Uncle Don’s Ohana Grill (formerly Restaurant Kaikodo)

Last time I’ve been to the Kaikodo building was about 5 years ago when Restaurant Kaikodo was still open. The food was great and the ambiance super nice. Sadly, they ended up closing and it’s been empty for awhile, until Uncle Don’s Ohana Grill opened up just a few months ago.

Don’s Ohana Grill is taking a different approach: local, casual, affordable. So the important part… How’s the food?

First up we were given some fresh baked bread with lilikoi butter. It was dense, with an almost biscuit-like flavor… not yeasty but more like a soda bread. Not a big fan of the bread and the lilikoi butter didn’t really help either.

Humongous portion of deep fried butterfish with a sweet miso sauce (~$16). The fish itself didn’t have much flavor and the sauce was not anything special. Rice was overcooked. Veggies were cooked well, though.

This was their special: 8oz rib eye with shrimp tempura (~$24). Figured how can you mess up a ribeye steak? Easy! Serve it lukewarm, thin, and with an overly sweet bbq sauce over it. Shrimp tempura was very doughy and oily.

I was really trying to like this place since it caters more for the locals with reasonable prices but they really need to step up the quality of their food. To be fair, I’ve heard good things about this place from others, so maybe we went on a bad day. They also serve breakfast and lunch.

Would love to hear any other reviews of this new place. I wish them the best!

Uncle Don’s Ohana Grill
60 Keawe St., Hilo HI
(808) 961-5551

10 Responses to “Uncle Don’s Ohana Grill (formerly Restaurant Kaikodo)”

  1. Pomai Says:

    Too bad it didn’t work out on your first try. As you said though, it could have just been a bad day (junk cook in the kitchen). Plus their still relatively new.

    I certainly wouldn’t want BBQ sauce on my ribeye steak. Simple salt and pepper ’nuff.

    I like the look of the place with the high ceiling.

    Punaweb forum has a thread on the place here:
    http://punaweb.org/Forum/topic.asp?whichpage=0.6&TOPIC_ID=9231&

    I took the liberty of adding Uncle Don’s Ohana Grill to the listing on Yelp. James, leave your review there to start it off.
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/uncle-dons-ohana-grill-hilo

  2. James Says:

    Thank you Pomai! Yes the building and high ceilings are just beautiful. It totally cries out for fine dining, so I was bummed to find out how uninspired the food and new furnishings are. I’ll go ad
    my review to yelp. Thanks for adding them!

  3. Coconut Willy Says:

    Any relation to Don’s Grill?

  4. parv Says:

    Yes, bread is very dense indeed. Sometimes it is a turn off, other times not. It is certainly not enjoyable everytime unlike the bread at Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Pescatore, or Cafe Pesto (if it ever starts serving the full bread not itsy bitsy pieces).

    I liked, & have ordered multiple time, “Ohana burger” after once ordering some pasta entree.

    The pasta dish was average in taste with reasonable portions. It was better than Big Island Pizza & Cafe Concerto offerings, somewhat below than pasta at Pescatore.

  5. parv Says:

    Previously I forgot to mention that “Penne Rustica” at Romano‚Äôs Macaroni Grill in Waikoloa beats the pasta at above mentioned Hilo restaurants.

  6. Jay Says:

    Horrible dinning experience. The servers need some training and the cooks need to learn how to cook rice. Ribeye was tough, stir fry was horrible, Unco’s ribs was yuck. Never eating there again.

  7. John Ruggiero Says:

    Ordered meatloaf, the menu said home style. It was horrible. Had bacon on it and tasted funny.
    Waitress, apparently didn’t speak English. I asked for rolls and butter, and she looked at me as if I was from out of space. My stepson said bread? and she nodded her head. Never came back to report if they had rolls or bread.
    I can see why they are so cheap.

  8. Hungry Diner Says:

    Had teh “surf and turf” and it wasn’t even shrimp tempura, it was breaded shrimp. Simply Horrible for the price!!

  9. parv Says:

    Well, the Ohana Grill in Kaikodo Building seems to have been closed. I have been seeing a reality company’s sign in the window since Jun 1. Other than that only the hibiscus flower remain on the window.

    That now leaves only Kuiho Grill (so far) for my burger needs.

  10. Jack Says:

    Be sure to add your review to http://tinyurl.com/26okadh !!

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