Archive for the 'Restaurant Reviews' Category

Sushi En Fuego, Kona Waterfront Row

Thursday, August 16th, 2007


We went go holoholo with some friends in Kona… and we ate at Sushi En Fuego, a brand new restaurant on Waterfront Row. This place is so new, they didn’t even have their liquor license yet… which is good news! You can spend more $$ trying the food and drink your own booze! We ended up dragging a cooler filled to the brim with beer. *good times*


Sushi En Fuego translates to “Sushi on Fire” — it’s supposedly a fusion of Latin and Japanese. Most of their offerings are spicy and they have a good variety of sushi and non-sushi items. Ambiance is beautiful here at sunset since many of the tables are on a balcony. Service is also very attentive and fast. Our first dishes were served in under 10 minutes.


Shiro Maguro (albacore) slightly seared ($5.50). Very fresh and wonderfully creamy texture… no fishy flavor. Best news? Huge pieces of fish! There was a light sauce on it and the rice was good texture. Great start.


Spicy Tuna Roll ($6). Very good. Nice brief spicy kick. Bev thought the spiciness was just right — I thought it should be spicier. Avocado made for a good pairing.


“Pollo Lolo” Chicken Skewers w/Mac nut miso sauce ($10). We all loved these. The chicken was nicely charred with a sweet cumin flavor. Accompanying it was a spicy mango salsa (which was excellent) with homemade chips.


Red Dragon Roll ($14). Spicy tuna, cucumber topped with unagi, masago, bonito and eel sauce. This was mouthwatering. I love unagi.


Left: Beef and Reef ($13) – Soft shell crab, daikon sprouts, asparagus topped with seared beef and tataki sauce.
Right: Catepillar Roll ($13) – Unagi, avocado, masago.

I wasn’t able to try either of these. *tear* I’m sure they were good though… how can go wrong??


Salmon Cerviche w/ mango and lime ($12). I only heard from across the table that this was “really good”. *sigh*


Lobster Roll with Tempura Asparagus ($12). Nice balance of lobster and crispy asparagus. They didn’t skimp on the lobster either. Very yummy!


Tempura Spicy Tuna Mushrooms ($11). I never got to try these, but my friends said that it was their “favorite” and “make sure to tell them it was reaaaally good on your blog”. Hahahaa…


Dessert time! Tempura Banana Split ($6) — this was one of their specials. Wow. This one was so delicious! The bananas were fried tempura style and they were really sweet and juicy. The chocolate sauce was very rich. Three scoops of ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry). If you only have $6, just get this. The only funky thing was that they fried the cherries tempura style — it made them have a really bitter flavor… but we thought it was funny. Tempura maraschino cherries????

Overall, we all had a great time here at Sushi En Fuego. The food, ambiance, and service was all top notch. Highly recommended!

Sushi En Fuego
(808) 331-2200
Waterfront Row, Kailua Kona
Hours: 11-3 & 5-10 (Tues-Sat), 4-9 (Sun), Closed Mondays

Emma’s at Shipman Business Park

Friday, May 25th, 2007

A nice individual brought in lunch for our office today from some tortilla factory in Shipman Business Park (industrial area between Hilo and Keaau).

What’s the name of this place?? I’ve heard great things about here but all they said was a “Mexican place” or “tortilla factory”. Hopefully some of you guys can help me out.

UPDATE: This place is called “Emma’s”. Thanks guys. :)

Pork Quesadilla

Here is a pork quesadilla with beans, rice, guacamole, and salsa (hidden underneath). The tortilla is what seriously shined. It was the freshest I’ve ever had — very moist, super soft, and so delicious! The pork was tender and perfectly seasoned. Lots of gooey cheese smothered with some thinly sliced onions and peppers. The sides tasted really fresh too. Very satisfying.

These guys/gals (whoever they are) really know what they are doing. I hear you can also buy very cheap and good fresh tortillas here. So what’s the name of this place?

P.S. Thanks for lunch! It was great. :)

Ken’s Sumo Loco

Thursday, April 19th, 2007

Good morning from Ken’s House of Pancakes!


Presenting the Sumo Loco (and keiki fries). This is what you call a heavy breakfast. Can you finish one?

Ken’s Sumo Loco

From the menu: 6 scoops rice, choice of spam (4), 5 oz. Lean “Home Grown” beef patty (2), or 6 oz. mahi-mahi. Gravy + 3 eggs any style.

We chose the traditional beef patties, cooked medium. If they don’t ask you how you want it cooked, let them know because otherwise, they cook it pretty well-done.

Ken’s Sumo Loco

Knowing I couldn’t finish a sumo loco by myself, I brought some help. I really don’t think Bev pulled her weight though. :P

Ken’s Sumo Loco

We tried and tried…

Ken’s Sumo Loco

… and this is about how far we got (note Bev still had some left in her smaller bowl we used to share).

Ken’s fries go so well with their loco mocos… so crisp!

Ken’s Keiki Fries

Definitely one of the best loco mocos in Hilo, whatever size you get.


  • Burger: 28/30pts (excellent quality hawaii grown beef, grilled)
  • Gravy: 26/30pts
  • Egg: 20/20pts
  • Rice: 20/20pts

Related Post: An earlier visit to Ken’s House of Pancakes

Ken’s House of Pancakes
1730 Kamehameha Ave.
Hilo , HI 96720
(808) 538-1877
Open 24 hours.

Ling’s Legendary Oyster Chicken

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

Lings Chop Suey House

I found a couple of old photos from Ling’s Chop Suey House back from my starving student days. And as lots of locals know, Ling’s has amazingly massive oyster chicken plates. Howz dis??? Hardly can fit in da plate!

Lings Oyster Chicken

This is so not healthy! But it is sooo good! The chicken is super crisp and moist. The sauce is light and not too sweet. The only thing is I wish it had a bit more oyster flavor. Other than that, it’s awesome and can feed you 3 times. This work of art costs only about $8-$9.

I’m making myself hungry! I have to stop now.

Ling’s Chop Suey House
Puainako Centre
Hilo, HI 96720
(808) 981-1689

Café Pesto

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

cafe_pesto_outside.jpg cafe_pesto_inside.jpg

What? This place is one of the most popular restaurants in Hilo and I never even covered it yet! I have a backlog of photos of various places so I better start posting more.

Cafe Pesto has always had good food and has a great location in the Historic S. Hata building near the Farmer’s Market in Downtown Hilo. I love how it’s casual yet still fancy… good for a nice dinner date, party or a quick lunch. Ambiance is warm, open, and comfortable. Sounds fill the room with kitchen noises and neighboring conversations.

My three favorite things here are (and they do them very well): Beer, Pizza, and Salad. Yes, I’m a simple guy.

Kona Coffee Beer

There’s a nice variety of beers on tap from local breweries and this is a Pipeline Porter from Kona Brewing Company which has 100% Kona Coffee in it. You really can taste the sweet coffee flavor. I loved it! Very smooth, dark and frothy.


Chicken Lolla Rosa ($10.95) – Grilled free-range chicken tossed with organic baby greens, local sweet onions, vine-ripened organic tomatoes, dressed with a cilantro-caesar dressing. Wonderful combination of flavors. The chicken was flavorful and perfectly grilled. The cilantro-caesar dressing was the highlight of this dish and had a really refreshing dominant cilantro kick.

cafe_pesto_pizza.jpg cafe_pesto_hawaiian_pizza.jpg

Ahhh, the pizzas… the first one is the basic Pizza Margherite with just cheese (12″ for $10.95) and it is a great to have with a salad. The second one is the Pizza Luau, which has kalua pork, local sweet onions and pineapples (9″ for $10.95). Both are excellent. The crust is what makes the pizzas here so good; very bubbly, crusty and chewy. One of my favorite pizzas in Hilo.

Reid from Ono Kine Grindz also went here recently. Service has generally been good the past times I’ve been here, but unfortunately he had a different experience. :(

Café Pesto
S Hata Building
308 Kamehameha Avenue
Hilo, Hawaii
Telephone: 808.969.6640

Aloha Luigi

Monday, March 12th, 2007

Sorry about the camera-phone pics (I didn’t have my camera with me).

Aloha Luigi Sign
Aloha Luigi Inside Aloha Luigi Customer

Serving up Italian and Mexican food is a cute little hole-in-the-wall downtown restaurant called Aloha Luigi. The smell of cheese and garlic smelled so good in there walking by, I had to stop by to try a slice of pizza! Service was really friendly; the man serving us may have been the owner (Luigi perhaps?). Nice guy.

Aloha Luigi Cheese Slice This slice really folds easily

Delicious pizza. Super thin foldable crust, very tasty garlicky sauce, generous amount of gooey cheese. Crust had a nice crisp and bite to it, a different style than Pizza Hawaii, which has a chewier bubbly crust. I really loved the sauce on this… tasted kinda like a tomatoey shrimp scampi (I think it was because of the garlic).

I hope to come back soon so that I can try Luigi’s other offerings!

Aloha Luigi
264 Keawe Street, Hilo, HI 96720
Phone: (808) 934-9112, Fax: (808) 934-9113