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Feb 28, 2014 01:16 PM

Ono Hawaiian Food

I had an amazing meal here. Excellent local food and it wasn't a fancy establishment. Are there any restaurants like this on Maui or the Big Island?

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  1. what is it that you like about ono? (open ? for everyone.)

    i ate there once and found the food to be... gross. tasted nothing like the (good) hawaiian food i've had at luau's, the people's cafe, catered events, even supermarket laulau.

    the portions were expensive and small. ex- lomi salmon came in a condiment sized platic cup.

    the haupia was ok as a dessert, but it was nothing like real haupia, more like a jello. and the piece was so small!

    6 Replies
    1. re: indelibledotink

      indelibledotink-I'm in complete agreement with you. I can't understand why there isn't a great Hawaiian food centric place on Oahu! I mean-it is Hawaii!!!

      1. re: UES Mayor

        went to people's cafe last night
        good, but not outstanding
        best part was things were not salty like some places
        kalua pig was moist, with some smokey flavor (most likely liquid smoke, though)
        laulau was small, but tasty, meat was a bit dry
        poke used low quality tuna, and didn't have much flavor
        had to doctor it up a bit with chili peppa wata and shoyu
        used 50% off coupon for second dinner from the dining out section in the paper

        friend i went with is from japan and attending KCC culinary
        she asked "where is there good to eat hawaiian food? all of the places i have been were only ok"
        i told her i like helena's the best, but it is difficult to get there due to the location and hours

        1. re: macsak

          I agree. Helena's is the best of the bunch as far as I am concerned. Although I still prefer the laulau at Young's.

          1. re: killersmile

            It will be interesting to see if the death of Alan Young, who was the driving force behind Young's Fish Market, will change the quality of the food there.

            1. re: honu2

              i hear he had the most amazing funeral:

              his ashes were wrapped like a lau lau

              food was not catered by one restaurant
              one dish from each of the restaurants in the shopping center where young's fish market is located

              1. re: macsak

                Sad to hear Alan is no longer. Went to grade school and high school with him. Always a very kind person!!! RIP

    2. Where on Maui? You can try to identify by doing a search for the dishes you like: kalua pork, lau lau, lomi lomi salmon, chicken long rice, etc. or a search on just "plate lunch."

      You'll probably have to go to Upcountry or Wailuku/Kahului for the most plate lunch choices. Further from the tourist areas.

      South Maui doesn't have a lot of plate lunch places, unfortunately. The Kinaole Grill truck does mostly fried seafood, not the traditional Hawaiian dishes. Da Kitchen Express is OK. The location in Kahului is supposed to be better.

      In West Maui, Local Food is excellent. Kalua pork, shoyu chicken, spam musubi.

      You might get more responses if your subject line included Maui or the Big Island as a lot of topics here focus on Oahu eats.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kathryn

        I'm a huge fan of kalua pork and lau lau. Good call on the plate lunch search.
        I heard about Local Food. That was top of my list.

      2. My brother and sister in law had a Hawaiian food restaurant here on Kauai (The Aloha Diner).
        VERY modest, they made everything from scratch. Sadly they closed.

        Notable dishes from the diner included a very good saimin and absolutely awesome pipikaula.

        Though the diner is now closed, my sister in law will make a batch of saimin broth, and host a "saimin night" at their house.

        My brother in laws pipikaula is almost legendary here.
        He's very old school, and won't tell anyone his recipe. Even my sister in law does not know the recipe, and he claims he will take it to his grave.

        When he makes up a batch of pipikaula he has to make a whole lot as everyone wants a bag of it.

        2 Replies
        1. re: wabi

          I'm confused by your post.

          Do you have any restaurant recommendations for restaurants similar to Ono Hawaiian food (on Oahu) for Maui, Kauai, or the Big Island? That was the OP's question?

          1. re: kathryn

            Hi, kathryn;

            I believe your mild snark has to do with the word "Ono". Wabi, like most in Hawai'i nei, hears the word as 'ono, which means delicious. And I'll bet my wa'a that meaning is why the resto is named what it is. Wabi was just sharing some deliciousness.

            Ironic, then, that "Ono" (as opposed to 'Ono with its 'okina) has completely different meanings. 'Ono' is a fish and the number 6.

            So the OP is at least as off-topic as Wabi. And now I'm piloli for some pipikaula!


        2. Thanks for all your suggestions! We ate at "Local Food" and had a decent meal (tasty spam musubi). "Aloha Mixed Plate" looked pretty good too, but we didn't make it there.

          Best plate lunches I had on all the islands was at Da Poke Shack (Big Island) and Ono Hawaiian Food (Oahu)

          1. Next time, pork lau lau plate at Ka'aloa Super J's in Kealekekua, Big Island (Kona side).