Chef Colin Nishida is a local, no-nonsense kinda guy, never afraid to speak his mind, but very humble. While his restaurant has received several culinary awards, he’ll be the first to tell you that he didn’t receive any formal culinary training and shies away from the title “Chef”. He credits his mom, Kay, with sparking his interest in the kitchen: cooking rice for dinner as soon as he got home from school. What evolved from this chore at home was a natural talent of preparing truly local comfort food with heart.
Twenty years after his first kitchen job as a dishwasher/cook for C’s Diner in Kalihi, Colin found himself at the forefront of his own establishment, Side Street Inn, still in the same Kaka’ako location. What started out as a small “hole-in-the-wall” local bar with good food quickly turned into a larger “hole-in-the-wall” local bar (nearly four times its original size) with good food- only now, it is the favorite stomping grounds of some of the world’s culinary masters.
Since opening in 1992, Side Street Inn has been featured in Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” show on the travel channel and in the national publication, Saveur Magazine. Other national recognition comes from Frommer’s and Fodor’s travel guides, the L.A. Times, Travel and Leisure Magazine and the famed Zagat Survey. Local recognition include ‘Ilima awards from the Honolulu Advertiser, including “Critic’s Choice” and Honolulu Magazine’s “Hale ‘Aina” award for “Best Bar.”
In the fall of 2009, a second location was opened in Kapahulu called “Side Street Inn on Da Strip” and has also become the gathering place for those in our culinary community, locals and visitors to our islands. Since opening, this location has garnered multiple rewards, along with local and national recognition.