Saturday, May 14, 2005

You Hungry?: Restaurant Review CLOSED

One of the secrets to finding good food in Hawaii is to look in unconventional places. Stay away from the touristy areas and you may just find where the locals eat. While you might never consider eating in an industrial neighborhood, at a drive-in or in a place located in a strip mall at home, in Hawaii you may find your best meals there. On Oahu we ate some of our best meals in a department store, at drive-ins, in bars, and hole-in-the-walls dives.

You Hungry? is a perfect example of a very inexpensive place to get very authentic food. It's a little tiny plate lunch place hidden away in a strip mall across from the convention center. You could pass it a hundred times and never think twice about it. There are pictures on the walls of much of the food so it makes a good first stop if you are unfamiliar with Hawaiian food. The menu has very traditional Hawaiian food on it like kahlua pork and poi but also had seafood, stews, and breakfast served all day. This is another one of those places you can get a green salad instead of macaroni salad. Often Hawaiian food is that twist on a standard that makes it something special. My salad came with a wasabi ranch dressing.

I also had the Seared Poke Mini Plate($4.50). The difference between a plate lunch and mini plate lunch is the difference between one scoop of rice or two. The poke was mostly cooked through but still juicy and delicious. The sauteed onions on top made it very savory (see picture from the post on May 10th). Poke is usually chunks of ahi marinated in soy, sesame oil, pepper and spices so when cooked it retained a lot of flavor. Poke is so popular in Hawaii that the Aloha Festival even holds a poke contest.

Lee had the Loco Moco, a true Hawaiian comfort food. Usually made with a hamburger patty, brown gravy, fried eggs all served over rice, sometimes you can get kahlua pork or mahi mahi instead of the hamburger patty. It's savory and filling and typically Hawaiian. Kind of like island style "steak and eggs".

Another treat that tempted us here was the haupia or coconut pudding. It is very firm and gelatinous but creamy because the main ingredient is coconut milk. This trip we also tried haupia cake and crepes filled with haupia.

You Hungry? was another one of Reid's picks. To read his review at Ono Kine Grindz, visit here. On Monday I will post my last plate lunch piece, then on to other meals! I hope you're not getting tired of Hawaiian food yet...

You Hungry?
1695 Kapiolani Boulevard
Breakfast served all day long