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The other day, my boyfriend and I were on a lunch mission – something good, cheap and quick to take back to the beach near my house (yes, I’m spoiled). We were driving down the main road in Waimanalo when we saw a big, yellow lunch wagon painted with tropical flowers advertising, “Ono Steak and Shrimp.”
Ono Steaks & Shrimp Wagon parked in front of the beautiful Koolau mountains.
We pulled over, assuming it was like the Kahuku shrimp trucks you see all over the North Shore. Boy, were we wrong. Not only does this lunch wagon offer an array of steak and shrimp plates, but a huge selection of delicious local lunches – fresh garlic ahi, smoked meat, fish tacos with mango salsa, fresh ahi poke bowls and a kalua pork sandwich, just to name a few. They have a daily fish special, and on this day, it was mako shark cooked in garlic butter and capers!
They even serve breakfast throughout the day. Try a fried rice or a steak and garlic shrimp omelette, or if you’re really hungry, a hearty local staple – the loco moco. Wash it all down with a Waialua soda or a canned passion fruit drink. Excuse me for a minute while I wipe the drool from my face; just writing about this makes me hungry!
I spoke with Ono Steaks and Shrimp’s friendly owner, Keoki, who has been running the lunch wagon for about three years with his wife, Corrie. They pride themselves on their fresh, delicious food. Keoki goes to the auction block every morning to handpick the freshest fish he cooks in the lunch wagon’s 29 ft. by 9 ft. kitchen-on-wheels. Ninety percent of the food is made to order, while the other 10 percent is cooked in a commercial kitchen down the road. The lunch wagon (and other kitchen) is located on Hawaiian Homestead property, making this a 100-percent-owned-and-operated Native Hawaiian business.
Mouth-watering plates of fresh seafood make this wagon a favorite in Waimanalo.
Did I mention that this lunch wagon is located just steps from one of Oahu’s most beautiful beaches? Waimanalo Beach Park is right across the street and Makapuu is just a 5-minute car ride away. The view of the park and ocean was so nice that we decided to stay in the shaded dining area adjacent to the lunch wagon.
After a delicious meal of fresh furikake ahi with wasabi aioli (adds a pungent heated taste), coconut shrimp and fresh fish tacos (all less than $20!), it is safe to say that I will be back. Ono Steaks and Shrimp is indeed a little yellow gem in the heart of Waimanalo, loved by locals and visitors alike. I hope you are able to try it while you’re on your Hawaii vacation to truly get a taste of Aloha.
ONO STEAKS AND SHRIMP • Located across from Waimanalo Beach Park, Oahu • Wed-Sun (10am-5pm); Mon & Tues (Closed) • 808-688-4117 • “LIKE” them on Facebook at Ono Steaks’ • Parking available; Near bus route • $3-12