Dessert of the Week: Hawaiian Shaved Ice at Ono Ono

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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