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Foodland Farms Ala Moana

After a two year hiatus since their departure in December 2014 from Ala Moana Center as one of the original tenants, Foodland is back, reinvented, reinvigorated, and well, re-EVERYTHING! The Sullivan company originally introduced their Foodland Farms concept at Mauna Lani on the Big Island in 2007, then at the Aina Haina store in 2010. This, kinda’ sorta’ taking on the Whole Foods rustic, countryside “look & feel”, while expanding further on the full service food concept.

The millennial term “Grocerant” certainly applies here, as along with the usual — and not so usual — groceries, meat and produce you’ll find at any other Foodland, a considerable portion of its entire floor plan is dedicated to interactive food service. Including stations for fresh-made poke and sushi, hot and cold deli items, specialty sandwiches, baked goods, pizza, ice cream, shave ice, juice and much, much more. Add to that the company’s own The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, HI STEAKS, and probably the most interesting centerpiece of all, the R. Field Wine Bar. The latter of which appears to already be a popular hangout. It’s like, “Hey Lehua, wanna’ hit Mai Tai’s after work?”, and she replies, “Nah. Let’s hang out at the new Wine Bar in Foodland!” lol

Foodland Farms Ala Moana Facts & Features

  • 47,395 square feet space opened August 31, 2016 underneath Nordstrom’s on the street level of the Ewa wing, across Shirokiya’s also new Japan Village Walk
  • Seating for up to 100 people
  • The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
  • HI STEAKS, featuring grilled sirloin steak and smoked meat (takeout style)
  • R. Field Wine Bar, serving wine by the glass, international beers on tap, and a selection of haute appetizers to go with it
  • Poke station, featuring Poke Bowls, Poke Rolls and Sushi
  • Bubbie’s Mochi Ice Cream station
  • Shave Ice station
  • Chicken Shack
  • Grill station
  • Sandwich station, featuring quality Boar’s Head deli meats and cheese
  • Naples-style Pizza station (baked on site)
  • European-style Rotisserie
  • Upgraded Bakery, overseen by Pastry Chef Rick Chang (Roy’s and Halekulani alumni)
  • Donut station
  • Juice Bar
  • Sugarfina
  • Pharmacy
  • Florist
  • Full service butcher and fishmonger, featuring house-made sausages and specialty meat cuts
  • Grocery items (same selection as other Foodland stores) honor all the “Maikai” savings and sale prices as advertised in their print ads (it’s not higher at this location)
  • Over 10 checkouts, including an express checkout queue
  • Will Call Service: unique to this store, full-time concierge on duty will hold your groceries while you shop elsewhere in the mall, while there are also 15-minute Will Call parking stalls in front of the store to pick up your groceries when you’re done shopping

Pomai’s Take

While the new Safeway stores on Oahu blew me away in appearance and execution, my jaw was DROPPED the entire time I walked through Foodland Farms Ala Moana for the first time, which was last Tuesday. And even on a work week day, the place was PACKED.

Immediate words that come to mind upon the first tour? Wow. Amazing. Awesome. Chic. Cool. Modern. Hip… and most of all, HUNGRY!

Gotta’ give Foodland’s Executive Chef Keoni Chang and the entire team kudos on the floor plan, as it’s so inviting and logical, making it easy to navigate around the space, where even without using the map shown above, I never once felt lost or couldn’t find what I was looking for.

And the architectural design of the interior space couldn’t be better. Thanks in part to the ambient lighting, it gives off a feeling of being contemporary and “chic” (as said), yet comfortable, relaxing, and, save for maybe the wine bar, not pretentious at all.

In other words, it still feels and smells like the Foodland we all know, just simply kicked up major notches, providing a sensory overload that’s surprisingly, well, not an overload, but pleasantly exciting. Everywhere you turn and look, you’re like “Oooh, I wanna’ try this!… and that!.. and that!” If you go foodie “ga ga” crazy like that in stores like Whole Foods, Costco and right across the parking lot at Shirokiya’s Japan Village Walk, you’ll be doing lots more of that at Foodland Farms Ala Moana, guaranteed.

Of course the wonderful folks who work there add to the feeling of aloha spirit and magic to this special store, as every staff member there who I encountered greeted me with a smile, especially the folks at the checkout, whom in my numerous experiences now, they were always very warm, friendly and conversational.

The best part is, aside of the gourmet food items that appear marked-up high in margin, the “regular” grocery items you see in the print ads all have the same “Maikai Savings” prices here that you’ll find at any other Foodland store. That alone makes it great that I can do all my supermarket shopping once again right here at “Ala Mo’s”, all at a reasonable price, “boutique mall mark-up” need not apply!

While I haven’t done it myself yet, I hear there’s this really cool feature at the R. Field Wine Bar, where you can basically grab anything you want in the store, such as that slice of pizza or poke bowl from said stations, or even merchandise such as, say, a wedge of gourmet cheese and/or fresh grapes to enjoy with your glass of wine or beer, and they’ll simply add it as part of your tab there. Nice!

I’ve already eaten at HI STEAKS in there not once, but twice, having a mostly favorable “3 SPAM Musubi” experience, while I also tried one of the Boar’s Head Deli Sandwiches, which was pretty good as well. I’ll eventually make my way through all the quick-bite stations and of course that “epic” R. Field Wine Bar, so I can join “Lehua” and her friends and be part of the “Hipster Foodland Home’ez”. lol

Also surprisingly pleasant (at least so far) is the ease of finding parking right in front of the store, as it seems this part of the Ewa Wing of Ala Moana are mostly “transient parkers”. Meaning customers who are mostly coming and going due to the nature of shopping at a supermarket and/or simply just grabbing a bite to eat there or right across at Shirokiya’s Japan Village Walk. I always found a stall right in front Foodland Farms almost immediately upon someone leaving, never having to wait or circle around and around.

Enough of the verbal hype. Let’s now take a photographic walk around the new digs…


Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on the left side entrance


HI STEAKS, right past Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on the left side


Seating area adjacent to Coffee Bean and HI Steaks


Local produce and florals along the front wall between the two main entrances


Produce department


Produce department


Produce department


Produce department


Shave Ice, Bubbies Ice Cream and Grilling stations, heading to the right as you enter (click on image to zoom-in on Shave Ice menu)


Bubbie’s Mochi Ice Cream (click on image to zoom-in on the signed flavors)


Rotisserie & Grill station (click on image to zoom-in on menu boards)


Grill station


Chicken Shack (just 15 miles from the Love Shack! lol)


Pizza station (Naples style, fresh-baked)


Pizza station (Naples style)


Sandwich station, featuring Premium Quality Boar’s Head deli meats, cheese and condiments


Boar’s Head pre-made and packaged sandwiches are also available in a variety of styles for $6.99 each


Hot & Cold Self-Serve Deli area, featuring antipasti, fruit, salads, soups and hot entrees ($7.99/lb.)


Coffee station in the self-serve deli area, featuring fresh-brewed local coffee (click on image to zoom-in on menu board for prices)


Pre-cut ala carte self-serve Veggie bar (orange labels indicate local and/or organic)


Seeds, Nuts & Grains self-serve station


Snack Mix & Dried Fruit self-serve station


Poke, Sushi and Musubi station; not surprisingly, this is always the busiest station in the store


Poke Bento (with Fried chicken on this day, which sounds like a good combo’!)


The Ahi Poke sells so quickly, the guy at the counter told me he refills the popular ones about every hour, so it’s always made fresh!


Bakery, overseen by Pastry Chef Rick Chang, formerly of Roy’s and the Halekulani


Fresh-baked breads, sweet pastries and cookies


Self-serve Pastry case (all pastries are fresh-baked on-site)


R. Field Wine Company Specialty Food & Wine Deli


Gourmet imported deli meats and sausages at the R. Field Wine Company Deli


Gourmet Cheese at the R. Field Wine Company Deli


R. Field Wine Bar


R. Fields Wine Bar (angle “B”)


R. Field wine and cheese display


Vintage wines


Butcher’s counter (4 photos), featuring house-made sausages and specialty cuts, including custom orders


Fishmonger station


Fishmonger’s counter (3 photos)


Frozen section


Grocery department (backside corner of store)


Health & Beauty department


Sugarfina


Sugarfina: Jamaican Rum Snowballs, Maple Bourbon Caramels and Matcha Green Tea Caramels; these are just a few of MANY more candy ball flavors that you can mix ‘n match to create your own cubical-modular Sugarfina “Bento” Box


Floral department


Regular Checkout area; check here first, as most shoppers think the Express Checkout (next photo) is the only place to do that, so sometimes these regular checkouts are wide open


Express Checkout Queue (10 or less items): There’s multiple lanes here, while the regular checkout counters are around the corner of those snacks to the right


This is looking towards Shirokiya’s Japan Village Walk from the entrance of Foodland Farms, across the street level parking lot at the far end of the Ewa Wing of Ala Moana Center; if you’re driving, it’s best to enter from Piikoi Street, across Hokua Tower (where KHON2 News Room is)

Of course pictures won’t do it complete justice. You really have to go there and see it for yourself… the new Foodland Farms in Ala Moana is jaw-dropping AWESOME!

Foodland Farms Ala Moana
Ala Moana Center at the Ewa Wing, on the street level below Nordstrom’s, right across the parking lot from Shirokiya’s Japan Village Walk

The Tasty Island rating:


(10 SPAM Musubi) OFF THE CHARTS AWESOME!

Related links:
FoodlandAlaMoana.com
Foodland Farms Ala Moana – Yelp user reviews
5 Reasons Foodies Will Love Foodland Farms at Ala Moana – Honolulu Magazine
Foodland Farms Ala Moanaa Grand Opening – KHON2 News
New Foodland Farms Ala Moana: What You’ll See – Frolic Hawaii

The Tasty Island links:
HI STEAKS @ Foodland Farms Ala Moana
Da’ Best Hawaiian Local Style Beef Stew (by Foodland Executive Chef Keoni Chang)
Foodland’s New ‘Musubi’ Reusable Eco Bag
Foodland’s New ‘Musubi’ Hot Cold Eco Bag

16 thoughts on “Foodland Farms Ala Moana

  • September 20, 2016 at 2:21 pm
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    Pomai,
     
    I find that each Foodland grocery store (Foodland, Foodland Farms, Sack N Save, Food Pantry) is a little different from each other more stylized to the local community it is in. Not all Foodlands have an R. Field Wine Company inside them and each one of them is slightly different. Foodland Farms at Ala Moana R. Field has the wine bar small charcuterie (Italian, Spanish, German), pâtés and large liquor store; Foodland, 1460 S. Beretania St. R. Field has large charcuterie (Italian), cheese, unbelievable amounts of imported Italian produce, truffles and average size liquor store; Foodland, Kapolei R. Field has a very large charcuterie (Italian, German, Spanish), pâtés and large refrigerated cheese table, chocolates, fresh herbs, spices, dried specialty mushrooms, fresh local produce and condiments table and large liquor store. Kapolei also has a fresh olive bar and fresh kimchi bar. Not all Foodland stores carry full line of 100 year old plus award winning New York Company Boar’s Head Brand Premium Deli products, cheeses and condiments. Check each store deli department. Foodland Farms at Ala Moana Sandwich Station and Deli is outrageously stocked with great tasting Boar’s Head! The Foodland Farms meat counter at Ala Moana carries hard to find ground veal and ground lamb regularly.
     
    Depending on what I’m cooking, I am shopping at Waianae local Farmer’s Market, Waianae Store or Tamura Super Market or A T Polynesian Market, Waianae, Sack N Save, Nanakuli, Costco, Waipio or Costco or Down to Earth or Foodland or Tamura’s Market, Kapolei, Seafood City or Don Quijote, Waipahu, Palama Market, Aiea, Foodland Farms Ala Moana or Foodland S. Beretania St. or Whole Foods Market, Kahala Mall.
     
          
     

    Reply
    • September 20, 2016 at 4:23 pm
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      Ken,

      Well, before Foodland came back to Ala Moana, my regular location was the one in Market City Shopping Center by Kaimuki High School, and sometimes the Beretania St. location. However now that they’re back at Ala Moana, that will be my new regular stop, since it’s a bit closer to home and along my beaten path, while being way “cooler ‘n hip” to boot. I’m all about #1) convenience, #2) selection of products (not prepared foods) and #3) price. All the fancy food service stations and stuff is just icing on the cake, however a very delicious cake at that, and nice option!

      I don’t cook at home as much as you, so I’m not one to go all over the island hunting down specific grocery products, or mail ordered online for that matter, as you do.

      To note, I’m still a loyal Don Quijote shopper, mainly because of their wide selection of asian foods, and often lower prices than Foodland, especially in the produce department, along with my usual staple items.

      Reply
      • September 20, 2016 at 6:41 pm
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        Pomai,
         
        Even though I have been visiting Hawaii and the Isles since 1968, it wasn’t until I moved here permanently in 2007 that I started to learn more about Hawaiian Regional Cuisine. Not every grocery store stocks everything you need to cook the various local ethnic and international cuisines. I mean I used to visit Zippy’s, Big City Diner, Rainbow Drive Inn, L & L BBQ and ABC Stores take out all the time when visiting to save food money instead of eating in the hotel restaurants. During visits maybe we would eat one or two big fancy hotel restaurant dinners but rest of time it was the above local places or food trucks.
         
        I also look and compare prices, product taste in recipe and the convenience of being able to get the products close to home on Leeward Side and I also combine my trips with other things I am doing so no special trips are made just for food shopping unless I’m desperate entertaining someone with a special dinner. Yea—I know I shouldn’t complain with the gas mileage I’m getting with my Prius but still it’s nice to fill up once a month—heck I’m putting 5,000 miles a year on the car! I only mail order in mainland foods that I’ve tasted before and know how they are naturally produced when I can’t find a replacement here in the Isles and I’ve cut my ordering down to 6 products I can’t find locally of which 1 product (soft shell clams better known as steamers) does not grow locally in Isles waters due to high water temperature and lack of mud flats.
         
        I also love Don Quijote for the vast selections of all the products and just wandering the isles in all the departments you never know what you will find new but that requires a drive past Kapolei to Waipahu! With all the traffic out here on the Leeward Side it takes me 30 minuets just to get to Kapolei and depending on time of day it can take up to 1 ½ hour to get back home with rush hour!!  

        Reply
        • September 21, 2016 at 5:22 am
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          Ken,

          Speaking of vast selection of asian products (Don Quijote), have you ever visited Pacific Market in WaipaHU!? Dude, that place is NUTS. I have never seen so many exotic groceries under one roof in all my life! You name it: imported rice, noodles, sauces, canned goods, ready-to-eat meals and much more from Thailand, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Philippines, and more!

          The frozen food bins alone have more sausages, spiced meats and seafood from Asia then you can shake a stick at.

          I suppose you could find the same stuff if you walk all around Chinatown, but who wants to do that, when you can get it all under one roof right there at Pacific Market!

          I still haven’t been to Seafood City, however I hear it’s pretty amazing there as well, however I believe their products are mostly from the Philippines, correct?

          I’m surprised you haven’t mentioned ChefZone in the airport area, which is like Costco, however merchandised exclusively for the food and bev’ industry (ALL BULK), yet open to the public (free membership!). They’re an entity of Y. Hata Distributors. From what I hear, you can get some KILLER deals there, as said, if you’re buying in bulk. While they also have products many other regular retail grocery stores don’t carry.

          Speaking of local and naturally produced, I noticed in the meat case at Foodland that they carry local Choice grade beef, running about $20/pound, the same price as mainland Prime grade beef.

          That said, have you ever tried Honolulu Burger Company? They pride their burgers as being sourced exclusively from free range grass-fed beef from ranches on the Big Island and Kauai. I tried their Beretania Street location a couple of times, and man, you really can taste the difference! Excellent!

          Reply
          • September 21, 2016 at 6:33 pm
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            Pomai,
             
            No I have not been to Pacific Market yet. You have to remember, 30 min to Kapolei and then another 15 min to WaipaHU. Due to afternoon rush hour traffic it might take 1 ½ hour to return home on Leeward Side as traffic on Farrington Highway backs up from Nanakuli to Kapolei as stop-and-go bumper to bumper traffic. Now the police are doing contraflow through Nanakuli in afternoon which blocks up one lane flowing out to Kapolei causing a traffic jam now in both directions. The problem is 11 traffic lights and crosswalks in Nanakuli which are not synchronized.
             
            Seafood City is awesome!!!! Plenty of fresh seafood as well as BBQ or Grilled sticks and fried chicken vendors. Plenty of choices in the isles also. Yes it leans toward Philippines.
             
            Every time I look at ChefZone they want a Hawaii tax number to sign up for FREE membership. No where do they offer paid non-restaurant business owner or employee membership. You must be in the restaurant business or 501-c non-profit food business.
             
            Yes I saw the local organic grass-fed beef signs. You have to remember for a while I was ordering all my beef local grass-fed from North Shore Cattle Company. Order $100 and they deliver directly to your door. They ran into some growing pains and their web site went down, then they moved to Ewa Beach and I lost contact with them and started purchasing Costco USDA “Prime” grade beef.
             
            I tried Honolulu Burger Company a long time ago. It is very good!

          • September 21, 2016 at 6:48 pm
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            Pomai,
             
            Forgot to mention Food Pantry on Kuhio Ave has a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf  plus a Hi Steaks also.

          • September 22, 2016 at 12:25 pm
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            Ken,

            I hear lots of folks are avoiding Kam Highway in Aiea where Pearlridge is because of the rail construction there and the resulting inside lane closures. Interestingly, when I drove down there as a detour from Ewa Beach the other week after the media lunchean at Applebee’s, it was CLEAR. Hardly any cars going in both directions, and this was just before rush hour. I guess West Oahu folks assume it’s going to be a traffic mess on Kam Highway, but it wasn’t!

            Next time I’m out that side I’ll make it a point to check out Seafood City.

            Regarding ChefZone, Diner E told me he was able to join with no requirements or questions asked whatsoever, totally free. I haven’t been there yet myself, so I’ll go and verify that. I need to blog that place, anyway, which I’d prefer to do with a supervisor or manager there, so they can provide a more informative tour.

            North Shore Cattle Company has a permanent booth at the KCC Farmers Market, offering their beef in ground form as grilled burgers and sausages.

            Speaking of North Shore, Kualoa Ranch now offers free range grass-fed beef. I remember when I used to work there, every week you’d see Filipino folks there butchering a just-slaughtered mountain goat right behind the area where I worked. God was the smell awful!

            There’s actually two Food Pantry stores in Waikiki; one on Kuhio Ave. like you mentioned, and another on Hobron Lane, near the Discovery Bay. The one on Hobron doesn’t have Coffee Bean or HI Steaks, however they have expanded on their food service a wee bit. Space is very limited in that location. Food Pantry’s prices are slightly higher than their sibling Foodland stores, however still the best grocery option if you live in Waikiki and can’t drive out for better deals.

            If you live in the area as I do, and you’re really in a pinch, yet not wanting to walk or drive too far for say, a head of lettuce or fresh garlic, most of the ABC stores in Waikiki have fresh produce at prices that are fairly reasonable considering the convenience.

             

             

  • September 20, 2016 at 3:49 pm
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    My daughter loves it. Will try to get their in October.

    Reply
    • September 20, 2016 at 4:27 pm
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      Pat,

      It makes your famous “counter freeze” crisis that much more of an issue, as now you have to choose where to eat between Foodland Farms and right across the parking lot at Shirokiya’s epic Japan Village Walk. Between the two, WAY TOO MANY CHOICES! “Counter Freeze”! No can pick what fo’ eat!

      Reply
  • September 21, 2016 at 12:59 pm
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    Pomai, will take family there for nice lunch.  Brother like steak and sister like

    poke bowl and other things.  Mom like fried chicken and other things too.

    I will get steak again.  Like you a regular customer there too.

    Reply
  • September 22, 2016 at 5:57 pm
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    We visited Foodland Farms last week and it’s very popular!  Amazing to enter this side of Ala Moana Shopping Center and see all the changes.  I keep thinking, “Sears used to be here” well actually it was probably the parking lot.  I miss Sears but this is progress!

    Lots of great food, coffee and desserts.

    Reply
    • September 23, 2016 at 1:57 pm
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      Mike,

      I did a farewell post in honor of Sears Ala Moana when they were closing back in 2013. It is incredible how they completely transformed the Ewa Wing in just 3 years.

      For the most part, I like the progressive changes happening at Ala Moana Center, EXCEPT for the Park Lane Condominium project. I think it’s TACKY to have condos on the same property as Ala Moana. That should have been reserved strictly for more parking and retail space. Great for the 1% who can afford living there, but not for the rest of us who like the mall for being a mall, not someone’s backyard.

      Speaking of changes, Star Advertiser reported to today that California-based Lucky Strike Entertainment will open its Lucky Strike Social concept in more than 25,000 square feet in part of the former Shirokiya location and part of the center’s Ho‘okipa Terrace. Read all the details about Lucky Strike’s plans for Ala Moana at that link.

      Reply
  • September 26, 2016 at 2:39 am
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    This is great Pomai! I’m heading to Oahu in November with a bunch of friends, and they are all big foodies. I think they would really enjoy Foodland Farms as well as Japan Village Walk. Definitely a must-do for us. A few of them have not been to Hawaii, but they know about Foodland because they have seen me use those Foodland Spam Musubi re-useable bags. They think they are awesome and are going to pick up a few when there. I think they make great gifts!

    Reply
  • September 26, 2016 at 11:35 am
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    Hi Pomai,

    Has anyone ever taken the time to thank you for your seriously amazing detailed shots?  I really, really, appreciate your quality photos.  I love grocery stores (I think I may be weird.  I don’t know if I’m alone here) but these photos satisfy me to no end.  So a quick note to say thank you and keep up the photography!

     

    Reply
    • September 26, 2016 at 12:49 pm
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      I agree with Angela, not only are the photos nice, Pomai also takes a LOT of quality photos.  For an amateur like myself, it takes a long time to compose a good shot and then edit the photo for uploading.  With all the customers at this Foodland, it looks like Pomai spent a lot of time waiting for the right moment for each of these shots, nobody standing in the way.

      Reply
    • September 26, 2016 at 6:58 pm
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      @ Angela and Mike ~ Glad you folks enjoyed the photos. I think they capture the gist of this huge new store, showing what you need to see if you’re not able to go there and see it yourself.

      Note, I used my Galaxy Note 5 phone camera for all those shots, which thankfully is BETTER than my Canon S100 point ‘n shoot still camera. I can finally do all my food blogging with my phone camera vs. lugging that still camera around, regardless of how small the Canon S100 is. Thank goodness, as it’s one less expensive gadget I have to worry about losing, along with the batteries needing charging.

      @ Su-Lynn ~ Foodland has lots more “local ‘kine” Eco bag designs to choose along with the SPAM Musubi bag, like one with all kinds of pidgin words, and other local ‘kine grindz. Cool stuff.

       

      Reply

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