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Best of 2000: Best Place For Hawaiian Food

Da Kine's Plate Lunches
4120 Mission Boulevard, Pacific Beach
(858) 274-8494
1635 Sweetwater Road, Suite H, National City
(619) 477-8494

For a real Kalua pig, you have to cook it imu style -- in the ground. Half an hour a pound. You need to split open banana-tree stumps and put them in the hole with leaves of the ti-tree so their liquids all provide steam. And you need wood from the Kiawe tree to give flavor, as well as natural Hawaiian rock salt and porous rocks that won't explode in the heat. On the other hand, you could just go to Da Kine's. This is the Hawaiian place that Nelson and Belen Ishii started in Pacific Beach and then National City to cater to San Diego's Hawaiian community. Any time of day, they're crowded with homesick Hawaiians who crave the taste of Kalua pig, Portuguese sausage and eggs, or a traditional plate of mahi mahi grilled over an open fire with lemon and green onions. "This food is exactly what we'd eat back home," says Marie, who works behind the counter, "except back there, everybody would be eating outside." Marie says things are relaxed like at home too. Sundays, the daily special is Lau-Lau with poi -- pork with fish wrapped in taro leaves and slow-roasted in the oven. Saturday, it's a surprise. The menu says, "I'll figgah it out wen I get up, okay?"

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Da Kine's Plate Lunches
4120 Mission Boulevard, Pacific Beach
(858) 274-8494
1635 Sweetwater Road, Suite H, National City
(619) 477-8494

For a real Kalua pig, you have to cook it imu style -- in the ground. Half an hour a pound. You need to split open banana-tree stumps and put them in the hole with leaves of the ti-tree so their liquids all provide steam. And you need wood from the Kiawe tree to give flavor, as well as natural Hawaiian rock salt and porous rocks that won't explode in the heat. On the other hand, you could just go to Da Kine's. This is the Hawaiian place that Nelson and Belen Ishii started in Pacific Beach and then National City to cater to San Diego's Hawaiian community. Any time of day, they're crowded with homesick Hawaiians who crave the taste of Kalua pig, Portuguese sausage and eggs, or a traditional plate of mahi mahi grilled over an open fire with lemon and green onions. "This food is exactly what we'd eat back home," says Marie, who works behind the counter, "except back there, everybody would be eating outside." Marie says things are relaxed like at home too. Sundays, the daily special is Lau-Lau with poi -- pork with fish wrapped in taro leaves and slow-roasted in the oven. Saturday, it's a surprise. The menu says, "I'll figgah it out wen I get up, okay?"

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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