Poke Stop... haven't been there in years! I think I went in their first year of operations. I recall not being all that impressed, but it's hard to recall! I do know their Yelp reviews have been very mixed lately, with an average rating of 3 stars. The location I went to was the Waipahu one, though they do also have a location in Mililani Mauka. There is nothing to see in Mililani Mauka, as it is all single family homes, though one could make a detour on the way to or from the North Shore.
Waipahu, on the other hand, is more of an old plantation town (Sugar Mill still standing is now a YMCA) with a disproportionate amount of lower income families and immigrants. To be honest, locals are kind of afraid of Waipahu, though I know of a great cookie place in Waipahu! Waikele is ironically considered part of Waipahu as well, though Waikele is more of an upper class neighborhood with a golf course. Waikele, of course, is home to Waikele Premium Outlets, for those of you interested in shopping for bargains in Hawaii... anyhow, if you decide to visit Waipahu to go to the Poke Stop, I'd highly recommend paying a visit to the Hawaii Plantation Village. It's a great "museum" that has replicas of the different housing/living conditions of Hawaii's different ethnic backgrounds during the sugar plantation days. Sugar Plantation, Hawaii's Plantation Village Waipahu, HI Home
Woa, what a tangent! The closest Marriott to a Poke Stop is likely the JW Marriott Ihilani Ko Olina or the Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club. Waikiki and Ko Olina are both somewhat far from Waipahu though... I live in Pearl City, which is just to the east of Waipahu, and Pearl City is smack dab in between Waikiki and Ko Olina. Waikiki is just more difficult to get to/from because of the constant traffic! How about another tangent and one directly related to the above?
Ever notice the railroad tracks and the entrance of Ko Olina Resort? Well, Oahu used to be home to a Class 1 railroad, the Oahu Railway & Land Company. The railroad was originally developed to transport sugar and pineapple from the fields to the docks. The old Oahu Railway mainline used to run from Honolulu Harbor, all the way up to Kahuku. The mainline ran along the coast and was active up to a couple years after WWII. In fact, many GI's stationed in the islands during this time road on OR&L's narrow gauge steam trains from Base to Liberty in Waikiki, and back. After abandonment in 1947, most of the mainline was torn up and the US Navy eventually took control of the portion of line running from Lualualei to Pearl Harbor's West Loch. The used it to run munition trains from Lualualei to West Loch until the end of the Korean War. After this, the Navy donate a couple of diesel locomotives and rolling stock to the Hawaiian Railway Society, which still exists today. The only portion of line that's still serviceable is from their Ewa Train Yard in the old plantation community of Ewa, through Kahe point by Hawaiian Electric Co's Kahe power station just beyond Ko Olina. Every Sunday the society runs train rides at 1PM and 3PM, and even attaches the restored Parlor Car of OR&L's founder, Benjamin Dillingham, to the train every 2nd Sunday of the month for rides. The Hawaiian Railway Society - Oahu, Hawaii
If anyone has ever been to Travel Town in California, they used to run Oahu Railway's #85 in the 1950's and then put her on static display. In the 1990's the Lahaina, Ka'anapali, and Pacific Railroad on Maui bought her and attempted to restore her, but the boiler manufacturer messed up and the project was never completed. Nearly 3 years ago, the Hawaiian Railway Society purchased her and brought her back to Oahu shortly after her 100th birthday! She is Oahu Railways last remaining mainline locomotive, and I've love to see it restored to full working order one day, though it's unlikely. The it's a massive undertaking and when I spoke to one society member, there are those that believe it would be foolish to restore any steam locomotive because of the massive insurance costs associated with operating one.
I almost forgot to mention, I like to get Poke from Foodland! It's not fresh, never frozen fish, but I like their traditional poke, which is made simply with inamona (roasted kuku nut), rock salt, ogo (seaweed) and onion.
Another place I like to get a poke bowl (meal) from is Pa'ina Cafe. If you get something from here with mayo, though, tell um to go light on the stuff... unless you really like mayo!
But if it's the BEST poke you seek, perhaps you should consult the following...
I think the guid is trustworthy, as many local articles on the subject matter have also give the top spot to Alicia's.
Another place you can find good poke near my home (for now anyway, will be moving more towards the urban core in August) is Marujyu Market. Located in Waimalu which is in between Aiea and Pearl City, they specialize in poke and Hawaiian food. It's been a while since I've been, but they do/did (like I've said, it's been a while) have a pretty good laualau, and they do offer fresh never frozen poke!
Like your fish cooked instead of raw? How about Nico's Pier 38. I LOVE the furikake seared ahi, which is supposed to be raw in the middle. Of course you can order it well done, but from what I hear, recently they've been over cooking requests for rare/medium rare. At any rate, great seafood and decent prices and FRESH being right next to the fish auction.
Of course the Waikiki Beach Marriott is home to one of the best sushi restaurants in the state, with its own poke as well
We at at SANSEI, the sushi was incredible and at happy hour very reasonably priced. Highly recommend it without a doubt.
I tried to make Poke at home a few months back, it was surprisingly good even using a very light soy and adding a little bit of water to that before mixing it with all the yummy stuff. We are lucky here to be able to have some very nice fresh bright red Ahi daily that I'm sure comes directly from HNL on the 7:30 P.M. flight.
Want to eat at Sansei for even less next time? Certain days of the week, you can get 50% off most of the menu during their Happy Hour! I know one item that doesn't count for sure is the Foie Gras nigiri... Have you tried the Dungeness Crab Ramen (noodle soup) with its black truffle butter dashi (soup)? I LOVE IT!
That's awesome! I'm assuming you made the Shoyu (soy sauce) style poke? Great thing about poke is you can do whatever you want with it! My fiancee really like spicy ahi poke, which is usually made with onions, mayo, and some sort of chili sauce/powder/etc like Sriracha.
There's also poke mix! Since ogo (Hawaiian Seaweed) probably isn't available fresh on the mainland, this is a great alternative. My fiancee's mother uses this to make tofu poke, but I'm sure it works equally as well for ahi poke. Not as good as fresh, but a decent substitute nonetheless!
Had some poke last night from Foodland. It was tako (octopus) poke and shoyu ahi poke. Tako poke is always cooked and is a good way to ease into poke if one doesn't like to eat raw fish... but not many people are keen on eating octopus either so yeah...
That is some lovely bright red ahi, yummmm! I had tako once here near the house, I think I'll wait until I get at least to North Beach Sushi in San Francisco or Shiro's in Seattle before trying it again......or out to the islands.
But you should definitely come back to Hawaii and eat our MANY varieties of poke! By the way, I had to take a double take on Shiro's! We have a Shiro's here, but it's a ultra casual restaurant/take-out joint that serves plate lunch and saimin! It's a good place, but they commit the ultimate sin (in my opinion) for a saimin place... they overcook the noodles!
haha, if only this were the case... my fiancee and I will be moving into an empty house on her grandmother's property in a few months. The house is in great condition for being around 80 years old, but it's very small! I'm not sure how we'll cook in there with a 20" range/oven, etc. We'll be living very frugally for sure for the foreseeable future!
The way to cook is called grilling!! After Hurricane Ike passed over Houston a few years back we lost power for three days even being inland almost 90 miles (lucky ones for sure) and having no power lines above ground. Seems some transformer almost on the Louisiana border blew up which ran our power so of course we couldn't cook. I had the only natural gas grill on the street so everyone was coming over to heat up things, it was actually quite fun. One lady boiled pasta in her huge pot on the grill, another neighbor was the breakfast chef and made breakfast for a few neighbors who couldn't go to work due to their place of employment being without power or windows blown out. It was like camping but you still had a nice bed to sleep in. You guys will do just fine and frugal is good for you youngsters.
Now THAT is the way to turn a bad situation into a good one! Block party!! Sounds like a lot of fun! Last time we had a longterm power outage, I broke out the camper (butane) stoves and made hot chocolate and what not. We don't have gas or a gas grill, just a charcoal grill!
But yup, we try to live frugally. It's a continuous lesson, more so for others than me... haha
By the way, do you guys like lilikoi (passion fruit)? Just heard of a place that might warrant a visit if you decide to drive up to Oahu's Norther most point, Kahuku!
It'll be a great place to stay if you every decide the upcoming CY Lai'e too, though no word when it'll open. Was supposed to break ground last year, but now shooting for this year... I think.