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Coming Up

  • Next on 'Ono Kine Grindz:

    The Wedding Cafe, Manoa

    Recently Consumed:

    Zaney's, Downtown Honolulu
    Bob's Bar-B-Que, Kalihi
    Restaurant Yamagen, Moili'ili

    Below you will find a never ending list of restaurants that I want to visit or re-visit:

    Young's Fish Market
    Alan Wong's Pineapple Room
    Cafe Sistina
    Indigo Eurasian Cuisine
    Yakiniku Toraji
    Sushi Masa
    Ono Hawaiian Foods
    Tsukuneya Robata Grill

    If you would like to give me a tip on a new restaurant that is opening up, or give me a recommendation on some of your favorite restaurants, please send an e-mail to:

    onokinegrindz (at) yahoo (dot) com

    The following posts should be completed someday (!):

    New Diner's Drive In
    Border Grill
    Penang Malaysian
    Chez Panisse
    Zuni Cafe
    Indonesia Restaurant
    Boston's North End Pizza
    Happy Inn
    Kat's Sushi
    Fritz's European Bakery
    Makino Chaya
    Singapore/Bangkok Posts
    Chin's Kahala
    Hata Restaurant
    Ebisu Catering Service
    Bubba Burgers
    The Eggberts
    Blossoming Lotus
    Hamura Saimin Stand
    Bob's Big Boy

    WHEW! I hope to have them done by year's end!

    Upcoming adventures

    San Francisco, CA

    Sydney, NSW, Australia

    London, UK
    Paris, France
    Chicago, IL
    Seoul, South Korea
    I won't be able to visit Korea this year.
    San Francisco, CA
    New Orleans, LA
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Shanghai, China

    Hopefully, some of you can provide me with recommendations for some good eats!

Blogs I Read

'Onolicious Archives


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

May 31, 2004



Harpos has what looks to be the same sauce. We bought at Daiei last week. Same ingredients, bottle looks very close. Think there is a connection?


oops, sorry I overlooked the comment by Jill where in fact there is no relation between Harpos and Giovanni's, although I am still not positive I buy into that. The bottles (Harpos)we bought are also blue and gold and made to look the same as Giovanni's. Any new word on them still coming to California?


Nancy, maybe the Harpo's and Gio's are the same bottle or label or even ingrediants(they could be since I doubt there's that many bottling companies in Hawaii), it's not the sauce that they use to make the shrimp at the truck. There's no lemon juice, (although they give you a lemon wedge)no wine, no paprika..even if they say it's in there. The problem is that they can't use the truck ingrediants and it not go bad in the bottle because they have short life on the shelf.


Hi Nancy,

Welcome to the blog!

No, there is no connection between Harpo's and Giovanni's. They are owned by two different people. Maybe they designed their bottle to look like Giovanni's bottle. Hmmmm. BTW, the bottle of Giovanni's is blue and gold, the bottle of Harpo's should be green and white. BTW...which Daiei were you at? If you were at Daiei Kaheka, Harpo's is one of the restaurants in the "food court".

Hi Wes,

Thanks for the information.


a couple people have asked about them coming to California. I don't know the answer but I can say this. The laws in Hawaii allow you to park a truck all day but In California, you have to keep moving it. Here's a link to the rules for Hawaii. As far as setting up a place in Venice like someone suggested, they could try doing it but I think they would fail. All the little eateries in Venice are much lower priced than the shrimp truck. In fact, all the plate lunches there are around $5. It may not be as good but if people are hungry and they can spend 5 or 12, I think you'll have a tough time selling a 12 dollar plate. The other thing is that all those places are Korean run. I'm not sure if they would even let them rent a spot and if they did, rent in Venice is really high. If they came here I think they would do better in Seal Beach or laguna where people have more $$..just my opinion


sorry link didn't work so here is the Hawaii rules...You're OK if you're on private property and have the property owner's permission to sell there. If you're on City & County of Honolulu property or in a city parking space, you must move every 15 minutes. You must be two to 30 feet from the edge of state highways. If you're selling prepared food, it must be prepared in a state Department of Health approved kitchen that is separate from one's home kitchen and in a properly zoned area. That's pretty much it.

Lou Grissom

Hey anyone no how I can order some more sauce, I am down to my last precious bottle. I have tried calling and e-mails etc. What's going on with the Shrimp Truck I addicted to the sauce, I have to have it. Please if anyone can contact me I would so appreciate to here from someone . I LOVE GIOVANNI"s Shrimp truck. I have talked to Mrs. Giovanni in the past I hope she is all right she is a very cool lady.

Nancy let me confuse you more. The bottle I have from Gio's (my last one...sad!)does list lemon juice and wine in the ingredients. The bottles we purchased at Daiei are in fact also blue and gold. The daiei we purchased them at was the one over by the ala moana shopping center. To add insult to injury, the day that we drove out to the truck it poured buckets, there were 20 or so people in line and we never got any!!!!!! We are having withdrawls. Thanks for all your info though. One of these days we will solve this mystery!


HI!! All from Texas.. I went over to Hawai'i to visit my best friend and I didnt get a chance to buy the hot sauce either ..they had just changed out bottlers or something.. anyone know where I can snag a batch for these Texans that think they know hot stuff! :))))) thanks!!!


Aloha...December marks our fifth time to the island from the mainland. Giovanni's is always one of the first places on our list to return to. Next year same time we'll be there! Has anyone located where we may find the Giovanni mail order scampi sauce?


Hello Lou, Nancy, Verna and Carol,

My apologies for the late reply. As far as I'm aware, Giovanni's is no longer selling bottled sauces. The only way to have Giovanni's, for now, is to make a trip out to the truck. Next time I'm on the North Shore, I'll ask the folks at the shrimp truck for more information.

Thank you all for stopping by and taking the time to comment.


Does anyone know the recepie for the spicey shrimp? Happened upon the shrimp truck last weekend and thought it was really fabulous.!


Hi AM,

Thanks for visiting my blog. Unfortunately, I don't have the recipe for the spicy sauce, but another reader commented that it was similar to piri piri sauce. You may want to do a Google search for piri piri sauce. Good luck.


i need to order some sauce where do i get it online????


Hi Barbara,

Thanks for dropping by my blog. Unfortunately, the website is no longer in existance and to my knowledge, the bottled sauces are no longer being sold.

My apologies.


Hey Reid,
You should start bottling the stuff and selling it on your blog. You already have lots of orders, :)


I think you're so right regarding the people in Venice not buy the shrimp since there are other cheaper fast food areas.
I also agree that something like that should be sold in other areas like Laguna Beach...or maybe it would sell in Malibu...but as far as a shrimp truck parked in Malibu, i don't know about that...
i think it's great not to have Giovanni's anywhere else but's something to always look forward to when planning a vacation in Oahu...
ooh..i love hanging out in Hawaii..


Hi Wes,

Yeah, I just might, but then again, I might not pass inspection.

Hi r1zza,

Thanks for dropping by the blog.

I think Giovanni's would like to keep everyone coming back to Hawaii too!


Hi Rizza, I think you hit the nail on the head. It's a great place to look forward to eat at in Hawaii. You're sitting outside and the smell of garlic cooking. I agree it's best in Hawaii. There was a farmers market in Northern LA that sold the shrimps last year. I think they had some relationship with the truck in Kahuku. Anyway, they made the shrimp plate the same way but it wasn't selling very well. Reid, I'll distract them with a plate of shrimp so you can pass the inspection, hehe.


hi Reid and Wes,
when was the last time you guys ate at Giovanni's?
The last time I ate there was last was kinda raining that day but it's all good!!! after eating, i went to watch a surfing contest..and just really enjoyed the the way, where do you all live at?


I'm In Cali now rizza. I used to live in Oahu and miss it fiercly. I owned 3 businesses there but couldn't make enough $$ since I have 4 kids so I moved away. I'm going back in 2 months to start a biz again but will still work in Cali. I would love to set up a New york style pizzeria in Hawaii. I think it would do well since I know how to make great New York pizza. How about pizza in a white cream sauce with garlic shrimp and mozzarella... or a Hawaiian pizza but instead of ham and pineapple, kahlua pig and mango?? Anyone ever want to do that with me, let me know. :)



I haven't been to Giovanni's in about 6 months. It's too far a drive for it to be convenient for me to visit more often, especially since I live in downtown.


Even if 100 other trucks spring up along the route to the North Shore there is only one Giovanni's and that is where I will stop. My daughter and I stopped there in October and it was a real treat!!


Hi Pat,

Thanks for stopping by.

I'm glad you like Giovanni's. It seems as though many others like it as well. In fact, when I went to visit Singapore just recently, my friend's mother is still talking about it. She suggested that I move to Singapore to sell the shrimp there. She thinks it would be a big hit!


I had a great time reading all the comments. I was on Oahu in Nov 2004 and we heard about Giovanni's and went there (3 times) We loved it and so did our kids. I have been dying to try and make it and now I at least have a recipe to try out. I can't wait! Thanks!

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