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 near and around Princeville, Hanalei, and Hokuala that are serving up hearty local favorites.
But wait, there’s more. We’re here to help demystify some of the unusual words you might see on menus like furikake, laulau and lilikoi — and explain which meat is being served and why. And possibly most importantly of all, provide the fun facts on the origins of local dishes.
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Featured photo: Courtesy of L&L Hawaiian Barbecue
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 and Wednesday 2:30pm to 8:30pm, Thursday and Friday 11am to 8:30 pm, Saturday 10am to 8:30pm, and Sunday 8am to 8:30pm. Closed Tuesday.
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. Tahiti Nui is open Monday and Wednesday 3pm to 9 pm, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 11am to 9pm, and Sunday 9am to 9pm. Closed Saturday.
L&L Hawaiian Barbecue
For a quicker and more budget-friendly meal that’ll still curb your appetite for Hawaiian food, L&L Hawaiian Barbecue will most certainly deliver. There are four total locations throughout Kauai, including this one in Hanalei, so you can find one near you easily. Order their Kalua pork with cabbage, SPAM Musabi or perhaps the BBQ burger — get a taste of what comfort food looks like locally. hawaiianbarbecue.com