Traditional Hawaiian cuisine is composed of dishes that come from all over the Pacific and have been given their own Hawaiian flare. It consists of many delicious foods that include: poi, which is a thick paste made from taro root. Lau lau is made of pork wrapped in layers of taro leaves and is traditionally cooked in an underground hot rock oven for hours until it turns soft and has a smoky flavor. Kalua pig is a huge fan-favorite. It consists of slow roasted pork that is often cooked in an underground oven or “imu.” Poke is one of the more popular selections that has been on trend on the mainland – poke consists of cubes of fresh raw fish, usually ahi or salmon mixed with soy sauce and spices.
When in Hawaii, you can find a variety of places that feature these tasty Hawaiian dishes, many of the islands offer authentic Hawaiian luaus (party or feast) for you and the family to enjoy. If you’re looking to go to a restaurant, here are some places you might want to visit. On Oahu: Ono Seafood in Kaimuki, Helena’s Hawaiian Food in Kalihi, and Kehau’s Kitchen in Aiea. On Maui: TJ’s Warehouse Outlet in Waikuku, South Maui Fish Company in Kihei, and 808 Grindz Café in Lahaina are amazing choices. On Kaua‘i: Auli‘i Luau in Koloa, Mark’s Place in Lihue, and Gina’s in Waimea have all you need for the classic Hawaiian plate lunch. Big Island has a great selection with classic strawberry mochi from Two Ladies Kitchen in Hilo or Hana Hou Restaurant in Naalehu who gives ono local food a great twist!
Hawaiian food allows you to taste the flavors of the culture – and also gives you a “kanak attack” (extremely full feeling), too! Time to “ʻo ka leo ka uku!” or eat until the mouth can't have no more!
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