Masaharu Morimoto's Top 5 Places to Eat in Honolulu

Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto reveals his favorite Honolulu eats to Food Network Magazine.

Photo By: Mark Peterson ©Mark Peterson 2008

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Photo By: adriana.torres.chong ©adriana.torres.chong

Photo By: adriana.torres.chong ©adriana.torres.chong

Iron Chef America

The chef's second restaurant in Hawaii, Morimoto Maui, opens in summer 2013.

Kurobuta Pork Loin Katsu With Cabbage, Tonjiru, Rice and Pickles From Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin

Morimoto can't get enough of this special cut of Berkshire pork loin. It's rolled in breadcrumbs, fried twice and served with a tangy fruit-vegetable sauce. Although the dish normally comes with miso soup, Morimoto prefers the tonjiru, a root vegetable soup that's served only on Saturdays. Get there early: The restaurant makes just 25 orders of the pork each day. 255 Beach Walk; facebook.com/tonkatsu.ginza.bairin

Bento Box From Shirokiya

The second-floor food court of this Japanese department store is home to an endless selection of bento boxes. "I like to pick one for lunch, depending on my mood and what looks the freshest that day," Morimoto says. Each tray typically comes with a protein (fish, chicken or hamburger), rice and up to three small sides, like pickled vegetables, fish cakes or cooked seaweed. 1450 Ala Moana Blvd., #2250; shirokiya.com

Fresh Pineapple From Dole Plantation

Morimoto stops by this 14-acre plantation for an unlikely snack: a 5-pound Tropical Gold pineapple. He takes it back to the restaurant to cut it up, then he vacuum-packs the slices and stashes them in the fridge for a few hours. "This way, they become even sweeter," he says. 64-1550 Kamehameha Hwy., Wahiawa; dole-plantation.com

Chef's Loco Moto From Morimoto Waikiki

At Morimoto's first restaurant in Hawaii, the Loco Moto dish — seared Wagyu beef topped with ali'l mushroom gravy, Wagyu trim, onions and a sunny-side up egg — is so popular, it's the only menu item that's served all day. "It's one of my favorite dishes at the restaurant," he says. 1775 Ala Moana Blvd.; morimotowaikiki.com

Pancakes From Eggs 'n Things

After a morning jog, Morimoto hits this breakfast spot to refuel with buttermilk pancakes. "The pancakes here are often called the best in Hawaii," he says. You can choose all sorts of mix-ins, including macadamia nuts, pineapple and coconut. 343 Saratoga Rd.; eggsnthings.com

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