This is a review that I’ve been working on for a little awhile. I wanted to make sure that I truly captured what I wanted to say because it’s a place that will always be special to me. See, three weeks ago (April 23 to be exact), I got married. When we were discussing our plans, we knew that we wanted to get married in Hawaii. When we decided that we wanted to do traditional luau food for the reception, there was only one option: Haili’s Hawaiian Food.
Haili’s is a family owned restaurant, and my wife has known the family for many years. They recently moved their restaurant to Kaimuki, and they cater events such as ours. Prior to the wedding, I had eaten Hawaiian food before, but never from Haili’s. I was assured, however, that it would be the best that I’ve ever had. And the food for the event? Well, our menu consisted of Chicken Long Rice, Lomi Salmon, Squid Luau, Ahi Poke, Kalua Pork, Sweet Potatoes, Haupia, and of course, Pineapple and Poi.
I decided to start with the chicken long rice, and it was fantastic. A little salty, but still with a great texture and a very nice chicken flavor. A solid way to start the meal. I followed that up with the Lomi Salmon. I had tried to make this once a long time ago, and I can tell you it wasn’t anywhere close. The salmon was finely diced, and mixed in with the tomatoes. The flavors played off each other, balancing the whole thing out. I don’t know how else to describe it other than delicious.
A lot of that night is a blur, but I absolutely remember the food, and so do many of our guests. The pork is still getting rave reviews every time we talk to anyone that went to the wedding. One of my friends was describing a filet mignon and lobster macaroni that he’s planning on for his wedding and finished with “it was almost as good as the pork at your wedding”. My family who is from the great state of Wyoming, and doesn’t have access to that type of food, was blown away, excited that they decided to remove their self-imposed boycott of eating raw fish (well, most of them).