Do You Remember… Ala Moana Eateries

In the previous MLC post, yukie commented to answer our question of where this fountain was.



She said that her husband identified the fountain as in front of the Coral Reef Restaurant where his mother used to work.


Check out the 6 digit phone number.


Looking to the ad, I think I can vaguely make out the fountain in the drawing.


Now where exactly was the Coral Reef restaurant?  In the ad, it says that it’s located “Lower level next to Shirokiya“.



Was this when Shirokiya used to be located next to Longs when only the first phase of Ala Moana opened?  And if so, then did Shirokiya have 2 levels (Mall and Street)?  That would make sense because then when Shirokiya moved to the Phase 2 side, then Woolworths would’ve moved in and they had 2 levels (Mall and Street).


Truthfully, I don’t remember Ala Moana having only the first phase because that was when Ala Moana first opened and I would’ve been less than a year old.  I just know by pictures that I’ve seen.


Hmm… It’s starting to come back now.  Was the Coral Reef restaurant where the Post Office is now?  I remember a fancier restaurant down there.  Or was that the Prince Kuhio restaurant?  No wait – the Prince Kuhio restaurant was on the makai street level by the Down Under Bar and India Imports, no?


I’m so confused with all the fancier restaurants that I never ate at.  In fact, I never even ate at the Woolworth’s Coffee Shop!


I guess that being a poor intermediate/high school kid back then, I didn’t eat at any sit down restaurants where they served you.


For me, I ate only at a handful of places.


The original McDonalds that used to be located in the elevated section of Foodland – where you could dine and watch everyone doing their grocery shopping.  I used to always order the Big Mac because it was McDonald’s specialty.  I always wondered why my friend would order a smaller burger – then I figured it out.  See, back then when we used to go scabbing shopping, we’d be self-conscious that some girls might be “checking us out” (yeah, right) and there is nothing more embarrassing than having secret sauce on the corners of your mouth.  Plus, you had to open your mouth wide to fit the whole burger in.  Yeah, we were oshare like that.


Another regular place to eat was at Patti’s Chinese Kitchen – even if the line went out the door.  Remember how there was only one long line spilling out the door onto the sidewalk?  And once you got in the door – under that pesky blower that blew air down from above the doorway that was meant to keep the flies out, but all it did was mess up your hair – the long line split into two where you could either go left or right to make your plate and choose your entrees.  Then after paying, you’d be lucky to find one of those small tables that had only 2 chairs that wasn’t occupied.  Or you ate outside.  But the food was always so ono.  Chow mein, shrimp canton, kau yuk, sweet sour spareribs, beef broccoli (not).  Or sometimes I’d blow off the whole plate thing and just go for the manapua, pepeiau, half moon, rice cake, Honey twists (for Paula), etc.  We didn’t call it Dim Sum back then because the word wasn’t invented yet.


Then one day, one of my friends turned me on to Lynn’s Delicatessen.  That was the first time I tried pastrami.  And I liked it!  I really didn’t care for the rye bread with the caraway seeds though.  Then later I learned that I could order it on white bread.  Winnahs!  But because I was a cheese-hater back in those days, I never took the opportunity to try it with cream cheese.


I remember that Lynn’s also served a spaghetti plate.  I remember grinding that a few times.  I recall this one time when I was in line ordering, I saw this lady walking back to the counter with a whole pile of black pepper on her spaghetti.  Someone pulled the old “loosen the top on the salt or pepper shaker so the top comes off when someone tries to use it” trick.  Poor thing.  Ever since then, I always check to make sure that the shaker tops are tightened securely.


Woolworths had a little deli that I passed many, many times cutting through the store to get from the street level to the mall level – but not once did I try the pizza slices or fried chicken.  I wish I could go back and try them…


Back in the day, which Ala Moana eateries did you patronize?  Do you remember the Sears Coffee Shop?  Or the Penneys Coffee ShopSuperman808 mentioned Rada’s.  Do you remember Rada’s Piroscki at Ala Moana?  Remember passing by the shrimp tempura in the take-out window at Wong’s Okazuya?  Where were your favorite places to eat at Ala Moana and what was your favorite dish?  Snacks included.  😛



94 Responses to “Do You Remember… Ala Moana Eateries”

  1. Kahaluukid says:

    Reverend Rod thanks for the reassuring words!

    Anyone want to re-live the Orange Julius Teri burger taste???
    Orange J. at Windward has been closed for awhile now and HT Burgers took over their place and there taste. Taste as close as the real thing. Now they even expanding into teri beef and chicken.
    They opened a store in town at Don Quijotes also.
    Order the Teri Cheese, you cant go wrong.

  2. Rodney says:

    @Kahaluukid – I believe that there is an Ala Moana in the after life. And it’ll be just as we remembered it. 😀

  3. LINDA KATO says:

    Good afternoon/evening MLCers ❗ Happy Wednesday ❗ 😀

    Have a great day ❗ 😀

    Happy shopping at Ala Moana, Rod ❗ 😀

  4. M says:

    Guud morning MLCers 🙂

  5. Kahaluukid says:

    We use to catch bus all the way from Kahaluu to Ala Moanas.
    3 bucks was all we needed for lunch at McDonalds. Didnt really eat any where else. If we had 10 bucks it was like winning the lottery. Was poor den and still but happy. Just happy to get out of the country and see town every weekend. Never ate at any sit down places other than Farrell’s for a birthday, excursion, or something. Most of the stuff mentioned already brings back good memories of my youth. I wonder if theres a Ala Moana in the after life?

  6. Rodney says:

    @khs68 – Yup, when Ala Moana first opened up, it was only the half from Sears to McInerny and it looks like Shirokiya was where the Woolworth’s Coffee Shop and store was. Then when the second half opened, Shirokiya move to it’s current location. That must’ve been when Woolworths moved in too.

    Remember when it was so open air with sunshine! Those Sidewalk sales were rockin’

  7. Rodney says:

    @Mark’75 – and the One Day sale last for 2 days (pre-sale). But I’m not complaining. Paula and my daughter scoop up some terrific deals. I’m going to scoop something up this weekend. A little birdie told me that there will be a big sale at Macy’s this weekend.

  8. Mark'75 says:

    @Rodney: From the photo is sure looks like sidewalk sale was a MAJOR event, no? Just like Liberty House’s One Day Sale was. Now, get One Day Sale every week 😆

  9. Mark'75 says:

    @Masako: Thanks! The name rings a bell, but hard to remember 😆

  10. Masako says:

    @Mark75 – It was located next to Long’s on the street side. I think its Panya now.

  11. LINDA KATO says:

    Good afternoon MLCers ❗ Happy Tuesday ❗ 😀

    Thanks for sharing all of your memories ❗ Making me hungry ❗

    Have a great day ❗ 😀

  12. khs68 says:

    @Rodney – looks like it was by Sears?

  13. Rodney says:

    @khs68 – Check out this picture of the original Shirokiya:

    I had this picture posted on my Facebook Midlife Crisis Hawaii blog page. If you’re on FB, “Like” my page for more nostalgia.

  14. Rodney says:

    @Masako – You’re welcome. Thanks for all your help!.
    Ala Moana Center was so much a piece of my childhood too – ever since I was in about the 8th grade.

  15. khs68 says:

    Where was Shirokiya before it moved to the present location? I can’t seem to remember.

  16. Mark'75 says:

    @Masako: Plush Pippins…forgot about that one. Where were they located?

  17. Masako says:

    This has been very nostalgic. Ala Moana was a big part of my childhood. My mom took us there every weekend and in Intermeiate and high school I had to transfer at Ala Moana to get home and It was also the hang out place for my friends and I on weekends so I was there almost every day. During the college years I worked at various stores in the mall. Over the years Ala Moana has changed so much that I cannot recognize it anymore, which is why I enjoy remenicing about the way it was……Thanks Rod!

  18. Kage says:

    Good Afternoon.

    Love all of your stories.
    Going to Ala Moana was a treat for us in the country. Pearlridge opened when I was young so we went there most times.
    Never ate at Lyn’s. Used to eat at Patti’s.

    I remember we went to Ala Moana after visiting the science fair at HIC. 🙂 It was in the fifth grade. That was the first time I was at a shopping center without parents or siblings, just friends. Ate at Orange Julius because one of the guys said they had good teriburgers. They were right, it was ono.

  19. Masako says:

    Morrow’s was next to Honolulu Book Store.

  20. Mark'75 says:

    What I remember about my one and only time at La Ronde Restaurant was that a hamburger cost $5……$5! (when the same thing at Rainbows was 25cents) The view was the thrilling part but.

  21. moWS says:

    My Mom would order the hot turkey sandwich from Woolworths with the mashed potato and gravy all over. I remember the fried calamari from Lyn’s deli I think it was. Not sure but it was at the corner where Splash is now. Then right down from there was a magic trick store. In the 80’s and 90’s Fish Mongers Wife was where I would go all the time to take my dates. The popcorn and cashew nut smell in Sears still brings back good small kid time memories also.

  22. Rodney says:

    Where was the nut house?
    Morrow’s, that is. Not NKHEA’s.

  23. Rodney says:

    Ahh, Sears popcorn. Downstairs by the automotive garage. Nothing like the aroma of Sears popcorn mixed with the smell of rubber tires to trigger small-kid-time memories.

  24. NKHEA says:

    M; das what I thought……remember das was da good old days..

    Masako; hot roasted nuts 😯

  25. Masako says:

    My dad used to like the hot roasted nuts from Morrows Nut House.

  26. Masako says:

    At one time Patti’s had a noodle kitchen next to its Chinese kitchen place. I used to like the seafood and vegetables over crispy noodles. Patti’s chinese kitchen was the go to place when I worked at the mall.

  27. M says:

    Guud morning MLCers! 🙂

  28. Mark'75 says:

    For pasta, Bella Italia was the place I’d go for spaghetti with red clam sauce….was good!

  29. Rodney says:

    What I remember about the Woolworths Coffee Shop was that every time I walked by, I’d hear the clanging of dishes and would smell the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. It was a true coffee shop.

  30. dihudfan says:

    @masako… yeh… now that you mention, food was good but never used to have too big a crowd… I remember that pie place too… thanks

  31. Rodney says:

    @chicorex – How ya doing! Long time no see! Thanks for the post.

  32. Masako says:

    @dihudfan – Restaurant by Longs……I think that was Fishmongers wife…used to have good chowder and seafood. Also had this pie place called Plush Pippins that was there for awhile.

  33. dihudfan says:

    used to think it was funny that visitors from Japan used to go to the Sieko store to buy watches… but laddah found out from my uncle, who lived in Japan… Seiko used to export different watches to U.S. and it was a status symbol to own something like that…

  34. dihudfan says:

    yeh, I agree… orange julius made ono teri burger
    used to go to JCPenneys to eat… wuz good too…
    there used to be a resturant next to Long’s… they made really good seafood pasta…
    Woolworth’s roast beef sandwich was winnahs…

  35. chicorex says:

    Loved Lynn’s deli for the cheap pizza’s.

  36. Mark'75 says:

    @Rodney: Was THAT bakery up near Honsport?

  37. Masako says:

    Ankles mentioned Sears popcorn. I still remember the smell…….Sometimes that was the reward for good behavior while shopping. I think we used to get Icee over there too.

  38. M says:

    @NKHEA, was it Old Vienna Bake Shop?

  39. Masako says:

    We used to go to Crack seed center to buy seeds and also to get Slush puppy. I thought it was cool the way they would squirt the syrup into the cup than put the slush inside.

  40. Masako says:

    I recall Shirokiya had a restaurant. You had to walk up these stairs by a big bird cage to get there.

  41. NKHEA says:

    UR; no I don’t think so, good friends mom used to work there, we used to score choke left ova’s…….wea da hell M stay……

  42. Masako says:

    There was also a restaurant at Liberty House called Hackfields that was near where Barnes and Nobles is now. It was really good but pricey so I only went there once.

  43. Masako says:

    @NKHEA – Orange Julius did have good Teri Burgers.

  44. Masako says:

    @Rodney – Wow I never seen a bakery like that at Ala Moana!

  45. Mark'75 says:

    @Rodney: Wow, Poi Bowl back in the day!!!! Neat!

  46. Rodney says:

    Howzit NKHEA. Was that the bakery that made naughty kine bread? They shaped it into da kines.

  47. NKHEA says:

    Howzit UR,

    Eh M, what was the name of the bakery Mike’s mom used to work at, think was close to Orange Julius. Speaking of Orange Julius they had one good teri-burger.

  48. Rodney says:

    Dunkin’ Donuts by the makai entrance of Foodland!

  49. Rodney says:

    @Mark’75 – Thanks! That was a cool video of Pinky’s Rose Garden at the old stage. Who was the girl singing for Pinky’s?

    Here’s a picture of Greenwood on that same stage:

  50. lowtone123 says:

    Loved Patti’s for chinese food and Wong’s for okazuya. Shirokiya has good bentos. Crackseed Center for snacks.

  51. khs68 says:

    Byron’s Steakhouse – lower level makai next to Liberty House. Was good in the olden days for special occasions.

  52. Mark'75 says:

    Talking about when Center Stage faced mauka…check out this video of Pinky’s Rose Garden. Really neat seeing the escalators on the ewa side (instead of its present location), and that long staircase on the kokohead side.

  53. Mark'75 says:

    @Rodney: I recall the entrance to Hotei-ya had a big wooden carving of Hotei with a big, round belly, smiling. Always made me laugh.

  54. M says:

    I remember eating at Coral Reef and Continental Restaurant but that’s as far as I can remember… 😆
    I remember my friends mom was a waitress at Coral Reef.

  55. Keoni says:

    @Rodney I think it was cafeteria style.

  56. Rodney says:

    @Keoni – Yes, the Continental Restaurant had all kinds of ethnic foods, thus the name “Continental”. I don’t think I ever ate there though, as it was a sit down restaurant. Or was it cafeteria style?

  57. Rodney says:

    @Mark’75 – I believe the Japanese store that was where Old Navy is now was Hotei-ya. I remember going there to play with the wooden tops and small metal wind-up cars and stuff.

    According to Shirokiya’s web site: On October 29, 1959, Shirokiya opened in Hawaii’s then brand-new Ala Moana Center. In 1966 Shirokiya moved to it’s present location (across from Liberty House,now Macy’s).

  58. M says:

    I’m getting hungry reading all this talk about food.

  59. Keoni says:

    @Rodney, I think the Continental Restaurant is what I’m recalling. Didn’t they have various ethnic foods – Hawaiian, Chinese, etc.?

  60. Rodney says:

    @Keoni – I don’t recall any eating places where the Center Stage is now. There was Ed & Don’s, Crackseed center, and Jon’s Ice cream on the sides but not in the middle.
    Remember when the Center Stage was on the opposite side of where it is today? The stage used to face mauka. And behind the stage was where the Continental Restaurant used to be. I believe there was one shop area across the old stage and the rest was the sandbox. I think it was once a Muntz Stereo shop where I bought a home cassette deck.

  61. Keoni says:

    I seem to recall that there used to be a lot of eating places in the center of Ala Moana where Center Stage, etc. is now. Am I dreaming?

  62. LINDA KATO says:

    Good morning MLCers ❗ Happy Monday ❗ 😀

    Have a great day ❗ 😀

    My favorite restaurant was Lyn’s Deli and their pastrami sandwiches. I remember this restaurant being spelled with one n in Lyn. Took our kids to Farrell’s ice cream parlor a lot. Liberty House was our favorite store. Nice memories ❗ 😀

  63. Rodney says:

    @Terr93 – Welcome too and thanks for posting! The Penneys coffee shop was on the third floor overlooking the top parking deck right? I recall going there later when I was older. Then one day, it was gone and replaced with Pennys Optical. 🙁

  64. Rodney says:

    @skibunz – Hi skibunz! Welcome to the MLC blog and thanks for sharing your stories. I vaguely recall attending a banquet at the Ala Moana banquet rooms too. Maybe was my 10th grade banquet?

    My first slow dance was at a Nuuanu Y dance (I even remember the song and the band playing it) – but that’s for a later blog. LOL

  65. Masako says:

    I used to love the food department at Shirokiya. I worked pat time there for a few years so I got discount on the bento. I was a floater so I got to work all over the store. My favorite was assiting with the demonstrators from Japan. They would give me all kind food when I would go on break. They sold a big bowl of hot rice with assorted tsukimono for 50 cents, a good meal when money’s tight. I still like to check out the food department but since i’ve seen the food basements in Japan, its not as exciting anymore.

  66. sunny says:

    While in intermediate school, my best friend and I caught the bus to Ala Moana to go shopping on a holiday. That was a big deal – ALL DAY to go shopping. (It was some holiday like Veteran’s Day or 4th of July.) Turns out almost all the stores were closed! Only Crack Seed Center was open, so we kept occupied by eating snacks like mango seed until my mom picked us up in the afternoon.

  67. khs68 says:

    The hotdog at Woolworth’s was good, too. The bun they used was thick bread, not the traditional hotdog bun.

  68. skibunz says:

    Woolworth’s fried chicken was a luxury…could only afford to buy a wing. Crunchy, greasy, yummy! Was really good – kinda like a thick heavy tempura batter.

  69. Masako says:

    I used to like the cone sushi and sweet potato tempura at Wong’s Okazuya.

  70. Masako says:

    Farrell’s was Birthday headquarters. We used to celebrate everyone’s Birthday there. Once the waiters tripped while running around with the Zoo and it went flying. Such a mess!

  71. khs68 says:

    @Mark ’75: Yeah, the roast beef sandwich at Woolworth’s was really good. The lady would dip the top bun in the au jus. Soooo ono.

  72. Masako says:

    As a small child I remember liking Continental restaurant although I cannot remember what kind of restaurant is was or what i used to eat there.

  73. skibunz says:

    Memories: 7th grade banquet at the Ala Moana Banquet rooms. First slow dance. Single carnation with a ribbon. Such sweet and innocent times.

  74. khs68 says:

    Crackseed House had good wun tun mein.

    I remember “taking a day off from school” with my friends and going to Ala Moana Center. My mom was having lunch at Woolworth’s coffeeshop and saw me through the glass windows. Damn! Busted!

  75. volleymom2 says:

    Used to go woolworths all the time to just look around, never eating at the coffeeshop. Yum, Rada’s… used to go to the one when it was located downtown. I didnt know they were in Ala Moana. They made good cuttlefish legs… is that when the filipino family took over? Miss eating that stuff. Patti’s Chinese Kitchen- used to head straight for that place when we got off the bus. Good ol days..

  76. Masako says:

    Going to Ala Moana with my mom usually meant having lunch at Gazebo which was on the fourth floor at Liberty house. They had good Pastrami or roast beef sandwiches and soups. My grandma used to like to eat at Garden Court with was on the Third floor of Liberty house where the Pineapple room is now. About once a month my Grandma, mom and our neighbor lady would have lunch there. My favorite part was dessert. They would bring this cart to the table and you would choose your dessert. I usually had a Napoleon or Eclair.

  77. Masako says:

    I remember a couple times when my mom would take us shopping and my brother would want ice cream, would be so shame to go Ed and Don’s with them, hard to look cool with you mom and little brother. I would still get giggly and my mom would say out loud stop being so silly……more shame….LOL

  78. Masako says:

    Our favorite after school hangout was Ed and Don’s ice cream to check out the cute guys that worked there. Had like four cute guys and one old man. We used to hang out in there giggling and talking story with the guys, the old man was cool, he would just smile at us and shake his head.

  79. Masako says:

    Good Morning! The first thing that comes to mind is Little Sicily’s which was on the side of Lynn’s Deli, a huge slice of pizza for 95 cents.

  80. Terr93 says:

    I remember eating Woolworth’s Chicken although I do remember I liked it I can’t remember if it was that orange looking Chicken or golden brown. I also did eat at JC Penny’s Coffee shop a few times, Lynn’s Deli’s Pastrami sandwiches were my favorite too!

  81. Mark'75 says:

    Come to think of it, Shirokiya did have a downstairs. What came to mind is that the toy department was downstairs where I got those Japanese wood puzzles. The kind I could take apart but not put back together.

  82. Mark'75 says:

    The first roast beef sandwich I ever had was at Woolworth’s when they were on the mauka side of the mall. I was instantly hooked ❗

  83. Mark'75 says:

    Shirokiya used to be where Old Navy is. I do recall the green carpeted stairs (like green tea color) that led upstairs.

  84. sally says:

    omg I just remembered… What was that restaurant in Liberty House? Sometimes, after Patti’s (yes, AFTER! lol) we went there to get dessert. They had a most deeeelish apple pie with cheese and cinnamon/sugar.

    Gosh we sure had appetites and good metabolism back then!

  85. sally says:

    Lyn’s Deli pastrami sandwich was da Bomb!

    When I started working at the mall I used to go to Shirokiya if I happened to work a full day. They had just started to serve bentos and those awesome Roasted Chestnuts.

  86. sally says:

    Patti’s was our place, long line and all. It was the most food we could get for our money after a day at Ala Moana Beach.

  87. ankleBYTERS says:

    There was a Chinese restaurant near the post office….the Sunday PT crew at Sear’s had our lunches there….

    We didn’t patronize the Sear’s coffee shop much since we had the employee cafeteria on the 3rd floor. Buttered popcorn was the BEST…a container of the raw butter was like $$$, if I remember correctly.

    Patti’s was the place to eat ❗

    Are there any okazuya places around anymore

  88. M says:

    Guud Morning MLCers!

    Farrell’s Ice Cream Palor

  89. Makiki says:

    Just Patti’s – I can picture the lines as I write this.

  90. Superman808 says:

    Over the years, Rada’s changed ownership from the Russian lady to a Filipino family. It relocated to Fort Street Mall. Then got converted into a Filipino eatery. It moved across the way on FSM to “Vicky’s” and is now just an item on their menu.

    The flavor and portion is not quite the same. Close, but not the same. I just need the recipe. 😀

  91. Superman808 says:

    WOOHOO!! First!!!

    Rada’s Piroscki!

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