Ono (OH-no) is the Hawaiian word for delicious. The local food in Hawaii is influenced by the mixed plate of cultures and cuisines dating back to the plantation era — pork adobo, loco moco, lomi lomi salmon and lau lau are a few staple dishes. Here’s a list of “ono-licious” restaurants that are serving up hearty local favorites.
Hukilau Lanai sources only sustainably caught fish and is part of The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. The views here are great, and everything is made on site from scratch. There are several gluten-free options on the menu, and every Sunday there’s a five-course tasting menu for $50. Reservations are required. Open Tuesday through Sunday 5pm to 9pm. Closed Monday. hukilaukauai.com
Chef Jean-Marie Josselin has created a menu that merges the culinary influences of his native France, the clean flavors of Japanese cooking, and Hawaii’s multi-ethnic community. Jo2 focuses on using local organic produce and freshly caught fish. Our recommended dishes include ono ceviche with coconut water foam, tempura lobster tail ramen, and sake cured steelhead salmon. Open Wednesday through Monday 5pm to 9pm. Closed Tuesday. jotwo.com
Kalypso features a bamboo bar and outdoor patio, and is serving up local favorites like huli huli chicken, kalua pork sandwich and loco moco. Make sure to save room for the house-made ice cream cakes. Bonus — there’s a daily happy hour from 3pm to 5:30pm. Open Monday, Wednesday to Friday 3:30pm to 8:30pm, Saturday 10am to 8:30pm, and Sunday 8am to 8:30pm. Happy hours Thursday through Tuesday 3pm to 5:30pm and Wednesday 3pm to 9pm. Closed Tuesday. kalypsokauai.com
Located on the south shore of Kauai, Keoki’s offers tasty Hawaiian fare in a tropical setting, with live hula almost every night. The menu features locally sourced ingredients, and the fresh fish varies according to season, and can be prepared kalo crusted, baked in garlic, or miso glazed, just to name a few of the ono choices.There are also veggie, gluten-free, and local meats options. Open Monday through Friday 11am to 9pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am to 9pm. keokisparadise.com
This little tiki bar’s been featured on Eater.com and was a filming location for The Descendants. Maybe it’s the old school Kauai vibe, maybe it’s the live music, but whatever it is, it’s a great place to enjoy local flavors. Open Monday through Friday 11am to 9pm and Saturday and Sunday 9am to 9pm. facebook.com