As the temperatures spike here in Los Angeles, it is beginning to remind me even more of the fun adventure I recently had in the Hawaiian Islands.
Though it is considerably less humid here.
While still on Oahu, we spent a long, beautiful morning at Hanauma Bay, a former volcanic crater which had been fillled with sea water over the years. After hours of snorkeling among the shallow reefs, and before heading to North Shore, we decided to stop and have something to eat to recover from our morning outing.
Above Hanauma Bay, near the standard gift shop, is a snack bar. This isn't a place that I would normally point out as a place to stop unless you're already at the bay for snorkeling, as there are plenty of other places on Oahu to visit for a sandwich. But if you're already here, I would have to recommend you stop for the Kalua Pork sandwich with a side salad.
Kalua is a traditional way of cooking in Hawaii in which you end up roasting in an imu, an underground oven. More than likely, the roast pork in this sandwich was not cooked in an underground oven and is probably Kalua in name only, but we won't judge it on that.
Besides the layer of pulled barbecue pork, the sandwich also had sliced tomatoes and spinach between two lightly toasted slices of white bread.
The pulled pork was decent, but not too heavily flavored. It actually felt like it was almost hidden from the flavors of the tomatoes and spinach, which don't have much flavor by themselves for the most part anyway. It worked at the time because the sandwich had a light taste which may have been more enjoyable due to the temperature outside of the time, but in the end was not a standout sandwich in the least.
I had lots of Kalua pork in the islands, most notable at an amazing luau, and this would have to be the least flavorful and enjoyable of the bunch.
That being said, when not compared to standout Hawaiian pulled pork, this was still a decent pulled pork sandwich.
I've had a few people ask me if I had any Spam sandwiches in Hawaii, and I must admit now that i did not. The Waikiki Spam Jam was held this past weekend, a whole week after I had already left Oahu. But while most people know of Hawaiians' affinity for that processed meat in a can, I would like to help further promote the deliciousness of their pulled pork.
Anytime you can try it, I highly suggest it.
Until next week...