A smoky twist on local favesA La Carte
September 3, 2023
Story By: Averie Soto | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO
The invasive strawberry guava wood causes problems for Hawaii’s ecosystem, but Guava Smoked owner Scott Kimo Shibuya is putting this pest to delicious use at his restaurant.
“We serve all the local favorites with a smoked twist and friendly smile,” Shibuya says. “Smoking with the strawberry guava wood not only adds a well-rounded slightly sweet flavor; the low and slow heat also breaks down the proteins, which lends to tender and juicy meats and fish.”
The restaurant’s bestseller, the Spicy Pork, is smoked for four hours utilizing this wood-burning technique and marinated for three days. It’s served in a plate ($16.24), bowl ($9.55) or a pupu bowl ($15.28) with two scoops of hapa rice and a choice of mac salad, Kahumana Organic Farms mixed greens or kimchi.
The customer-favorite meat is also served in Guava Smoked’s Loco Moco ($18.15) and Hamburger Steak ($17.20).
“Unlike most loco mocos or hamburger steaks, we use a white gravy to complement the flavor-packed patty, as a brown gravy clashed and didn’t work,” Shibuya says.
The restaurant’s Smoked Pork Burger ($10.51) is also a must-try, according to Shibuya, and is served with the same pork patty, a creamy vinaigrette, mayo, tomato, red onions, and Kahumana Organic Farms greens on an onion bun.
Shibuya says the most rewarding aspect of Smoked Guava is “the instant gratification of customers saying our food was ‘winnahs, solid, ono and everything was delicious.’”