Superbly positioned directly across from Shark’s Cove, North Shore O’ahu’s popular snorkel and scuba spot, Pupukea Grill is the post water-sport hunger fix that’s worth the wait.
A cross between a local fish shack, Mexican cafe and health bistro, Pupukea Grill serves up a variety of freshly prepared meals ranging from Ahi bowls, to tacos, to well-dressed paninis.
Priced at roughly $9 a meal (steep for a takeout but still slightly less than your average shrimp shack plate), you do get what you pay for. Although the food preparation takes anything from 5 to 20 minutes, there are benches, magazines and a beautiful ocean view to tide you over; by the time your plate arrives you will be happily relaxed into the North Shore vibe.
The meals are all well balanced, offering a choice of sides and complimentary sauces. The sandwiches come with one of two salads: fresh greens and cherry tomatoes or a macaroni potato mix. These are paired with the latest fad - French-fry health alternative - packet of veggie crisps. My vegetation option was tastefully presented with a stack of sprouts, sliced mild Swiss cheese and a generous avocado helping heaped over the veggie burger patty. Balsamic dressing accompanies the salad and a mild but flavorful chipotle mayonnaise sauce adds a new dimension to the honey oat bread sandwich. Not bad for $8.95. The melts which are also well stacked and extra cheesy are another great option.
Pupukea Grill is not only the solution to the tourist's appetite, but has made a name for itself with the locals and you will witness many drive-by lunch pick-up's as you enjoy your hearty meal.
The word 'pupukea' is Hawaiian for 'white shell' and refers to the community officially denoted in 1983 which includes both hot travel destinations, Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach. So now when you tour the North Shore you have two fabulous dining spots: Pupukea Grill and my old favorite Big Wave Shrimp (http://www.examiner.com/restaurant-in-honolulu/all-shrimped-up-and-unforgettable).
Enjoy the island's outdoor dining destinations this summer. Aloha!