On an island where space is the prized commodity, strange couplings occur. Like karaoke and fried chicken. Side Street Inn, a chef’s hangout in Honolulu, has come into local fame (which is spreading since Anthony Bourdain stopped by in 2009) for its frying rap sheet. The big kahuna is the fried pork chops. The filler is the kimchi fried rice. But the unheralded find is chef Colin Nishida’s fried chicken, which blends his Asian roots and Polynesian bent. Just save room for your turn belting out a ukulele-backed Black Eyed Peas hit.
Don’t miss Grab a stool at the bar and try the potent cocktails (the house specialty is the Side Mui: vodka, Kahlúa, sour mix, and dried plum powder) and exceptional pu pus (bar snacks), from fried wontons to steamed Manila clams.