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The Best Poke in Honolulu is at Ono Seafood


Fresh, made-to-order Ahi Poke: Diced fresh raw Ahi (Tuna), Ogo (seaweed), White Onion, Green Onion, Hawaiian Chili Pepper, Shoyu & Sesame Oil, $12.00/lb.

It’s true. The best. That’s their slogan, and I agree!

Most places that sell Poke usually have it made in advance in large service pans on display in refrigerator cases, deli style. The problem with this is, if you don’t get there early when it was just made, after hours of sitting, the salt and/or shoyu in the marinade tends to eventually “cook” the delicate raw fish, causing it to stiffen and lose that buttery texture. The onions get soggy too. Eventually, the moisture in the fish escapes and makes the marinade watery, and just overall not good Poke.

Enter Ono Seafood, where the Poke is always made-to-order using fresh, top quality ingredients.

Ono Seafood is a small hole-in-the-wall store located on the ground floor of an inconspicuous low-rise apartment complex about halfway up (or down, depending where you’re coming from) on the Diamond Head (east) side of Kapahulu Avenue. Blink or sneeze and you can easily miss it. A recognizable landmark to help find them is Shell Gas Station; Ono Seafood is just next door makai-bound.

If you’re not familiar where Kapahulu avenue is, it’s on the east end of Waikiki, so it’s nearby if you’re a visitor staying in a hotel in that area.

Oh, and do not confuse Ono Seafood here with Ono Hawaiian Food, which is just a few blocks makai (towards the ocean) on the same street. Ono Hawaiian Food is a small restaurant that specializes in exactly what it’s named: “Ono Hawaiian Food”!

Upon entering this very small store, to your left is a refrigerator stocked with various dried and smoked seafood pupus. More on that later. There’s also a refrigerator display case in front next to the service counter that’s mostly empty, except to store the whole tako and slabs of Ahi to be to sliced up for the made-to-order poke. Visually, very low key.

Here you can see the very straight forward menu board…

As you see, the Ahi Poke is currently $12 per pound, which is on the high end, but believe when I say, this poke is worth every single ounce, right down to the last little piece of ogo.

If you look at the bottom center of the menu, those are the ingredients you select to go into your poke. Very simple, yet so effective. Choose White Onion, Green Onion, Hawaiian Salt, Chili Pepper, Kukui Nut, Sesame Oil, Ogo and Shoyu. Choose all of the above, or some of the above. Up to you. It’s all included in the current $12/lb. price. Once you tell them what you want in it, they quickly combine each ingredient in a mixing bowl, toss it up, put in the container, weigh it and it’s done. Very fast.

We always choose everything except the Kukui Nut, only because my girlfriend doesn’t care for that. Otherwise, I’d throw that in too. You can order it in quarter, half, three-quarter, or one pound-plus increments of quantity.

Trust me, order at least a pound. After one bite, you’ll want much, much more! This Poke has got to arguably not only be the best Ahi Poke in Honolulu, but on the entire island or state! The bite from the chili pepper, aroma from the sesame oil, and crunchy texture of the onions and ogo are just a magical combination with the top-quality Ahi, which just melts in your mouth like “buttah”… like “BUTTAH” I tell ya! The made-to-order freshness can’t be beat. The pictures here don’t even do it justice. You have to get some from there and try it yourself.

A good tip if you’re buying poke from here is to bring a small cooler with ice and keep it chilled and keep is as fresh as can be. This is very important. Poke sitting in the trunk of a car sitting in the hot sun? Not good. Ice cold Poke? Good! Ono!

Now let’s look what’s in that refrigerator to the left…


Dried Ahi and Spicy Smoked Tako


Dried Tako, Dried Shrimp (Opae), Smoked Tako and Boiled Peanuts


Tako Kama, Fish Jerky, Namasu and Kinilau


Sashimi Tray


Kukui Nuts (Inamona)

Good Lord, this is heaven. Folks, if someone shows up to your party with a cooler full of the stuff above, make friends with them… really good friends. lol!


1 pound Boiled Peanuts and 1 pound Ahi Poke

Their boiled peanuts are the bomb too. Nice and el dente, still slightly crunchy, with the perfect balance of salt and wetness. They run $2.50 per pound.

Best of all they’re consistent. We go here at least two or three times a month for the Ahi Poke, and it’s always top notch. For real, Ono Seafood is where to go for the best Poke in Honolulu. Guaranz!

Ono Sea Food Products, Inc.
747 Kapahulu Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96816
Tel. 808-732-4806

The Tasty Island rating:

(5) Superb. Worthy of repeat visits or purchases. (Broke Da’ Mout’!)

Related Links:
Ono Seafood– Yelp user review listing

Honolulu Romantic Vacation

15 thoughts on “The Best Poke in Honolulu is at Ono Seafood

  • February 18, 2008 at 4:18 am
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    Another new place I gotta try! Looks so ONO! And the made-to-order is terrific!

    Reply
  • February 19, 2008 at 6:08 pm
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    Oh, wow. How I miss Honolulu. It’s 14 degrees here (wind chill -14) and that poke looks so ono…

    Reply
  • February 19, 2008 at 8:28 pm
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    My nehpew Jake brought us some of this poke and boiled peanuts! Sorry to say that I don’t eat poke (wat kine Japanese am I???!!) but my husband and others LOVED it!!! I really enjoyed the boiled peanuts too!!! As you mentioned …crispy and juicy with a slight sweet taste. Do you think they add sugar while making it?

    Thanks for the awesome photos and valuable info !!!

    Reply
  • February 21, 2008 at 6:37 am
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    Just one more place to stop at on my visit this August. Are we there YET!?

    Reply
  • February 26, 2008 at 9:15 pm
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    Just got back from there. Got 1 lb. ahi poke with ogo, round and green onion. Each person in my family likes it flavored their own way, so no shoyu, chili pepper, sesame oil, etc.

    May be one of my last meals at home, trying to get back this week. So having lau lau, poi and lomi salmon along with the poke.

    Reply
  • April 27, 2008 at 3:42 am
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    I agree. The poke is amazing and cheap.

    I can do without the freaking 6″ hair in my poke though.

    Reply
  • December 21, 2008 at 10:46 am
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    Help, I just found this site. I have one full day in Hawaii tomorrow. It’s sunday. where do i eat? i have a car. ever place i’m googling is closed sunday.

    where do i eat?!?!?!?!?!

    please email me if you can help.

    thanks,

    david

    los angeles/ new york

    Reply
  • December 21, 2008 at 3:02 pm
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    David, I’m not sure where you’re Googling, but it sounds like Hilo. On Oahu, just about every retail and restaurant business are open on Sunday! Especially right now during the final countdown to Christmas. They’d be insane to be closed. Especially assuming you’ll be staying in Waikiki. Check out The Shack. They’re open from 7am to 4:30am on Sunday. Great breakfast, ono (delicious) burgers and plenty of big HDTVs to watch your favorite sports, all at affordable prices.

    Reply

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