Island Wise

One Day in Kalihi…

James Cave

Say you wake up one morning (like Wednesday, because that’s a day when all these good places are open at the same time) and you’re already dressed, your breath smells good because you slept with gum in your mouth, and, because of that American Pickers marathon you watched the night before, you want to experience some real, local history without gazing upon a single tourist.

Can’t be done, you say? Oh, but it can, in the land of drive inns, shave ice, poke (some say, the island’s best!), fresh fish, char siu, boiled peanuts, Kona coffee, koa ‘ukuleles, hawaiian mythology, and tiki drinks.

Once at the other end of the trolley stop, Kalihi was a closeknit suburban neighborhood, later stereotyped as a 1970s crime-scene montage. But this is a place where King Kamehameha bluestone lava bricks coexist among the pink walls of Tamashiro’s. It’s special. So prepare to become cozy with Kalihi.