Kuhio Grille: “home of the 1lb Laulau.” We all know that refrain from their radio ads. But Kuhio Grille is so much more than the 1lb Laulau (which, by the way, is FANTASTIC! But take friends to share…). I visited their former location when I first moved on-Island two years ago. It was Merrie Monarch time (no, I did not win the ticket lottery. So sad, so, so sad), and I was out exploring my new home and wanted a good local-style lunch. I went in and the place was filled with folks in their fanciest Alohawear. I felt underdressed and very conspicuous, but the hostess and servers treated me just the same as the fancy folk.
I recently went back to Kuhio Grille to do dine-in (I have gotten takeout many times — that ginger chicken!!!) with a friend. Their new Hilo location (80 Pauahi Street), above the ball fields, offers fantastic views. All COVID-19 protocols were being followed, which always makes me feel more comfortable. The menu arrived and my eyes immediately saw “Fried chicken skins (when available).” Of course, I ordered them! People, when you can get fried chicken skins, do. I asked for a side of chile peppah water to dip them in, and they were great. So many, though, I had to take most of them home (poor me).
My friend arrived and we both agreed the tempura combos sounded good. For me, with the yakitori chicken; for her, with the grilled ahi. Again, SO MUCH FOOD! And not just quantity (but yes, I did eat my side of fried rice for three more meals), but quality. The tempura was perfectly crispy, the chicken had a little smokiness that I love in anything that hits fire. My friend reported that her ahi was cooked well (which I figured, since she ate it all).
We walked out of Kuhio Grille full, happy, and ready to tackle the rest of the day. Kuhio Grille: so much more than just the 1lb Laulau. Go see them today.
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