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A deliciously different take on a plate lunch

A La Carte

November 29, 2020

Story By: Ginger Keller | Photos by: A. Consillio

“Trust Us” ($18)

Kau Kau Grill’s food can be defined as anything but ordinary. The Mapunapuna Street eatery, which got its start as a food truck in Kapahulu, serves up a variety of delicious seafood and meats, which are guaranteed to hit the spot on any given day.

Open for lunch Monday through Saturday, co-owner Miles Oyasato says the No. 1 seller is “Trust Us” ($18), a combo plate of ribs and garlic shrimp.

“When people who aren’t sure what they want come to us and ask, ‘What should we eat?’ We tell them ‘trust us.’ “We serve the kind of food that we like to eat,” he adds. “We put items on our menu that we want to eat everyday.”

All meals come with a side of mac salad and rice, including its Smoked Meat ($10 mini; $13 regular), which is made up of marinated smoked pork and sautéed onions.

Its Pulehu Beef Short Ribs ($10 mini; $13 regular), meanwhile, is another sought-after menu item and also happens to be Oyasato’s current favorite.

“It’s simple — we season it with salt and pepper, then we grill it,” explains Oyasato. “That’s one of our most popular plates, too. A lot of people really like that cut of meat. I think everyone grew up eating that simple but satisfying type of steak, so maybe it reminds them of their childhood.”

Oyasato pairs it with spicy ahi poke, which he says was a labor of love.

“It took me a long time to perfect that spicy ahi,” he says. “It was trial and error. We wanted the right amount of sweet and spicy.”

Kau Kau Grill is available for catering and highly recommends that customers call in to order (for catering or otherwise) due to the amount of people allowed in the shop at once to adhere to social distancing requirements.

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