by Deborah Im
Hidden away on the fifth floor of a small nondescript building a block from Akasaka Sacas is a tiny gem of a restaurant that serves up smoky, tender Hawaiian kalua pork and award-winning tuna poke, among other Hawaiian classics. A popular meeting place for Hawaiian expats, not only does Ogo serve authentic-tasting Hawaiian food, but its ambience and laid back attitude transports diners from Tokyo to Hawaii as soon as they step through the curtain in the doorway into the tiny hole-in-the-wall with a giant blown up can of Spam in the windowsill. Each table has a bottle of Ogo’s own Hawaiian hot sauce, a savory, vinegary hot sauce that perfectly accents and spices up the perfectly executed Hawaiian favorites.
‘Ogo transports diners from Tokyo to Hawaii as soon asathey step through the curtain in the doorway…’
Lunch at Ogo is an especially good deal. Diners are offered a choice between kalua pork, tuna poke, loco moco or a daily special, with a choice between small, regular or large-sized servings. There are also combination platters so that diners can try two or three of the offerings—all for less than ¥1,200. The combination platters also include a serving of Ogo’s addictive macaroni salad, and a dessert and coffee set can be added to any lunch for just ¥100 extra.
Traditionally, kalua pig is cooked whole in an imu, an underground oven utilizing hot volcanic rocks and banana leaves. The pig is left to steam all day in the imu, and when it is unearthed the meat is imbued with a wonderful smoky flavor, leaving it tender from its own juices. The kalua pork at Ogo is so juicy and flavorful with real smoke flavor that it leaves you wondering if the owners actually managed to find an earth spit somewhere in this concrete city.
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