Hale’iwa (hah lay EE vuh) is my favorite spot on the planet. For me this sleepy little town sums up the Hawaiian experience. Sandwiched between what is known as Da Country and the infamous surf of The North Shore, this old plantation town offers up the largest collection of stores and restaurants on this side of Oahu. Without crossing the central mountains of the island, the short stretch of muddy Kamehameha Highway represents the best collection of restaurants.
When we had driven through town earlier in the day we noticed a little Thai place called Haleiwa Eats. I can’t say for sure how long it had been there but we didn’t remember it being the year before. Still feeling pretty full from our visit to Matsugen, we figured we’d order a few things and how it was.
Housed in one of the M Yoshida buildings circa 1923, Haleiwa Eats sits a couple doors down from the famed Matsumoto Shave Ice. The interior was decorated with a tasteful blend of Thai and Hawaiian charm. The strings of small lights added whimsy to what I can only to describe comfortable setting. This worth noting as the buildings themselves are somewhat unforgiving as it relates to comfort and acoustics.
I’ve been to plenty of well decorated restaurants to realize that you only score so many points for appearances, but Haleiwa Eats backs up its first impression with good solid food. We took the easy way out and ordered the summer rolls for appetizer ($5). They were good (they are alas summer rolls). For her entrée Regina opted for the Monsoon Shrimp ($17, sautéed shrimp Thai garlic shrimp served over cucumber and tomato with a side of rice). Looking at the picture I’m guessing Regina requested the peanut sauce.
I was very intrigued by the Siam Beef Platter ($15, beef with chili basil sauce w/ string beans, zucchini, and onions). I loved the beef. I actually knew I’d love the beef, but the surprise was the veggies that came with it. The inclusion of the green beans had thrown me off a little bit but I thought they were actually really good with the crunch of the peanuts.
We love the isolation of The North Shore, but it makes it so much better knowing that there is an affordable option, by Hawaiian standards, so close to where we were staying. In the end the bill was less than $50. It’s a great place to try if you’re in this neck of the woods and licking your wounds from a high priced Honolulu dinner.
66-079 Kamehameha Hwy
Haleiwa, HI 96712