In the early 1900’s 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. 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 homestyle hamburger patty, and an egg topped with their homemade brown gravy. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner the restaurant offers daily specials, vegetable stir-frys, local-style lunch plates, and fresh desserts made daily.
Thought the years Kuhio Grille has been featured numerous times on the Food Network and opened their first Honolulu branch on Waialae Ave in 2019.
Kuhio Grille is a strong supporter of local products. Due to their farm based background they know the importance of using fresh products. The restaurant is one of the original participants in the annual Taste of the Range event held every fall in Kona at the Waikoloa Resort. Taste of the Range features, and promotes, locally-grown meat and vegetables.
Come and experience our fresh laulaus, ono lunch plates, homestyle desserts, and friendly service for yourself!