We didn't love . . . being told to come back later in the day for sea bass. When we did, we were told there was no sea bass that day.
Fatty's Chinese Kitchen, Miramar at Waikiki, 2345 Kuhio Ave.; (808) 922-9600.
Price: $12 to $28
In the mood for a big meal? Perhaps some sumo-sized pancakes or maybe a tureen of the Japanese soup saimin? Take a seat at MAC 24-7, a new Waikiki restaurant in the Hilton Prince Kuhio Hotel. Any time of day or night, diners find a diverse, well-priced menu with some special XXL offerings. Choose Mac Daddy pancakes ($12) in combinations such as banana, walnut and chocolate chunk or the Elvis, peanut butter and bacon. The flapjacks are bigger than a dinner plate. In the mood for pasta? Order the white cheddar mac and cheese ($12).
We loved . . . the sweet and smoky pulled pork kalua sandwich ($12) and the "killer" cupcakes (our favorite was the warm macadamia nut bread pudding cupcake for $6.)
We didn't love . . . that the three meals we ordered arrived at different times.
MAC 24-7, 2500 Kuhio Ave.; (808) 922-0811, www.mac247waikiki.com.
Prices: $8.99 to $23.95
The surf's always up at LuLu's, which has a five-star view of Waikiki Beach and its wave action. The casual, open-air diner has an unobstructed second-floor view of the beach. Counters along the beach-facing walls allow customers to belly up to a bar and watch the surf. The restaurant is cute, with knotty-pine paneling, surfboards and outrigger paddles decorating the walls. It's open 22 hours daily. Burgers are the specialty; try the Magnum P.I. with bacon, cheddar and guacamole ($9.95).
We loved. . . the view: palm trees swaying in the breeze, with brilliant blue sky above and blue water below.
We didn't love. . . the food, which is average. But the view and ambience may make up for it.
LuLu's Waikiki, 2586 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu; (808) 926-5222, www.luluswaikiki.com.
Diamond Head Market & Grill
Price: Sandwiches about $6
Five minutes from Waikiki, you'll find one-stop shopping at Kelvin Ro's Diamond Head Market & Grill. It's a great place to pick up a picnic lunch. Choose among gourmet takeout, healthful plate lunches, deli foods or fresh-from-the-oven blueberry and cream-cheese scones ($2.40). Among the terrific sandwiches are grilled portabello ($5.25) and turkey with cranberry chutney ($6.50). Ro says, "My real job is as an instructor at a culinary college," but part of his job is making some of Hawaii's traditional foods more healthful.