Dining in Kapolei
Just 15 miles away, Kapolei expands greatly on your choices and has many excellent dining options.
Hapa Grill is a moderately-priced restaurant serving a wide range of traditional and local favorites - think of it as an Applebee´s/Chili´s-type restaurant with a local twist. They are famous for their teriyaki sauce, and offer things like homemade lumpia (Filipino spring rolls), teriyaki beef, chicken, salmon, or tofu plates. They offer a wide range of traditional and local favorites and were recently voted the Best Casual Restaurant - Critics Choice by the Honolulu Advertiser.
Kapolei is also home to a Zippy´s Restaurant (http://www.zippys.com). With dozens of locations in Hawaii, Zippy´s are a local mainstay and are famous for their chili and baked goods.
Other choices include Assagio´s (moderate-priced Italian dining), a Thai restaurant and an expanded selection of lower-priced establishments (Tasty Korean BBQ, Panda Express, Quiznos).
-Fine dining at Ko Olina
Between Makaha and Kapolei sits Ko Olina, home to the Ko Olina Resort and Beach Club, Golf Club, Marina, and luxury housing. Approximately 12 miles from Makaha, this area also has Makaha´s nearest fine dining establishments.
Roy´s Restaurant ) is located within the Ko Olina Golf Club. Creator and head chef Roy Yamaguchi serves "Hawaiian fusion" cuisine blending European and Asian influences; Regular menu items include macadamia nut-crusted mahi-mahi served in a rich lobster sauce and the freshly prepared Sunrise at Haleakala sushi roll (comprised of tuna, hamachi, salmon, avocado and asparagus tempura). Service is flawless. Sit outside on the patio for a view overlooking the golf course. Roy´s is open daily for lunch and dinner, and serves and expanded lunch menu for Sunday brunch.
There are also several finer dining options within the Ko Olina Resort itself that are open to the public. Naupaka Terrace overlooks Ko Olina´s swimming pool and serves salads and sandwiches. Azul is fine dining restaurant with one of the most extensive wine selections on the island, and Ushio-Tei offers traditional Japanese cuisine in a Japanese garden.
The newest addition to Ko Olina is the Disney's Au'lani Resort. You can enjoy a nice brunch by the pool side and eat with the Disney characters.
The area has two major super markets: Tamura´s (86-032 Farrington Hwy, Waianae) and the Waianae Store. Tamura´s is more popular and has been expanding recently with plans for an enlarged liquor department and possibly a pharmacy. The Waianae Store has a much better selection of baked goods including pastries. Both are "local" supermarkets.
The nearest grocery store that would be familiar to those from the mainland is Safeway in Kapolei, approximately 15 miles away.
Plans for a Farmer´s Market in Waianae are currently under development.
The Aloha Stadium´s Swap Meet in Pearl City (http://www.alohastadiumswapmeet.net/) runs every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday from 6am to 3pm and many stalls sell fresh fruits and vegetables sold by the farmers themselves. This is a great, inexpensive way to get some local produce. Located near the Pearlridge Mall.
General Stores/Drug Stores/Pharmacy
The Waianae Mall has a Longs Drug Store.
There is a K-Mart in Kapolei and the nearest Wal-Mart is in Waipahu. All of the Wal-Mart stores in Hawaii have an extensive "Hawaii" section with postcards and souvenirs, including everything from chocolate-covered macadamia nuts and jellies made of local fruits to key chains and beach towels.
Waikele Premium Outlets are a few miles past Kapolei. With a K-Mart, Borders, and numerous outlet shops a free trolley transports shoppers around the large outdoor complex. The Leonard´s Malasadas truck is often parked in the Waikele parking lot serving the hot (Portuguese pastries) by the box, mainly to locals. Available plain and dipped in cinnamon or sugar, or filled with custard or haupia (a Hawaiian coconut custard), the Leonard´s truck is definitely worth a visit. Leonard´s Malasadas were featured on the Food Network´s TV series "Top 5" in the "Sugary Seductions" category: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/show_tp/episode/0,1976,FOOD_9998_31084,00.html
The nearest major shopping center is Pearlridge Center in Pearl City (http://www.pearlridgeonline.com/). Anchored by Macy´s and Sears, Pearlridge is the main mall for locals on the Leeward Coast.
Ala Moana Center (http://www.alamoanacenter.com) in Honolulu is not only the largest mall in Hawaii; it is one of the largest shopping centers in the United States and currently the largest outdoor shopping center in the world. Although mainly filled with designer shops (Louis Vuitton, Neiman Marcus, Prada), the mall has many gems that are a must-see. Shirokiya operates a large, Japanese-style department store complete with a massive deli offering bentos and Japanese treats. The Sanrio shop has special Hawaiian version of Hello Kitty (with a suntan) and several shops offer Hawaiian-themed clothing and accessories. Completely outdoors and with koi ponds and tropical decorations, Ala Moana is excellent for people-watching as the mall draws tourists from around the world (mainly Japan and Europe).
The Aloha Stadium´s tri-weekly Swap Meet in Pearl City (http://www.alohastadiumswapmeet.net/) is an excellent place to find souvenirs.
Makaha and the surrounding areas have some of the world´s best beaches - namely the world famous Makaha Beach and the unspoiled Yokohama Bay.
This website has some basic information on the Leeward Coast´s beaches:
Makaha Beach was home to the first organized surf meet in Hawaii in the 1950´s. With huge waves in the winter months and a huge community of "regular" surfers, Makaha is excellent for sunbathing and watching the surfers. Strong currents are typical; however, and novice swimmers should stay out of the water here.
Yokohama Bay, at the extreme western tip of the island, is one of Oahu´s few completely unspoiled beaches. With miles and miles of shoreline, the beaches are unprotected by reefs and can sometimes have extreme surf and rip currents. With few lifeguards, it´s advised to stay on the sand unless you´re an experience swimmer. Concierge.com´s review of Hawaii´s top beaches mentions Yokohama Bay: http://www.concierge.com/destination/honolulu_oahu/seeanddo/detail/?id=12082
Featured amongst other Oahu beaches in the LA Times:
Pokai Bay is a protected beach and favored by families with small children. This website has several photos: http://www.hawaiiweb.com/oahu/beaches/pokai_bay_beach_park.htm
Although not in Makaha, nearby Ko Olina - home to the luxury beachfront resort - has several man-made lagoons that are completely protected from waves and currents. Beautifully landscaped and maintained, all the beaches are open to the public. Parking is limited, so arrive early or get dropped off. Perfect for carefree swimming especially with young children. Photographs here: http://www.hawaiiweb.com/oahu/beaches/koolina_lagoons.htm
Alternative Hawaii´s website (http://www.alternative-hawaii.com/special/lco.htm) lists some possible activities including visiting Kaneaki Heiau (a well-preserved Hawaiian temple in Makaha Valley).