The best food on the Big Island…

The best food on the Big Island cannot be found in restaurants, but at local family parties.

Last night I went to an open-to-all graduation party way down in Kalapana right before the lava flow took over the road, near Kalapana’s black sand beach. It was a beautiful place. The owner of the house is a very friendly pure Hawaiian man, and he fully represented with the food!

Hundreds of people were there, with great live local bands. I didn’t even know who graduated, but everyone was welcome. The vibe and the food was wonderful. Everyone was welcome to eat. This is why I love the Big Island; parties that are open to anyone with positive energy, amazing food, and great music. There was even an Awa bar!

I so wanted to take pictures of the awesome spread, but my camera still didn’t come in yet, so I took a plate home to take a picture of with a borrowed camera (well, I would’ve took a take-home plate in any case!). There was so much food. This plate was made at almost 3am and still had trays and trays of fresh poke, opihi, poi and so much other grinds left.

Here’s da onoz!

Da Onoz!

Clockwise from top left: Poke (raw fish seasoned with Hawaiian salt, seaweed and inamona), raw a`ama crab, opihi (a Hawaiian limpet), ake (raw bull liver seasoned with alaea), small piece of kulolo (sweet taro pudding), mac salad, some kind of spicy fried rice, steamed sweet potato, pork guisantes (pork and peas), some kind of grilled fish, and kalua pig!

The poke was so fresh and tasty. The opihi was so fresh and ono. One thing I tried for the first time was the ake, which I was told was raw bull liver. I never ate any kind of raw liver before, so I was glad I was told only after I tried it, because it tasted so good! The liver had a very different rich and creamy taste/texture and it was seasoned really well. Little bits of the alaea gave a lot of crunchy salty bits. The kalua pig melted in my mouth and had a wonderful smoky flavor. Everything else was so ono too.

On the side was a sour `ulu (breadfruit) poi.

Sour Ulu Poi

This poi was delightful. I think poi is always the best a bit fermented, and this one was, which gave it a great sour taste. It was thick too. One finga kine brah! So good with da poke, opihi and crab!

For your viewing pleasure…

Ake and Opihi closeup

Broke da mout’ yea!!?? It’s good to live in Hawaii.

27 Responses to “The best food on the Big Island…”

  1. Reggie Says:

    auwe!! lol and i wasn’t dea with u James??!!! samatta wit me!! dang!!
    Wow man Hawaiian plate with pork guisantes on da side now das local!!! woooo hoooooo!! whoa nice size opihi eh!! now guys hea on Oahu must be craving fo dat!! wat its about $200 a lb if i recall. only on da big isle get good opihi… my cousin dem dea still go harvest deir secret location. i neva see dem in years tho! hehehe great post man!! i like go Hawaiian luau party now!! :) i like try dat liver and ulu poi, sounds interesting i chancem! :D

  2. James Says:

    Reggie, i wish you could’ve come! I know u would’ve appreciated the food. Everything was so fresh. I think that’s great you would try da liver thing.. it actually tastes something like sea urchin roe or wana. So creamy.

    Oh wow lau lau!! $200/lb for opihi? Man..that’s high, but in Oahu it’s so hard to find. Especially since they have a really short shelf life… hard to getum really fresh.

    You gotta come visit Big Island! When you going visit??

  3. Reid Says:

    Eh James,

    I haven’t had opihi in ages. The last time was when I went go get ‘em myself down Keaukaha side. I have friends that live there.

    When I was in Kona a couple years ago, you could buy a ziploc bag full of unshelled opihi for about 20 bucks. Good deal. I just nevah like clean ‘em myself.

  4. Reggie Says:

    James,
    my relatives have been wondering about that fo ages! lol i haven’t visited the Big Isle in over 20 years! dey always tell me come down. maybe when things settle at work which could mean in about 6months-1yr, ill take my wife for a vacation. ill let u know! :)

  5. Kely Says:

    BRAH! Opihi 200 dollas? I remembah small kid time we usta eat um like candy. But I from da hilo side, I guess da buggah was evrywhea. South Point get some monsta opihi. I been to plenny da kine parties kalapana side, but I use to get loss all da time brah, roads no moa sighns!

  6. Kely Says:

    well….da kine paka use to make us foget whea we was going too……

  7. James Says:

    Yeah brah, south point get choke! When I was little I used to like picking them off, but I neva liked eating them. Ahh.. my tastes went change though, so I wish I would go pick opihi now.

  8. kely Says:

    no moa spam at da party brah? gotta have musubi at least, maybe pineapple spam?

  9. James Says:

    :P kely.. you and your spam. haha
    never have i think. i will post spam sooner or later. no worries spam musibis!

  10. kely Says:

    brah! you gotta go k’s drive inn…..das one hilo landmark…..nothing like one teri-plate and going to Kadota’s on one fu’ stomach!

  11. James Says:

    eh, k’s drive inn is on my list! teri plate good there? i go try that… and no forget the swirl cones. :D yeah, one stop place over there. buy beer and den gravy burgas to go!!

  12. kely Says:

    teri plate was ok if i remebah….but I one big katsu fan brah!

  13. kely Says:

    Blaines get one ONO teri burgah brah!, if i remembah correctly

  14. James Says:

    cool.. where’s your favorite place for katsu on the big island?

  15. James Says:

    i never try blane’s their teri burger yet, but i love their burgers! their gravy burger is really good!

  16. kely Says:

    brah…da ultimate one would be da shave ice man brah! i remembah da buggah would come down keaukaha side ….dolla for one massive shave ice brah!

  17. kely Says:

    da best katsu was at blaines brah…but L&L’s comes close

  18. kely Says:

    anyways brah….keep da blog going brah….i stay all homesick brah…LATAS!

  19. James Says:

    right on.. thanks for da suggestions!

  20. alan Says:

    You’re so right– the best food is the kind you find at parties. Those opihi do look pretty good. I was on Moloka`i last week, and its still pretty easy to find the guys on rocks along the north shore. Nothing like picking them off with a butter knife and eating them right there in the ocean!

    I haven’t tried the `ulu poi or ake before. They sound good, but I don’t know where I could find them on O`ahu. Aloha.

  21. James Says:

    Hey alan! Thanks for visiting. I saw your pics on your blog and they’re so beautiful. I’d love to try Moloka`i’s food one day.

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  23. kwok s Says:

    gang,
    dis stuff can reaaly ono!! Was in da kin’ 8th grade on Moloka’i an’ do da blue watah style ‘opihi. Dat can really brok’e da mouth if no stay ready for unreal flavors an’ stuff. Need chili sauce for dose kin’ guys. Be ready for some club good times an some…

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