Show 321, April 27, 2019: Owner / Chef Bryan Fujikawa, Kona Grill House, Kealakekua, Hawaii

Bryan Fujikawa of Kona Grill House and Andy HarrisChef Bryan Fujikawa is the proprietor of the locals’ favorite for fresh grilled, locally caught seafood, Kona Grill House in Kealakekua. It’s a beloved hole-in-the-wall spot. He’s been a popular part of The Big Island Chocolate Festival’s concluding Chocolate Decadence Gala for years. Chef Bryan is known for his amazing lobster crab cakes.

“For Kona Grill House it’s new year, a new name, and a whole new look. What started 19 years ago as a small family operation producing and selling dried fish under the name Sun Dried Specialties, has grown into a culinary destination for local cuisine that has people from not just Hawaii, but all over, returning time and time again.”

“It was a simple beginning back in 2000. The idea for Sun Dried Specialties was born in the early morning hours as Bryan sat on his boat rocking quietly with the gentle motion of the waves as he fished through the night. He realized the dried fish he’d grown up eating was disappearing. He, his wife Rebecca, and their two daughters began drying the fish that Bryan caught. They stayed true to the old way of drying. Using only fresh fish, Hawaiian salt, and beautiful Hawaiian sun. The Sun-Dried Specialties logo of a sunbathing Ahi quickly became recognizable for the best dried Ahi, Aku, and Opelu in the state and on to the Mainland.”

“Fast forward a dozen years to the birth of the Fishbowl. Bryan’s brainchild for his desire to serve great food in an atmosphere that would allow visitors and locals alike to meet and get to know one another. What started as a small poke shop had its first expansion after only three months and has continued to grow ever since. Though the original showcase still carries more than a dozen different kinds of poke made fresh each day, there’s now a second showcase for the desserts. Bryan has continued what his daughter Alexis started, baking desserts fresh every morning.”

“But it’s the food coming off the grill out back that you won’t be able to forget. Chef Bryan’s customers like to say it’s five-star food out of a cardboard box. The best fish burgers on the island and his lobster crab cakes are out of this world. Daily specials range from smoked prime rib to lobster mac and cheese. You never know what might be on the menu but you can count on never walking away hungry and having a food experience you’ll want to keep coming back for.”

We’ll meet Chef Bryan.