Helena’s Hawaiian Food is one of Oahu’s most respected institutions. First opened in 1946 by Helen Chock, the restaurant won the James Beard Foundation Regional Classic Award in 2000 for its simple menu of traditional island offerings.
Helena’s is a popular Kalihi neighborhood destination for its kalua pig (cooked in an underground pit oven called an imu) and its haupia (coconut milk-based pudding dessert), both sold by the pound. The restaurant is most famous, however, for its pipikaula short ribs. Chock’s grandson, Craig Katsuyoshi, who now runs day to day operations at Helena’s, prepares the beef in the same way it’s been for decades, by hanging each rib to dry above the stove on a series of metal nails. Watch as Dining on a Dime host Lucas Peterson learns more about the history of this restaurant — before sampling some of its legendary food.