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Keeaumoku: Point your chopsticks this way

This street offers a sampler platter of Asia, from Korea to Taiwan

It looks like block after block of hostess bars and discount retailers, crumbling eyesores and gleaming megaliths. But to bypass Keeaumoku Street, which begins at Ala Moana Center and stretches into the hilly suburbs above Honolulu, means missing out on one of Honolulu’s best destinations for casual ethnic dining.

Picture 1Korean home-style comfort food at Ireh
Keeaumoku’s history as a magnet for Japanese immigrants a century ago is barely evident today, overtaken by a more recent wave of Korean immigrants whose bars, restaurants, beauty salons, professional offices and taekwondo and language schools have come to dominate the area since the 1960s.

Picture 2Taiwanese-style shave ice at City Cafe
Today, while a handful of places offer Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and Mexican cuisine, it’s the concentration of casual Korean eateries that distinguishes Keeaumoku. Grilled meats, noodle soups, spicy shrimp and dozens of other specialties line these blocks, their tantalizing aromas often wafting from tiny restaurants that seat barely 30 people.

Come take a visual eating tour of some of our favorites by clicking on the slideshow on the right.

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