My Favorite Dish

Island notables share the best thing they ever ate

Jalee Fuselier
Miss Hawaii 2010

“The best thing I ever ate was poke from Kahuku Superette on the North Shore of Oahu. Every chance I get, I go to this small country store and get a bowl of hot rice and fresh, cold poke from the ‘aunty’ behind the counter. The mixture of sauce, onions, raw ahi and other secret ingredients makes for the perfect combination to excite my taste buds! I eat poke every chance I get, and this unexpected place has the absolute best recipe.”

Bob Coolen
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Softball coach

“We were getting to the end of an 11-day road trip, and we were headed up to Boise with the weather on our mind and the possibility of playing in the College World Series. Everyone was pining for plate lunches and Hawaiian food, and we found this little place, Pounders, in a mall in Utah. Everyone was so excited. We all got our fill of laulau and lomi salmon and white rice, and then the team all ordered plates to go so we could have more Hawaiian food the next day.

“I just remember how excited everyone was, and the guy had just opened and he couldn’t believe his place was filled with all these people from Hawaii just raving about his food. It was almost like a sign!”

Tia Carrere

“I have a high/low contribution. I love Liliha Bakery’s hamburger steak dinner with mac salad, butter roll and fruit punch, because sitting at that counter makes me feel 10 again. But I also love Alan Wong’s whimsical yet sublime kalua pig and grilled cheese sandwich perched atop a glass of tomato soup. Now, how’s a girl to choose?”

Thomas Sorensen
Honolulu Design Center

“Restaurant Noma (in Copenhagen, Denmark), with its simple yet elegant setting and inventive cuisine, is undeniably the best restaurant that I have ever been to. The concept of the restaurant is to combine the traditional with the modern. This is beautifully executed in the food that is served and in the décor and atmosphere.

“I greatly enjoyed the tasting menu, which allowed me to sample several dishes. One of my favorites was called Radishes in ‘Edible Soil.’ Restaurant Noma was named the Best Restaurant in the World by Restaurant magazine in 2010.”

Daniel Ho

“Oh, that’s easy: Barbecue Ribs at Henry Loui’s Restaurant in Mapunapuna. They melt off the bone. It’s a Cheers-like atmosphere: good pupus and friendly people who like to sing karaoke. Some of the regulars are really good – no record deals though!”

Nick Cutter
President, Cutter Family Auto

“I had dinner at Gary Danko in San Francisco with my wife HaeNa, my father Jerry and his wife Brenda. We were there to celebrate my father’s 80th birthday, and it was an incredible meal. Every course was fantastic, but the rack of lamb literally melted in your mouth. I remember the soufflés were pretty good too.”

Jenai Wall
Chairman and CEO
Foodland Super Market

“Fresh mozzarella cheese in a Caprese-style salad – with a local twist. It was made by Royce at R.Field, at Foodland Farms Aina Haina. The mozzarella is made daily at the store, and the salad is made to order. It was layered with basil from ‘Nalo Farms Caprese-style, with Hamakua tomatoes topped with Kona sea salt. The salad was finished with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It was wonderfully fresh-tasting and packed with flavor. The salad is made to order daily at our store.”

Jim Nabors

“In Marrakesh, Morocco, I ate one of the most memorable dishes ever. I was with Tony Webb, and we’d been invited to a dinner party hosted by Prince Mulloy Abdullah of Morocco. The dish from the feast that remains in my memory is a breast of pigeon pie. It was the first time I’d ever tasted the combination of French/Arabic food.”

Compiled By Jo Mcgarry & HILuxury team

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