Kona Kitchen: Ono Grinds in Seattle

Loco moco is not the first thing I'd normally order when breakfasting in Hawaii. Steamed white rice topped with a fried egg and brown gravy sound tasty enough, not so different in concept from an egg benedict really. It's the ground beef patty that gives me pause, the potential always there for lean and rubbery... Continue Reading →

Seattle’s (go)Poké Future Is Bright

Getting good poké in Seattle was like getting good ramen used to be, a challenge. Now, very good ramenya are popping up with increasing regularity. Anyone who's had ahi poké in Hawaii might agree with me that in Seattle, it's been a disappointment. The primary reason is the fish quality. There's something about tuna freshly caught off Hawaiian shores that makes it... Continue Reading →

Mo’ Betta No Can Get: Side Street Inn on Da’ Strip (Honolulu, HI)

It wasn’t until Anthony Bourdain in 2009 featured Side Street Inn on “No Reservations” that this local hangout became nationally famous. It’s the answer to the oft-asked question, Where do famous chefs go to eat after work? Some of Honolulu’s top chefs, including Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong, had been coming all along just to “hang... Continue Reading →

Poké at Ono Seafood (Honolulu, HI)

Poké is ubiquitous in Hawaii. Virtually any restaurant serving island food will have it on the menu. It is typically made with raw yellowfin tuna (ahi poké). Combined with sea salt, soy sauce, sesame oil and limu (algae), it's a distinctively Hawaiian creation. Variations include other seasonings and aromatics. While it has been a popular food staple in the... Continue Reading →

Fried Rice at Eggs ’n Things (Honolulu, HI)

During every trip to Honolulu, my wife and I have breakfast at Eggs ’n Things, an excuse to eat their Portuguese sausage with eggs and two scoops of rice. My wife ordered it (this time, she substituted home fried potatoes for the rice, which turned out to be a bad idea), while the Island Style... Continue Reading →

Ken’s House of Pancakes (Hilo, HI)

My wife and I wound up eating three times at Ken’s House of Pancakes, near Arnott’s Lodge where we were staying during our time in Hilo. It came up as a local favorite in a couple of sources. Our Mauna Kea tour guide also said it was his favorite place to get saimin. The fact... Continue Reading →

Malasadas at Tex’s Drive-In (Honoka’a, HI)

The word is that Tex’s Drive-In has the best malasadas on the Big Island. We were only a short distance away from where we started on our guided tour down to the Waipio Valley. There’s more here than Portuguese donuts: breakfasts (including Hawaiian-style), burgers, musubi, salads, loco moco, and Hawaiian plates. Our Bavarian cream and... Continue Reading →

Ono Grindz at Hawaiian Style Cafe (Hilo, HI)

"What're your most popular dishes here?" I asked the waitress. "Everything's good on the menu. It doesn't matter what it is." Normally, I would throw away an answer like that. In this case, the restaurant is Hawaiian Style Cafe in Hilo. I wasn't so quick this time to disregard it because Travel & Leisure Magazine voted... Continue Reading →

The Loco at Koji’s Bento Korner (Hilo, HI)

Koji's Bento Korner doesn't look like much from the outside, has nowhere to sit down inside; it's take-out only. It kind of reminds me of a country store, not out-of-character for Hilo. Inside, there's enough room for just a few people to order. Despite all that, locals come here for the Koji loco special: two hamburger patties, three Portuguese... Continue Reading →

Dinner at Kama’aina Grindz

I am always in search of good Hawaiian food in the Northwest. Not surprisingly, what we get here is not in the same league as what you'd find on the islands, but not for the lack of places that serve it. The numbers of Hawaiians living up here ensures some level of demand, not to... Continue Reading →

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