In The Hawaiian Language, pono is defined as:
pono. 1. Goodness, morality, moral qualities, correct or proper procedure, excellence, well being, prosperity, welfare, duty; moral fitting, proper, right, just, fair, successful; should, ought,¬†must, necessary.
Pono Hawaiian Grill is a traditional Hawaiian eatery bringing you the freshest, most creative and most ‘ono Hawaiian mixed plate here on the mainland. We also have Santa Cruz’s first and only “Traditional Hawaiian” Poke Bar, serving over 20 different types of poke all made to order! ¬†A must try!
Pono also provides a truly Hawaiian atmosphere, one that brings together Hawaii’s deep and diverse melting pot of cultures, languages, dance (hula), mele (music) and especially…. ¬†“aloha spirit!”
What does “Pono” mean? It is a way of life. Pono ¬†means to live with good morality, or living a life in overall goodness. Pono is a way to live that shares good values and respect, not only in our personal and community¬†relationships with one another, but also in being good stewards of, the ‘Aina (land),¬†Kai (ocean) and Honua (earth.)
Pono also means the way things “should” be…living and striving forward with this way of thinking can only enrich our lives and make the world a better place, here and now, and for future generations of our Keiki (children).
What is Hawaiian “Plate Lunch” or “Mixed Plate”? In the late 1800’s sugar cane production became the new industry of the islands. With the growing demand of sugar cane production throughout the islands, immigrants were brought in from around the globe to work the countless span of fields. From China, Japan, Korea, Portugal, Philippines and beyond they came to our islands and with them they brought their own cuisine and ate amongst the others day by day in the hot Hawaiian sun.
With Hawaiian “Pidgin” becoming the common language in the islands so that all of these cultures could find a way to communicate with each other, food also took on a transformation. Sharing of each others food, partaking in “Paina’s” or “party’s” where food was shared amongst all attending, “Plate Lunch” or “Mixed Plate” was born in the islands..! Kalua Pork and Poke from the Hawaiians, Kal-Bi ribs from the Koreans, Adobo from the Phillipinio’s, Teriyaki beef and chicken from the Japanese, Manapua or “Bao” from the Chinese etc…All coming together to create this now modern day part of todays “Hawaiian Island Food Cutlure!”
I am Braddah Timmy, proprietor and chef at Pono Hawaiian Grill & Poke Bar. I’m a local boy from the island of Maui. With over 25 years in the restaurant hospitality industry, I’m bringing the culinary recipes of my years of experience cooking as well as those of my ‘ohana’s and my ancestors to Santa Cruz. These recipes reflect the many influences I’ve had throughout my life in Hawai’i from Mom, Dad, Tutus, Aunties, Uncles, friends.¬†As well as some from the many amazing Mom’ n Pop restaurants and other eateries across the island of Maui and all the other islands back home.¬†This is a piece of *me*…I love to eat good food. That is my passion for Pono and what i’ve brought to Santa Cruz…sharing the food that i grew up eating with the ¬†Aloha Spirit, and in a Pono way…
My menu is not an average plate lunch menu. I’ve created a healthier and more creative Hawaiian style menu that brings together your island favorites and so much more! ¬†Come on down and bring the whole ‘Ohana (family) We welcome you! E Komo Mai!
Mahalo, Aloha & Live Pono!