It was created because plantation workers were poor and having two starches was enough to fill someone up. Kalbi was introduced by the Koreans who came to Hawaii to work on the plantations.
Helena's Hawaiian Food (@ashawaiianfood) has been open since 1946 and going strong. As a kid my cousins use to bring me to the old location before school st. Aunty Helen Chock started this @beardfoundation award winner and it has become a Hawaiian icon. There isnʻt too many Hawaiian food restaurant’s left in our state and we have to keep supporting these local mom and pop spots or we are gonna lose them.
One of the reasons its become popular is because of the pipikaula short ribs, but one of my favorites is the squid luau. I take a lot of my guests on food tours here and their first looks when the luau hits the table isnt a pleasant one but after the first bite everyone whack’um. Dont go during the peak hours, and park down the street, save your self from stressing over the small parking lot. Mahalo to Craig Katsuyoshi and his amazing staff for always taking care.
Peoples Cafe has been open for over 80 years. With a total of 3 owners. The latest owner Tomas Ventura and his sisters took over in 2004 and have not changed the menu much. One of the last traditional Hawaiian food eateries in the state where the laulau is made fresh in house and the recipes from day one haven’t changed since the original owner.
My mom used to bring me here as a kid and the decor and the ambiance haven’t changed. They have added filipino food to the mix and it completely fits the format. My go to is the salt meat water cress, lau lau, and squid luau. They also make mungu beans once a week and its a must try. Mahalo to Tomas and his sisters for keeping the tradition going. Definitely another one of Hawaii’s iconic hole in the walls. Support these local companies or they will all disappear. @lanai
Ethel's Grill (@ethelsgrill_kalihi) has been one of my go-to’s since I was 17yrs old. The Ishii ohana took over the original Ethels in 1978. They are only open for breakfast and lunch and have a little over 20 seats and a handful of parking stalls.
When I am home I am here 2-3 days a week. You have to have the tataki sashimi, mochiko chicken, pork soup, and the turkey tails. They also have one of the best cheeseburgers in town, but don’t have them all the time.
If you plan on having lunch there go before the rush! We have to keep these local hole-in-the-walls open, so skip the mainland chains and eat local, go local.
Mahalo to @oishiiyo1 @arashirq and @ethelsgrill_kalihi for always taking care of me!
@gracesinn is almost 30yrs old now and is still one of my favorite old school katsu spots. They use to have a location in Pearl City but because of the rail, business got hammered. Mahalo to the Kiyozuka ohana for still keeping them open. They started off as a food truck back in the day and it really is one of Hawaiis last iconic plate lunch spots. It was good to see people still standing in line on the Beratania St. location last night. If you guys don’t want to see our old school spots go away, then we need to support them. Support local!
Liliha Bakery opened in 1950 and has been one of my go-to’s since elementary school. It was voted top 50 bakeries in the US and if you ask me its top 3. My regular order at the original location at least 2x’s a week is a country scramble w Portuguese sausage, tomato w mayo, butter rolls and 1 pancake for dessert.
For dinner tonight I had all this, I’m running 5 miles tomorrow. Congrats to the Liliha Bakery owners and staff for keeping it original and local. We are losing too many epic iconic local spots these days you guys gett’um! Ala Moana Liliha opens tomorrow! Spread the word myna bird.
Comment below: Whats your favorite dish from Liliha?