Guides of Oahu

  • January 19, 2018

    Meet Austin Kino - Ocean Voyager

    Austin Kino is a native Hawaiian with one foot in the past and the other in the future. Aware that some of Hawai’i’s culture and traditions are at risk of being lost forever, he has endeavored to bridge the gap between old and new, playing the part of both student and storyteller.

    It all started when he was invited to become part of the crew on the Hōkūleʻa in 2006, an iconic voyaging canoe whose journeys have revived the 2000 year old legacy of exploration, courage, and ingenuity that brought the first Polynesians to Hawai’i. Austin was chosen as one of a small group of young students  — the Kapu Na Keiki(meaning Keep the Children Sacred) — who would learn the ancient skill of celestial navigation. His love of the ocean and life spent surfing and paddling made him the perfect fit.

    Over the next 10 years, Austin’s life was spent in large part as crew member and apprentice navigator on the Hōkūleʻa. All the while, he never forgot a thought passed on to him by Master Navigator, Nainoa Thompson, that, “If you don’t have a vision for your future, someone else is going to impress their vision on you.” So, with a newfound knowledge and understanding of the ocean and Hawai’i’s navigational history, Austin pursued his own vision of sharing the past with the current generation. He founded Holokino — a traditional Hawaiian canoe adventure tour on O‘ahu’s south shore — where locals and tourists alike can experience first hand the ingenuity of Polynesian wave finding. His hope is that Hawai’i will continue to be known for its legacy of great ocean explorers.

    It seems to be working. Austin was recently named as one of the 20 people who will positively impact Hawai’i for the next 20 years. We’re guessing his impact will go way beyond that!

  • January 12, 2018

    Meet Lindsey Higa

    Aloha! My name is Lindsey Higa, and I was born and raised here in Honolulu, Hawaii. I spent 6 years away in San Francisco, but have been living back here on Oahu for almost 8 years now. My days are always different! I’m a freelance wardrobe stylist, so I’m either working on a shoot, or on my other 2 side jobs at Sig Zane Designs and We Are Iconic. I’m super excited for 2018, because I never really know what to expect for the year ahead. I’m already off to Vietnam for 2 weeks, so I hope to continue my travels and visit new places and work a ton along the way!


    Fave new Honolulu boutique: Gillia at Kaka’ako

    I love their clean and natural aesthetic. They carry two of my favorite local brands, At Dawn and Gillia Clothing that I’d probably be wearing if you ever run into me! Their clothes are comfortable, cool, and chic, which is perfect for everyday here in Hawaii. The girls there are the sweetest, and always make you feel at home.

    Favorite Coffee Shop: Morning Glass in Fishcake

    I spend most of my mornings stopping at Morning Glass coffee in Fishcake. Whether it’s after or before my daily yoga sesh, I’m there getting a Matcha Latte or Ginger Lemon tea. A close friend of mine is the barista there, and it’s definitely become a morning meeting place with friends.

    Favorite Beach: Kaimana Beach

    I grew up hanging there as a kid, and have spent many long days there watching the sunset with friends and family. It’s kind of a ritual to pick up and acai bowl or plate lunch from Monsarrat Avenue, then head to Kaimana’s to cruise at the beach.

  • January 9, 2018

    Where to Eat in Hawai'i

    By Chef Mark "Gooch" Noguchi


    Food brings people together; this I know. It's the guiding principle in why I cook, and besides cooking, the next greatest thing about cooking... is eating. I'm honored to be able to share six of my favorite spots to eat in Hawai`i. They're always my first choices, the spots that I take visiting chefs, family and friends. I hope you get to enjoy them as much as I do.


    PALACE SAIMIN Ramen is trendy, Saimin is life; that's my mantra. Iv'e been coming here since small kid time, and to this day it's still one of only two places I go for saimin (the other is HOME Bar.) The Arakaki-Nakagawa `ohana run this shop now; and it hasn't changed one bit. Hot, humid, cramped, soda boxes stacked to the ceiling. This is one of the first stops I bring all my chef buddies when they ask... "So what's local food?"

    HOME BAR & GRILL Quintessential local bar food, HOME is all 808. The flavors that these boys put out is just like the ambiance — loud, straight up, nuts, & unapologetic. It’s a local bar. If you’re new, or a visitor, you might get looks. It is what it is, local first. And that territorial attitude is something not born out of hatred, but geographical awareness. We protect what is ours. The food reflects that too...Big John and Neal never changed their style. They’ve kicked ass cooking for over a decade, and the loyalty of their fans show it. Go with some friends who’ve been there before. Get the Kalbi Fried Noodle, Tater Tot Nachos, Wafu Steak and legendary Negi Toro. And don’t forget the Chicken Gizzards & Fried Pork Chop.


    MARK'S PLACE Mark Oyama and his wife have kept this Kaua`i standard running for almost 20 years. He's the Mayor of Kaua`i, knows eveyone, and cooks some of the best local food in the State. Simple, ono, and straight up 808. Photo provided by: Moon & TurtlePhoto provided by: Moon & Turtle

    Hawai'i Island:

    MOON & TURTLE (Hilo) Another husband and wife duo, Mark & Soni Pomaski run this tiny gem of an experience. Soni's sense of hospitality, aloha, and killer cocktail hands, coupled with Mark's connections with the local fisherman bring a divine experience to Hilo. A favorite spot of the Sig Zane `ohana, you'll find Kuhao Zane holding court here multiple times a week.

    LAULIMA FOOD PATCH (Kona) Clean food —that's what Chef Bonita Lao does extremely well. She is an expert in simple, delicious execution (and surfs moonlit nights like no one's business.) One of my all-time favorite lunch spots. I can eat here every day. My favorite is her Happy Chick Bowl, extra pork belly, add egg.

    Image by: Laulima Food Patch


    TIN ROOF I don't really order at Tin Roof... ever. Even if I do order my favorite — the Mochiko Chicken Bowl — I never get just what I ordered. Chef Sheldon and his `ohana are masters of the "shishi naenae." Food so good it takes you to another time and place... then puts you to sleep. Their food is contemporary local, yet still grounded in heritage like only a born and bred brownie can. Always Hi, never Lo, Tin Roof is 96720 in the 96732 all the way.

    Photo from: Tin Roof Maui

  • January 5, 2018

    Meet Chef Mark "Gooch" Noguchi

    Chef Mark Noguchi is many things to many people: nationally-renowned chef, defender of Hawaiian culinary traditions, cultural educator and local food proponent, just to name a few.

    Born and raised in Hawai’i, his love for good food goes hand-in-hand with his mission to promote traditional methods of sourcing, preparing, and serving meals. Mark’s journey has taken him through several business ventures, from the He’eia Pier General Store & Deli along the stunning shores of O‘ahu’s east side, to LunchBox, the Hawaiian Airlines corporate employee cafe.

    Today, as co-founder of Pili Group with his wife Amanda, Mark is illuminating the diverse culture of Hawai‘i through catering, culinary workshops and community gatherings. Pili Group is dedicated to creating a world of food with integrity, and the community of farmers, fishermen and other food artisans that Pili supports through its work has garnered national attention. Their newest program, Food Therapy®, is helping native and non-native people throughout Hawai‘i rediscover their heritage through intimate, hands-on cooking groups.

    In Mark’s view, you can honor history and still thoughtfully improve upon it, which is why you’ll find him making traditional meals with a modern touch. Noshing a bowl of luau stew or a fingerful of poi is inseparable from learning the story and people behind it. When you’re with Mark, whether it’s local meat, fish, or vegetables, eating well is as much about building community as it is the culinary experience.

    While Mark is always happy to see Hawai’i’s traditions transcend its shores, you might want to avoid the topic of poke. Poke (pronounced POH-kay), a local dish made with raw, locally-caught fish, has exploded on the mainland United States. As chains have started to sell mass-produced poke, they’ve changed the way the word is written (‘poké’, with an accent over the ‘e’) and have marketed the dish as a Hawaiian staple without understanding its cultural significance or its environmental impact. While this kind of misrepresentation is disappointing, it presents a unique opportunity to tell Hawai’i’s story on the world stage, including our responsibility to the communal resources that feed us.

    No matter how you look at Chef Mark Noguchi’s life, one thing is certain: authentic, traditional Hawaiian food is more relevant (and delicious) than ever throughout Hawai‘i, and abroad, thanks to his work.


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