Not to be confused with the chain restaurant Ohana Hawaiian BBQ, this cozy, family-run restaurant located in a strip mall serves "Korean food with a Hawaiian twist." Their menu includes local staples such as BBQ chicken, beef and pork, katsu and noodles.
The restaurant's interior reminds me of small plate lunch joints in Hawaii, with vintage posters and Kim Taylor Reece photographs lining the walls. Also decorating the walls are various write-ups of Ohana BBQ in LA publications. In short, this place is legit in more ways than one.
The kalbi (beef short ribs, $10.95) is nothing short of fantastic. I've eaten my fair share of short ribs in both Hawaii and LA, and these are at the top of my list of favorites. The meat is much thicker than at most resturants (both Korean and Hawaiian) and is incredibly juicy and tender.
Although the local girl in me balks at paying $10.95 for kalbi (and, with a guava juice, around $14 for my whole meal), when I consider the quality of the meat and the wonderful flavor, I gladly put aside my one issue with Ohana BBQ and whip out my Hello Kitty credit card to pay up.
J ordered tonkatsu ($8.95), which is a sliced, breaded pork cutlet served with a tangy and sweet sauce. Ohana BBQ's pork is juicy, and the breading is delightfully crispy. Every bite is a savory mix of tenderness and crunch. Although Ohana BBQ's katsu sauce is thin and I am partial to thicker sauce, it tastes exactly as it should. Yum!
Ohana BBQ also serves shaved ice, but, with their lack of flavor options, you're better off tracking down Get Shaved. You should, however, definitely pair your meal with one of the Hawaiian Sun juices they offer.
After a stressful morning and afternoon, Ohana BBQ was comfort on a plate--completely authentic and better, in fact, than much of the kalbi and katsu I've had in Hawaii. My mouth is watering just remembering it...
Studio City, CA 91604