Ono Empanadas successfully blends two cultures together with its tasty meat pie creations. Ono means delicious in Hawaiian, while empanada is a popular treat found in Latin America.
And with each savory bite, Ono Empanadas takes you all the way to Argentina. We discovered this gem in the sea of people and vendors at the Kakaako Night Market. I wanted to try something different, or at least something I couldn’t just grab at a food court or drive-thru. Their cheese and sundried tomato special seemed to be the deciding factor.
We braved the long line on Keawe Street and watched customers ahead of us walk away with tantalizingly flaky empanada treats. I couldn’t wait to try my very first authentic empanada. As my sister put it, the only empanada I’ve ever had was the kind at Taco Bell, sadly. The couple running the booth worked hard to satisfy customers; one on the register and another frying up a storm to meet the high demand.
While the menu was a bit limited – just beef, chicken or cheese and sundried tomato empanadas, the prices were very welcoming. I willingly paid $4 for dinner, as opposed to $10 for a plate lunch next door. Very filling and very delicious, or, as they’d say in Hawaii, super ono!!!
Because the business is still pretty small-time, they don’t have an actual shop. But they do offer a free delivery service to Laie or delivery with a small fee to Kahuku and Hauula. So if you’re cruising on a North Shore beach and feel that pang of hunger hit, consider Ono Empanadas. To order, you can call or text. It’s $4 for one or $40 for a dozen.
• www.onoempanadas.com • 480-236-7221