Fisherman’s Pick

A La Carte Columns

March 19, 2017

Story By: Christina O Connor |

Fresh Onaga ($35). Lawrence Tabudlo photos

Fresh Onaga ($35). Lawrence Tabudlo photos

When asked how Uncle’s Fish Market & Grill got started, founder Bruce Johnson says, “Well, it started with the uncles, basically.”

Johnson explains that ever since he became a fisherman at age 18 in Kona, he has had a number of hanai uncles who taught him the ropes on the water.

“I have had some wonderful men in life, so this is a tribute to them,” Johnson says.

Accordingly, much of the decor originates from these men, and Johnson has even found old videos and photos of his uncles — some dating back as far as the 1940s — to adorn the dining room.

Ahi Poke Trio ($22)

Ahi Poke Trio ($22)

“The idea was that we wanted to make a place where the uncles would feel comfortable coming in — something that was not pretentious, and there was going to have to be great food,” he says.

And when it comes to great seafood, Johnson certainly is an expert. He also is the founder of seafood distributor Fresh Island Fish. Plus, they’re in the right spot to get the freshest fish available — right next to Honolulu Fish Auction.

For a taste of that fresh fish, many customers opt for Fresh Onaga ($35), which features pan-seared Hawaiian red snapper with lobster mushroom sauce.

“I think the onaga is one of the nicest snappers,” Johnson says. “The lobster sauce has chunks of lobster in it.”


A customer favorite at Uncle’s Fish Market & Grill is Ahi Poke Trio ($22), presenting ahi prepared three ways: topped with green onions; with kukui nut pesto and fried ogo; and in a spicy sauce with fried onions.

Uncle’s Fish Market & Grill

Fishing Village At Pier 38
1135 N. Nimitz Hwy., Honolulu
Daily, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

Honolulu, HI 96817

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best