‘Ono’ saimin helps fight shrinking buck

KAPA‘A — Ono Family Restaurant owner Kenny Ishii may have the answer to the rapidly shrinking dollar.

“We opened Wednesday night, and it was a success,” Ishii said while peering out from under a sign announcing his new operation. “Coach Gary (Maguire) brought his entire Kapa‘a girls volleyball team here.”

In an answer to filling both local palates and keeping prices to a reasonable level, Ono Family, normally serving breakfast and lunch, started saimin service from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

A special menu lists prices $10 and under, and is centered around saimin, a local favorite, in both small and large sizes.

“Our only problem is getting local noodles,” Ishii said. “Right now, we’re shipping in noodles from O‘ahu, but if we can find a local vendor, we’d be interested.”

Adding to the core of saimin offerings, Ishii said there are won ton min, a tempura plate, hamburgers, and assorted pupu plates of shioyaki, or salted salmon, teri salmon, BBQ sticks in choice of either beef or chicken, crispy gau gee, or a unique Ono Noodle Ball.

Ishii said he started service Wednesday night and will be keeping an eye on traffic and gauge customer reaction to the eatery’s offering of $10 meals.

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