Thursday, November 21, 2013

365 Inspirations—325: Kona Kitchen Restaurant in Seattle Opened by Former Karate Kid II Actor

Mr. Myagi: "Trust the picture." 
Daniel: "How do I know if my picture is the right one?" 
Mr. Myagi: "If it comes from inside you, always right one."

We are creatures of habit, but it's so exciting to step out of our tiny box and enter another realm right in the neighborhood. Perhaps Hawaii is following us around. A few days ago, we flew from the Big Island and landed in the black hole known as Seattle, with sideways wind and pouring rain. I was NOT happy to be back to this and almost got on the next plane back to the land of aloha.

But Aloha decided to pay us a visit instead. I find it a little serendipitous to now have a few days of absolutely no clouds and SUN! Not only that, but we discovered the Kona Kitchen today, only minutes from Greenlake, where we walked this morning.

On a whim, I googled Hawaiian food on my phone and found that there was a restaurant very close to us.

"Let's go!" I said to  my husband.

I wanted to taste the island again. I wanted a little piece of it in my neighborhood.

And there it was. Kona Kitchen in all its glory and it's not a new restaurant at all.

This little place, which serves Kona beer (liquid Aloha, as they call it), musabi (spam sushi), Kalua pork and cabbage with rice and mac salad and many other Hawaiian favorites, has been in Seattle for over 13 years!

On the walls were lots of old Hawaiian memorabilia, a surf board, fake palm trees, old movie posters AND, get this:

The owner, Yuji Okumoto, was a star in Karate Kid II opposite Ralph Macchio. He played the no-mercy Chozen. He even has an action figure of himself still in the box. Originally from LA, Okumoto moved to Seattle because his wife is from this area and they decided to settle down here with their daughter. Okumoto has relatives in Hawaii and has always wanted to open a Hawaiian restaurant.

I found the place to be very Hawaiian and a bit kitschy. Its slight tackiness makes it cool and it's a really mellow place to hang out.

 They serve Kona coffee in various Hawaiian mugs that don't match. It would be great for a party as there is plenty of space and they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and have a full bar. They even do catering.

I had lilikoi juice, Yoon had a Kona beer and we both got the Kalua pork and cabbage plate.We also shared a spam musabi.

The food was great and the prices are very reasonable. We will be back!

Have you ever discovered a new place right in your neighborhood or city that you did not know existed?

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