HONOLULU (KHON2) — From the creators of Chef’s Table, the hit series Street Food: USA premiered on Netflix on Tuesday. Viewers can get a taste of the best bites from American streets and discover the heart and soul of the people behind the food. This is the third go-round for the show, which previously covered Asia and Latin America.
This time, the cameras turn to a half-dozen U.S. cities, starting with Los Angeles. They also explore dishes in Portland, New York City, New Orleans, Miami and the place where you can find the freshest poke and best lunch trucks — Oahu, Hawaii.
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Local radio/TV personality Lanai Tabura co-hosted Episode 5 which explores Hawaii’s food culture.
“Hawaii is such a unique place. It’s the most secluded place in the world when you look at it on a map,” Tabura said on the show. “You know, everyone thinks of Hawaii as this great place for sunsets and beaches and surfing and hula — and Hawaii is all of that — but to really understand our culture, you gotta try the food.”
Tabura explained that Hawaii’s food has generations and generations of culture and history.
Below are scenes from Oahu’s episode in Street Food: USA.
“Traditional Hawaiian food has always been simple: fish and poi. And then when these different ethnicities came to work on the sugar plantations, the Chinese, the Japanese, Koreans, Filipinos, Portuguese, and they gave us different ingredients, and that really changed the landscape of the menu in Hawaii,” he said.
Tabura told KHON2 that it was an amazing experience for him, and that it was nice to showcase Kapena and his daughter Kiani, as well as her best friend Ku’u, dancing hula on the show.
“It was awesome to share Hawaii’s culture through our food,” said Tabura. “I am getting so many messages from all over the world from people who are homesick to people excited to visit Hawaii.”
Some of Hawaii’s iconic dishes were introduced early in the episode, including spam musubi, shave ice, haupia pie, kalua pig, lomi lomi salmon, and of course, plate lunches.
“And if you look at the plate lunch, it really is what we eat as Hawaiians,” Tabura said on the show. “A good plate lunch has to have two scoops rice, pork, fish, chicken or beef, and really good mac salad.”
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Tabura always tells people to find a local — they’ll take you to the right places to eat.