Welcome to Honolulu City Dates

Monday, January 14, 2008



In East Honolulu, the Kuliouou Ridge Hike is a local favorite. In minutes you step from the residential streets of Aina Haina onto tree covered paths that zig zag to the top of the Koolaus. On the way up, you cover varied terrain, from pine forests to
multi-colored hills. The top is considered pristine forest, and the vegetation changes to tropical flora and Ohia trees. The ridge line offers spectacular views around the southeast end of Oahu, from Kaneohe all the way to Waikiki.

This hike takes all of three hours at a leisurely pace—and is guaranteed to take away your worries (especially if you're wearing a Trouble Hook...see Chinatown blog entry).

Cost: FREE

Do's and Don'ts on this date: Hike this ridge on a hot day, a
s foliage and elevation make it a cooler trek than some others.


Tequila…tequila…to kill ya! What more can I say about Señor Frogs? If you want to go to a happening party, Señor Frogs is the place. From the "party starter" deejay to the tequila shot-pouring dinosaur, Señor Frogs is non-stop activity. And if the drink, dance, and music don't appeal to you, you might get a laugh from the décor and sayings that speak to almost anyone.

This date comes on the heels of a hike up Kuliouou Ridge and ends with a beach walk. Why not? Mr. Frogs is right next to the newly
renovated Waikiki Beach Walk.

Cost: $3 Jello shooters, Tong Margarita $12 each, most pupus about $12

Do's and Don'ts on this date: Go before 10 p.m. to avoid the $10 cover charge and long lines.

Monday, January 7, 2008


The Shack, on the Hawaii Kai Marina, is a great place to go when you’re starved and forgot to plan a meal (because you’ve been out paddling all day or something). It’s got a great water side ambiance, plus, doubles as a sports bar—as in…your teenagers can go off and play pool, while you eat. The perfect family date.

The food isn’t all greasy either, although it’s French fry heaven. The Shack owners have their own boat and boast fresh fish daily. Plus, the Chinese chicken salad’s a yummy light meal that can be split.

Oh, and the music is good too, a mix of seventies and eighties music, light rock.


Oriental chicken salad: $8.95

Fresh fish sandwich: $7.95

Beer: $2.75 each

Do’s and Don’ts on this date: Don’t dress up; Do sit by the water for a more romantic date.



We’re talking about canoes! Come out to Maunalua Bay in Hawaii Kai any morning and you’ll find a variety of dating opportunities. But ours starts with two one-man Outrigger canoes, very nice toys to enhance your dating life (unless you ram each other, flip over, or can’t stand the water).

The Bay always reminds me of a Richard Scarry children’s book, with all of the different animal characters driving their cars, boats, and other vehicles around. There are folks in their motor boats, kayaks, jet skis, and surf boards all heading out to play in the ocean.

Amazingly, we still saw wild life…a huge turtle that hung out under my canoe. Just beyond the last green channel marker and over toward China Walls (Portlock) is where dolphin pods and whales can sometimes be seen.

The Paddling Date:

Cost: FREE, if you can find canoes or kayaks*

Do’s and Don’ts on this date: Do chart your course to avoid missing the channel and hitting reefs.

Humpback Whale Encounter:

The Hawaiian Monk Seal:

*For more information on outrigger paddling, go to any of these sites www.islandpaddlerhawaii.com; www.ocpadler.com; www.pacificpaddler.com; www.y2kanu.com; www.kanakaikaika.com.

THE VERANDA (at The Kahala Hotel and Resort)

Our day hike was followed by a relaxing—sorta—evening with friends. It started at Judy’s place with her special peppermint, chocolate rimmed martinis. Then we were off in a hurry to hit the dance floor at The Kahala Hotel and Resort. Not sure if they really have a dance floor or not in their room called The Veranda. But we make one.

David Swanson gets the crowd—mostly couples and groups from 35 years on up—swinging with his smooth jazz, including George Bensen and Stevie Wonder.


Two drinks: $14 each

Pupus: Free crackers, olives, and olive tapenade

Do’s and Don’ts on this date: For anyone who doesn’t know how to dance, just follow Judy Chorus Line (or are they aerobics?) steps.

KOKO CRATER Railway Hike

If your New Year’s resolution was to burn those buns, this is the date for you. It starts behind the Goeas Baseball Field at Koko Head Park in Hawaii Kai (on the way to Hanauma Bay). The locals hike up over the newly landscaped hill surrounding the baseball field to the bottom of the old rail track--part of an abaondoned incline tram used by the military during World War II--then start the more than 1000--step trek to the top of 1208 foot Koko Crater for a great workout, panoramic view of East Honolulu, and bonding experience that involves a lot of sweating and panting.

Great prep for the next date.

Cost of date: FREE!!!

Do’s and Don’ts on this date: For a better view on the way up, let her go first.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


We stumbled upon Rum Fire on its opening night. The cool, metallic, decorative, beach side fireplaces caught our eyes as we were walking on the beach walk. We sat near the fireplaces, wondering where we were until a waiter came and offered us a drink. Rum Fire, a restaurant/bar replaced Esprit, the former disco at the Sheraton Waikiki.

Our Rum Fire visit was preceded by a stop at Nobu’s sushi bar for a pupu and drink and then a Yard House stop to chow down onion rings, a salad, and green martinis. Nobu’s Yellow Tail (Hamachi) with Jalapeno peppers is to die for. Yard House is a step backwards, after Nobu’s, but the music makes you want to dance.


Nobu’s pupu and drink: $32.00

Yard House onion rings, salad, 2 drinks: $48.00

Rum Fire drink: $11.00

Do's and Don'ts on this date: Skip the second drink at Rum Fire to avoid your date’s glare when you start doing strange yoga poses in public.

FIRST NIGHT (Streets of Chinatown)

As part of Honolulu Chinatown’s revitalization, First Night happens on the first Friday of every month. Art galleries, typically closed during the evenings, open from 5 to 9 p.m. I thought that on this cold, rainy evening, most locals would skip First Night. I was wrong. Chinatown was hopping, from Indigo, where we started our date (and skipped the recommended Green Room, going to the slightly less crowded bar instead) to art galleries and 39 Hotel—where performance artists entertained us (and made me want to finger paint).

We opted out of China Town for dinner, where we had planned to eat at Little Village Noodle House--which has a great reputation and had a long line—and went to Kahala instead. (To the newly opened Green Door. What’s up with all the “green” names?)

The Green Door opened a week prior to our visit. Excellent food, but not enough wait help yet. I predict they’ll do well though, as they offer about the only Malaysian food you can get in Hawaii--Steamed Sea Bass, Malaysian Curry, Eggplant/tofu Sauce.

Cost: (sans the items purchased in Chinatown):

Lychee Martini from Indigo (at Happy Hour rates): $3.50 each

Three dishes, plus rice and flat bread at Green Door: $48.00

Wine bottle purchased from liquor shop next door: $13.00

Do's and Don'ts on this date: Skip the jacket (a Honolulu Winter’s eve is 70 degrees); have a pupu like an egg roll at Indigos to prevent the eye roll at your date when you reach the Green Door at 8 p.m. STARVING.


Recent upgrades at Ala Moana Center include those on Ho'okipa Terrace, the fourth floor, were Macaroni Grill, Tsukiji’s, Ruby Tuesday's, and Islands Fine Burgers and Drinks are a few of the newer restaurants.

The perfect lunch/afternoon date when you have the day off from work: Start at Macaroni Grill, fireside at the bar and split a salad and pupu (horsdeuvres), do a little window shopping, and then hit the Mai Tai Bar (by now it’s after noon…so it’s okay). Follow this with a little window shopping. Neiman Marcus has some interesting sites that will give you and your date a new perspective on life.

(below: butterflies at Neiman Marcus)


Split salad and crab stuffed mushrooms at Macaroni Grill: $22.00

Mai Tai at Mai Tai Bar: $7.00 each

Window shopping: FREE

Do's and Don'ts on this date: Eat MORE!!!