Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Island Breeze 

Kimo's of Ohio City delivers a Hawaiian getaway.

As if Ohio City didn't already offer a smorgasbord of culinary options -- with Puerto Rican, Middle Eastern, Greek, and Irish spots rubbing shoulders with crêperies, sushi shops, and wine bars -- along comes James "Kimo" Javier to toss a little Hawaiian BBQ on the table too.

Javier, chef-owner of Kimo's Sushi Shop (1885 Fulton Road, 216-631-7463), has started offering Hawaiian-style "plate lunches" each Friday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The full-meal deals -- called the Prince, Queen, and King Plates -- range from $12 to $15 and feature various combos of tidbits like crunchy, deep-fried shrimp; ginger-glazed teriyaki chicken; chow fun noodles; and sweet haupia, a dense, coconut-flavored cornstarch pudding.

But the show-stopper is Javier's slow-roasted kalua pork, a distinctive style of island barbecue seasoned with mineral-rich Hawaiian red salt and roasted for at least six hours inside a blanket of banana and ti plant leaves. Succulent, rich, and flavorful almost beyond words, this has to be one of the world's best versions of pulled pork. Javier serves it with a bit of spinach-like taro leaf, some furikake-seasoned rice, a bit of kimchee, a baked yam slice, and -- of all things -- potato salad. ("It's traditional," he insists, and he should know: He grew up on Oahu.)

While the chef has been catering private luaus around Northeast Ohio for several years, this July, he and chef-owner Nick Kustala of Lure Bistro in Willoughby will be serving up a major blowout on Lure's handsome patio, complete with traditional dancing, music, food, and drink.

You can also find Kimo's at Jacobs Field again this year, serving egg rolls, crunchy shrimp, and Hawaiian-style chicken teriyaki, as well as a limited selection of sushi.

High-Steaks Happy Hour . . . The 10-buck martinis could set you back, but the elegant noshes are dirt-cheap at the new Bar 12€21, inside Morton's steakhouse at Tower City. During weekday happy hours, a mere $3 will snare you a trio of Prime beef mini-cheeseburgers or a quartet of filet mignon sandwiches, and oysters on the half-shell are just $1 a pop; 12. 21's clubby decor, comfy seating, and flat-screen TV are on the house. Get happy -- and full -- every Monday through Friday from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 to 11 p.m.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 5, 2022

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Vegan Monday @ The Winchester

    • Mondays

© 2022 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation