Ono Hawaiian Food / Waikiki

The one name that kept popping up everytime we asked around for good Hawaiian food in the Waikiki area was Ono Hawaiian Foods. Ono’s. Ono’s. Ono’s. Ono’s. And it helps that Anthony Bourdain [Season 4] has been there as well :] We took a taxi from out hotel and got there right when it opened at 11am.

I have to admit, when I first walked in and sat down… it smelled like… old.  Grungy.  Food.  It was kind of a turn-off and freaked me out at first but definitely let me know that this was an authentic place.  The staff was SO friendly and explained the food to us and taught us how to eat everything.  The whole store was filled with history and memorabilia from thru out the many years. And no worries, I got used to the smell soon after :]

Maui Onion, Tomato Salad, Poi and Chili Sauce
We were SUCH fan of the poi that we ordered another, larger, bowl of it.  The owners just gave us a small tasting in case we freaked out.  It’s definitely dense, but so delicious.  You can’t really taste the taro unless you pair it with something else, the taro flavors come out a lot when you eat it with the pork. POI IS AMAZING. Addicted

Poi is a Hawaiian word for the primary Polynesian staple food made from the corm of the taro plant (known in Hawaiian as kalo). Poi is produced by mashing the cooked corm (baked or steamed) until it is a highly viscous fluid. Water is added during mashing and again just before eating, to achieve a desired consistency, which can range from liquid to dough-like (poi can be known as two-finger or three-finger, alluding to how many fingers you would have to use to eat it, depending on its consistency). – Source

LauLau [Fatty Pork wrapped in Taro Leaves]

Super fatty, moist and tender – holy crap my stomach is gurgling while i blog about this – The taro leaves on the outside are totally edible and cooked down so much it just melts in your mouth… as does the meat.

Kalua Pig, Pipikaula [beef jerky], and Salt Meat Watercress

I actually wasn’t that fond of the Kalua Pig so i wasn’t TOO disappointed when the weather was a bit too wet to go to a luau at Paradise Cove.  BUT… the Salt Meat Watercress was AMAZING.  Lightly salted in a clear broth… super fresh coarsely cut thick watercress and fall off the bone pork.

Tripe Stew

The tripe was tender and the broth was good but it was a bit too tripe-y and organ tasting to me. I’m all about the tripe too, that or I was too full and set on just eating all of my fatty savory pork!

JUST REALIZED, we got jipped from our lomi lomi salmon :[ So sad… I wanted to get some poke and/or lomi and just realized, looking at the menu I took home now, that we were supposed to get it in our combo plate [which the laulau and the kalua, etc… also came on] They also had spam on the menu, but not spam musubi….  which we ended up finding a place for later in the day.

Haupia [Coconut Jelly]

This reminded me of an asian jelly.. definitely a lot stiffer than regular jello… sooo good… but definitely a heavier jello… the coconut flavor was there and it was delicious – very refreshing, slightly sweet – a great small dessert to finish off the salty meal with.

Our neighbors were the cutest old couple who ate almost as much as we did.  The old man was ADORABLE and was telling me how he was so full and that he was gonna take a nap from food coma afterwards.

The sun started coming out a bit after our brunch so we hailed a cab and headed back to the hotel pool to lounge in a hut [the rain was coming and going pretty much the whole week so it definitely was a cooler time for hawaii] and relax for the day.. of course snacks were involved.. and face making


“Hibachi” Chicken Sandwich and Chili Cheese Fries

Afterwards we decided to take a walk around the neighborhood and explore and shop – and shop AND EAT we did :]

Blue Water Shrimp & Fish Market

We were looking around for a snack when a tourist told us that this calamari dish he got was SO good that he had eaten it three nights in a row so far…. so OBVIOUSLY Z and I HAD to get it…..

Macadamia Nut Crusted Calamari

The calamari steaks were SO tender and cooked perfectly.  The macadamia crust was a bit on the heavy side but was seared perfectly and went great with the mango/pineapple salsa that it came with.  It also came with some delicious rice and a half of a corn on the cob. OH AND, for shame, I had some of the salad, which was lightly doused with a ranch-like dressing. OK, pretty sure it was ranch but the veggies were so fresh and crisp I couldn’t resist.

Dole Ice Cream Stand in the Market Food Court

Guava, Mango and Pineapple Shaved Ice with Condensed Milk

Refreshing, sweet and oh so artificial <3 Hahaha I was kind of hoping for some asian-fied shaved ice but this was a nice quick sweet treat!!!

After our snack we headed out to look for Musubi… ended up with sushi and ended the night with karaoke at Sensai.


  1. […] in Hawaii, we found Spam Musubi at Iyasume Musubi…. we had seen “spam” on the Ono’s menu but we wanted musubi… — MOO-SOO-BEE — In a small alleyway behind the Hyatt Hotel […]


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