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Home of the One Pound LauLau

Kuhio Grille​

Our Story

In the early 1900s, Genji Araki, along with other Japanese nationals, immigrated to Hawaii to work in the sugar plantations. After finishing his contract, Genji settled in Waipi’o Valley and began to farm taro. Upon his retirement, Genji’s first son, Tetsuo, took over the farm and started selling the taro leaves in addition to the taro root. Tetsuo retired from farming in 1982, and his two sons, Sam and Derrick, continued the family farm, selling the taro leaves to local businesses.

Tetsuo’s wife, Sueno, started making laulaus with their taro leaves for family and friends. As the story is told, “Grandma would sit at the kitchen table wrapping laulaus after breakfast, then steam the laulaus in the garage on her gas stove for hours, and we would have fresh laulaus for dinner.” As more people tasted these huge delicious laulaus, orders started coming in, and a business was born.

In 1995, Kuhio Grille, “Home of the 1 lb. Laulau,” was established by Sam and Nelline Araki at its original location in the Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo. In 2020, they moved to their new location at 80 Pauahi Street, touting a beautiful view of Mauna Kea and Hilo Bayfront from its lanai seating. Using Grandma’s recipe, all of the one-pounders are wrapped and steamed in the restaurant’s kitchen. These delicious laulaus have garnered numerous awards for Kuhio Grille and are especially featured in the “KANAK ATAK” plate – a one-pound laulau, kalua pig, lomi salmon, pickled onions, poi, and rice. Along with the laulaus, Kuhio Grille has also developed the original FRIED RICE LOCO – a mound of their freshly made to order fried rice, a juicy hamburger patty, and an egg topped with their homemade brown gravy. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the restaurant offers daily specials, local-style lunch plates, and homemade desserts.

Throughout the years, Kuhio Grille has been featured on the Food Network’s “Delicious Destinations” and opened their first Honolulu (Kaimuki) branch on Waialae Avenue in 2019 for a 3 year pop-up location.

Kuhio Grille is a strong supporter of local products. Due to their farm-based background, they know the importance of using fresh products.

Come and experience our fresh laulaus, ono lunch plates, homestyle desserts, and friendly service for yourself.

(Note: “ono” means delicious in Hawaiian)

Araki Farm in Waipi’o Valley



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