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Traveling to annual meeting? Things to try, eat, do when in Oahu

February 27, 2018

By David Burger

Image of ADA 2018 Meeting logo Honolulu – If the cold temperatures this winter are getting to you, consider that the daytime high temperatures in Hawaii in October average in the 80s.

ADA 2018 – America’s Dental Meeting is scheduled for Oct. 18-22 in Honolulu, and Dr. Jackie Lum, vice chair of the ADA Committee on Local Arrangements and a lifelong Hawaii resident, talked to the ADA News about some of the activities, food, lingo and other attractions in the state. Dr. Lum, a second-generation dentist whose father Cal Lum is the CLA chair, hopes dentists attending ADA 2018 make the most of their time in Oahu, especially for those who plan on venturing out in the evening hours as well as families combining their vacations with the meeting.

“E komo mai,” said Dr. Lum, which translates to “Welcome.” “We look forward to having the national dental community come to Hawaii for the ADA annual meeting.”

Here are some of the recommendations from Dr. Lum. All are in Honolulu unless otherwise specified:


  • Plate lunch: Consisting of two scoops of rice, macaroni salad and everything from smoked kalua pork, chicken katsu, teriyaki beef or mahi mahi. Recommended: Rainbow Drive-In (3308 Kanaina Ave.), L&L Hawaiian Barbecue (various locations), South Shore Grill (3114 Monsarrat Ave.).
  • Shave (not “shaved”) ice: Shaped snow cones served with colorful flavors with ice cream or sweet azuki beans on the bottom. Recommended: Waiola Shave Ice (2135 Waiola St.), Shimazu Store (330 N. School St.), Matsumoto Shave Ice (66-087 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa), Island Vintage Shave Ice (2233 Kalakaua Ave.).
  • Pupu: Hawaiian for “appetizer,” there is variety at every local restaurant, ranging from poke (marinated raw fish salad) dishes to sushi. One of the most popular dishes is Ahi poke, made with yellowfin tuna. Recommended: Hula Grill Waikiki (2335 Kalakaua Ave.), Shokudo Japanese (1585 Kapiolani Blvd.), Chart House Waikiki (1765 Ala Moana Blvd.), Duke’s (2335 Kalakaua Ave.), Tommy Bahama (298 Beachwalk Dr.), Hideout at Laylow (2299 Kuhio Ave.). 
  • Malasada: Portuguese doughnut, light and fluffy, often topped with cinnamon sugar or icing. Recommended: Leonard’s Bakery (933 Kapahulu Ave.), Maleko Coffee and Pastries (444 Niu St.), Liliha Bakery (515 N. Kuakini St), Pipeline Café (3632 Waialae Ave.).

Other favorites offering takes on Hawaiian cuisine options range from fast-casual chain Zippy’s, open 24/7; convenience stores such as 7-Eleven and ABC Stores, which offer quick bites such as Spam musubi (grilled slice of Spam on top of a block of rice, wrapped in seaweed); and plentiful food trucks, where dentists might find loco moco (rice topped with a hamburger patty, over-easy eggs and brown gravy) or garlic shrimp. Even finer dining restaurants are known to offer their own takes on street food.


  • Aloha: A catch-all word or good intentions and feelings, used as a greeting or a parting.
  • Ohana: Family.
  • Wahine and Kane: Women and men, respectively, important for bathroom distinctions.
  • Mahalo: Thank you.
  • Lei: A necklace made of flowers, shells, leaves or nuts, used to celebrate anything — like finally getting off the plane in Hawaii.
  • Lanai: Balcony or patio.
  • Ono: Delicious.
  • Shaka: The hand gesture of an extended thumb and pinkie, symbolizing gratitude, friendship, understanding or solidarity.


  • Waikiki Beach: The most popular and crowded beach, known for its surfing. Popular beaches also include Ala Moana Beach Park/Magic Island and Sandy Beach, which, according to travel website, is a favorite of former President Barack Obama.
  • North Shore: Less crowded but also legendary for surfing, this area — including Shark’s Cove — is perfect for water activities. Turtle Bay, Sunset Beach and Ehukai Beach — known as the Banzai Pipeline — are also on the North Shore.
  • Diamond Head: This volcanic cone offers hiking with a panoramic view of Honolulu at the peak. Allow about two hours for the 1.6 mile-roundtrip hike.
  • Kualoa Ranch: One of the world’s most famous private nature preserves, with 4,000 acres of tropical beauty as well as ziplines and boat tours. (49-560 Kamehameha Hwy., Kaneohe).
  • USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor: Built over the remains of the sunken battleship USS Arizona, this is the final resting place for many of the 1,177 crewmen killed on Dec. 7, 1941, when their ship was bombed by the Japanese Naval Forces. There are free tours to the memorial every 15 minutes from 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m., which includes a 23-minute documentary on the history of the politics, people and attack on Oahu. The movie and boat tour to the USS Arizona takes about 75 minutes. For more information, including about tours, visit
  • Bishop Museum: Hawaii’s largest museum dedicated to studying and preserving the history of the state and the Pacific. (1525 Bernice St.).


  • Honolulu Zoo: The only zoo within a radius of 2,392 miles, this home offers a variety of animals from the tropics. Every day at 2 p.m., the sloths are fed in front of visitors. (151 Kapahulu Ave.).
  • Waikiki Aquarium: Located on the shorelines of Waikiki Beach, next to a living reef, this aquarium showcases more than 500 marine species and maintains more than 3,000 marine specimens. (2777 Kalakaua Ave.).
  • Sea Life Park Hawaii: This east Oahu attraction is a place to enjoy the company of dolphins, sea lions, rays, sharks, native fish and more, focused on educational and interactive programs. One of the main things to do is riding a dolphin. (41-202 Kalanianaole Hwy., Waimanalo).
  • Dole Plantation: Originally operated as a fruit stand in 1950, the Dole Plantation opened to the public in the 1980s as Hawaii’s “Pineapple Experience,” featuring the Pineapple Express Train Tour, the Plantation Garden Tour, the Pineapple Garden Maze, and the world-famous DoleWhip, a pineapple-flavored soft-serve frozen dessert. (64-1550 Kamehameha Hwy., Wahiawa).
  • Polynesian Cultural Center: Arguably Hawaii’s most popular tourist attraction, this attraction, owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, features villages and exhibits representing the island cultures of Hawaii  and includes well-attended luaus. (55-370 Kamehameha Hwy., Laie).

“Please also remember to ‘malama ka aina’ — cherish and care for the land — when you are here,” said Dr. Lum. “Please be safe, be alert and cautious. When in doubt, don’t turn your back on the ocean.” houses a special site that features ideas on how to experience Hawaii on vacation. In addition, the ADA has contracted reduced rates with multiple hotels on Oahu exclusively for annual meeting attendees. The ADA 2018 registration site allows attendees to make hotel reservations.

Registration for ADA 2018 is open. To register or learn more, visit