Dining in Hawaii can be an exotic vacation for your taste buds. Some of the best meals that Andy and I have ever had, have been in Hawaii.
With food that’s so good, Hawaii is bound to have some unique ways to describe delicious cuisine. Those descriptions may seem like a foreign language and to some extent they are. You may hear them spoken, see them on a sign, or read them in a review. I wanted to provide you with this list of words and phrases describing tasty food in Hawaii so that you’ll be in the know.
‘Ono – The word ‘ono with the okina means delicious in the Hawaiian language. ‘Ono is not to be confused with ono without the okina which refers to type of fish from Hawaii that’s also known as a mackerel and wahoo. ‘Ono is pronounced like “oh-no”.
Onolicious – This slang word is a variation of ‘ono combined with the word delicious.
Broke the mouth – This slang phrase is my favorite. When food tastes so good that it broke the mouth, that’s got to be some darn good food, right? I liken that phrase to a common Southern saying, “Tastes so good it will make your tongue slap your brains out.”
Grinds – This word also refers to good food and you might see it spelled like grindz . I consulted with my Hawaii friend, Nathan Kam, who gave me this example and context of how grinds might be used:
"Hey Sheila, that chicken katsu was grinds, yeah?"
"My grandma’s cooking is always grinds."
Mahalo to Nathan Kam who contributed to this post. Nathan is a Hawaii Travel/Tourism PR guy talking story about living, working, and playing in paradise. He blogs about life in the islands as he and his family lives and enjoys it at Kam Family Blog.
Can you think of another way good food is described in Hawaii? If you’ve been to Hawaii, please tell me what you think is the most ‘ono food you tried.