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‘Grill’ leaves a lasting impression with local-style plate lunches

A La Carte

October 14, 2018

Story By: Caroline Wright | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO

Pulehu Beef Short Ribs and Garlic Ahi ($17)

Even before you step through the doors of Kau Kau Grill, the tantalizing fragrances coming from within beckons your attention.

If you crave smoked meat and a host of other fantastic local favorites, find your way to this humble Mapunapuna eatery. Without question, it’s worth the effort.

“We like to make everything in-house, from our barbecue sauce to our garlic mix and poke sauces,” says Miles Oyasato, who launched the restaurant five years ago with partner Ty Takishita.

“K Special” ($19)

With every taste, this careful commitment to home-grown flavor reveals itself anew. One of Kau Kau’s delectable combination plates, Pulehu Beef Short Ribs and Garlic Ahi ($17), features moist, tender ahi sauteed in olive oil and garnished with spices and garlic. The succulent, smoky ribs are seasoned with Hawaiian salt and black pepper.

Not for timid palates, Kau Kau Grill’s Garlic Shrimp with Krazy Rice ($13) presents a medley of bold essences. Butterfly shrimp, sauteed with special house-made garlic sauce, are accompanied by generous scoops of the restaurant’s delectable Krazy Rice, fried with spicy barbecue tang. “We use our own sauce and add a lot of other seasonings to give it a little kick,” says Oyasato.

Garlic Shrimp with Krazy Rice ($13)

Then, there’s the “K Special” ($19), which features Kau Kau’s legendary Barbecue Baby Back Ribs and a generous serving of its fresh Spicy Ahi Poke. Those incredible ribs, the restaurant’s top-selling menu item, are generously coated with Kau Kau’s sweet, tangy special sauce, developed by Oyasato himself.

Plates include rice and Kau Kau’s spaghetti mac salad, or baby spinach greens with house-made dressing.

Thanks to its well-deserved reputation for spectacular flavor, Kau Kau Grill’s catering services are in growing demand. The restaurant has provided meals at fascinating locations all over the island, including the set of Hawaii Five-0.

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