‘Ōlena by Chef Ron Simon – Kalihi, HI

Honolulu Aunty told me about ‘Ōlena by Chef Ron Simon a few months ago when I posted about banh mi. Well, I finally got a chance to order from them this past week along with some office folks! Sad to share that they are closing down on December 24th but are looking for a new location so I am sending good vibes their way. I am not sure the name of the lady in the front but boy is she friendly and vivacious. That’s the best way to describe her, what a difference awesome customer service makes. Well if you can order before they close, do it! They have an online ordering system that makes it super easy to order, pay and pick-up! Also, they are super busy so that’s probably the best way to get your food.

BBQ Pork Ribs | $16.99
slow-braised tender, pork ribs with lilikoi BBQ sauce. served with choice of white or brown rice and fresh pineapple coleslaw.

Two office mates ordered this dish and both enjoyed it! I like that you can really customize the sides. Not sure what Olena rice is but that’s $2.00 extra. No one ordered Olena rice so I couldn’t tell you!

Red Wine Beef Stew | $14.99
gluten-free braised beef stew with choice of white rice or brown rice or local greens

Feedback on this dish? They felt like the stew could have been braised longer and the sauce/stew could have been reduced more. I can see what they mean…doesn’t look as thick and it could be huh?

Blackened Ahi Sandwich | $16.99
Regular Fries Add | $4.50
served with sweet aioli

Feedback on this was…the ahi is cooked perfectly. Nice and pink inside. Do I think it’s worth $4.50 to add fries? Personally no, but if you are able to eat it fresh…it’s nice and crispy! Not so good cold.

Chicken Lemongrass Banh Mi (Sandwich) | $13.99
Add Fries | $4.75

Whoa whoa whoa, how come the fries cost more to add to a banh mi plate? Hmm…

Chicken Lemongrass Banh Mi (Sandwich) | $13.99
Extra Cilantro | $0.25

Okay, this was mine! I got my sandwich without the fries and added more cilantro because I freaking love cilantro. So how was it? Good! I think it’s a great lemongrass chicken banh mi and I like that the lemongrass isn’t overpowering!

Spicy Ahi Roll | $16.99

A co-worker was nice enough to order this to share with us! I got to try a piece. How was it? Eh, it was good. I guess I prefer my spicy ahi rolls fresh and not fried.

Organic Beets with Caramelized Onions | $3.00

Another dish I got to try. How was it? Ehh, okay. I didn’t taste that much of a caramelized onion taste. Tomatoes are a nice addition, I can just eat my Costco beets though.

Soba Noodle Salad | $10.99

I got this dish to eat for dinner. Okay, I don’t know why I always fall for this. Me being a carb queen assume it’s like a full soba noodle bowl but it’s actually a layer of soba noodles and the rest is spring salad mix. That’s okay and that’s better for me. I love the toppings on this. There was gari (red ginger), ocean salad, egg omelet, kamaboko, julienned carrots and of course green onion. I like their dressing too! I would get it again.

Seared Ahi | $8.99

I got this seared ahi to share and to supplement my sandwich. It was good, the ahi was seared perfectly. Wish the outer layer had flavor, also wish the sauce wasn’t just wasabi with soy. I guess I am too spoiled by Ethel’s and their amazing ahi tataki sauce.

All in all, it was a good visit! I would absolutely return back to try their food again! Hoping they find a new spot so that we all can try. They update their instagram regularly so check them out. Support local!