All posts by Evan Fa

Hukilau Beach—From Laie to the World

Located about an hour from the hustle and bustle of the state’s capital on the island of Oahu lies a small town and stretch of coastline with a rich, deep history that has reached the big screen of recent years as well as popular culture of the past—Hukilau Beach. The term Hukilau itself, which stems from a Hawaiian tradition of fishing, “describes the process of pulling (huki) the ropes from fishing nets, woven with leaves (lay) along the outside, in from the sea.” And from Hukilau Beach, the native Hawaiian peoples of Laie practiced this very technique of fishing to obtain and provide sustenance for their families as well as the entire village. While that tradition is merely practiced on a smaller scale by local fishermen in the area today, it is interesting to see how that very term “Hukilau” has reached far beyond Laie to the world through song and film.

“The Hukilau Song”

Inspired by his experiences in Hawaii, Jack Owens wrote and recorded “The Hukilau Song” in Honolulu in 1948. According to weber.edu, a hukilau was organized in order to fundraise to rebuild a burnt down church chapel in Laie. Jack not only attended the Hukilau but wrote this song for the event. It was intended to be a relaxing, lay back song that matched the grace, fun, and work associated with doing a hukilau.

50 First Dates

Released in 2004, 50 First Dates is a romantic comedy starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. In the movie, Adam Sandler’s character is attempting to win over Drew Barrymore’s character. The only catch is that she suffers from short term memory loss, so she doesn’t ever remember the previous day with him. Each morning they meet at Hukilau Cafe, which is representative of the actual Hukilau Cafe just around the corner from Hukilau Beach, and go through their groundhog day routine until he finally figures out how to make their true love stick.

Hukilau Cafe

Located just around the corner from Hukilau Beach in Laie at 55-662 Wahinepee St, Laie, HI 96762, Hukilau Cafe provides a local style breakfast and lunch that will satisfy locals and visitors alike. Founded by Laie native and Hawaiian, Kalani Soren, Hukilau Cafe is locally run and operated to cater to the tastes and flavors of Hawaii. Worth mentioning is also the fact that Hukilau Cafe is reasonable in price and offers generous portions, so make sure to bring the appetite.

The Beauty of Hukilau Beach

While it is apparent that Hukilau Beach has inspired many people to sing and share about its traditions, this stretch of coastline is also one of the most pristine on the island. Located in the heart of a bay, just north of Laie Point, Hukilau Beach is a great place for families to relax and play in the ocean. Considering that the surf is a lot more mellow than other parts of the island, it is terrific place for pulling out some boogie boards to catch waves. Not to mention, to take a nice stroll in either direction to explore the sandy coastline.

Hukilau Beach is only a five to ten minute drive south (exit left on Kamehameha Hwy from resort) of Turtle Bay Rentals on the Turtle Bay Resort.

4 Food Stops in the Kahuku Marketplace

Pleasing one’s taste buds is a major part of enjoying vacation anywhere, and especially during one’s stay in one of the beautiful condos available through Turtle Bay Rentals on the Turtle Bay Resort. While there are handful of food options on the resort, there are also a variety of places to test one’s palette just minutes away south on Kamehameha Hwy within the town of Kahuku. Over the past few years, the Kahuku Marketplace—located just south of the actual Kahuku shrimp farms—has become a hotbed for food trucks and venders offering their unique flavors and talents.

While there are a dozen food options within the Kahuku Marketplace, below are four that hit different areas of the spectrum:

Auntie’s Lil Green Hut 

Feeling like it is time to tap into that inner earthy side? Auntie’s Lil Green Hut offers a variety of tasty organic, vegetarian, and gluten free options for those interested in that sort of thing. From their crepes, baked goods, salads, salad wraps, coffee, juices, and kombucha, if one is looking to go the healthier, more sustainable route, Auntie’s Lil Green Hut is absolutely the call.

Giovanni’s Kahuku Shrimp

The debate over which Kahuku shrimp truck dishes out the best shrimp is a on-going dispute that may never be settled; especially considering that each truck offers its own flare. That being said, Giovanni’s is a household name when it comes to Kahuku shrimp. Known for its truck where visitors sign, or tag with their graffiti, their names, Giovanni’s offers a variety of shrimp plates, from their Shrimp Scampi, The “No Refunds” Hot and Spicy Shrimp, and Lemon Butter Shrimp. So if one is going to do shrimp in Kahuku, Giovanni’s is definitely one of those iconic, savory options.

Ono Yo Frozen Yogurt

Nothing wraps up a meal like a cold treat, and Ono Yo Frozen Yogurt gets the job done … and gets it done right. Ono Yo offers a large variety of flavors from acai to papaya to otai (coconut watermelon), fresh fruit and soft and crunchy toppings, to cater to the taste buds of any customer that finds his or her way to their window. With over a dozen delectable creations of their own—such as Layers of Heaven – choice of yogurt, shaved dark & white chocolate, chocolate sauce, and condensed milk to Rocky Road – choice of yogurt, granola, macadamia nuts, chocolate chips, and caramel—Ono Yo has got all the bases covered.

Uncle Woody’s BBQ Corn

There truly are few things as heavenly as some good bbq corn, especially with butter and all sorts of spices and seasonings smothered all over the cob. Uncle Woody’s BBQ Corn offers a simple three item menu for anyone looking to scarf down a tasty corn on the cob. The three options include Island – butter, sea salt, garlic salt and black pepper; Baja – butter, lemon and lime juice, baja seasoning, and parmesan cheese; Shoyo – butter and shoyu (soy) sauce. While Uncle Woody’s BBQ Corn may not serve as a meal, it is definitely perfect snack or “pre-game” for the real entree at one of the other stands.

Kahuku Farms—A Legacy of Farm Fresh Food

The little town of Kahuku has come to be known for many different things through the years. For some, it is the famous Kahuku prawns and shrimp farmed and raised on the ocean side (makai side) of Kamehameha Highway. For others it may be the renowned Kahuku High School football team, Red Raiders, that has produced heaps of football stars both at the collegiate and professional levels. Still for some it may be the now defunct sugar farms and mill, which brought the ancestors of many Kahuku residents from their various countries around the world and areas within the islands to this north shore town. All these things considered, one legacy that has also withstood the tests of time and matured into something great is that of Kahuku Farms.

The story of Kahuku Farms is that of two farming families coming together. The story, according to kahukufarms.com, goes as follows:

Descendants of the Matsuda and Fukuyama families migrated to Hawaii from Japan to work in the sugar plantations back in the 1900’s. Shinichi and Torie Matsuda started farming bell peppers, papayas, watermelon and bananas in Kahuku back in the 1940’s and were later joined by their son Melvin in the the 1960’s. During a similar time Masatsugu and Nora Fukuyama, also of Kahuku, were farming watermelon, eggplant, papaya and cucumbers and were later joined by their son Clyde in 1965. Clyde and Melvin became long time friends and did several farming ventures together, one of which took them to Australia where they both worked for a year growing watermelons. With similar philosophies and goals, they both decided to merge the Matsuda and Fukuyama Farms in 1986 creating Kahuku Brand. Kahuku Brand is a company dealing primarily with growing and distributing Hawaii wholesale fruits and vegetables.

With the love of agriculture deeply rooted with both Mel and Clyde, they felt compelled to create a way to diversify and share the wonders and bounty of farming with friends and family, to educate, share and offer hands-on experiences that would enhance the quality of life and result in a deeper appreciation of agriculture as their purpose.

Thus, Kahuku Farms was created. A place intended for learning, enjoyment, and experience of diversified agriculture at its finest.

In 2005, the daughter of Mel and Momi Matsuda, Kylie Matsuda agreed to champion the task of running the operations for Kahuku Farms. “I feel honored and grateful to perpetuate our family’s future in farming,” says Kylie. “To share our generations of knowledge and history with others, in this amazing place that I’ve known as home is a dream I’m passionate to live.” Kylie is a graduate of Kahuku High School and the Travel Industry Management School at the University of Hawaii. 

Kahuku farms offers a variety of farm fresh items, from sandwiches and salads to smoothies and sorbet at their Farm Cafe. Not to mention, a whole bunch of fresh produce and jams, skin products, and other gifts within their store. Lastly, Kahuku Farms offers a variety of tours of the farm to educate visitors on the operations of the specific farm as well as agriculture in Hawaii as a whole.

Kahuku Farms is a short 3 mile drive from Turtle Bay Rentals on the Turtle Bay Resort. Simply take a left turn exiting the resort and follow Kamehameha Hwy to 56-800 Kamehameha Hwy, Kahuku, HI 96731.

Hours: Open all days (except Tuesday) 11am to 4pm

A Day at the End of the Road—Yokohama Bay on the West Side

Exploring new terrain is an essential aspect of any well rounded vacation. Considering that Oahu has four unique sides of the island to explore, there is tons of terrain to check out. Whether its Makapuu Point on the east side, the Banzai Pipeline on the North Shore, or heading to Waikiki on the south shore, there are tons of iconic vistas and beaches. While staying near by on the North Shore of Oahu is definitely a must as it is one of the most majestic coastlines on earth, the west side of Oahu is absolutely worthwhile for all those staying with Turtle Bay Rentals on the Turtle Bay Resort.

The west side is referred to as the “Leeward Side.” On the leeward side, the common tradewinds blow offshore, from land to sea, the majority of the year. For that reason, and also because of the high mountains on Oahu, the leeward side receives less rain than the east side, referred to as the windward side. So one of the noticeable differences of the leeward side is that its drier, hotter, and more desert like.

As one ventures from the North Shore to the west side, one passes through some of the most beautiful coastline of the island. From the resort area of Koolina to Nanakuli to Waianae to Makaha, Farrington Hwy follows the windy coastline until it reaches the end of the road at Yokohama Bay. There at Yokohama Bay one passes through a few noticeable dips in the road (giving name to the main surf breaks at Yokohama Bay) within the beach park until it reaches a dirt road just prior to the most westerly tip of the island, Kaena Point. From there, one has the option to hike to Kaena Point by foot.

Yokohama Bay, Keawaula Beach being its Hawaiian name, is paradise in the most literal sense. Yokohama Bay used to once be known for its squid population, which would turn the whole bay red during certain times of the year. As Japanese fisherman frequently began fishing there, it later adopted the name now known as Yokohama Bay. History aside, with its long stretch of sandy beach, it is an ideal place to add a layer of shade to one’s tan, take a quick dip in the ocean in arguably the most blue water on the island, or just lounge on the sand with family and friends. Not to mention, the steep mountains butt up right against the shoreline, giving Yokohama its unique feel and picturesque scenery.

Directions: From the Turtle Bay Resort, take Kamehameha Hwy north to Joseph P Leong Hwy until it then becomes Kamehameha Hwy once again. Then merge onto H2 South toward Honolulu and follow it until you take H1 West towards Waianae. The H1 West will then become Farrington Hwy. Drive on Farrington Hwy until it reaches the end of the road at Yokohama Bay.

A few tips while at Yokohama Bay: Make sure to pack water and food as it is a bit isolated from any food establishments and markets, ask the lifeguards in the tower if its suitable for swimming before venturing into the ocean, and make sure to pack the sunscreen.

Waialua Bakery in Haleiwa—A Must for Every Vacationer on Oahu

With all the new restaurants and food trucks popping up all over the island, and despite the Yelps and TripAdvisors of the world, it can be difficult for a vacationer to find those food stops that the locals truly favor above the rest. The type of food stops that are not catered directly to the vacationer but nevertheless a vacationer would absolutely enjoy. Waialua Bakery is precisely this type of place.

Located in the heart of the historic town of Haleiwa on the North Shore of Oahu, Waialua Bakery has been kicking out some of the best sandwiches, salads, smoothies, juices and home baked goods with a quirky, down to earth feel for years. While most food stops get their staple food items brought in each day, Waialua Bakery still makes its own baked goods from scratch, including the bread for their long list of sandwiches. So whether one is looking for a quick snack, from a Turtle Ball (which is a cold raw granola bar concoction) or a cookie, or a full on meal from their menu of sandwiches, salads, smoothies and acai smoothie bowls, and fresh drinks and juices, Waialua Bakery will definitely nail that hunger right where it counts. It is also worth mentioning that there are tons of vegetarian options available on the menu.

Finding a meal under $10 in Hawaii, specifically on Oahu, has recently become one of those utterly impossible feats. Going out to eat, especially if one goes to sit a down restaurant, will break the bank. That being said, the majority of the food items on Waialua Bakery’s menu fall under and well under that mark. So for those looking to get a solid meal after logging in a long day of surf and sun at the beach, Waialua Bakery will not only hit the sweat spot in the stomach but will not break the bank.

On top of its tasty food items, Waialua Bakery has a quirky and comfortable surf ambiance. Whether its the hand painted and drawn main menu, signs, posts, seating and tables, or the art for sale, that very ambiance at Waialua Bakery matches the culture of the North Shore, specifically Haleiwa, perfectly. The North Shore of Oahu, aside from being one of the most majestic stretches of coastline in the world, is also the heart and soul of the sport of surfing. With a handful of the best waves in the world located along this coastline, the North Shore is as iconic of a place as a place can be. And Waialua Bakery epitomizes that North Shore experience in its food form.

A recommendation for one’s first visit to Waialua Bakery:

Roasted Veggie Sandwich (sandwich pictured on the bottom within photo above) – Egg plant, bell peppers, onion, carrots, homemade hummus, lettuce, tomato, sprouts, onion, mayo and mustard. Add avocado. Choice of their homemade bread for the day. Convert it into salad upon request.

Turtle Ball – Raw blend of raisons, chocolate, oats, honey, macadamia nuts, coconut, and peanut butter.

160z Lemonade and add Lilikoi.

Waialua Bakery • 66-200 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712 • (808) 341-2838

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm • Cash Only (ATM available) • Restrooms