We miss food in Hawaii, and while there is a host of Hawaiian restaurants in Orange County, they are not created equal. We’ve had many misses, a few hits, but most of the time, I end up making what we want to eat rather than go out for Hawaiian food.
We recently checked out Ono Hawaiian, which turns out to be a chain, but was pleasantly surprised by what we tried. Of course, the first go-to item is Grilled Spam Musubi ($4.29/2pcs). My complaint with the one here is that they use rice that is WAY too hot which wilts the nori, rendering it chewy and hard to bite into. I am not a fan of sauce on my musubi, preferring furikake instead. My son loved it though!
We tried a myriad of the dishes which comes in various styles to suit your needs. For instance, if you aren’t terribly hungry, I suggest you order one of the Mini Meals, which comes with one scoop of rice, one scoop of mac salad and veggies ($6.99). I would have to say, the macaroni salad is legit, probably the best I’ve eaten outside of Hawaii, both in flavor and texture.
Chicken Katsu is prepared well with a great crunchy exterior, and moist chicken enveloped within the panko crust.
If you like spicy, the Island Fire Chicken is definitely the way to go. It is on the sweeter side, but I find it is bearable even for my non-sweet palate.
The Aloha Plates offer no steamed veggies or mac salad, but instead, your protein of choice comes on a bed of steamed rice, with a side of mix salad drizzled with house dressing ($7.99 one item/$8.49 two items). I wanted to try Kalua Pork, a favorite of mine which, though easy to make, is rather time consuming. What I love about the one here is that it isn’t greasy, and overly salty.
For that authentic island experience, there are the Plate Lunches which come with the ubiquitous two scoops of rice, one scoop of mac salad, and steamed veggies. Meat lovers will absolutely go nuts over Hawaiian BBQ Mix ($10.49) which sees a generous portion of BBQ chicken, BBQ beef and Kalbi Short Ribs for those with bigger appetites. I especially loved the BBQ chicken!
If you are into fried seafood, then choose Shrimp & Island White Fish Combo ($9.39) another heaping portion comprising perfectly crispy shrimp and white fish served with tartar sauce.
Don’t leave without trying Coconut Haupia ($2.79) which is coconut milk based jello, but here, served alongside coconut water jello as well.
I visited the location in Fullerton. To find a location near you, please visit Ono Hawaiian’s website.
This week, two of my readers have the opportunity to WIN a gift card to Ono Hawaiian. Please leave a comment with your FULL name, with why you want to win and what you’ll be ordering with your gift card. Entries close on Sunday, Sept 10th, 2017.