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Order of the Day

Trust the Grilling Experts

By Michelle Lee Photos By Nathalie Walker
October 20, 2013

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At first glance, especially when driving down Kapiolani Boulevard at 20 miles an hour, specialty food truck Kau Kau Grill appears to have a sea of graffiti on its otherwise clean, white surface. However, a closer look reveals not graffiti, but hundreds of hand-written reviews from the eatery’s satisfied customers. Messages such as “best ribs I have ever had” and “amazingly delicious garlic shrimp” adorn the truck from top to bottom.

“We are unlike any other food truck out there,” says Miles Oyasato, co-owner of Kau Kau Grill. “Everything is cooked to order and the quality is unbeatable.”

Since the mobile kitchen opened in April, business has consistently been on the incline. Featuring everything from barbecue ribs to homemade hamburgers, Kau Kau Grill pays homage to a familiar pastime. “Growing up in Hawaii, going to family barbecues and potlucks were a regular part of everyday life,” says Oyasato. “All of our recipes come from dishes we made over the years.”

Favorite items include BBQ Baby Back Ribs ($12) and Spicy BBQ Pork Spare Ribs ($12). “Our cooking process is long, slow and completely secret,” says Oyasato. “We smoke our ribs in such a way that the meat becomes completely fall-off-the-bone soft.”

Furthermore, whereas most restaurants will utilize just the trim or cartilage of the rib, Kau Kau Grill chooses to include the whole spare rib. “Using the entire rib without breaking it apart allows for the meat to tenderize better.”

Seafood lovers will be pleased to know all fish comes daily from the Honolulu pier. The “Ono” Poke Bowl ($8) combines fresh ahi with homemade spicy and shoyu sauces. The Garlic Shrimp ($12) is another popular menu item. “We don’t use any butter with our shrimp, just olive oil,” says Oyasato. “It cooks better and retains a deeper flavor.”

For the customer who may not know what to order, the “Trust Us” Combo ($13) is a sensible option, which combines BBQ ribs with garlic shrimp. “Even though we do allow for combination meals, a lot of times people still don’t know what to order,” says Oyasato. “This dish makes the decision for them, and so far we have never gotten a complaint.”

In addition to its regular location, customers may also find Kau Kau Grill on the last Friday of every month at the Eat the Street food festival in Kakaako.

Kau Kau Grill

1637 Kapiolani Blvd., Honolulu
284-8293
Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.