We spend a few days exploring the scenic Windward Shore, about 45 minutes from Honolulu. Indulging in a Kalua Pig Plate Lunch and fresh-fish marinated Poke; dipping into the deep blue warm ocean and lounging on white sands; and exploring the lightly populated lush coastline. Just click here to see the previous blog post and you'll know what I'm talking about.
We packed up and headed for the big city of Honolulu for our stay on Waikiki Beach, by way of the panoramic Kamehameha Highway. You can pull over anytime for food stops. There are small local restaurants along the way, and a half dozen tempting food trucks. The one that caught my eye is called Holo Holo Truck, parked under a magnificent banyan tree. (In Hawaiian, Holo Holo is the word for vacation, or a leisurely ride.) There were several folding tables and plastic chairs set out for diners.
Click on any photo to see larger.
It was serving what I most wanted to try, Lau Lau. Boy, is this a great place for it. Lau Lau is a Native Hawaiian dish consisting of meat and/or fish wrapped in Taro leaves and slow roasted in a pit of hot rocks.
At Holo Holo Truck, I noticed the Lau Lau was kept hot, wrapped in foil and steaming in a large metal pot. So I would guess that this recipe is not done the below-ground roasting traditional way. But even if this Lau Lau is oven roasted, or steamed on the stove top, it's a delicious version.
It's all about the Taro leaves that flavor the large hunks of pork. Taro leaves are edible like spinach, but with a flavor that's closer to green tea, or a mild black tea.
The pork is fragrant, tender and moist from slow-cooking with this native plant. Since the pork is probably from the shoulder cut, there are some small fatty pockets, but that is extra flavor, or easy enough to scrape off.
The pork was wrapped in a few Taro leaves, so you get a tender leafy layer. When you open the Lau Lau package, you'll notice the meat has a slight green tint from the Taro leaves. Lau Lau has a minimal amount of seasoning, maybe some Hawaiian salt.
And it's a huge package for $5 -- about as massive as the largest burrito you could order. I saved it for our Waikiki hotel stay, and got about 3 meals out of it! Because it's wrapped in moist Taro leaves, the Lau Lau "burrito" micowaved perfectly. It's a lot of meat, so I made sure to have some fresh local fruit, or a side of cool Macaroni Salad, to serve with it.
Holo Holo Truck has a uniquely local menu, way beyond Lau Lau. Just look at the placards to see what I mean.
Holo Holo Truck was a trip. The local who runs it, George Halas, Jr., is quite a colorful, blustery "bruduh" - always ready with a quip and a hearty laugh. He took over the business from his father. So this eatery has been around and it's well known for pork and taro leaf Lau Lau.
After the quick truck meal, we hit the road to Waikiki. Our final stop was at one of the Top Ten rated beaches in the world, breathtaking Waimanalo Beach. And the parking is free.
You enter a large park with many camping sites filled with tents, wide tarps to shade partying locals, and fired-up BBQ grills all around. It's a short trek through a narrow tree line to walk on the warm, powdery white beach sands - that stretch out a large city block wide, to the ocean. The beach is at least 5 miles long, an amazing sight.
We picked a shady spot along the tree line and people watched for a while. I walked around taking video and even had time to dip into the warm ocean. (It's interesting to read the Yelp reviewers, so many whiny people out there - hey, public parks aren't perfect, duh.)
Make sure to check out my latest Hawai'i Travelogue Video of a truck stop for delectable Lau Lau and spectacular Waimanalo Beach. And come back for more Waikiki scenery, eateries, and homemade cheap$kate Hawaiian recipes.
Road to Waikiki & Lau Lau Truck Stop - VIDEO
Play it here, video runs 3 minutes, 30 seconds.
My YouTube video link for viewing or embedding, just click here.
99 thanks to George Halas, Jr, of the Holo Holo Truck.
Holo Holo Truck
47-528 Kamehameha Hwy
Kahaluu, HI 96744
Phone number (808) 230-0062