ono pono

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We had dinner at Ono Hawaiian Food the other night with Sarah and Steve. I’ve been hearing about this place since we got here and I have been wanting to have real Hawaiian food for months.

It may sound weird given my curiosity for local culture, that we haven’t had Hawaiian food until now but it’s not as easy to find as you might think. We’ve had bits and pieces here and there but it’s been mostly fusion style, like Alan Wong’s (which is super fancy).

I loved it. I even wanted to go back the next day for lunch. On the door was a sign that instructed people to wait online to the right of the entrance and encouraged them to be patient–on a hand-written sign ‘no get mad’.

The highlights for me were the lau lau (pork wrapped in spinach leaves), kalua pork (pulled seasoned pork), and haupia (coconut jello-ish). I loved it. It was so yum.

We went for drinks down the street afterwards and we had a really great conversation with them about the idea of locals vs tourists and Hawaii’s multi-faceted relationship with tourism. I even tried to video some of our conversation which I’ll post and write about later.

In the meanwhile two interesting links: A Washington Times article about Hawaii turning 50 this year and a Hawaii agency dedicated to helping tourists in trouble (via Sarah).


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