comscore Hilo’s Moon and Turtle ending daily service | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Hilo’s Moon and Turtle ending daily service

                                Mark and Soni Pomaski opened Moon and Turtle in 2013 in Hilo.


    Mark and Soni Pomaski opened Moon and Turtle in 2013 in Hilo.

The stylish Hilo restaurant Moon and Turtle has been unable to overcome the economic downturn driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and will stop takeout service at the end of September.

But owners Mark and Soni Pomaski will try to keep the doors open as long as possible, selling their signature condiments and holding occasional pop-ups, where customers can pick up preordered food, said Soni Pomaski, general manager.

“We don’t know what the future holds, but will continue to try to have a presence here in Hilo,” the husband and wife announced last week on Facebook and Instagram. They said they would keep their social media accounts updated and hope to reopen eventually.

“We love Hilo so much,” Pomaski added.

The restaurant normally has a staff of 10, but has cut it to four until the end of the month.

Among condiments they’ll continue to sell are the kiawe-smoked soy sauce and chili pepper water that are key to the restaurant’s all-time bestseller, Smokey Sashimi ($12). Seasoned salts and other products will also be sold, Pomaski said.

The couple opened the small eatery in 2013 with Mark Pomaski as chef, priding themselves on locally sourced meats and seafood; and offering a frequently changing menu based on the availability of fresh ingredients. It was a contemporary approach unusual for Hilo at the time.

They chose the name based on a Japanese concept of incorporating the very high (moon), and very low (turtle).

“The idea was to fit the food within that spectrum by pairing more elevated ingredients with humble ingredients,” Soni Pomaski said, or sometimes mixing casual dining with upscale pre-fixe dinners. “It was always about bringing both ends of the spectrum to a central point that hopefully would be acceptable to more people.”


59 Kalakaua St.; 961-0599

Open 3:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays until the end of the month

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