Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ono Kine Grindz

It's only fitting that we end our odyssey of Hawaii with our last dinner at Ono's, a traditional Hawaiian restaurant on Kapahulu Avenue. Ono is derived from the Japanese and means "good." Kine means "kind of" and Grindz refers to the mastication of kine ono food like kalua pig! Which is exactly what we ate. Above you will see the charming hand made sign outside Ono's tiny place. We (KP, me and KP's bf from 8th grade, the witty Kemo) did indeed form a line to the right and no get mad and no huhu (as in "boo hoo" i hate standing in line.) The toothless waitress informed us that there was only one dish of laulau left and "she save it for us, you want?" To which Kemo replied yes - he was bringing it home for his wife. Nobody ever explained to me what laulau is but I gather it is pretty important since the moment the waitress brought it out all bundled up I was required to hide it on the cracked leather booth seat next to me so the other patrons would no get mad, no huhu.
KP and I ordered the kalua pig -- a succulent shredded pork which can be seen in the middle photo. Accompanying the piggie is a purple bowl of poi which is taro root mashed and blended. It has the consistency of yogurt and tastes tangy and sour. KP ate a large bowl, but I couldn't handle it because it makes your mouth really tingle. The sides that come with the pig are salsa of tomatoes and slices of raw onion which cut through the oiliness of the meat and are delicious together. You will also see some dark purple meat which was salty, peppery and cured. Kemo informed me that I shouldn't leave any behind because it was very expensive. And tasty! For dessert you will see haupia - a white jello-like sweet brick to the left of the shredded pig.
All in all a very satisfactory end to our grand tour of Oahu's food haunts. They can take the Garcias out of Hawaii, but they can't take the Hawaii (all those ono grindz) out of the Garcias. At least, not until we've completed many kettlebell workouts, cardio sessions and eating of boring vegetables.

1 comment:

Emlyn Stancill Whitin said...

Hmmm. Tingly mouth? Like when I'm thinking about kimchee? And my mouth starts watering? Let it be known that I CAN'T WAIT until our visit next year. Fatten up those piggies ... Sister Teum is coming!