|726 Kapahulu Ave
Tummy Points: 3.5 out of 5
The beautiful islands of Hawaii is home to a number of Asian cultures and this is shown by Hawaiian food’s influences from the Chinese, Filipino, Hawaiian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Puerto Rican, Samoan, Thai, Vietnamese and others. A local favorite for authentic Hawaiian foods is Ono.
A simple interior:
The inside is like something from New York restaurant with photos and signatures from many famous people like George Takei (Sulu from Star Trek) and Apolo Anton Ohno (5 time Olympic medalist). It’s clearly a bare interior. Most of the local order out while tourists order in. Thankfully, it’s a friendly family restaurant and gave really good suggestions for the newbies. A popular choice is their Combination plate for $17, enough to feed 2, which I’ll be reviewing.
Raw onions, Poi (taro), Haupia (coconut jello), Lomi Salmon (small cubes of smoked salmon and chopping tomatoes), and finally pig jerky:
The taro was very flavorless and acts as an alternative to getting rice. I prefer rice over taro. The smoked salmon in tomato doesn’t add much to the rest of the meal. The pork jerk was tough and not sweet like prepacked beef jerky. The coconut jello was good. Very subtle coconut taste and light on the stomach.
Pork is wrapped in taro leaves steamed on a stove. It doesn’t look very pretty but it tastes great. The pork tastes similarly to the Kalua pig but not as tasty since it wasn’t cooked in the tasty broth but in taro leaves. But the high amount of pork fat keeps the pork moist and tasty. This most resembles the Chinese pork soups that my mom prepares.
The food quality was good. Everything was fresh and hot. The food was very simple so I couldn’t say this couldn’t easily be done at home too. Service was really friendly and helpful which pushed the tummy score to be so high. Ono gets busy quickly and the limited seating means you need to get here early. You get very filled for $17 with what seems like a small amount of food. Ono had a number of awards for being the best Hawaiian restaurant so I’d give Ono a recommendation if you’re looking for authentic Hawaiian food.