5 Masonic Street/Geary
hearing at Pig and Whistle
What I just
wrote meant "Hello." As Pavement once sang, "Aloha
means hello/and also goodbye/it's in how you inflect." Hukilau's
menu suggests a third meaning when it says "Aloha Served Here!" Unless
they mean "hello" and "goodbye" are served there.
It might mean "good times" or something. I think it is exclamatory.
all shows you how much I know about Hawaii. I didn't know that SPAM
was a common food on the islands either, until we sat down at
and ordered SPAM Musubi ($2), which is SPAM sushi! Quite a strange
thing. I enjoyed it for the novelty, but doubt I'd order it again.
to SPAM's Web site, SPAM
is "so good...it's gone." That's the slogan. That wasn't
true at our table. We left part of the last hunk uneaten.
had the Hukilau Pupu Platter. Pupus are appetizers. If you want
to say "apps," then maybe you call them "pups." We
chose three items: Tuna Poke, Big Kahuna Sausage, and Pele's Wings.
(Pele is a Hawaiian volcano.) The poke is a big item on the menu,
seemed to be getting it. It's raw tuna tossed in sesame oil and
some other stuff. Very tasty, and a nice pile of it. Pele's Wings weren't
volcanically hot, but had a nice kick. The sausage was fine.
was headed for a solid two- or three-dog rating until the Teriyaki
Short Ribs came out. Not good. I don't know what went
wrong with these,
but I could barely eat them. Judge Turner seemed to feel a little
better about them than I did. The meat tasted off, had little
reminded me of the bad part of a steak, the part you'd leave
untouched. It came
with macaroni salad (not bad) and some sticky rice, as all the
entrees do. Nine bucks for that. Good deal considering the amount
Hukilau also features some wild drinks. I had one, but don't
remember what it was. Liked it though. The venue is kind of festive
there's a nice patio where lots of people were drinking. If I
went back I'd
get the Hamburger Steak, which looked like the most commonly
next to the tuna. It's kind of an open-face burger, with gravy
and grilled onions over the top.
That meant "goodbye."
Wow, am I on a tropical
island? No? I didn't think so -- it's just Geary and Masonic. It has
been ages since I was in Hawaii. 24 years. I was only 12. We dined
on roasted pig, some gray mush, and watched the fire dancers. Hukilau
didn't have these but they did have a band that night that included
We went SCUBA diving
when visiting Hawaii and came across a huge SPAM. Our guide speared
it and we brought it back to shore and
a master prepared
us some fine SPAM rolls with rice and seaweed. Hukilau had a similar
treat. While not as fresh as the SPAM we had in Hawaii, it was just
as tasty. The menu has variety: fish, quesadillas, burgers, chicken,
wings, nachos, chili cheese fries. We tried items such as teriyaki
short ribs ($9), Hukilau chicken/sesame chicken ($7.50), Pele's wings,
poke (ahi), and Big Kahuna sausage (all on a platter for $18).
were the tuna, which was nice, and the SPAM rolls, probably for the
novelty and the value, two big rolls
for 2 bucks. The sausage was okay. The other items could be better
had somewhere else -- say, at a good Chinese restaurant.
They have a
full bar with some fancy tropical drinks if that's what you're interested
in. There is an outdoor area so maybe you want to
grab a cocktail,
some SPAM, and enjoy the view of traffic whizzing by.
Hawaiian cuisine. It's everybody's favorite, isn't it? Sure it is.
And that's why we oozed into Hukilau like a molten lava flow. By the
way, did you know that Jiminy
Cricket's voice was Ukulele
Ike's? Also, "ukulele" means "jumping
flea" in Hawaiian. And I think crickets and fleas are both insects.
So, there you go.
I was all set for poi and Kalua Pig, but they ain't got none of that
at Hukilau. Kind of modern island cuisine I
guess. Kind of modern
Hawaiian BAR cuisine, really. Which is fine. We hit the ground running
with Spam sushi. That's right. Big old wedges of grilled Spam and rice
wrapped in seaweed. Crazy, but not bad, because, hey, it's Spam. And
at two bucks for two big wedges, a cheap meal in itself. I understand
Congress is considering anti-Spam legislation, but I sincerely hope
it doesn't pass, because Spam is good food. SPiced hAM, you know. We
shared the Pupu Platter, with our three choices of Pele's Wings, Tuna
Poke, and Big Kahuna Sausage. Quite frankly, I don't remember the wings...I
think they were quite spicy, teriyaki deals. But not as hot as the
Big Kahuna Sausage, which sent me into fits of shrieking agony. But
again, as I've said before, some people like that kind of thing. The
Tuna Poke, though, was good. If you like sushi, that is. Basically
big chunks of raw tuna tossed with sesame oil, onions, and spicy chili
Good size servings all around there, served in a festive pineapple-shaped
wooden pupu platter. Pupu!
our "main courses" we got the
Teriyaki Short Ribs and Hukilau Chicken. A good short rib is a beautiful
thing, of course, and the Hukilau
Chicken sounded kind of like General Cho's Chicken, so we went for
it. Both were kind of disappointing. The short ribs (which I always
at Korean BBQs) were a little tough and not real flavorful, which
I believe was from under-marination. That is, not being marinated long
So, I don't know...maybe just got a bad batch. The Hukilau Chicken
(sesame chicken) was all right, but not spectacular. Sure wasn't
But, again, both dishes were pretty generous portion-wise and came
with macaroni salad and rice. A definite meat and starch theme going
Which suits me, but you vegematarians may need to look elsewhere.
Oh, and wait, I see here on the menu they have Kalua Cabbage, which
Hawaiian style roast pork stir fried with cabbage. Why didn't I get
yeah, kind of unusual chow there, and of course we all love a Tiki
Hut and a tropical cocktail with an umbrella in it, so ooze
on in there some time.