Thanks to the Honolulu on the Cheap blog, I decided to check out the "I Love Liliha" festival, especially since I drive past the area every day on my way to work. Every rubber slipper wearing kama'aina is aware of Liliha Bakery, home of the cream puff, (photo courtesy of the Liliha bakery website), but Liliha is going through a revitalization process and the citizens are proud to showcase their community and give back to the residents.
The festival this year was moved to Kuakini Street between the corner of Kuakini and Liliha to the end of the Liliha Bakery parking lot. What I really liked was the fact that the committee chose the vendors with the whole community in mind. There was a jumping castle, craft stations for kids and a climbing wall, but there also was a health tent behind Longs that offered free testing for kupuna. I saw a lot of people taking advantage of the Lion Club's retina van for eye screening, the free flu shots outside of Longs and the diabetes booth with free blood pressure testing.
I appreciate those things, but I really went to check out the food booths and ended up at the booth with the longest line: the Hula Shrimp Company. For $10 each I got two combination plates (seared garlic ahi, Kahuku shrimp, grilled steak and guava chicken). Each plate came with hapa rice and a choice of Nalo greens or potato salad. The wait was a little long, and the portions are more Blane's drive inn mini plate size, but nobody balked at the prices, so it must be reasonable for Honolulu. It looks great and smells wonderful. I wish I could talk about what it tastes like, but I'm waiting for my son's lunch break from the hospital, so the pics will have to speak for themselves.
This is an annual event, so if you missed it this year, plan on stopping by next year.