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Riding The Flavor Wave

A La Carte Columns

June 12, 2016

Story By: Christina O Connor |

Grilled Ahi Bowl ($12) Photo courtesy of Pounders

Grilled Ahi Bowl ($12)
Photo courtesy of Pounders

Located in Polynesian Cultural Center’s (PCC) Hukilau Marketplace, Pounders Restaurant is named for a popular bodysurfing spot nearby. And if you’re in the area for a day at the beach, or you’re heading up to North Shore, Pounders makes a great pit stop where you can indulge in Pacific Rim cuisine and local specialties.

Although it’s in PCC, you don’t have to be a guest there to enjoy Pounders — it’s open to the public, and, according to PCC’s Pane Meatoga, the restaurant is popular with locals as well. And no wonder: Pounders sources many of its items from local farms, including beef and seafood. Its menu is a wide collection of sandwiches, burgers, meat and fish entrees, as well as a variety of pizzas made with a kiawe-fired brick oven that was imported from Naples, Italy.


One of Pounders’ most popular items is Grilled Ahi Bowl ($12), a bento featuring grilled ahi with tare sauce over rice with furikake. It’s all topped with an over-easy egg, gari (pickled ginger) and green onion.

“The customers love the taste,” Meatoga says. “The fact that it’s a bento means it’s a quick, delicious meal they pick up on the go.”

Pounders Restaurant

Polynesian Cultural Center
Hukilau Marketplace
55-370 Kamehameha Hwy., Laie
Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.

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