Oahu Musts

In July 2011, J surprised me with a trip. He messaged me one day and said: Paris or Oahu. I didn’t quite catch his meaning and chose Oahu (because so many of the places I want to see in Paris close for the summer months).

Turns out J had peeked at the travel account and realized we had enough to spend nearly a week at Turtle Bay. With less than a week to plan, I researched the best places to eat and visit and checked in with friends who either lived there or recently visited. I’ve sent this list to several friends and when I got a recent request, I decided to add it to the blog for easier reference.

Turtle Bay

One of the best meals we ate the entire time we were there was at Ola, which sadly closed in 2015, but we’ve heard the new location, Roy’s, is quite tasty. We had the misoyaki cod (a staple of restaurants on the island!) and it was buttery and to die for.

Lei Lei's Crab Dip

Also on the property,  Lei Lei’s had the most amazing crab dip I’ve ever eaten, ever.

Ted's Bakery
My most favorite beach was across the street from Ted’s Bakery, get there early and get their famous pie. Since you have a fridge, get a whole one. You’ll thank me later. We also got two of their hot breakfast plates, but one would have been more than enough for both of us. The beach was also where we saw our first rainbow of the trip! A double one!

Double Rainbow

The Dole Plantation (also this is the road we drove late at night that smelled of eucalyptus and pineapple…) for Dole Whip and all things pineapple. This was actually our first stop after the airport and it was worth it to get out, walk around and enjoy the super fresh and delicious pineapple.
Pineapple Fields

The super adorable surf village is Haleiwa. This is town with the famous shaved ice and it’s absolutely work getting. We also enjoyed the Restaurant Haleiwa Joe’s where the Poisson Cru was amazing.
Poisson Cru

The famous shrimp truck (which is on the way to the Macadamia Nut farm) is Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck and it is amazing. We’re tried to recreate the recipe at home and have come pretty close.

Giovanni's Shrimp Truck

When we drove around the north side of the island, we came across a blink and you’ll miss it Macadamia Nut farm. In fact, we had to turn around twice in order to make the entrance, but once we were in, it was absolutely worth it. Don’t worry about buying things and figuring out how to take them home, they’ll ship it to you. Last year for Christmas everyone got something from them.

Turtle Bay sunset
Happy travels!

Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck Garlic Shrimp

The hardest part of returning to the mainland from Hawai’i is leaving behind the ocean, the views and the food. Luckily, a few of our favorite dishes aren’t that difficult to recreate. Giovanni’s Shrimp truck is legendary.  It’s in all the Oahu guide books and is worth the amazingly scenic drive. The menu is simple: shrimp scampi, spicy shrimp and lemon butter shrimp. We started our recreation with the easier scampi. With the help of Google, we found this YouTube video, which gave us the ingredients and a few tips.

Extra large shrimp, deveined, shell on
1 head (10 cloves) garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (1 tablespoon for spicier tastes)
1/2 stick clarified butter 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup white wine (dry)
2 tablespoons regular butter

Pat the shrimp dry. In a gallon zip top bag, mix the flour, paprika and cayenne pepper. Add shrimp and coat each piece of shrimp with the mixture. Heat saute pan over medium-high heat (any higher and the garlic will burn). Add clarified butter and garlic. Stir for 1 minute, then add all of the shrimp. Saute 3 minutes on each side. After 3 minutes on the second side, add the wine and 2 tablespoons butter. Saute, turning shrimp occasionally, until it reaches a caramel brown color.

My opinion:
We had way more shrimp than would fit in one pan! The next time we make this, I will be using the wok, as that would probably keep the garlic from burning. As we had about three pounds of shrimp total, we ended up using the entire bottle of wine. We’ll also probably take the shells off instead of leaving them on as we really like the coating. All in all, it was very close to the deliciousness that is Giovanni’s. Now if only it came with a side of the ocean…