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Ono, You Know

Going Gaga for Guava

By Alana Folen Photos By Leah Friel
January 13, 2013

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I’ve been trying to increase my fruit intake lately, but really, there’s only so many oranges, bananas, strawberries, melons, apples and grapes that I can take without having a craving for something more, something substantially filling. So, as I racked my brain for new and fruity ideas, I recalled a longtime favorite of mine that seemed to escape my diet for a while … drum roll, please … guava! A fruit relished by just about everyone (even animals), and cultivated in many tropical and subtropical regions, guava has a pronounced fragrance that just seems to lure you in to greatness.

Cut through its rough outer skin and bare witness to its sweet, juicy flesh. Totally irresistible!

As this week’s scene-stealer, guava is a prominent ingredient in many of the over-the-top onolicious creations at the following Ono, You Know establishments. Ono readers, it’s time to relish in the sweet and savory, and finally declare our love for guava!

Inferno’s Wood Fire Pizza

Take a slice out of the pie at Inferno’s Wood Fire Pizza, conveniently located on the second floor of Ward Center. And foodies, please take note, Inferno’s is not your typical pizza palace. For one, each pizza here is hand-crafted and prepared with the freshest ingredients possible. Second, all pizzas are baked at 800 degrees in a dome-shaped, wood-fire oven.

“All of our pizzas are made fresh every day, and the flour that we use for our pizza dough is imported from Italy,” says owner Kyle Okumoto.

And the local girl in me is obsessed with guava, therefore even with all the pizza options to choose from, I automatically gravitate toward Inferno’s Guava Smoked Pork Pizza ($16). Served spicy or mild, this thin-crust pizza is topped with fresh mozzarella cheese and barbecue sauce, and generously garnished with mushrooms, Maui onions and smoked pork, which Okumoto says is smoked to perfection with guava wood. Trust me, this pizza is in a league of its own!

Don’t even get me started on the guava-smoked pork. It’s so good, I found myself picking these meaty morsels right off the pizza. Oops!

According to Okumoto, Inferno’s pizzas are based on what patrons enjoy, and he makes it point to really let the local ingredients shine through.

With that, it’s certain my love for pizza is infinite, all thanks to Inferno’s Wood Fire Pizza!

Inferno’s Wood Fire Pizza
Ward Center, Second Floor
1200 Ala Moana Blvd.
375.1200

Hukilau

Located in Executive Centre in downtown Honolulu, Hukilau draws in crowds of hungry diners who can’t wait to full-on kanak attack from the restaurant’s upscale local fare. And if you wish to experience the most massive kanak attack, wrap your hands around and sink your teeth into Hukilau’s ESPN’s Sports Animal BBQ Burger. Priced at $14, this king of all burgers is a force to be reckoned with and will bring the animal out in anyone. Named after Hukilau’s sister company ESPN, this burger is intensified by a half-pound wagyu beef patty smothered with a chipotle guava barbecue sauce and topped with strips of crispy bacon, melted Swiss cheese, giant onion rings, butter lettuce and avocado, all nestled within two Kaiser rolls smeared with a chipotle aioli sauce. OK, I don’t know about you, but I’m totally drooling at this point.

And if this isn’t enough, you have your choice of fries, ‘Nalo greens or sweet potato fries to fill you up even more — to the point where you feel as if your stomach is about to burst. What a sweet deal, especially when guava is in the mix.

“The chipotle guava barbecue sauce is a creation of mine,” says executive chef Jason Takemura. “It has a spiciness and smokiness to it that is balanced out by the sweetness of the guava.”

It only takes one bite to be hooked on this zesty sauce. And continuously get your fill of it with another ono Hukilau delight. Enter Chipotle Guava BBQ Wings ($13, $11 during happy hour Monday-Friday from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.). Winner winner chicken dinner, this dish features one-and-a-half pounds of chicken wings glazed in chipotle guava barbecue sauce, that once again exudes a sweet, spicy and tangy flavor. It’s finger-lickin’ good.

So, what are you waiting for? Head down to Hukilau, stuff yourself silly, and roll on out because you’ll definitely need a nap after this!

Hukilau
Executive Centre
1088 Bishop St.
523.3460

Larry’s Bakery

How sweet it is to have Larry’s Bakery in my life, that’s for sure! If you’re like me and would give anything for sugar, then this family-run bakery is for you. Tucked away on Lawehana Street in Salt Lake, Larry’s Bakery offers an abundance of goodies, such as cupcakes, pastries, cakes, cookies and more. Sure, there’s always pastries with apple filling to indulge in as well as the typical chocolate and Chantilly cakes, but why not go tropical this week and go guava?

Larry’s Guava Cheese Pocket ($1.35 each) is the perfect on-the-go pick-me-up, as it’s a pie dough pocket oozing with cream cheese and a sweet guava filling. Then there’s a Guava Danish ($1.30 each), which makes for an ideal breakfast choice.

We all know that Larry’s Bakery’s original Danishes are out of this world, but with guava in the equation nothing can compare.

“We make our own guava filling,” says co-owner Lance Yafuso. And it’s that extra touch of homemade goodness that sends all palates to a paradise on earth.

Now, who can resist cake? I mean, I can try, but I know even with the best restraint I can summon, resisting a cake from Larry’s Bakery is always an absolute failure (I remember eating practically a whole chocolate cake by myself in one sitting). So, of course, mention those three luscious words “Guava Chiffon Cake” and I’m at its mercy. Priced at $9 for a 4-by-8 and $15.50 for an 8-by-8 sheet, Guava Chiffon Cake presents a fluffy, white chiffon cake spruced up a notch with layers of guava filling and topped with whipped cream.

Man oh man, you’re in luck at Larry’s Bakery, where life just happens to get a bit sweeter with each and every visit.

Larry’s Bakery
4369 Lawehana St. #3
422.0059