Friday, January 11, 2008

Chinese Food in Hawaii

I guess it's the same everywhere. If you're not celebrating Christmas or going to a New Year's Eve party, one of your best bets for finding an open restaurant is Chinese food. In Hawaii I had two memorable Chinese meals this time around. One was at Little Village Noodle House and the other at Panda Cuisine (NOT Panda Express!). Both restaurants were attractive, had excellent food and were inexpensive to boot. They also each have parking, so there you go.

Little Village Noodle House
At Little Village Noodle House the menu seems rather standard, but even the classic dishes are done well. The orange chicken we ordered for the kids was one of the best versions I've ever had. We ordered mostly from the specials menu which I highly recommend. The volcano pork chops were served from a tin foil pouch and were crispy and salty and studded with garlic. The hot pot dishes were rustic and hearty--one had lamb and the other pork and bitter melon. This is a fun place to go with a group and whether you are adventurous or like to stick with what you know, you can't go wrong.

Panda Cuisine
My Hawaii sources all pointed to Panda Cuisine as the place for dim sum. But I was unprepared for how good the dim sum would be. Really. It put my local favorites to shame. The noodle dishes here were outstanding--possibly the best chow fun I've ever had. The noodles with thick but not gummy and the sauce delicate and balanced. The dumplings were really made with care and there was a cold smoked fish dish that was rich and flavorful and hard to resist. Best of all, they serve dim sum all day and all night and the menu features pictures of everything so there are few surprises of the "did we order that?" variety. I will definitely be back on my next trip.

Little Village Noodle House
1113 Smith Street
Honolulu, HI
808.545.3008

Panda Cuisine (closed then reopened)
641 Keeaumoku Street
Honolulu, HI
808.947.1688