Oodles of Noodles

808 329-9222

UPDATE: They are now called O's Bistro. We haven't been there yet, but they claim to be the same people serving the same menu, except that they've added a number of new items. We haven't gotten all the details, but now we are curious.

Oodles of Noodles is a little place tucked into a corner in a shopping mall in Kailua-Kona on the west coast of the Big Island. It does not look like much from the outside and is a bit of a luncheonette on the inside. Do not let this deter you. The food is wonderful.

The theme, as implied by the name, is noodles. These may be Italian, Thai, Chinese, or in other styles. In every case they are prepared perfectly in a variety of dishes and cuisines.

Start with the summer rolls, not spring rools, filled with rice and vegetables and dip them in the peanut hoisin sauce. Crunch down the fried pork spring rolls. You have had dishes like these at various Chinese restaurants, but these are a little different. The ingredients brighter and fresher. We went on to the Peking duck skin which was as good as any we have had anywhere.

We took a sharp turn with the orrechiette, thick, ear-shaped noodles served with seared ahi tuna, mushrooms and cheese. This had elements of Italy, of the islands and the down home comfort of macaroni and cheese. We also enjoyed the shrimp pad thai which was a bit different from that at the usual Thai restaurant, with a strong tomato note in the sauce.

For dessert, we went for the coconut cake. This was obviously a Lady Baltimore cake, but done with tropical fruits, so we were in good hands. Always trust the Southerners for dessert. We loved it, as we loved the creme brulee served with macadamia nut short bread.

We washed our desserts down with Uchida coffee, and to be honest, this was probably the best coffee we ever had. The waiter explained that it was grown locally, at a historical farm, and that the beans were sun dried in the traditional manner. Of course, we were in Kona, so we set off to explore the various boutique coffee growers in the area. None held a candle to Uchida coffee.

The menu is extensive and we barely managed to scratch the surface. There are so many dishes we still want to try. Oodles of Noodles has taken an ordinary food and made it something quite special.

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