Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Hawaii >
Jul 18, 2010 12:07 AM

Maui - where to find Pipikaula like Helena's plus other ???

We are heading out to Maui for the 1st time in November and staying at the Westin Villas for 10 days and looking for great reasonably priced CHOW equivalent if not better to what we love on Oahu. We will have a car so traveling to good eats is not an issue. What we especially like about these places are that they are so unique to Hawaii (hopefully not to only Oahu) and Chow we can not readily get in Los Angeles. Here are the restaurants we love on Oahu that we are hoping to find on Maui:

Helena's Hawaiian Food for everything but especially their PIPIKAULA. Been to Ono's and Highway Inn and they did not compare to Helena's. IMO Ono's is way overrated.

Nico's at Pier 38 for their specials and Loco Moco.

Rainbow Drive In for their cheap and tasty plate lunches.

Halekulani HWAK for their hula/entertainment with appetizers overlooking the beach and ocean watching the sunset.

Diamond Head Market & Grill for their plate lunches and Blueberry Cream Cheese Scones.

KCC Farmers Market for the variety of produce, number of vendors and excellent collection of food made to order.

Shirmp Trucks - prefer Romy's over Giovanni's.

Matsumoto for their Rainbow with azuki beans.

Bubbies for Ice Cream which we prefer over Lapperts, although Lapperts is a close 2nd.

Also looking for recs on places to buy great Poke, a place for sushi, and korean plate lunches.

Nico's At Pier 38
1133 N Nimitz Hwy, Honolulu, HI 96817

House Without a Key: Halekulani
2199 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815

Matsumoto Shave Ice
66 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712

Ono Hawaiian Foods
726 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

Rainbow Drive-In
3308 Kanaina Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

Kapiolani Community College Farmer's Market
Honolulu, HI, Honolulu, HI

Diamond Head Grill
2885 Kalakaua Ave Fl 2, Honolulu, HI 96815

Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream & Desserts
1010 University Ave, Honolulu, HI 96826

Highway Inn
94-226 Leoku St, Waipahu, HI 96797

Helena's Hawaiian Food
1240 N School St, Honolulu, HI 96817

Lappert's Hawaii
2005 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815

Giovanni's Aloha Shrimp
56-505 kamehameha highway, kahuku, HI 96731

2199 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Helena's pipikaula spareribs are their own recipe/style. Traditionally pipikaula isn't deep fried or made from spareribs, so if you use Helena's as a standard for pipikaula you'll be disappointed. Helena's spareribs are tasty, but I am not sure why they call them pipikaula other than that they're dried for a few days.

    In all, I've been disappointed with the food on Maui. We were unable to find any fresh Hawaiian food (the frozen stuff at Da Kitchen wasn't great). Even my family that lives on Maui couldn't point us toward Hawaiian food on the island, so they made it for us themselves.

    Good luck & report back!

    Da Kitchen
    2439 S Kihei Rd Ste 107A, Kihei, HI 96753

    6 Replies
    1. re: akq

      I believe Helena's is made from beef shortribs-not spareribs which allude to it being from pig. Correct me if I'm wrong.

      1. re: UES Mayor

        Helena's Pipikaula is definitely beef short ribs similar to Korean 3-bone Kalbi but rather than grilled it is air dried and fried. Definitely not health food but very tasty fresh from the kitchen and probably ordered by every table in the restaurant.

        1. re: UES Mayor

          There are both beef and pork spareribs...Helena's are beef. The terms shortribs and spareribs are used interchangeably by some (me included). I think how specific these terms are may differ by region/culture. In any event, I agree with HNL that it's the cut used for kalbi, and I think Helena's calls them shortribs.

          My point, though, was that the particular taste/texture of Helena's pipikaula is not traditional and thus searching for something similar elsewhere will likely disappoint.

          1. re: akq

            Dear akq-not to be a know it all but lets not confuse beef shortribs and pork spareribs-shortribs are beef and spareribs are pork. One never orders beef spareribs and neither does one order pork shortribs! Using them interchangeably is simply a crime against "foodom".

            1. re: UES Mayor

              Ugg...these sorts of statements that X means this and only this, and anyone who says otherwise is stupid, "committing a "crime against 'foodom'", etc. are the most annoying and tedious part of CH, imo. Let's not forget that just because you say it, doesn't make it so...there are some who, like you, insist that there are no such thing as beef spareribs, but others, like me, disagree and do use the term for both beef and pork...just google "beef spareribs" or "pork shortribs" and you'll see that lots of people do indeed order/purchase/sell those items.


              BABY BACK RIBS or BACK RIBS
              While most people think of baby back ribs (or simply, back ribs) as pork, they are also available from a steer. Also called loin ribs, they come from the top back of the rib cage, where the bones are short (“baby”) but meaty. Spare ribs, which come from the front, or belly side, have more fat, but the meat is “spare.”

        2. re: akq

          Agree about the Hawaiian food at Da Kitchen. I tried the Hawaiian plate, lau lau, kalua pig, chicken long rice and lomi salmon. At $15 it was a generous serving, but not very good and rather tasteless, the chicken long rice was especially disappointing. Although some of the other dishes there are pretty good, I would avoid the Hawaiian plate.

          Da Kitchen
          2439 S Kihei Rd Ste 107A, Kihei, HI 96753

        3. Any recommendations for a Good to Excellent Loco Moco on Maui? The best we have had so far was at Nico's.

          7 Replies
          1. re: HNL

            I too loved my food at Helena's and it was the last but best meal on oahu before I went to Maui. WE loved our visit to start noodle on maui but most other meals including aloha mixed plate and honolua store WERE HORRIBLE.. very disapointed on both..
            HNL we too loved nico's it was our breakfast lunch before catching our flight and loved their fish plate meals.

            On the topic of helenas and that they use beef short ribs. I would not be able to dry out and smoke but would like to know what type of spices or seasoning is on these ribs???

            Also our whole family enjoyed the long rice chicken . Not at all what we expected thinking it was rice with chicken for my daugther and came out more like noodle soup.. So I have purchased vermicelli rice stick noodles and have broth and would like to attempt something similar anyone have suggestions on what to put in this soup???

            1. re: palmtree38

              We can't wait to go back to Maui during Spring Break and miss Star Noodle. We also were not impressed with Aloha Mixed Plate or Honolua Store. I believe within the past year or two, Honolua Store actually got bought out by the ABC Chain. And to our surprise, Star Noodle is part of Aloha Mixed Plate, but worlds apart as far as the food and atmosphere is concerned.

              We love Chicken Long Rice also and have attempted to make it at home with varying success but there is always a distinct ginger flavor that I recall and always tastes better when you add some "Fire Water".

              1. re: HNL

                Could you let me know what you put in your long soup??? What is fire water???

                Honolua store was a dumpy cafeteria with blah food. Burnt hot dog. And wait was long for a small order!

                1. re: palmtree38

                  I like this recipe but there are others on the web:

                  Fire water is what we call it, however I don't know if that is what the Hawaiian locals call it. I believe it is otherwise known as Hawaiian chilli pepper water. It has chilli peppers, garlic, vinegar and water and I am sure other ingredients and really does add a nice flavor to typical Hawaiian food where other condiments just wouldn't work, such as tabasco, tapatio, sirachi, etc... We first saw it on the table at Helena's and had to have some so during our stay on the Islands we were able to find it at the local Foodland.

                  I remember also seeing it at Nico's and went perfect with the fish as well.

                  1. re: HNL

                    thanks HNL. I think it might be similar to the bottle we purchased from Hula grill called chili water.

                    I will take a look at your link .. we definatly need to start a foodie recipe page from us travelling folks. everyone could add their recipes to share with others.

                    1. re: palmtree38

                      Aloha palmie chica..
                      Did you do a Maui trip report?
                      Bring it on!

                      1. re: Beach Chick

                        I feel so left out ! I just checked my profile and I dont have anyone following me.. sniff sniff..

                        No I have not done a maui report yet.. I will but so much on plate recently.

                        Im also heading to bahammas in a few weeks with a friend for my first girlfriend weekend since having children.. will be trying some conch salad ohh yummy..

                        Im missing California. I tell you though no trip will top hawaii's but its a fortune from Toronto. Will have to meet up for a fish taco in the future travels since our paths pass so often with our culinary/drinks lol