A number of months ago someone on the board was looking for Hawaiian-style saimin (noodles). We just went for lunch at a new place in Half Moon Bay called Ono Hawaiian Grill, which has saimin and many other authentic Hawaiian home cooking-style dishes.
This casual and fun place used to be Demi Lune, a Mediterranean/California cuisine restaurant that was decent, but certainly not a destination place, and it was barely half-full most nights for dinner. Now the white table cloths have been changed to bright floral patterns and surfboards and leis adorn the walls. Bright tropical umbrellas dot the parking lot. It's run by the same owner, but with new partners, and they certainly seem to know what they're doing: the place has been *packed* every time we've driven by, which is very unusual in HMB.
We finally made it there today and it's quite good, although I have virtually no experience with Hawaiian food. My husband had the Kahlua Pig (slow roasted smoked pork with Hawaiian salt) and I had the Bite-Sized Teriyaki Chicken with Yellow Onions. Both were delicious and the teriyaki, instead of the usually too-sweet dark sauce you find in many Japanese restaurants, was light with just the right amount of sweetness.
The menu also includes the aforementioned saimin, various takes on hamburgers (some with gravy and, some with sunny-side up eggs), yakisoba (fried noodles with various meats and vegetables), seafood (most at market prices) and much more. Portions are huge, although you can order smaller sizes. They also have a great selection of pupus (appetizers), several beers on tap and some dessert specials that looked very intriguing. Most all the dishes come with huge scoops of sticky rice and macaroni salad, the latter which my husband said tasted like what he ate growing up in Osaka.
We live in HMB but I'd definitely make the trip to come here if I didn't. A number of the customers seemed to be of Asian/Polynesian/Hawaiian descent. I'm assuming the local Hawaiian community has found out about this place and is flooding it with happy customers. The owners seem to have a great success on their hands; it's a wonder someone didn't open a restaurant like this by the beach a long time ago. When we left, the parking lot was completely full and someone was waiting for our parking space. I believe Ono Hawaiian Grill has been open for less than two months. Amazing!
Ono Hawaiian Grill
3048 N. Cabrillo Highway (Hwy One)
Half Moon Bay
Open: Sun - Thurs 10:30 - 10:00
Fri & Sat - 10:30 - Midnight
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