Gray Weather Survival Guide
13. Go Hawaiian
We know plenty of Seattleites who up and leave in January, crossing the Pacific to our 50th state. But you can save the airfare and experience Hawai‘i without leaving Seattle:
EAT: Owned and operated by, yes, a family that hails from Kaua‘i, the Kauai Family Restaurant in Georgetown offers an authentic experience that makes it a favorite. Hawaiian transplants generally consider it the best purveyor of Hawaiian food in Seattle, thanks to staples like loco moco (hamburger patties topped with eggs, covered in brown gravy on a bed of rice), kalua pig (shredded roasted pork) and lau lau (pork wrapped in taro and ti leaves). Besides a thorough menu stocked with the requisite items, popular Kona Kitchen in Maple Leaf is noteworthy for two things: its Friday- and Saturday-night karaoke, when a relaxed family dining atmosphere gives way to wailing at the restaurant bar; and its actor-owner, Yuji Okumoto (who runs the place with his wife, Angie), known for his portrayal of Ralph Macchio’s nemesis in The Karate Kid, Part II.
SHOP: Running the gamut from authentic island items to tacky kitsch, Wallingford’s Hawai‘i General Store and Gallery is a valuable resource in the dreary winter months for Hawaiian expats looking for a reminder of home or Seattleites looking to liven up their dwelling with some loud tropical colors. Here you can buy lei both real and plastic; find literature with Hawai‘i-related folklore, song lyrics and sheet music, and recipes; and pick from an assortment of clothing, calendars, snacks, lamps, necklaces and Hawaiian music CDs.
PLAY: Nothing says Hawai‘i like the hula, and you can learn the dance that gives graceful visual expression to an accompanying song or chant at Greenwood’s American Dance Institute. Hawai‘i native Kathy DeAguiar, who is well versed in the Hawaiian dance tradition, teaches classes for kids ages 8–12 (adult classes are planned with an anticipated studio expansion), and offers private and group lessons for adults at her own halau (hula studio).