Anyone Try Maria Bonita's on Hotel Street?
Saw some photos in the UH Kaleo, and then remembered an older write up as well:
I'd be interested to hear from any local hounds who have eaten here. It looks and sounds pretty decent, but I am quite leery of Mexican food in general here in the islands. Thanks.
Funny you should ask. We were discussing this on the "good mexican food in hawaii" thread, so today i went downtown, met a friend for lunch, and we tried it.
it was at least ok, probably actually good. Although didn't rise to the level of great, it was certainly not bad in any way. The friend i went with is somewhat less adventurous and ended up ordering the same thing I had (so I didn't get to try two things). We both had the pork chile verde "plate lunch" . It was a generous (but not overwhelming) serving of what both of us thought was a good chile verde, a decent serving of perfectly acceptable "spanish" rice, some decent frijoles refritos, and a small portion of reasonably fresh tossed greens. All for just under $10. The ambiance is definitely Mexican-Hole-in-the-Wall.
Having lived in Honolulu for 30+ years I occasionally doubt my own judgement about Mexican food, but this is someplace I would go back if I were downtown.
It certainly doesn't look good or authentic Mexico Mexican... but that doesn't mean its not tasty per say. When KM mentioned it... I had some hopes for it... but seeing the pictures I now remember I walked in once... it smelled of rancid oil and didn't have anything interesting on the menu so I went to a Vietnamese place around the corner.
So far on the islands I have to give the edge to El Mariachi followed by Just Tacos (downtown) and Azteca. If you really want some good Mexican... so far the best option is to join the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce... we periodically have pot lucks... none of the islands restaurants have yet matched Home Cooking from some of the local Mexicans.
On that tangent... does Oahu ever do a Chowhound Picnic or Chowdowns like on some of the other boards? I would certainly be willing to ruin your island Mex tastebuds forever!
It's OK. The usual enchiladas-burritos-beans-rice. Owner Diego Gallardo is the guy who ran the Maria Bonita lunch truck in Waimanalo. He's a single dad with a passel of kids and does the best he can. Will we ever get something like Los Dados, Rosa Mexicana?
Thanks for your replies (I was able to read all of them by the way). Looks like I won't be rushing out to eat at Maria Bonita's, but I will keep the place in mind. It might fit in for lunch, maybe on a Saturday the next time I go to Nam Fong in Chinatown to pick up some of their delicious roast pork. Kill two birds with one stone so to speak. Mahalo.