Haleiwa Joe's, for lunch (less expensive than dinner!). The restaurant overlooks the harbor and has a nice ambience, although Mike and I agreed that the quality of the food was matched by less-expensive restaurants in the area (such as the Mexican restaurant, Cholo's, which we all really liked!). The other downside of Haleiwa Joe's is that it has a real fly problem. It definitely detracts from the dining experience when it is necessary to bat away flies from your food!
The BEST thing to eat in Haleiwa is shave ice. The most famous shave ice spot in Haleiwa is Matsumoto's, but we have never been there because the line is always way too long. We prefer Aoki's, which people in the know report is just as good...yet the line is never as long.According to Aoki's web site, "shave ice" was first introduced to the islands during the plantation days when hot, exhausted workers needed a way to cool off. They would shave a block of ice with a hand plainer and flavor it with juice. It's essentially like a much more flavorful version of a sno cone. Aoki's shave ice is the best because you can have ice cream at the bottom. Yum! My personal favorite flavor combination was the Local Mix: mango, pineapple, and li hing mui (Hawaiian sweet-salty plum). During the week we were in Haleiwa, we had shave ice a record three times!
The other benefit is that it's very cheap...$2.25 for a small shave ice with ice cream on the bottom. I tried the azuki beans one time, and I didn't like that feature much. I feel the same way about red beans as I do about garbanzo beans: love the paste (or hummous) but don't like the texture or feel of them whole.