Chef Chris Kajioka’s Favorite Honolulu Haunts
Chris Kajioka’s Favorite Honolulu Haunts
You may have heard the news. Local chef Chris Kajioka of Senia fame has begun working with
Ward Village to curate a culinary experience that will serve the city’s tastebuds for years to
come. As he gears up to expand our culinary horizons, we’ve taken a moment to pick Chris’s
brain about his favorite Honolulu restaurants.
This place is the ultimate hole in the wall. The cooking exudes comfort and reminds me of eating at someone’s home. This is a restaurant that allows you to truly understand just how diverse the food in Hawai‘i can be.
Piggy Smalls / The Pig & The Lady
Location: Ward Village / Chinatown
Dynamic flavors and unique interpretations of Vietnamese cuisine combine beautifully here. The
food is always delicious and the success of these two restaurants has been a big part of
shaping the contemporary food scene here in Honolulu.
The Food Company
Location: Enchanted Lake, Kailua
I love this place. It’s a small hidden gem in the Enchanted Lake neighborhood that puts out
some of the most delicious and unpretentious food in the state. I always leave wishing it were
just a little closer to my home.
In my opinion, this is the best restaurant in Hawai‘i. The chef is incredible; his expertise and
mastery of sushi is straight-up amazing. At his table, a meal truly becomes an experience.
Bar Leather Apron
Location: Downtown Honolulu
While not technically a restaurant (although they do serve food) I had to list this place. The
owner and bartender, Justin Park, is simply operating at a level above everyone else. Balance,
discipline, and care really make for a special experience. Similar to Sushi Sho, I often watch in
awe as Justin makes a drink—his hand movement and coordination are really something to see
Again, not technically a restaurant, but Breadshop is simply one of the best. Owner and baker
Chris Sy is challenging the local culture of soft, flavorless bread with his own naturally leavened
sour loaves, complete with a dark, thick crust full of flavor and chew. You gotta love it.