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Ono Hawaiian Foods

June 8, 2008

Last night I had my first taste of authentic Hawaiian food at local favorite Ono Hawaiian Foods.

I had no real preconceived notions of what Hawaiian food was supposed to be, but suspected that it involved mounds of roasted pork. My suspicions were confirmed, but I was to learn that there is a little more to it than that.

We got a Kalua Pig Plate and a Chicken Long Rice Plate. Kalua Pig was self-explanatory, but chicken long rice turned out to be a savory sweet chicken stew with glass noodles. Misnomers aside, both were mouth-wateringly satisfying.

A word about poi, which, as a side dish, is considered a counterpart of rice. I don’t know why, but we were imagining some kind of hushpuppy-like deep-fried breadish munchable. So when we first saw the bowl of blue goo that is poi, we were mystified. Poi has a consistency somewhere between jello and mochi, and a rather bland first impact followed by a sour, tangy aftertaste. It is not wholly unpleasant, but perhaps an acquired taste. In the end, it was good for a killer oyaji gag – and that is no small thing! After making my best effort to finish most of it, I told Mizuho to “poi-o-poi-sute” (throw out the poi). Yeaaah!

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