On our last day on the Big Island of Hawaii, we were headed for the airport when it occurred to us that we wouldn’t be getting to Maui until 9:00, and that we should probably eat something before getting onto the plane. A quick search on Yelp led us to Super J’s Authentic Hawaiian Food–a hole in the wall on the side of a relatively deserted road near Kealakekua Bay. Another google search told us that none other than Miss Sunny Anderson of Food Network fame had highlighted this place on an episode of The Best Thing I Ever Ate, and that their claim to fame was their “lau lau.”
So we weren’t all that clear on what lau lau was, but when we pulled up to Super J’s and saw their “Ran out of Lau Lau” sign, we were irrationally disappointed. No Lau Lau? We didn’t really know what it was, but we wanted some. Alas! The tragedy of it all.
We went in anyway and ordered some of their Kalua Pork w/ Cabbage. The place was empty. Apparently everyone else knew to get there before 6, lest they be subjected to the disappointment of a lau lau shortage. But it was great getting to chat with the ladies who own the place, which is pretty much run out of their home. Their hospitality was unmatched by anyone we met in Hawaii, and they really make you feel at home.
We talked about their TV spotlight, family photos, and past vacations while they assembled more lau lau for later in the week. (If I haven’t mentioned it already, lau lau is a traditional Polynesian/Hawaiian dish of pork wrapped in taro leaves and then steamed). We took a couple pictures outside, and the owner Janice called us in for dinner when it was ready. She placed a plate of Kalua Pork and Cabbage on the table.
And then, she went all ninja and pulled out a plate of lau lau from nowhere, flashing us a mischievous grin.
It was really good.
Can you tell?