14 Kapolei-Area Restaurants Named Star-Advertiser ʻIlima Award Winners

On Sunday the Honolulu Star-Advertiser published their annual ʻIlima Awards list, which names the newspaper’s picks for the best restaurants on Oʻahu.

Fourteen Kapolei-area restaurants made the list — a mix of restaurants that are only found here, along with a few that have multiple locations around the island.

The biggest winner: Mina’s Fish House, which was just one of four restaurants on the paper’s Best Seafood list.

Kapolei Commons gets to take a bow as well. Four restaurants in the shopping center are ʻIlima winners.

Here, in alphabetical order, are the local spots that made the list, along with some of what the newspaper’s critics had to say about them.

Assaggio, Central Kapolei

“Favorites range from the complex veal alla Sorrentino to the simple spaghetti and meatballs.” [Website | Location]

DB Grill, Kapolei Commons

“Try the bulgogi bowl, a mound of grilled beef over rice with sweet onions and a soft-cooked egg.” [Website | Location]

Gyu-kaku Japanese BBQ, Kapolei Commons

“Order meats and veggies a la carte and flavor them as desired.” [Website | Location]

Kalapawai Market, Central Kapolei

kalapawai crab cakes
“Great for a grab-and-go breakfast, a satisfying lunch, or dinner.” [Website | Location]

La Hiki, Ko Olina

“Chef Simeon Hall Jr. brings artisanal techniques of curing, smoking, aging, preserving, pickling, and slow-cooking to the dinner menu.” [Website | Location]

La Tour Café, Kapolei Commons

“Many come for the macarons, but end up staying for the sandwiches, burgers and paninis.” [Website | Location]

Limón Rotisserie, Ka Makana Aliʻi

limon chicken and waffles
“(The chicken) is so succulent and flavorful you should always order more than you can eat, so you can take a few pieces home.” [Website | Location]

Mina’s Fish House, Ko Olina

“Exemplifies the thought that enjoyment of a meal is tied up in a full understanding of its key component, in this case, the fish at the center of the plate.” [Website | Location]

Monkeypod Kitchen, Ko Olina

“A casual approach to farm-to-table dining.” [Website | Location]

Plantation Tavern, Central Kapolei

uncle norm poke nachos at Plantation Tavern

Photo via Plantation Tavern / Facebook


“The mixed-plate heritage of Korean, Chinese, Hawaiian, Portuguese, and Filipino cuisines is the focus.” [Website | Location]

Shiro’s Saimin Heaven, ʻEwa Beach

“The top seller is the Dodonpa, loaded with fried shrimp, roast beef, char siu, wonton, roast pork, luncheon meat, imitation crab, mushrooms, eggroll and vegetables.” [Website | Location]

Tiano’s, ʻEwa Beach

“Pleases diverse palates with traditional American, local and Filipino cuisines.” [Website | Location]

Young’s Fish Market, Kapolei Commons

youngs plate lunch
“Delivers mouth-watering, hearty portions of Hawaiian goodness.” [Website | Location]

Zippy’s, Kapolei & ʻEwa

“An all-occasion stop.” [Website | Kapolei Location | Ewa Location]