The North shore of Oahu is famous for its food trucks and its shrimp trucks. Having tried most of them, let me help you find some of the best food trucks on Oahu. So far I have posted 30 food truck reviews on the site with over a dozen more on the way.
I also have more in depth reviews on many local restaurants as well. You can click on this link here to check out some my reviews on some of the best local restaurants on the island of Oahu. Thanks for visiting my site and I hope you find the information and photos helpful when trying to find a good place to eat.
Aloha Thai Food
Big Wave Shrimp Truck
Dat Cajun Guy
Famous Kahuku Shrimp Truck
Fumi’s Shrimp Truck
Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck
Hono’s Shrimp Truck
Jeezy’s Island Ice
Kalbi On Fire
Lani’s Yummy Yum Funnel Cakes
Macky’s Shrimp Truck
Mike’s Huli Huli Chicken
North Shore Shave Ice Truck
Romy’s Shrimp Truck
Seven Brothers Food Truck
Thai Food Express
Zane’s Simply Shrimp
Cameron Shrimp Truck
Chow Down Shrimp Truck
Haleiwa Beachside Galley
North Shore Tacos
Souvaly Thai Food
Thong Thai Food
Uncle Woody’s BBQ Corn
VJ’s North Shore Dogs and Burgers
Kailua Farmers Market
Eat The Street
The first time I heard about Waimanalo Country Farms was when I visited the Kailua Farmers Market, held every Thursday evening from 5:00pm to 7:30pm. Waimanalo Country Farms was pretty easy to spot as out of the 50 or so stands there, because they had the longest line to get their Nalo Made Lemonade. Seeing a line that long for lemonade was enough to make me want to give it a shot and it was definitely worth the wait. They have some of the best tasting lemonade on the island.
When I placed my order for the mango pineapple lemonade, I had a chance to talk to Shawn, who is one of the owners. She was very friendly and helpful filling me in on their farm and how they got started making lemonade a few years ago. She also invited me out to their farm, Waimanalo Country Farms, for their 4th Annual Fall Harvest Festival and Pumpkin Patch. She said our little one would love it as they have all sorts of activities for them. They’ve been opening their farm to the public during the whole month of October for the past 4 years for Halloween. We were glad she told us about this as we are always looking for new and different places on the island to bring our little one.
Waimanalo Country Farms have a nice selection of pumpkins to choose from and you pick them right from the ground (pumpkins range from $2 to $18, based on size). Other activities for you and the little ones include a hay ride (which takes about 15-20 minutes) to tour the farm. They also have a cute little cow train ride for very small children, a sunflower maze, a keiki (kids) park where your little ones can get their face painted and a pumpkin shot where you can shoot a pumpkin into the air and see if you can get it through the tire to win a prize.
Another nice thing about visiting Waimanalo Country Farms is that they have all sorts of animals like turtles, geese, pigs, chickens, lambs and even a donkey to pet and feed. My daughter loved the animals. It was fun to watch her get up close to some of the animals that she has never seen in person before.
You’ll also enjoy some great local food and drinks. Of course you’ll be able to try their popular Nalo Made Lemonade. A cup is only $3.00 and a jar is just $5.00. If you want to add a flavor to the lemonade, it is $.50 extra for the cup and only $1 extra for the jar. They have five flavors to choose from: Original, Li-Hing, Strawberry, Mango and Pineapple. Another great thing about Nalo Made Lemonade, you can create your own combo out of the different flavors. Of all the lemonade drinks I have tried on the island of Oahu, my personal favorite is the Nalo Made Strawberry Li-Hing Lemonade. It has the right mix of sweet and sour and the Li-Hing powder gives it the perfect balance of flavors.
As far as the food you can find there, they serve corn chowder ($3), chili frank ($5), chili dog ($4), chili and rice ($3), Spam Musubi ($2), hamburger ($3), steak plate ($7), hot dog ($2)and pumpkin Pie ($2). Other items featured is the fresh picked Waimanalo corn, cooked corn, corn bread, homemade fudge, country sweet tea and even shave ice. They also offer Coke, Diet Coke and Pepsi for just a buck. There is also a country market stand where you can buy some local farm grown fruits and vegetables. Of course there is a covered eating area with plenty of seating to keep you cool and out of the sun.
Overall, my family and I had a great time on our visit to Waimanalo Country Farms. The staff was very friendly and helpful and were nice to pretty much everyone I saw them interact with. This may not seem like much, but a friendly and helpful staff really adds to the overall experience.
My daughter had a lot of fun and we plan on taking her back one more time so she can enjoy playing with the animals and take a ride on the little cow train. Even as adults, my wife and I really enjoyed the beautiful scenery, the food and the events. So if you have kids, this is a good place to bring them to have a little fun in some new surroundings.
Also, while there, you can also purchase some really unique and beautiful images from around the Hawaiian islands by photographers, Spencer and Chase Lum. Being a photographer myself, I was really impressed with their beautiful images from around the Hawaiian islands.
If you want to stop by and visit Waimanalo Country Farms, remember that the Halloween events are only on the weekends from 9:00am to 5:00pm during the month of October.
If you cannot make it to the Waimanalo Country Farms for the Halloween events, and you want to try their famous Nalo Made Lemonade, they are at the Kailua farmers market every Thursday night from 5:00pm to 7:30pm. You might want to get there early because the lines for their lemonade can get pretty long.
Here are some photos from my visit to Waimanalo Country Farms
Map to Wiamanalo Country Farms
Of the three restaurants famous for their breakfast in the Kailua area, Boots and Kimos has more Yelp reviews than Cinnamon’s and Moke’s Bread and Breakfast combined. As for any company, the worst case scenario is not having enough business. Fortunately, for Boots and Kimos this does not seem to be the case. However, they are running into another problem with too much business. They don’t seem to be able to handle the volume of business they are receiving either, especially in the relatively small store they are currently in and with customer wait times of up to two hours if not more. Reservations are not allowed and cash payment is the only form of currency accepted. For all these reasons, I shall address their food last as I feel consumers should be aware of what they are getting into when they choose to eat at Boots and Kimos.
As I mentioned above, reservations are not allowed so if you show up be prepared to wait a while before you are seated and wait some more before your order is ready. Any restaurant with a good reputation is going to have some sort of wait time, but many high profile restaurants will also take reservations to offset this. As popular as Boots and Kimos seem to be, they could address this issue by moving to a place that would hold a much bigger capacity, which would also allow for customer reservations and larger seating arrangements. They have only been in this new location for about 4 years, but they have clearly outgrown it already.
Just to give you an idea of how my first and only visit to Boots and Kimos went, I got there right around noon on a Tuesday. There were already a lot of people waiting outside to be seated. When I walked inside, there was also a line to put your name on the wait list. When I asked how long it would be, the manager taking down names said it would be over an hour before my party of two could be seated. I was not in a huge hurry so I went ahead and put my name on the list then walked back outside to look over their menu posted there. After waiting about 20 minutes or so, I did not see a lot of people leaving the restaurant so I went back to place my order to go. When reviewing a restaurant, I would never order to go; however, in this instance I made an exception. I ordered their famous blueberry macadamia nut pancakes.
Shortly after I placed my order, I overheard one of the managers telling the staff to let any customer coming in know that they’d no longer be seating any new walk-ins so all those orders must be placed to go. This was right around 12:30pm. However, their doors don’t close till 2:00pm (2:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays). I don’t care how good the food is at any good restaurant, it’s still always best to eat it there while it’s hot and fresh than having to take it to go. As most food, especially pancakes covered in syrup sauce, does not travel well. Nine times out of ten, it’s better to just come back another day. When I heard this, I asked the manager if this was the norm. She said they sometimes make this announcement as early as noon. Needless to say, I was pretty shocked to find out this was a daily issue.
I did not take an exact count of the number of tables available for seating but I am guessing there were about 18 to 22 tables. I can understand why Boots and Kimos has not moved to another location as they’ve only been at this one for about 4 years. They have a nice setup with a high ceiling that’s very decked out with all sorts of memorabilia. They even have a little makeshift hut where you pay for your meal. I really like the location and the overall look and feel of Boots and Kimos. It is almost setup like a breakfast sports bar. However, if the size was able to fit the demand, I would not change a thing about it. But as it stands, it’s just not cutting it for the amount of people who dine there on a daily basis. If they have no plans to move to a bigger location, they really need to look into getting the place next door when and if it becomes available.
Also, as I mentioned earlier, this is a cash only establishment. So if you’re dining in and you didn’t bring enough cash to pay for your meal you will have to go to an ATM. This is not a small food truck where you’d expect cash only payment, this is a full sized restaurant. Due to the sheer volume of business and the fact that they are in a restaurant setting, it is shocking that they do not accept other forms of payment like credit or debit cards. If you look on Yelp, you will see where customers literally had to send someone in their party to get cash in order to pay for their meal.
Now that these three glaring issues have been addressed so that you the consumer will be informed instead of shocked when you choose to dine at Boots and Kimos, it’s time to get to their food. As I could never eat a full order of pancakes, I normally only order one plus their most popular entree, which I did at Cinnamon’s and Moke’s Bread and Breakfast. Unfortunately, Boots and Kimos did not allow for this and as I wanted to review their most popular pancake, I had no choice but to order the full order. Though, they did allow for an order of two pancakes for just $1 off (full order is $10.99 for three pancakes), it just made more sense to order the full order since I wasn’t saving that much for an order of two pancakes. Both Cinnamon’s and Moke’s one pancake order is around $3.50. Cinnamon’s two pancakes order is $6.50; Moke’s two pancakes order is $7.50. Boots and Kimos is by far the most expensive.
Since Boots and Kimos did not allow a single pancake order , I decided to skip the rib plate I was going to get because I knew the pancakes would completely wipe me out. Unfortunately, this review will not include any other item besides the pitaya smoothie I ordered to go with my pancakes.
The pancakes are pretty sizeable with a decent amount of fresh blueberries throughout each pancake. The macadamia nut sauce was sweet and went nicely with the pancakes. This was overall a very good dish. Here lies the problem though; no matter how good a pancake is, there is a pretty quick threshold where you just don’t want any more. Like the late comedian, Mitch Hedberg said, “As a comedian, you have to start the show strong and you have to end the show strong. Those are the two key elements. You can’t be like pancakes…all exciting at first, but then by the end, you’re sick of ’em.” One pancake was pretty much my threshold so it’s unfortunate I wasn’t able to order just one, even though they were very good. The pitaya smoothie was also pretty good; however, compared to others I’ve had on the island, it was about average in overall taste.
Boots and Kimos, at the time of this review, had 1,618 total Yelp reviews. About 20%, roughly 1 in 5 people, weren’t happy with their dining experience and rated them 1 or 2 stars. I read most of the 1 star reviews to get an idea of why they didn’t enjoy their time there.
Clearly, the wait time was a huge issue and unless the food you are serving is Michelin star quality and even then, a long wait time is going to have a negative impact on anyone’s dining enjoyment. Another thing people weren’t happy about was their customer service, which was either very poor and or very rude. I must say though, during my visit, everyone I dealt with was pretty nice and friendly. One lady even gave my little girl a lollypop. However, there are way too many complaints regarding the treatment by the staff and or management to customers to disregard it so clearly this has been an ongoing issue at Boots and Kimos.
Overall, there are a lot of things I like about Boots and Kimos. Unfortunately, the extremely long wait time and fairly high prices in comparison to the other two breakfast places nearby make it hard to recommend this establishment, especially when you can go to Cinnamon’s or Moke’s Bread and Breakfast, less than a mile away and get just as good a meal if not better for equal or less money than Boots and Kimos.
When it comes to their signature dish, the Macadamia Nut Pancakes, as good as it may be, it is hard to justify waiting an hour or two to try them. The Guava Chiffon pancakes at Cinnamon’s and the Lilikoi Pancakes at Mokes Bread and Breakfast are just as good if not better than Boots and Kimos and cost a lot less. You’ll also be able to order just one pancake alongside another entree so that way you don’t tire of the pancakes so quickly and still have room for a main breakfast dish.
Something is going to have to change at Boots and Kimos because waiting an hour or two is going to sour a lot of people on the overall experience there. Also, when you have a restaurant that is basically maxed out on a daily basis, tempers may flare up a little on both sides of the fence. Though this isn’t the desired result, it sure is the right mix to get both the customers and the staff agitated with one another. While this may not happen all the time, just one visit and you will see this situation is not optimal for the staff or the customers.
Probably the most disturbing thing I’ve read by numerous reviews on Yelp is they that people would come in, give their names to the hostess but see people coming in after them getting seated before them. Since reservations are not allowed at Boots and Kimos, this should never happen. From what it sounds like, there seems to be some sort of agreement between one or several tour companies where their tourists are allegedly seated before some of the other waiting patrons. I did not see this first hand but many reviews are stating this same story. I cannot personally verify these statements but If this is true, that is a pretty shady business practice.
I read one review where they said they waited over two and a half hours. I don’t care how patient you are, this is just unacceptable for any restaurant to have their customers wait that long to be seated. Also keep in mind, if you are a tourist, you probably have a limited amount of time on your vacation and this island is not a cheap place to visit. Do you really want that time spent taking up to three hours to eat a meal when you could be doing something else besides waiting to be seated? It is one thing to wind down the evening with a long extended meal like a luau and kill a few hours that way but to start your day this way will put a damper on your events for that day.
Though Boots and Kimos are open from 7:00am to 2:00pm Monday through Friday and from 7:00am to 2:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays, keep in mind, most days they could stop seating at around 12:30pm to 1:00pm. After reading this article, you should be prepared for a long wait or order your food to go. Don’t forget to bring cash or you’ll be driving around looking for an ATM once you’ve finished your meal.
Here are some photos from my visit to Boots and Kimos
Map to Boots and Kimos
Tucked away, across the street from Haleiwa Joe’s sits the Aloha Thai Food truck, which can be a little difficult to see when driving on Kamehameha Highway as it sits at least 100 feet off the main road. The Aloha Thai Food truck is worth stopping by as they serve up some very good Thai food. One of the benefits of being a little off the main road is that the dining area is a bit more secluded and they have a nice little area with a couple of benches where you can eat your food.
The menu at Aloha Thai Food is pretty straight forward. They serve five basic types of main dishes. The first is noodle dishes like pad thai and pad lao. Of course you have your curry dishes of red, yellow, green or panang curry. Third, you have a choice of seven different stir fry dishes. Fourth is your fried rice options and lastly, you have a choice of two skewer dishes.
Their prices are very reasonable with most dishes priced at $8.50 for a fairly large portion. As you would expect, all their dishes come with your choice of chicken, beef, pork, shrimp ($2 extra), veggies or tofu. The most expensive dish only costs $13.50 and comes with rice and a salad is the crispy fried shrimp and the coconut shrimp skewers.
I ordered a sample plate consisting of some shrimp skewers, chicken satay skewers, chicken yellow curry, a small ginger salad, shrimp pad Thai and chicken pad lao. The photos in the gallery below are not full portion sizes. It’s about half of their normal full order.
I tried the shrimp and chicken satay skewers first, which were very good. They were both perfectly cooked and the peanut sauce complimented each skewer nicely. Next was the yellow curry. The vegetables were spot on, not too soft and definitely not undercooked. The curry sauce was thick and tasty.
When I tried the shrimp pad Thai and the chicken pad lao, though both dishes seemed similar, each had their own unique flavor profile and I did prefer the chicken pad lao more. Don’t get me wrong, both dishes were good. The shrimp pad Thai had a slightly sweet taste while the chicken pad lao had a more traditional savory taste. Based on your personal preference of sweet or savory, you may prefer the pad Thai more. The ginger salad had a nice flavor to it and went well with the other items I ordered. I also had to try their Thai tea, which was on the sweeter side than I normally prefer but it was still quite good.
Overall, I really enjoyed the food at the Aloha Thai Food truck. I had a chance to talk with the owners, Naly and Allen, for bit and they really like what they do and have a passion for their business. They work hard to make sure their customers are happy. The only thing I think they could use is a little more exposure. Location is key. The Aloha Thai Food truck needs to be a little bit more visible so they can get more of the drive through traffic. Their food is very good and the prices are very reasonable.
The Aloha Thai Food truck is open from 10:00am to 9:00pm, seven days a week. Just keep in mind they are a bit hidden off the main road so be on the lookout when you see Haleiwa Joe’s on Kamehameha Hwy because the Aloha Thai Food truck is right across the street from it. If you’ve crossed the bridge driving North, you’ve gone too far.
Here are some photos from my visit to Aloha Thai Food
Map to Aloha Thai Food
Kahuku Farms is a place I have wanted to stop by on many occasions, however, every time I drove by, it seemed like it was always around 4:00pm and they were going to be closing soon. Which is why I finally made it a point to stop by Kahuku Farms and Cafe around noon to make sure I would be able to see all they had to offer.
Even though this appears to be like other food stands or food trucks on the island, Kahuku Farms and Cafe is actually more of a farm with a cafe. Informational posts are spread throughout the cafe to help promote the farm and educate people on local fruits and vegetables. They also offer two tours of their establishment. A Grand tour, which is from Friday through Sunday at 2pm and a Smoothie tour from Wednesday through Monday at 1pm. We’ll get to their tours a little bit later.
Now, let’s talk about their food. The menu at Kahuku Farms and Cafe mostly consists of iced drinks, smoothies, coffees and other farm goodies. They do also offer three main dishes: 1. Grilled veggie salad with house lilikoi balsamic dressing, 2. Grilled veggie panini sandwich (half order with side salad available for this option) and 3. Farm pizza with side salad. The prices on the menu are actually pretty reasonable. The drinks range from $2.00 for hot coffee up to $4.75 for smoothies. The meals range from $7.75 for half a Panini with side salad up to $9.50 for the Grilled Veggie Panini Sandwich.
Though all three dishes sounded appealing, I love a good Panini. So I had to try that one even though I am not a vegan or vegetarian. Don’t get me wrong, I like eating my vegetables but I also like a good cut of meat on my Panini as well, especially when it’s going to cost almost $10 for it. I am glad I tried it because Kahuku Farms and Cafe really shined with the cooking of their eggplant. No bitter taste at all. The eggplant, bell pepper and zucchini were all seasoned and grilled to perfection.
Even as good as the Panini was, it doesn’t hold a candle to the Grilled Banana Bread. It was suggested to me by one of the local tour guides who was there when I was placing my order. The tour guide made it seem like she was getting into a 12-step program to stop eating it because it was that good. Needless to say, I tried it and she was right. This was a very good dish. Even as I sit here writing about it, over a week later, I am sensing a little craving for it. Thankfully, it is clear across the island from me, which helps to resist the urge….for now.
Of course you can’t leave out the beverage. I tried the plantation with lilikoi and a scoop of sorbet for $1.25 more. It also comes with a little fresh mint leaves for some extra flavor. On this hot and sunny day, this drink did not last long and it really hit the spot.
As I mentioned above, Kahuku Farms and Cafe offers two types of tours. The grand tour, which takes about an hour, costs $22 for adults and $15 for children between the ages of 5 to 12, kids 4 and under are free. During this tour, you will get to sample the farm fruits. The Smoothie tour, which takes about half an hour, costs $12 for adults and $10 for children between the ages of 5 to 12, kids 4 and under are free. A complimentary fresh fruit papaya smoothie is provided with this tour.
Overall, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Kahuku Farms and Cafe but after finally being able to visit there, I am very happy I stopped by. In my opinion, this is one of the best places to stop by if you are hungry. The food is very good and the atmosphere is also very enjoyable.
Kahuku Farms sits on 125 acres of land, 5 of which is dedicated to the public for the tours and the cafe. If you are interested in learning more about what they do and what they’re all about, give them a visit and take one of their tours.
There is no question, I will be coming back for their Grilled Veggie Panini as well as their Grilled Banana Bread. This is one of the few places I have reviewed where I will make it a point to have the same thing again instead of ordering something different. It was that good!
If you would like to visit Kahuku Farms and Cafe, their hours operation are from 11:00am to 4:00pm, six days a week (closed on Tuesdays). I am not sure if the tour times above are set in stone so just in case they are liable to change, it is best to still give them a quick call to make sure the tour times have not changed since this article was published. Kahuku Farms and Cafe can be reached at 808-628-0639.
Here are some photos from my visit to Kahuku Farms
Map to Kahuku Farms
Just like Nozawas Fresh Kahuku Corn is one of the best places on the island to buy your corn, Big Mamas tropical Fruit is one of the best places on the island to get your bananas. This is a fruit stand that most tourists will never see because it is way out by Laie and the main stop in that area is the Polynesian Cultural Center and most people will get there by taking a tour bus, but if you have your own car or are a local this is the best place on the island to buy bananas.
There are a lot of good fruit stands on Oahu to purchase fresh picked fruit but Big Mamas Tropical Fruit also specializes in a variety of fresh cut bananas right off the tree. Eva, the owner of Big Mamas Tropical Fruit, is a very nice woman who will gladly tell you about the different types of bananas as well as what they are best used for. She also sells pineapples, coconuts, mangos, avocados and lilikois.
From my conversations with Eva, she sells seven different types of bananas but at the time of my visit, there were only five varieties to choose from. If you go to the pictures below, you will see what they look like. From left to right, the bananas’ names are as follows: 1. the ice cream banana, 2. the cooking banana, 3. the apple banana, 4. the Hopa banana and 5. the store banana (reason being, these are the ones you typically find at grocery stores).
There is no real set pricing for the bananas. She may charge you one price one day and then a different price the next for the same bananas. Don’t get me wrong when I say there is no set prices. This is not a bad thing because she has always given me more than my money’s worth on every visit I have had at her fruit stand. She is just somewhat flexible depending on the amount she has for sale on any given day.
At Big Mamas Tropical Fruit, they measure bananas by the term, “Hand of Bananas”. Basically, this means that each banana is like a finger and a small bunch is like a hand with many fingers. So a hand might have somewhere between 15 to 20 bananas on it but the entire bunch may have as many as 200 fingers on it. These full bunches are extremely heavy and can weigh anywhere from 80 to 130 pounds.
All the bananas are pretty cheap, with the exception of the Hopa banana. I only bought one of those just to try it since I’ve never had it before. I normally purchase her ice cream or apple bananas. The one Hopa banana cost me $2 whereas the others typically cost me about $5 for a couple of hands. She did inform me that the Hopa banana has a very special place in the Hawaiian culture and they prefer to eat them green, not yellow.
I would say that most people will probably like the ice cream, apple and regular bananas. The cooking banana and the Hopa Banana may be hit or miss. For me, I didn’t care too much for the Hopa or the cooking bananas. Though I must say, I ate the cooking banana as it was instead of cooking it and I ate the Hopa banana when the peel turned yellow so I’m sure that figures into the equation of why I wasn’t a fan of either.
Overall, I always like to stop by Big Mamas Tropical Fruit to get a few hands of bananas when I’m driving to the North Shore and have always received more than my money’s worth. Unfortunately, if you Google Big Mamas Tropical Fruit, there is virtually no online information for this fruit stand. You won’t be able to find it on Yelp either. This is about as old school as you can get. So it seems, all the locals, I’m sure, know about Big Mamas Tropical Fruit Stand and perhaps a handful of drive by tourists have really visited this almost invisible place to get some fresh fruit and some of the best bananas on the island.
I don’t know their exact location or their hours of operation but below is a map of my best guess to the location and I would think their hours are probably from 11:00am to 5:00pm, seven days a week.
Here are some photos from my visit to Big Mamas Tropical Fruit
There is no website or yelp page for Big Mamas Tropical Fruit and I do not know exactly where it is on the map, but I put a map to my best guess where this fruit stand is below.
I must have driven by the purple Crispy Grindz truck over a dozen times before finally getting a chance to try some of their food. Currently, their truck is parked right by Sunset Beach near the Sunset Beach Neighborhood Park.
The menu specializes in Brazilian style food, though their featured item is the acai bowls. They have a small bowl (16oz) for $7.00 and a large bowl (24oz) for $9.00. Their acai bowls only come with granola, bananas and honey. If you would like extra of any of these three or shredded coconut, it’ll cost 50 cents each. However, if you’re looking to add strawberries, it’s $1.00 more. Looking at the photo below, I would guess that at most I got about 2 strawberries for a buck. I don’t know about you, but I have to have strawberries with my acai bowl.
Other items you can order are the wonton wraps which are filled with various things from cheese to chicken to bananas and cinnamon. These all cost $5.00 except for the cheese, which costs only $4.00. They also serve a classic Brazilian dish called Coxinha (koo-shee-nya), which I had to try as the gentleman who was working there said it was his favorite dish. This dish is made of potato flour dough and filled with shredded chicken and cheese with a light breading on the outside.
I ordered the large acai bowl with strawberries and the Coxinha. It didn’t take too long for both of my items to be ready. The acai bowl was pretty large but it was not filled to the top like some of the other places I have been to. The fruit that it came with was fresh and tasted very good. The acai itself, had a pretty rich flavor and tasted pretty good.
Now to the Coxinha. Though Crispy Grindz’s featured item is their acai bowls, to me the Coxinha was the real star. I don’t know how many places on the island where you can get this little gem, but this is one of my favorite items I have had in the past year. It is not that big in size, but the flavors and the way it is prepared makes for a really tasty and unique treat. The one I was served was a beautiful golden brown. When I then cut into it, the shredded chicken looked very moist and the cheese was perfectly melted. I took my first bite and I knew right then why this was the gentleman’s favorite item on the menu. If and when I’m in the area again, I will definitely order it again. The Coxinha is relatively small and it makes for a nice little snack instead of a full meal.
Overall, I liked both the acai bowl and the Coxinha. Though, I feel the bowl should also include some strawberries for the base price. Up until now, I have never had Coxinha before. It is quite a unique dish and I would recommend it to anyone who stops by the Crispy Grindz food truck. There are a lot more expensive trial and errors on the Island of Oahu so if you order it and don’t like it, you’ll be out a very minimal amount of scratch for trying this dish.
Here are some photos from my visit to the Crispy Grindz food truck
Map to Crispy Grindz
Ono Yo, located in Kahuku,is in the same food truck lot as the Original Giovanni’s Shrimp truck, is very easy to spot as their bright colored tables reminds me of the homes from the film, Edward Scissorhands. It is a clean assortment of bright colored pastels which fits well with their colorful fruit yogurt desserts.
The menu is pretty straight forward. Their yogurt desserts start at $2.95 for the kids size (4oz) up to $5.95 for the large (10oz). They also have their own list of creations that run from $4.50 for the kids size (4oz) up to $7.75 for the large (10oz). They have 15 creations to choose from and each one has 3 to 4 toppings on it. If you want to see all their creations click on the photo of it in the image gallery below.
Since they said the fruit bowl was one of their most popular, I figured I would try that one. While Ono Yo has a lot of different toppings, their yogurt options are either plain or lilikoi. You can get plain anywhere so I went with the lilikoi flavored yogurt. The lilikoi yogurt fruit bowl came with fresh slices of strawberries, pineapple and kiwi, drizzled with honey.
The bowl was ready in just minutes and the first thing that stood out to me was the nice clean cut pieces of fruit. They all looked really fresh and there were no sloppy pieces or bad chunks. The lilikoi flavor yogurt also went very well with the strawberries, pineapple and kiwis. If you are thinking about trying the lilikoi yogurt then keep in mind, the flavor is a little tart so if you’re not keen on tartness, try their plain yogurt instead.
Overall, I really enjoyed the taste of the Ono Yo fruit bowl. I also like the clean bright decor around the dessert truck. The bright colors really grab your eyes when you are walking around looking for a place to eat. The prices might be a little higher at Ono Yo than some other locations serving similar desserts, but I think they are pretty reasonable for the quality of the yogurt and toppings you are getting.
If you are looking to give Ono Yo a shot, their hours of operation are from 12:00pm to 9:00pm, Monday through Saturday and from 12pm to 6:00pm on Sundays.
Here are some photos of my visit to Ono Yo
Map to Ono Yo
I normally don’t order burgers when I am out and about, but being that Burgers is the specialty of the Seven Brothers Food Truck, I had to give them a try. These are definitely not your everyday burgers. You can tell by the photos below that the Seven Brothers Food truck put some thought into making their unique burgers a complete meal.
The Seven Brothers Food Truck does not have prices listed on their truck. The one I ordered was one of their most popular, the Shem Burger. It was $8 and for an additional $2 you get French fries. I knew this burger would more than likely fill me up but I had to see how their fries tasted.
Their fries were not some garbage fast food fries. These are the real deal. These fries were fresh, nicely sliced potatoes and were well seasoned. Unless you are super hungry, this burger and fries meal is going to be one that few people will finish and even fewer will finish and still be hungry. This is a lot of food for $10 and is actually a pretty good deal considering the quality of burger and fries.
The Shem burger comes with lettuce, tomatoes, bacon, cheese, guacamole with a cream sauce and BBQ sauce on the side. I put both sauces on the burger and it tasted very good. Like you would expect, this was a messy hamburger to eat, but I have found that some of the best ones are.
Overall, I was very happy with the quality of the food and the ingredients the Seven Brothers use. I was hardly able to start on the sliced fries after I was done with the hamburger. It was that filling. The only real gripe I have with the Seven Brothers Food Truck is that there is literally no place to sit and eat, not even a single chair or stool. To me, this is unacceptable for any food truck to not have a least a few chairs where people can sit and eat if they want to. The Seven Brothers food truck is very new so at this time, there are only two reviews on Yelp which are both 4 stars. The original location is not a food truck but a normal brick and mortar restaurant located in Laie right by Laie Point.
The Seven Brothers food truck has only been open for a few weeks and currently don’t have their hours of operation posted. While they are settling in, it’s probably a safe bet they’ll be open from at least 11am to 6pm (as most food trucks are) if you are looking to give them a try.
The original Seven Brothers in Laie is closed on Sunday so it may be a safe bet that the food truck will also be closed then too. As for their contact information on their Yelp and Facebook page, don’t bother calling because it goes straight to a voicemail box that’s not set up; you’ll never get a hold of anyone.
Side Note: The Seven Brothers Restaurant on Yelp:
The original Seven Brothers restaurant has a pretty good reputation on Yelp, with over 85% of reviews being 4 or 5 stars. The only thing that bothers me about this particular Yelp review page is that Yelp has chosen not to include an additional 43 reviews. I’m not sure how Yelp decides this but those uncounted reviews are quite possibly legitimate feedback not being given to the public for this particular establishment.
I have seen Yelp not include a handful of reviews before but dismissing 43 seemed like an excessively high number for Yelp to just throw in the trash. Most of them were positive. For some perspective, the Original Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck has 1,671 reviews on Yelp with an additional 71 reviews which Yelp has disregarded. While only 4% of the reviews for the Original Giovanni’s Shrimp truck has been discarded by Yelp, Seven Brothers has 29%. This number seems way out of whack and it should be addressed as to why so many reviews have been discarded.
I know Yelp has faced some issues and lawsuits for allegedly manipulating feedback and or fraudulent reviews. Currently, to my knowledge, they have not been found guilty of any wrongdoing. Even so, I thought this was worth a mention considering how big Yelp is and how many use it to find a good place to eat.
Here are some photos from my visit to the Seven Brothers Food Truck
Map to Seven Brothers Food Truck
Mexican food is few and far in between on the island of Oahu. So when I was driving through Haleiwa and spotted Killer Tacos, I had to give them a try. Killer Tacos isn’t a food truck but a classic restaurant format where they provide both indoor and outdoor seating.
The menu at Killer Tacos consists of burritos, salads, nachos, a cheese quesadilla and of course tacos. The prices are very reasonable. The burritos run from just $5.99 to $6.99 and the Pupus start at just $3.99 for the cheese quesadilla up to $7.99 for the killer taco salad. The tacos are also fairly inexpensive, starting at $2.19 for the hard taco up to $2.99 for the fish taco.
I love a good burrito but on this visit, I was in the mood to try a couple of tacos. Fish tacos seem to be quite popular on Oahu so I ordered the fish taco and the pulled pork taco as well. The wait was very short and within a couple of minutes, I was already eating. The staff was friendly and helpful. They were happy to tell me about the menu and what the most popular items were and what they recommended.
The first taco I tried was the pulled pork which included cheese, lettuce and salsa. The one thing that drives me crazy about eating a hard taco is having the shell completely fall apart with the first bite. I was pleasantly surprised when this did not happen. The shell stayed intact from the first bite to the last. Of all the components of a hard taco, the part that is lacking the most is quite often the shell but not at Killer Tacos. Everything about this pulled pork taco was nicely balanced and tasted great.
Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the “super tasty” fish taco. This was a bit of a disappointment for me. The ratio of the Alaskan Cod to the cheese and shredded cabbage was way off. The fish taco seemed like 80% shredded cabbage, about 15% Alaskan Cod and 5% cheese, salsa and sauce. I did like the salsa and spicy cream sauce that came with it. It’s just unfortunate that there was so much shredded cabbage, I had to pull most of it out just to taste the small amounts of fish that was buried in the soft taco. I understand that Alaskan Cod is not the cheapest thing in the world but masking its quantity under a pile of shredded cabbage will give this fish taco a really bad name as it should be called a cabbage taco.
Overall, I was both happy and disappointed with Killer Tacos. One taco was great while the other was not. The staff and my overall experience was a pretty good one. I just think they need to work on the ratio of the fish taco and if they have to raise the price a little to allow for more fish then maybe they should do just that. I don’t know exactly when the price would be too much for a fish taco, but I would rather them charge a little more and make a real killer fish taco than an average one for 50 cents less.
The reviews on Yelp are pretty mixed for this establishment. Some have complained about the staff being rude, which I did not experience during my visit. The three people that were working when I stopped by were all pretty nice but maybe I got lucky or they improved the staff since those reviews.
One thing you don’t want to see from Yelp’s stats is more 1, 2, 3 and 4 star ratings than 5 star ratings. Killer Tacos has 136 total Yelp reviews, 58 are 4 and 5 star reviews while 44 are1 and 2 star reviews. Only 17 people on Yelp gave them a 5 star rating. On the other end of the spectrum, 24 people gave them a 1 star rating; those reviews are absolutely scathing. This is a clear warning sign for any customer looking online for a place to eat. However, I would say my own overall personal experience at Killer Tacos was somewhere right in the middle since one taco was good but the other was not and the service was fine to me.
If you want to give Killer Tacos a try, their hours of operation are from 10:00am to 8:00pm, seven days a week.
Here are some photos from my visit to Killer Tacos
Map to Killer Tacos