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February 9, 2016

Pounders at Hukilau Marketplace Revisited

Named after popular Pounders Beach, which was once the site of a dock to offload passengers, including royalty, Pounders restaurant at Hukilau Marketplace is a welcome addition to the Laie area.

Having opened just last year, Pounders has already gone through some changes - new chef, new menu, and although we had an overall good dining experience during our first visit last year, we were excited to give Pounders a second try.

Dragon Eye Crab Cakes
The Dragon Eye Crab Cakes were absolutely delicious.  Full of crab meat and crispy on the outside, the crab cakes were topped with a fantastic lilikoi-cilantro aioli.
Pounder's Fresh Poke
We also ordered the Pounder's Fresh Poke - a generous serving of poke that could be a meal in itself.
Hukilau Sandwich
I opted for the Hukilau Sandwich for my dinner entree.  The enormous sandwich consisted of battered, golden-fried locally-caught Mahi Mahi.  It was really tasty, and I loved the seasoned fries that accompanied it!

Fried Opakapaka with Sweet Chili Sauce
Blanched Vegetables and Rice
The catch of the night was Opakapaka, which my husband ordered fried with a sweet chili sauce. When our server brought the Opakapaka to our table, we were so taken aback by how huge it was! One of my son's even asked "Is that a shark?"

The rice and veggies that accompanies the fish were brought out on a separate plate, and this single meal could easily have fed our family of five.

The sweet chili sauce gave the fish a very nice flavor, and needless to say, there were a lot of leftovers (which had to be put in a pizza box since a regular takeout box was too small!).
Kids Little Buddy's Cheese Burger with Ulu Mashed Potatoes
Kids meals are a few dollars cheaper now - they still come with a drink, but no longer come with dessert.

One of my sons ordered the Little Buddy's Cheese Burger, and he asked for Ulu Mashed Potatoes (my son really loves mashed potatoes!) even though it wasn't listed as a side with the burger, but our server said it was no problem to substitute.

My other two sons ordered the Build Your Own Pizza, and they literally built their own pizza!


They got to roll out the dough, spread on the sauce, add cheese and other ingredients, and watch their pizzas get placed in the kiawe-wood-burning brick oven.




Kids Build-Your-Own Pizza - Cheese & Pepperoni

Kids Build-Your-Own Pizza - Cheese, Pepperoni, Olives, Pineapple, Onions

There are just two desserts on the menu, and the one we wanted (Red Velvet Chocolate Molten Lava Cake) was not available, so we opted to get desserts from the display case.

We picked a Dream Cake (from Ted's Bakery) and a Guava Cheesecake.
Dream Cake
Guava Cheesecake
I only ate the Guava Cheesecake, and it was so good!  It was creamy and dense, with a hint of guava.

Our server was very friendly - in fact everyone at the restaurant who assisted, including the employee who helped with the pizzas, and another who gave us our desserts - were all so nice! As the night went on the service did seem to slow down a bit because it got busier, but overall our experience was a lot better than our first visit, especially in terms of the food.

I would have liked to have seen some chicken options on the dinner menu, but the new menu offers a nice variety of beef, pork, and seafood dishes, as well as a vegetarian dish!

And I would gladly return just for the build-your-own-pizza option for the kids. That was definitely a highlight of the meal!

Pounders offers plenty of seating indoors in air-conditioned comfort or outdoors on the open lanai, and you will surely be served with aloha!


Pounders
Hukilau Marketplace
55-370 Kamehameha Hwy
Laie, HI 96762
(808) 293-3287

Thank you to Pounders for the complimentary meals.  Gratuity was paid on our own.

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