Finding A Pearl On Kona Street

Alana Folen
Wednesday - September 21, 2011
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Saigon Pearl offers authentic Vietnamese cuisine. Leah Friel photos .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Mai McDowell’s Saigon Pearl specializes in authentic Vietnamese cuisine. The Kona Street eatery offers pho enthusiasts homemade pho and other mouthwatering favorites, such as vermicelli noodles, won ton min, plate lunches and more.

Chef Andy Khau, who also happens to be McDowell’s brother, is the man behind the magic here.

“Our goal is to further introduce Vietnamese cuisine and culture to local people,” says McDowell, who left her home in Vietnam and planted roots in Hawaii in 1975. “We also make an effort to only use the highest quality ingredients.”

Although Saigon Pearl is making a name for itself with its fabulous pho ($7.50 medium, $8.50 large), McDowell says its plate lunches are appetite-worthy as well.

“Many people come in for our plate lunches ($8.95 and up, available for lunch and dinner). We have a great variety to choose from, including barbecue chicken, pork chop, short ribs, lemongrass chicken and garlic chicken,” she states, noting that all plate lunches are served with rice and salad.

Not only does McDowell take pride in her cuisine homemade from personal family recipes, but also in the cleanliness of the establishment that draws diners in for more.

Mai McDowell

“We’re lucky that business has been getting better, a lot of local people have been eating here,” she says. “We’re always looking to add new items to the menu and we hope to expand our menu by offering Vietnamese curry, Vietnamese stew and Vietnamese sandwiches with fresh French bread real soon”

Finally, a meal isn’t complete without satisfying your sweet tooth. Saigon Pearl also serves up the sweetest of flavors presented in its Banana Tapioca and Flan, among others.

Need a pick-me-up? Saigon Pearl’s Vietnamese Iced Coffee or Thai Iced Tea will do the job.

And from now to the end of the month, the establishment is offering diners 20 percent off the entire menu.

Saigon Pearl is located at 1430 Kona St. and is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. For more information, call 955-7888.


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