Surf into Kau kau Grill

Cover Story

July 12, 2020

Story By: Nicole Monton |

Ty Takishita, Miles Oyasato and Ryan Souza invite everyone to try one of Kau Kau Grill’s ono plate lunches. Photo courtesy Kau Kau Grill

No one does plate lunches like Kau Kau Grill, which is quite the hidden gem in Mapunapuna. From its humble food truck beginnings in 2013, the eatery has grown its fan-base, prompting a move to its brick-and-mortar location two years later.

“I’d just like to thank everyone who has supported us over the years,” says co-owner Ty Takishita. “We’ve been trying to make everyone happy, trying to help everyone with discounts and specials.”

Find your next favorite in one of Kau Kau Grill’s weekly specials that run Wednesdays and Thursdays. Rotating plates include Mushroom Chicken with Gravy, Shoyu Pork, Crispy Baked Panko Chicken and Roast Pork with Gravy. Make sure to check its Instagram (@kaukaugrill) to find out what’s on the menu.

“We cycle with that,” explains Takishita. “And it all comes with rice and mac salad. It’s also best to call early to reserve your plate.”

Pulehu Beef Short Ribs and Garlic Shrimp highlight Kau Kau Grill’s Surf and Turf ($15 special on Tuesdays). A. Consillio photo

To satisfy hungry diners, the restaurant has also started daily $3 discounts on special dishes, including signature plates that feature winning combinations.

“We use a lot of the top-selling items in the combos,” Takishita adds.

Mondays showcase a regular Garlic Ahi plate ($10), and a Big Boy Combo ($15) that comes with BBQ Baby Back Ribs and Pulehu Beef Short Ribs.

According to Takishita, the Big Boy Combo isn’t on the menu, but it still remains one of the more popular combination plates.

Tuesdays bring to the menu a $10 Smoked Meat plate, and a $15 Surf and Turf that comes with Pulehu Beef Short Ribs and Garlic Shrimp.

On Wednesdays, the rotating $10 special is up for grabs, as is the longstanding favorite Trust Us Special ($15), which is made up of a BBQ Baby Back Ribs and Garlic Shrimp duo.

Thursdays also feature the rotating $10 special, and diners can also get a $10 regular Garlic Shrimp plate that’s bursting with flavor.

On Fridays, it’s Pulehu day. A regular plate of Pulehu Beef Short Ribs is $10, and a double serving is available as a $15 combo.

“It’s extra meat, about one-and-a-half orders of Pulehu Beef Short Ribs,” Takishita explains. “People love that on Fridays.”

Weekends are for the warriors, and Kau Kau Grill has a half-pan of BBQ Baby Back Ribs on sale for $65 (preorders; $75 no preorder).

Expect at least 25 premium pieces of protein packed into the pan.

Finally, Saturdays also offer a KKG Bento ($15 preorders; $17 special without preorder). The triple whammy of a meal is normally $20 and consists of BBQ Baby Back Ribs, Pulehu Beef Short Ribs and Garlic Shrimp.

“With COVID going on, we’re trying to give back and help people out,” says Takishita.

Kau Kau Grill’s menu is filled with tried-and-true items that Takishita, along with Miles Oyasato and Ryan Souza, has been testing out with friends and family over the years.

“We see what they like, and that’s what we work with,” explains Takishita.

To help with social distancing and wait times, Kau Kau Grill starts taking phone orders around 8 a.m. and encourages people to call in by 9:30 a.m. to ensure their plates are ready for pickup between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

On the side

Plate lunches at Kau Kau Grill come with the traditional two scoops rice and mac salad, but the eatery’s sides are de~ nitely something to rave about. To start, its famous mac salad is made with spaghetti noodles. And, those wanting a bit of a kick can upgrade their rice to Krazy Rice, which is made with the restaurant’s housemade BBQ sauce and secret spice blend.

Catering to every palate

Kau Kau Grill is known for its massive plate lunches, but the restaurant also has a stellar catering arm that works with each customer for personalized menus based on their budget and taste.

“If people preorder, we custom do everything,” says co-owner Ty Takishita. “Tell us what you want, how much per head, and we’ll work with you. That’s the best way to go.”

Call Kau Kau Grill at 476-5888 to place custom orders.

Honolulu, HI 96819

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