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    The Wedding Cafe, Manoa

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    Zaney's, Downtown Honolulu
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    Young's Fish Market
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    The following posts should be completed someday (!):

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    Upcoming adventures

    San Francisco, CA

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    London, UK
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    I won't be able to visit Korea this year.
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    Hopefully, some of you can provide me with recommendations for some good eats!

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'Onolicious Archives


« Little Village Noodle House | Main | Helena's Hawaiian Food »

May 31, 2004



Hi Mike,

Actually, I haven't tried to deconstruct the sauce, but on the bottle it says to use one bottle of marinade and 1 1/4 pounds shrimp. Marinate for 45 minutes. In a sauce pan, place shrimp with garlic (do not add the oil) and cook until pink or garlic is golden brown.

Now, my thoughts?

I normally use the marinade for just that. To marinate the shrimp. When I'm ready to cook it, I melt one block of unsalted butter in a non-stick pan. Add as much garlic as you can handle (minced coarsely). Cook until shrimp is done, about 4 minutes. Squeeze the juice of one lemon over everything and serve.


Hi Margarito,

Thanks for stopping by the site. If you had the scampi last summer, then yes, it was really good. Lately though, it hasn't been the same. The internet address that Giovanni's had was Don't know if it's still operational though.


This past friday there was an article in the Honolulu Advertiser comparing the different shrimp wagons. check out:


Hi Lance,

I saw that article, but I think that the person who wrote it got some of the facts wrong. I don't think that Troy Nitsche is the owner of this truck any longer as I spoke with him back in 2003. He was closing up shop in Pearl City (where the sauces were being made). I think the truck now belongs to the Aragonas again. Besides, the quality has actually gone downhill since the first time I was here many years ago!

I always wondered about Romy's and was actually going to stop there on my last visit as Giovanni's was really crowded. Now that someone has given it a positive review, I'll make sure I stop there the next time I'm on the North Shore.

Thanks for posting the link to the article. I'm sure that many other people are interested in reading it.


That's pretty scary that a newspaper reporter didn't get his information correct. Especially since a lot of people depend on their reporting. I guess he didn't talk with the owners, just purchased a plate. Makes my wonder if the reporter's comments on Romy is accurate as well.


Hi Lance,

Yeah it is. Unless things have changed from then until now (about a year's time). I do know that when I asked the last time (back when the post was written), I was told that Connie (Aragona), was the owner.


Hi Margarito,

Thanks for the heads up on what's in the sauce. Here's the recipe I've tried out and the final product comes close to the original.

1/3 cup Olive oil, garlic, 1 lemon juice, salt, pepper, 1tbs paprika, ten cloves garlic, chives (optional) and 1/4 cup dry white wine (use mirin for substitution). These are all for marinading.

1 1/2 pounds large shrimp (about 16)

1) In very hot pan, fry shrimp first until half cooked and pink. Set aside.

2) Let pan cool down and set stove to 3. Add in chopped garlic and sauté slowly
without browning them. Use the smell whether you over cooked the garlic. Once
garlic is nice and soft, add in the shrimp. Add in the rest of the chopped garlic for


If anybody finds out how we can get the hot sauce on the mainland please email me. Thanks.


The Hot sauce was soooo good, very hot but with nice flavor. I'm out of the sauce as well and would apprciate an email if anyone ever finds it again.



Hi Brad,

Thanks for dropping by the blog. I like the hot and spicy too! It's actually quite hot and spicy. I'll be sure to let everyone know once I hear about the sauce and its availability.


They stopped selling the hot sauce on the net a few years ago. Think there was a problem with the actual heat. The pepper used in the sauce is the PIRI PIRI pepper. The family is from MOZABEQUE and are of Portguese decent I met them back in '98. They told me they used to bring the peps from the African nation. GOOD LUCK, hope to see them in CA. soon. ONE LOVE, HUGH


Hi hugh,

Thanks for visiting. I've never found the hot and spicy to be that hot at all, but then again, I eat a lot of hot stuff.


It looks like the FDA had an issue with the label on the bottles. Read more at:

Search for "Giovanni 3003833357" on Yahoo to read more.

I could post the URL because this blog thinks it is "comment spam"


Hey Aaron,

Thanks for dropping by the blog...and thanks for that information. It was interesting reading.


I just got home from a 10-day vacation in Oahu, and of course I visited Giovanni's while I was there. The shrimp was great as usual! I asked the lady working there about the status of their bottled marinade, and she said they are looking for a new bottling company. She said they hoped to have the marinade available again within the next year. I noticed that Long's Drugs carries a marinade that looks exactly like the former Giovanni's marinade. It has the same style/color label and ingredients, but it's called Harpo's ( I'm thinking maybe the owner of Giovanni's made a deal with the owner of Harpo's to bottle the marinade under the Harpo's name. Anyway, I bought a bottle to try and I'm hoping it will be just as good!


Hi Jill,

Thanks for dropping by the blog. I'm glad you enjoyed Giovanni's shrimp. I'd just like to mention that Harpo's is in no way affiliated with Giovanni's. Harpo's is known for their deep dish pizza and Italian salad dressing. I'm not sure what the marinade tastes like. The Harpo's bottle should be green and white, whereas the Giovanni's bottle, is blue and gold. Good luck.


i love the giovanni's hot and spicy sauce. but i live in arizona and have run out. does anyone know how to get more?


Hi Damien,

They are no longer manufacturing the sauce as far as I know. You may want to call Giovanni's Aloha Shrimp directly at the following number, (808)293-1839. I'm not sure if it's still working though.


The #1 was to die for! When we ordered the wait was only 5 minutes, but by the time we left the parking was full. Wish we could buy food like this in Seattle.


Hi Welcher,

Thanks for visiting. The shrimp here is great. Perhaps you can try making some at home using the recipe that was left on the site by a previous reader. =)

Hope to hear from you again!


A couple comments..the bottled sauce is not the sauce they use on the truck. There aint no lemon or paprika or whatever else it has in there. If you use that sauce, it will never taste like da kine from da truck. I know the's not that complicated. I read that someone said Connie is the owner again. Is that true? I thought she went to jail??? Just curious how that could happen and why Troy would sell to her...also, if you want great piri piri sauce, try mahalo's


Hi Wes,

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Connie strongarmed Troy into selling back the business. She was later arrested and charged with robbery, extortion, kidnapping and theft. She was found guilty of all charges in June of 2003. Here's a link to the article in the Honolulu Advertiser:

For all those's a link to the "old" webpage.

I don't know if Troy is still in business or not. According to the Hawaii DCCA website, Giovanni's Aloha Shrimp, LLC is owned by Connie Aragona and James Goodrich.

BTW...thanks for the link to the piripiri sauce. It sounds great!


I miss the shrimp plates from Giovanni's. My family and I befriended the Aragonas back in 1996 while we were stationed on the island. That is the place we would always take our friends and family who came to visit the entire 6 years we lived there.
Its really sad what happened with Connie. She was a really wonderful lady. Her whole family was nice and at various times all of them worked at the trucks (Kahuku and Haleiwa). We would visit one or the other of the trucks at least twice a month without fail. And when my wife was pregnant... it was almost weekly! So we got to know them really well and were invited to their home.
I think alot of her troubles can be attributed to her ex-husband. He sold the truck business to Troy in '97 convincing Connie that having someone else run the truck business so Connie could concentrate on the sauce selling end was a good idea. Initially it might have been because Connie was in such poor health, running herself ragged. I think John sold it because he was planning on leaving Connie and wanted to get his hands on the money before he bolted. I think Connie just got very desperate, having been left with basically nothing, and did something quite out of character. All the sauces, marinades, and preparation were all her ideas. John was just the business guy. He up and left on a trip to visit one of the daughters on the mainland and just didn't come back.
That said... For those of you who have some sauce left and find that the taste is not quite the same of the trucks here's a bit of info: If you pour a bit of the excess marinade out as you cook it down, the sauce will become more creamy like at the trucks.
Great Blog!!! Mahalo Nui Loa!


Hey Reid, thanks for the info on the DCCA. The DCCA is pretty lax on companies renewing their names so even though it shows Connie as the owner, it might not be true if Troy or someone else owns it and just didn't re-register the name. It would be interesting to know. It's sad to hear Steve's story about Connie. Sounds like she just made some bad call out of desperation. Anyway, great blog!


Hi Steve,

Thanks for stopping by the blog and giving us some insight as to what might have happened. I didn't meet Connie personally, but it is such a sad and tragic thing that has happened. Thanks for the compliment on the blog. Hope to hear from you again!

Hi Wes,

You're right about the DCCA not always keeping their website up to date. I guess someone will just have to stop by the truck and ask! Maybe I'll do that sometime soon, I want to stop by at Ted's Bakery, Matsumoto's and Cholo's and do some postings anyway.

Thanks for the compliment on the blog!

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