochi and double the fun, as the crisp yet juicy texture of the fried chicken also lends itself to the dense yet subtle mochi waffle - a great combo if you ask me. A play on the classic chicken and waffles, this iteration is completely unique and out of this world with the use of Jidori chicken and a decadent bacon maple syrup. This dish is not gluten free, but can be prepared gluten free by request.
1035 University Ave #105
Honolulu, HI 96826
(808) 942-2222 www.thenookhonolulu.com
Koa Pancake House
A staple for breakfast with an impressive menu spanning everything you can imagine from omelets, to benedicts and more… Koa Pancake House has been open for nearly four decades and now boasts Butter Mochi Pancakes and a Butter Mochi Waffle topped with Guava Lava puree. Butter mochi is a more decadent mochi usually a golden yellow hue and includes… yes rich, silky butter. The chewy texture is addicting and a perfect blend of sweet with savory.
Koa Pancake House
6 Locations island-wide
Oahu, Hawaii www.koapancakehouse.com
Famous the world over for their vibrant purple ube pancakes, the management team at Yogurstory decided to try something new… Ube Waffles. This pairing of ube (purple yam) with mochi flour topped with a sour cream whipped cream will leave your tastebuds dancing. The waffles have more of a spongy texture when compared to traditional pancakes, and the ube syrup is a blend of coconut milk and sweet yam which offers a nutty, creamy and comforting essence.
815 Keeaumoku Street
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 942-0505 www.yogurstoryHI.com
M.A.C. 24/7 Waikiki
An all day and all night eatery serving unique island favorites along with traditional comfort classics, these Mochi Pancakes are uniquely delicate, alarmingly addictive and easily devoured. Naturally gluten free and available 24 hours a day 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a late night snack, the original option is served with a spiced vanilla butter or you can choose to add freshly picked fruits to enhance the flavor profile. Honestly, these pancakes are so yummy you don’t need to add anything to them in this chic, contemporary yet charmingly convenient gem.
M.A.C. 24/7 Waikiki
2500 Kuhio Avenue
Waikiki, HI 96815
(808) 921-5564 www.mac247waikiki.com
Weekend brunch just got better when you add Mochi Pancakes from Herringbone Waikiki to the mix. Topped with lilikoi (passion fruit) butter and seasonal fruits, this order of pancakes is almost too beautiful to eat. Lilikoi is a blend of both sweet and sour, so if you would prefer to enjoy the delicate flavor of the gluten-free pancake ask for the sauce on the side. A convenient location at International Market Place along with the idyllic decor, makes this a hot spot for ladies and families who love to enjoy an afternoon meal with flowing mimosas in the tropics.
2330 Kalakaua Avenue #316
Waikiki, HI 96815
(808) 797-2435 https://herringboneeats.com/locations/waikiki
Unicorn Food in Honolulu
By Olena Heu
HELLO rainbows, sprinkles, glitter, chocolate sauce, syrups, decadent and sometimes refreshingly satisfying for any sweet tooth. We’re talkin unicorn food, a rainbow inspired fad that doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. Checkout our recent picks for the best spots to find uniquely inspired unicorn offerings.
Chocolate + Vanilla Bakery
As the name implies, this decadent bake shop in Kaimuki offers no shortage of sweet treats. They are known for their luscious bread pudding topped with extravagant flavors and additions. But did you know they also have a specialty rainbow bread unicorn sundae too?
1115 12th Avenue, Honolulu HI
Dipped by Dee
Chocolate covered strawberries is the name of the game for this sweetheart. Dee and her girl gang also conjure up delectable caramel apples, and berry bites to add to the strawberry delights. But none can impress more than white chocolate silver and pink unicorn dipped strawberries available for custom orders.
111 Sand Island Access Road, Honolulu HI
Famous for its extravagant soft serve crafted into a phenomenally decorated waffle cone… Charmy Hawaii takes exceptional ice cream flavors and melds them into works of fun edible art. Unicorn pineapple ice cream or just the basic unicorn flavor will make anyone smile and add a extra bounce to their step.
1450 Ala Moana Blvd #1360 Honolulu, HI
Urban Local Living Hawaii
This urban cafe nestled in the heart of Kakako serves milk drinks, boba teas and cotton candy goodness. The huge cotton candy bulb on your drink is enough to make you smile, while the rainbow cotton candy cup would make any unicorn prance and dance. People love to photograph their treats and sips for others to gaze at.
685 Auahi Street Honolulu, HI
It’s soft, creamy, nostalgic and the cake is rainbow. Zippy’s Napoleon’s Bakery has brought back the iconic Rainbow Cake and everyone is rejoicing. This delightful sweet ending is a popular addition to parties, birthdays and celebrations. Slice into the white whipped frosting and inside you’ll find layers of rainbow goodness any unicorn would appreciate.
Locations island wide on Oahu, one on Maui and soon in Las Vegas.
The Best Mai Tais in Honolulu
By Olena Heu
The original Mai Tai is known as a refreshing combination of citrus juices that packs a bright punch of floating rum. Its origin is somewhat debatable, as most will say it was created in 1944 by Victor Bergeron, also known as Trader Vic. But some might argue that Donn Beach of Don the Beachcomber claimed Vic’s recipe was inspired by Donn’s Q.B. Cooler which was originally created in 1933. Both men are synonymous with establishing the ever popular tiki culture and tiki bars in and around the pacific.
The cocktail that is often garnished with a pineapple wedge, cherry and colorful umbrella has evolved and changed over time. Bartenders often showcase their own variations of the drink while paying homage to the signature staple. Here’s a look at our top 4 interpretations of the classic Mai Tai found in Honolulu.
House Without A Key at Halekulani Hotel
Refined and elegant yet simple and a classic, this Mai Tai compliments the oceanfront setting with delightful melodies and swaying hula dancers that greet you in the evening. Garnished with a sugarcane stick and served with rock candy syrup this is also a palate cleanser.
2199 Kalia Road
Honolulu, HI 96815
Bar Leather Apron
An award-winning Mai Tai that has capture the title of World’s Best Mai Tai 2012, 2015 and 2018, crafted by Justin Park, is a new elevated and enhanced take on the staple. The addition of coconut water syrup, local Ohia blossom honey and Kiawe Wood smoke make this a Mai Tai to remember.
Bar Leather Apron
745 Fort Street Mall #127
Honolulu, HI 96813
Mai Tai Bar at The Royal Hawaiian
The Mai Tai is said to have arrived in Hawaii back in 1953, when the Pink Palace of the Pacific served the cocktail at the oceanfront Royal Hawaiian Hotel. This drink offers a cherry vanilla puree along with a splash of Cointreau and of course rolling views of the surf too.
Mai Tai Bar at The Royal Hawaiian
2259 Kalakaua Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96815
An innovative approach to the classic is topped with a honey lilikoi (passion fruit) foam that will leave a splendid mild yellow mustache if you’re not careful. Easily drinkable and full of tropical flavors including a crave worthy macadamia nut orgeat.
1108 Auahi Street
Honolulu, HI 96814
Where Locals Eat Hawaiian Food
By Olena Heu
When Polynesian voyagers first settled in the Hawaiian Islands they brought with them plants and animals that would become staples in the local diet. Since then high protein, vitamin-rich and flavorful dishes comprise that traditional Hawaiian diet. Here’s a look at some of the most sought-after places locals love to eat traditional Hawaiian cuisine.
Helena’s Hawaiian Food
Helen Chock first opened these doors to local favorites and traditional Hawaiian plates in 1946. Since then the James Beard Award-winning eatery in the humble town of Kalihi has been filling empty tummies. The Pipikaula Short Ribs, Laulau and Butterfish Collar keep everyone coming back, lining up and waiting outside along School Street for the savory goodness.
1240 North School Street
Honolulu, HI 96817
Young’s Fish Market
Family-owned and operated, Young’s Fish Market dishes up steaming hot Laulau, fresh fish Poke and savory Kalua Pork since 1951. On occasion you’ll also find the Taro dessert Kulolo on the counter and always fresh poi to accompany your traditional Hawaiian Plate meals. What started as a Hawaiian/Chinese restaurant now equates delicious hearty food for locals who love authentic cuisine.
1286 Kalani Street
Honolulu, HI 96817
4480 Kapolei Parkway
Kapolei, HI 96707
3. Highway Inn
Known to serve “a taste of old Hawaii” Highway Inn started as a family-run business hoping to feed and provide for Seiichi Toguchi’s 7 hungry children. Traditional Hawaiian Food along with local favorites like Pipikaula & Smoked Meat, Pulehu Ribs along with Tripe Stew are among the fan favorites. The restaurant has evolved to incorporate more fusion items on the menu while always paying homage to the beloved classics.
680 Ala Moana Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96813
94-226 Leoku Street
Waipahu, HI 96797
1525 Bernice Street
Honolulu, HI 96817
(Within Bishop Museum)
4. People’s Cafe
Like taking a step back in time, People’s Cafe doesn’t offer anything extravagant or provide above and beyond service. It’s a simple, casual, Hawaiian food cafe that presents island style and traditionally crafted (on plastic pastel colored plates and bowls) meals. Squid Luau, Lomi Salmon and Chicken Long Rice are staples here at this no nonsense eatery.
1310 Pali Highway
Honolulu, HI 96813
The Best Spots for Saimin on Oahu
By Olena Heu
Considered a savory, local, comfort food, Saimin is a staple in Hawaiian homes. The freshly cooked noodles sitting in a clear dashi-style broth is the perfect combination to warm the heart and soul. Similar to ramen, but boasting simple ingredients like fish cake, ham, egg and onions, the plantation workers dined on saimin often daily and many locals still eat it today on a regular basis. With the cooler winter months approaching it’s the perfect end to a chilly evening. Heres a look at the best spots for saimin on Oahu.
Shiro’s Saimin Haven
Influenced by the Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese and Filipino foods, Shiro’s serves freshly made noodles and an abundance of other ingredients. They first opened in 1969 and have been serving a large variety of saimin dishes for every appetite. Try the Portuguese, Korean or Filipino Saimin.
98-020 Kamehameha Hwy
Aiea, HI 96701
91-919 Fort Weaver Rd.
Ewa Beach, HI 96706
The menu is simple…Saimin with our without wonton or your choice of udon and bbq beef sticks. They say if you’re going to make something delicious then stick to it and that’s what Palace Saimin does. They don’t fret about food trends or adding anything new to their menu, instead they serve classic saimin in a comfortable setting without any bells or whistles. Sizes are also simple, small ,large or extra large depending on your appetite.
1256 N. King Street
Honolulu, HI 96817
One of the original saimin stands since the 1950’s Dillingham Saimin has been serving a secret family recipe to hungry eaters for decades. A shrimp broth foundation and option to add shrimp tempura make this simple dish a bit more decadent. They also serve a plethora of musubi and hearty plate lunches.
1425 Dillingham Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96817
Known statewide for their 24/7 hours and on the go meals, desserts and more… Zippy’s is an island tradition and with that their saimin is world-famous as well. Classic and piping hot or served with wontons too, with more than 2-dozen locations statewide you can quench your saimin thirst from dawn until dusk or anytime in between. The Zip Min is also a must-try, it’s a saimin with wun tun, shrimp, choi sum, fish cake, seaweed, egg, sweet pork and of course noodles.