Coming home

Since summer’s in full swing, thought I’d check out the Honolulu Advertiser for any interesting stories. Found this one about a family restaurant on the Big Island, just south of Hilo:

KEAUKAHA, Hawai’i � Colin Nakagawa could be on the Mainland pursuing a career in business or public service.

Instead, he is carrying his family’s restaurant and aquaculture farm into the third generation in a setting unlike almost any other in the Islands, a sprawling eatery and home perched by one of the many brackish ponds along the coastline south of Hilo.

In the years between the deaths of the first generation of Hilo Nakagawas and Colin’s return in 1980, the restaurant became a weekends-only thing, operated cooperatively by the family. The specialties remained the same for half a century: mullet steamed in ti leaves with lemon and onion, and fried chicken, Grandma-style.

Now, the restaurant averages 85 covers a weeknight, 100-plus on weekends, and more on holidays and during graduation party season.

And Colin has made it his own.

Though the ti-leaf preparation is a top seller, Colin prefers the steamed mullet with a medley of colorful vegetables, topped with a sizzling Asian oil. His excellent furikake salmon takes the usual preparation one step further, drizzling the nori-skinned salmon not only with the usual wasabi mayonnaise, but also with a house-made teriyaki sauce. This dish won a Taste of Hilo competition.

The Seaside Restaurant & Aquafarm
1790 Kalaniana’ole Ave., four miles from Hilo

Open for dinner, except on Mondays; appetizers, $5.50-$9.50; entr�es, $10.95-$25.95 (entr�es include salad, starch, pie); keiki menu

Reservations: (808) 935-8825

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