I’ve been trying to get in a couple of times (both lunch and dinner) with no luck. Yesterday, I found parking on the street and decided to go for it. I first had to check if I had enough cash in the pocket (cash only).
Besides being locally famous, the restaurant (or is it founding owner?) won a James Beard award and has also been featured on the Man v. Food TV program.
I ordered “Menu B“, combo because it had the two choices I really wanted to try at Helena’s
Part of the process of making the PipikaulaShort Ribs is to hang the meat.
The combination plate also comes with poi or rice and a cube of haupia, I opted for the large poi.
The raw onions gives the meal the vegetable component.
I added on an order of Laulau because I wanted to sample more (who knows when I could be back).
Oh yeah, had to order fruit punch. Nothing else goes with Hawaiian food than fruit punch (non-alcoholic anyway). I think fruit punch and Hawaiian food are linked by DNA or something (hee hee).
The Laulau was very moist with lots of luau leaves. For my taste, it needed just a pinch of Hawaiian salt (in the little dish in the background).
The Kalua Pig was nothing I’ve tasted before, moist, well seasoned, rich, and earthy. I guess that’s the result of making it in an imu instead of an oven.
The Pipikaula Short Ribs (hang on, I’m getting a little verklempt), OMG! The angels started rocking out (the socks didn’t just come off, they disappeared entirely). These ribs are like the holy grail of meat. Forget about the filet mignon, New York steak, and prime rib, for my money, it’s Helena’s Pipikaula Short Ribs. Crusty and salty with an intense beefy taste. Imagine a whole bowl of ribs, a good book, Kindle, or Nook, or movie; pure bliss. How good were they?
Apparently the staff at the restaurant pegged me as a local. There were several tables around me where the server would explain what each dish was and how to eat it (the raw onions for instance). For me, the server gave me a smile, served the food, and left me alone. I guess it was the large poi.
Looking forward to coming back soon.