Ige’s Now Serves LunchColumns Foodie Fare
June 23, 2013
Story By: Christina O Connor | Photos by: Leah Friel
Ron Ige and his family have been serving up local favorites at various locales around the island for years. But just recently, Ige’s Restaurant and 19th Puka in Aiea — the joint that Ron owns — began offering lunch items in addition to dinner.
As a sort of homage to Ige’s Lunchwagon, there is no table service during lunch hours. Instead, diners line up at the counter to place their orders. Once you have your food, you can settle down in the restaurant’s expansive dining room.
This type of lunch setup is perfect for the diner on the go.
“A lot of people will think that they don’t have time for lunch,” Ige says.
But here, Ige estimates that diners could have their food within 5 to 10 minutes. And if you are really pressed for time, Ige’s also has an express menu that includes items such as spare ribs, stew and more.
Lunch items include Swordfish Shutome ($11), which is doused in seasoned flour and grilled. The fish is accented with a creamy garlic cilantro aioli. Another lunch favorite is Teriyaki Flap Meat ($10), which Ige says is one of the most popular dishes.
“This is made with our own original teriyaki sauce,” he explains.
For a light lunch option, Ige recommends Chicken Pesto Salad ($8.50), which features grilled chicken breast tossed in a pesto basil sauce. It’s served on a bed of greens and topped with Parmesan cheese and croutons, and comes with a fresh baked roll.
Turkey Sandwich ($7.50) features cranberry sauce, lettuce, tomato and pickles and is served with your choice of french fries, mac salad or tossed salad.
“The turkey is roasted fresh in the morning,” Ige says.
Ige’s also recently added fresh fish to the menu.
“Today we have shit-omi, but we also do ahi, ono, whatever we can get,” he says. “We have been getting a lot of different types of fish. It comes from the Honolulu Fish Auction.”
Each of these lunch items are available daily, with the featured fish changing every day depending on what’s derived from the auction.
With its ample seating, Ige’s Restaurant and 19th Puka also is the perfect place to throw your next party. Guests can order their own food, or for those who want a set menu, Ige’s also offers catering menus. Or guests set up a private buffet. The restaurant is available as a venue for both private and semi-private parties, which closes off a section of the dining room.
But you don’t have to wait for your next special occasion to enjoy Ige’s. Every Friday night is something of a party with Flashback Fridays, which features live music and dancing with tunes from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s.
On the Side
“It was a dream,” says Ron Ige of owning his own restaurant a dream that he achieved when he opened Ige’s Restaurant and 19th Puka several years ago.
After all, Ige grew up in the restaurant industry. His mother had worked in a series of restaurants before eventually opening up her own place at the Ige home.
“The kitchen was behind our house, so we used to wake up every morning and just help her. When I finished college, I ended up helping her and just got dragged into it somehow,” he jokes.
For years, the family worked together, but in 1989, they were evicted. Not wanting to leave the restaurant business behind, Ige launched Ige’s Restaurant and 19th Puka.
While this restaurant may be his own creation, he hasn’t strayed too far from his roots. A lot of the menu items at Ige’s Restaurant initially are from the family’s lunch wagon.
Ige’s Restaurant and 19th Puka
98-761 Oihana Place, Aiea
Tuesday–Saturday, (Lunch) 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; (Dinner) 5 p.m.–close; (Happy Hour) 3–7 p.m.