Dessert of the Week: Hawaiian Shaved Ice at Ono Ono

Hawaiian Shaved Ice
Hawaiian Shaved Ice
Jessica Ford

Ono Ono in Tustin may not be the finest dining experience--you order at the front counter and the food is brought to your table--but the place has the Hawaiian atmosphere down. With a Hawaiian-inspired mural and palm tree in the entry, Ono Ono recreates a Big Island luau indoors.

Although there is a large, colorful sign hanging behind the counter advertising Ono Ono's "Over The Rainbow" dessert--shaved ice with mixed fruit, azuki beans, condensed milk and ice cream--it doesn't actually exist anymore. The restaurant still serves shaved ice, but without the fruit topping. But after tasting the available version of the dessert, a little false advertising won't bother you a bit.

Ono Ono's Hawaiian shaved ice is a masterpiece of fruit-flavored syrups. With your choice of three flavors--pineapple, banana, lime, coconut, cherry, grape, root beer, strawberry, bubble gum, mango and watermelon--my recommened combo is mango, strawberry and watermelon. Unlike most shaved ice vendors, Ono Ono's syrup is not overly sweet and the flavors are very distinct. By spending the extra $1 to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, this dessert becomes substantial enough to share with a few friends. Even though you have to make another addition--azuki beans--to complete this dessert, the extra 75 cents is also worth it. Azuki beans add a unique sweetness to the shaved ice and bring something chewy to the crunch. Completed at about $5 after taxes, Ono Ono's shaved ice dessert succeeds at bringing a bit of Hawaii home to the States.


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