Cravings: Alicia’s Market Poke Express is on the comeback trail
The foodie community’s been abuzz about the opening of Alicia’s Market Poke Express last week, two doors down from the site of the original Kalihi market.
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The foodie community’s been abuzz about the opening of Alicia’s Market Poke Express last week, two doors down from the site of the original Kalihi market. Loyal customers have been without the store’s beloved plate lunches since June 7, when a fire closed the market.
The temporary space offers about eight items on a daily menu, usually four ahi poke preparations, two kinds of tako poke, a macaroni salad and roast beef. The selections are served in bowls in various combos.
Owner Leonard Kam, son of Alicia, said he opened Poke Express as a way to “establish our customer base.”
“After the fire, we’d hear from customers we don’t know, who knew us. They’d ask, ‘How you doing?’ People were reaching out,” he said. Kam said he didn’t realize Alicia’s had such a following.
It wasn’t difficult to find a place for the temporary shop, which he runs with his wife, three sons and a nephew. The Kam family owns the space, which long served as a barber shop — in fact, the barber shop pole is still outside — until their tenant retired last year. It was vacant for about six months, until the family decided to use it to reconnect with the community.
Kam said the area around Alicia’s Market is home to many food establishments, yet after the fire the area has been rather quiet. Still, people remember the market. One neighborhood business, the Hawaiian Chip Co., told him they use Alicia’s as a reference point when giving people directions to their shop. Kam is hoping the express shop will contribute to livening up the area once more.
“We’ve been here more than 60 years, and it’s usually pumping here,” he said. “We want to make the Kalihi Kai area a popular area for food.”
As for Alicia’s Market: “We’re trying to get it going again. It’ll probably take at least six months. Right now we’ve got an architect looking at the building,” Kam said. “We’re taking it one step at a time.”
Alicia’s Market Poke Express, 267 Mokauea St., is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays. For updates, follow aliciasmarket on Instagram.
— Joleen Oshiro, Star-Advertiser
Mahina & Sun’s is giving a free order of beignets through Sunday to diners who donate items for children in foster care. Especially needed are duffle bags, socks in all sizes, toiletries, twin-size sheets, pillow cases and towels. They will go to Family Programs Hawaii’s children’s shelter, Ho‘omalu o na Kamali‘i.
The restaurant is in the Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club, 412 Lewers St. in Waikiki. Call 924-5810.
New at the marketplace
The latest addition to the restaurant lineup at the International Market Place is ShoreFyre Fresh Grill & Bar, which opened last week on the third floor of the Waikiki center.
This is the second Shorefyre for owner Allen Farinas, whose first location is on Koa Avenue, also in Waikiki.
The fast-casual restaurant is known for its 50/50 Burger, half applewood-smoked bacon and half Angus chuck. Its top seller is a loco moco, made with the 50/50 Burger and caramelized onions, all atop a raft of fried rice.
Shorefyre is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night dining. Hours are 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. Call 672-2097 or visit shorefyre.com.
— Star-Advertiser staff