A Manoa Gem

A La Carte Columns

June 12, 2016

Story By: Lynsey Beth Futa |

Sesame Ginger Chicken, Hapa Rice and salad (part of buffet)

Sesame Ginger Chicken, Hapa Rice and salad (part of buffet)

You may have seen Treetops Restaurant while making your way to Manoa Falls Trail, or maybe you attended a special event there a while back. But if it’s been a while since your last visit to the iconic Manoa establishment, you’ll find a fresh, updated space — thanks to recent renovations and some internal changes.

With a new roof over its head, the installation of a bar and new entertainment stages, Treetops is better than ever. The one appreciated constant, however, is the quality of the food and the dedication of the staff.

With new executive chef Tess Panoncillo in charge of the kitchen, patrons’ favorites continue to roll out onto the buffet line and are still offered on the a la carte menu, too.

For only $18 (seniors 60 and older receive 10 percent off and children 5-10 years old are $12), customers may enjoy all-you-can-eat buffet offerings such as Beef Stew, Fried Noodle (made with Sun Noodle) and Pineapple Upside Down Cake.

Sesame Ginger Chicken is especially hard to pass up on the buffet line, as grilled morsels of juicy poultry are lathered in a savory shoyu-based ginger sauce. Add it to a heap of Hapa Rice (half brown rice and half white rice) and load up on greens for the perfect meal.


Panoncillo not only perfects the delicious fare Treetops is known for, but also adds her own creations, too. Acai Bowl ($10 deluxe, $8 regular), which is offered on the a la carte menu, comes with a special blend of acai-berry mix that’s topped with blueberries, strawberries, bananas, granola and honey, for the deluxe option. Also, since it’s ulu (breadfruit) season, Panoncillo will be introducing Ulu Bread Pudding to the buffet line very soon. Satisfying chunks of ulu are added to a traditional bread-pudding recipe, giving the dessert a unique and hearty texture. She recommends adding maple syrup or her special vanilla sauce for the perfect amount of sweetness.

Treetops Restaurant

3737 Manoa Road, Manoa
Daily, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; also open nighttime for special events

Honolulu, HI 96822

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best