Henry Loui’s…A Local Treat…A Tasty Experience
Ask any of the patrons of Henry Loui’s to describe the cuisine and you would sense a pause for a moment as they thought about the answer and then their response would be something like…“International, Local, Pacific Rim, Italian… we really can’t say.” That’s not to say that the food at this popular Mapunapuna restaurant and bar is a mish-mash of choices but rather that it has a wide array of meals and appetizers which has mass appeal, especially to the taste buds of locals.
The restaurant was original owned decades ago by Henry Loui, a renown local chef and restaurateur. In 1993 when Henry Loui passed away, Anson Kaneshiro and Ron Lokar jumped at the chance to buy the restaurant. Ron, who was a regular customer for years, remembers how his involvement came about. ‘Anson, who worked at Henry Loui’s told me one day that the bar had been sold. I was disappointed at the time and remember telling Anson ‘Gee, too bad, I always wanted to own that place’.” Well, fortune smiled on them as they got their opportunity soon after and since then, Anson and Ron, have made Henry Loui’s a popular restaurant offering exceptional food and memorable experiences.
Their chef, Chef Ronie, learned his trade working at some of the cities best restaurants like Andrew’s and the Honolulu Country Club. Although Chef Ronie still follows several of Henry Loui’s best loved recipes, he has added his own style and flavor to the mix creating a unique fare befitting some of the best restaurants anywhere in Hawaii.
The owners, Anson and Ron, who are passionate about their food, work with the chef on suggestions that keep the customers coming back for more. “We come up with the ideas and pass them on to Ronie who then makes them ‘ono-licious’.” The result is an ever changing menu that regulars can’t get enough of and one that’s a real surprise to those who stop by the bar expecting just a few pupu’s and beer.
The proud owners have their own personal comment about the restaurant. Ron Lokar describes the place as…. “We have a Cheer’s like atmosphere where people come to relax, eat a great meal, have a few drinks and stay for the night.” Anson Kaneshiro adds, “although our restaurant serves food that does us proud, it’s the ribs, the ‘Best Suckin’ Ribs in Hawaii’ that is the big draw for customers old and new. There have been many stories about our ribs and many claim they truly are the best in Honolulu.”
“We go through about 180 lbs. or more each week,” says chef Ronie, to give you an idea of how popular the fall off-the-bone meat really is. The secret? Well, as is the tradition of all great restaurants, Henry Loui’s isn’t telling. Ronie says the secret is in the sauce, which is “a cross between an Asian and Texas base.” The base is more shoyu influenced and there’s a gratifying lack of the sugary sweetness that sometime comes from over use of tomato sauce. They’re sweet for sure, but there’s definitely a hint of something more- and they truly do fall off the bone. Order them with a plate of potatoes or rice and veggies, it’s a huge portion to get through on your own- but there are always customers willing to try.
Daily specials include some of the chef’s favorite dishes, and the regular menu includes soup, salads (one with a killer blue cheese dressing) and entrée’s that feature local favorites such as a Hawaiian Plate, Teriyaki Chicken, Prime Rib, seafood selections and of couse, the famous ‘Best Suckin’ Ribs.
Henry Loui’s Restaurant is split into two sections. One side is a local (sports) bar and on the other side, the restaurant section, you will find comfortable tables and booths…but don’t be fooled, you can order meals or drinks no matter where you sit in Henry Loui’s, plus…for those who can’t stay but don’t want to pass up the tasty delights, take out is a great alterative.
An extensive pupu menu is available which features poke, sashimi, oysters, fried saimin, and dozens of hot entrees. The local lunch crowd in Mapunapuna and a host of nighttime regulars already know the the value of the food and the friendship they find at Henry Loui’s, but for those who’ve never been, Ron describes their place. “We’re a friendly place - where everybody does know everyone else.”
And here where debate about the ribs is always a topic of conversation, Anson says, “If you want to see if they are the best suckin’ ribs in Hawaii? Check us out and see for yourself why people are raving about our ribs…and our restaurant.”