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Feel The Heat

Ono, You Know

June 24, 2018

Story By: Ellise Kakazu | Photos by: Anthony Consillio

The editor holds Little Village Noodle House’s Volcano Pork Chops ($14.50). LAWRENCE TABUDLO PHOTO

Life is often unpredictable, but you can always expect change. Whether you are taking on a new job, moving, or simply swapping your T-shirts for tank tops during the summer, we all experience it to some degree.

In fact, a new season has arrived for Dining Out, as our shining star Ali Resich turns the page and pens a fresh chapter in her life. Ali left behind extra large shoes to fill, but I promise to do my best to slip into them and run full speed.

As I embark on this exciting adventure of being Dining Out‘s new editor, I’ve decided to bring the heat, both literally and figuratively.

That’s right, my newfound friends, let’s hit the road to find some hot and spicy dishes. Fasten your seat belts!

ERUPTING WITH FLAVOR

The first pit stop is Little Village Noodle House, a long-standing eatery located on Smith Street. It’s the perfect place to get your hands on flavor-packed dishes without breaking a sweat when trying to stay on a budget.

Volcano Pork Chops heats up at one’s table. LAWRENCE TABUDLO PHOTO

Since Little Village offers about 100 tasty and affordable menu items, it can be quite difficult to narrow down the field, however, diners can rest assured because every dish is a winner.

“You cannot go wrong with any item,” says owner David Chang. “We use our heart to do our cooking. And also we don’t use MSG at all.”

Little Village’s passion for food burns bright through Volcano Pork Chops ($14.50), a flaming hot dish that is unlike any other. Wrapped in foil, the tantalizing mix of deep-fried pork chops, roasted garlic, salt and pepper, chili peppers and scallions are set ablaze on one’s table.

“(Volcano Pork Chops) gives you a show,” says Chang. “It’s amazing.”

According to Chang, a server brings the dish to the table, lights it up, cuts open the foil, then reveals the crisp, “piping hot” pork chops. He also notes it is temperature hot, not spicy hot. So for those looking to heat things up without numbing your taste buds, this one’s for you.

Diners looking to add some spice to their life should try Hu Nam Spicy Steamed Fish, a boneless fish fillet steamed to perfection that is topped with a generous amount of red Thai chili, or Spicy Garlic Shrimp. Both options are sure to please anyone who wants a little heat to their meal — the level of spiciness can be adjusted, ranging from mild to very spicy.

Besides Little Village Noodle House’s sizzling items, customers can feast on favorites such as Honey Walnut Shrimp, House Special Fried Rice, Orange Chicken and Peking Duck.

Fuel up on any of Little Village’s offerings, and you will be ready to go on any adventure.

LEVEL UP

Next up is Ruby Tuesday, a dining hot spot everyone knows and loves. Even with four locations on the island, the tried-and-true eatery always is busy serving locals finger-licking good food and outstanding service.

Ruby Tuesday’s Fire Wings ($12.49)

With much to offer, Ruby Tuesday is sure to satisfy anyone’s craving for all things picante (spicy in Spanish). Starting from the bottom of the spicy totem poll, a highly recommended dish is Full-Rack Baby-Back Ribs ($26.49) with Cajun Honey sauce. The ribs, which are first seasoned with a dry rub, are slow roasted for more than four hours, finished to perfection in a rotary-style oven, then glazed with Cajun Honey sauce.

“It’s got a little bit of sweet and a little bit of heat,” says Eddie Arnold, director of operations.

Ruby Tuesday’s Buffalo Fries ($10.99, $5 happy hour)

While the Cajun Honey sauce is a definite crowd pleaser, customers can choose to have their rack of ribs in other flavors such as Classic Barbecue, Mango Kiawe and Texas Dusted.

In addition to the style of ribs, diners also can pick two sides to complete the hearty meal. Some sides up for grabs are Fresh Grilled Zucchini, Rice Pilaf, Fresh Steamed Broccoli, Onion Rings and Mashed Potatoes.

Ruby Tuesday’s Full-Rack Baby-Back Ribs with Cajun Honey sauce ($26.49)

An item you don’t want to pass up is Buffalo Fries ($10.99, $5 happy hour), which features thick-cut, beer-battered potato twists that are tossed in a dry, buffalo seasoning.

Arnold explains the fries definitely have a “little kick” to them, but would consider them quite mild, making them the perfect addition to any meal when one is looking for a burst of flavor between bites.

Another reason to try Buffalo Fries? This item is unique to Ruby Tuesday Hawaii, meaning they are not available at any of the Ruby Tuesday locations on the mainland.

Last but not least is Fire Wings ($12.49), a vibrant mound of fried chicken wings coated in buffalo sauce, which can arrive to one’s table mild or hot.

But, of course, when it comes to Ono, You Know there’s no backing down on a challenge. So hot is the only way to go.

“The hot does have a very spicy kick to it,” warns Arnold. And I must agree, the wings’ kick is almost as powerful as Bruce Lee’s.

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