49 N. Hotel St., Honolulu
Our Rating Neighborhood Downtown/Chinatown Hours Mon–Sat 11am–2pm and 5–10pm Phone 808/537-2577 Prices Main courses $16–$32 Cuisine Type American Web site Livestock Tavern
For the past two decades, restaurateurs and artists have been trying to revitalize Chinatown, which, in the second half of the 20th century, became more well known as a red-light district than a place to eat and hang out. Restaurateurs Jesse Cruz and Dusty Grable have helped make Chinatown a destination with their eateries—Lucky Belly, which serves modern Asian comfort food; Tchin Tchin!, a bar and lounge with an incomparable wine list; and Livestock Tavern. All are great, but Livestock Tavern is my favorite, serving modern American food at its finest, with an excellent cocktail menu to boot. The menu changes seasonally (yes, even Hawaii has seasons, however subtle), with heartier dishes like a mushroom bread pudding in the winter and lighter options such as the grilled catch of the day in the summer. The hamburger is a staple on the menu, and it’s one of Honolulu’s best.