The first time Peg and I went to Hawaii, it was to video tape the first hockey tournament in Hawaii. Our hotel room with its little balcony and great view came with a large basket of fancy fruit. It was addressed to the video production crew of ESPN. They couldn’t make the trip, so we stepped in. When we video taped at a luau we nibbled well, otherwise we ate at MacDonald’s. Waikiki Beach is not a cheap place to dine, although we splurged for evening cocktails a couple of times. We waded in the water the last night we were in town. It was all worthwhile when our documentary was broadcast during intermission on Hockey Night in Canada. I missed much of the video as I watched Peg hopping and joyfully dancing around our living room with glee. I can still see it.
When we returned to Hawaii decades later we stayed with friends and took the time to enjoy the views as well as delighting in both plain folk food and fancy food. My two favorites were green papaya salad, and Passion Fruit Cheese Cake.
Last week our friend Denny came down from Seattle. He invited us to lunch. He took us to Da Tiki Hut, on Sixth Avenue. Over the past couple of years we have dined at two other Hawaiian restaurants, but we were not impressed with them. Da Tiki Hut was a different story.
Both Peg and I passed on the “loco moco.” Da Tiki Hut has hamburger versions of loco mokko, which is basically hamburger patty, or Spam slices over rice with lots of brown gravy and topped with a fried egg. Everyone should try this concoction at least once. Perhaps, twice if you don’t believe your mouth and tongue the first time.
I ordered the Korean Chicken. It was excellent. As Denny suggested I used the sqeezy bottle of Tiki Sauce to saturate the two mounds of rice on the plate. It also came with a macaroni salad. One bite of mac salad is enough for Peg and me. I could almost mainline the Tiki Sauce, however. All of my rice disappeared and so did my chicken. It was beyond excellent. Peg had the Tiki Chicken along with a small salad and she had the same response.
Our waitress brought us some menu samples including Kalua pork to try before we ordered. They all disappeared. The waitresses were friendly and helpful. We admired the forearm tattoo of one and she stopped what she was doing to explain what each part of the tattoo meant. The minute spent plus, the explanation was sooooooo sweet.
Da Tiki Hut suffered a fire some time ago and just recently re-opened. Denny has visited several times. For lunch he had the short ribs. He had no left-overs.
I have enjoyed green papaya salad at Thai restaurants in the area, but I do hope Da Tiki Hut adds that to its menu. The restaurant is conveniently located in the same building which was the home of our second favorite Taco Time outlet for decades. Da Tiki Hut is roughly forty blocks away from our front door. I would happily drive the forty blocks for Korean Chicken and green papaya salad . . . and perhaps a piece of two of the Pineapple Upside Down Cake I saw on our way out of the restaurant.