Friday, December 26, 2014

It's Aloha Friday at Hula Grill Waikiki

Nadine Kam photos
Hula Grill’s new Aloha Friday Luau plate features a mouth-watering sampling of Hawaiian favorites with a twist.

Aloha Friday started in 1962, when the Hawaiian Fashion Guild began to promote the idea of loosening up in the then-starchy workplace by adopting casual Fridays, making aloha shirts acceptable in place of suit and tie.

But the idea transcended fashion to become part of our daily lifestyle. Living every day as if it’s Aloha Friday, the idea of having one special day to celebrate our relaxed, laidback way of life, seemed to be disappearing from popular consciousness.

Non-flash video

Hula Grill Waikiki is bringing back the idea with the launch of its weekly Aloha Friday Luau plate, offering up a taste of the islands with one huge sampler, with a few twists on island favorites, such as kalua pork with a pinch of star anise—I thought it tasted a bit like boiled peanuts—and Maui Gold pineapple dusted with li hing powder.

Also on the plate are laulau (more fish please), Lomi Ho Farm’s tomato with Kahuku sea asparagus, ahi poke with He’eia ogo, juicy housemade pipikaula, haupia-purple sweet potato dessert, poi and furikake-topped rice.

It was a little “clean” for local tastes, which had us clamoring for chili pepper water. But it was sweet chili pepper water rather than the fiery Thai pepper water we were expecting, so just add salt.

As a special treat, emceeing the festive Dec. 19 launch event was Kimo Kahoano, one the musicians who wrote the song, “It’s Aloha Friday.” Kahoano’s son Kamuela also performed.

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