Every city has a bar or restaurant that is open late to cater to the service industry. In Honolulu, that place is Side Street Inn. It’s not unusual to find many other chefs or service industry types stopping by for a post-shift late night drink or a bite to eat.
In our case, we needed a place to go watch some Sunday football and eat some great food, and Side Street Inn fit the bill perfectly. We started off the first of several rounds of beer by drinking the Big Island Kona Brewing Longboard Lagers:
Their specialty is the pan-fried pork chops that comes with three large chops perfectly fried. They cut up the pork chops so it can be eaten with chopsticks. No sauce is needed here and we ended up eating the bits as if they were popcorn:
Their other house specialty is their Side-Style fried rice that normally comes with char-siu BBQ pork. Options to add lup cheong (sweet Chinese sausage) and/or kimchee to the rice are available. We opted for the sausage addition and it arrived generously studded with both kinds of pork:
We also ordered the fried kampachi fish to finish the football meal. It was also crunchy good and the fish was market fresh:
The best way to eat at Side Street Inn is to bring lots of friends or family so more items can be ordered and shared since the plates are very large. Chef-Owner Colin Nishida truly knows how to prepare excellent local-style comfort food.
Another day found us in need of a place for lunch prior to playing a round of golf in the rain forest of Oahu (and yes, the rain poured heavily on us at the course). Helene’s was closed that day so we thought we would try Ono Hawaiian Foods since it comes so highly recommended in guides and by locals.
Ono Hawaiian Foods serves local Hawaiian fare in a full service restaurant (sadly no beer or wine available). Items can be ordered as combo plates or individually off the menu. As offal lovers, we decided to try their tripe stew which turned out to be very tasty and tender. Cooked in a tomato based sauce, it really isn’t that far off of an Italian tripe stew, Trippa alla Napoletana:
The Kalua pork was fatty good and very tender:
We ordered the salted butterfish luau (taro leaves slowly cooked in coconut milk). The preserved butterfish was too salty for our tastebuds but the luau itself was decent:
The entire pre-golf meal was eaten with white rice:
We were lucky that day as there was no line, but there can be a wait due to its popularity. Ono Hawaiian Foods serves very good local fare but we are not sure that it really deserves a 25/30 Zagat/Google rating.
Note: The BarFlys are vacationing in Hawaii. SF posts will return soon; in the meantime, hope you enjoy these travel-related posts.