Before Hawaiian restaurants became almost as ubiquitous as sushi joints in Boise, there was Ono Hawaiian Cafe on Broadway Avenue. The strip-mall joint has been serving up heaps of Kalua pig, poke and macaroni salad since December 2007.
But as of Wednesday, Feb. 1, longtime restaurateur Michael Mohica will no longer run the business. Mohica recently sold Ono to Ed Scott.
"[Scott] came in from the corporate world. He was at Wells Fargo and knows really not too much about restaurants but wants to give it a shot," said Mohica. "He wants to keep it the same--the name will stay the same, employees will all stay the same, menus exactly the same."
According to Mohica, the stress of running catering business Kanak Attack and a restaurant was taking its toll.
"Having two operations ... I just wasn't able to concentrate on either operation," said Mohica. "So, we figured we were doing Kanak Attack for the last 12 years, so we might as well just kind of stick with that."
Kanak Attack will operate out of the Powerhouse Events Center, where Mohica plans to cater weddings and book live concerts. He'll also pick up a food truck in April--tentatively called Kanak on Wheels--out of which he'll serve Kalua pork, teriyaki chicken and other faves.
"Ono is still going to be a great restaurant, but if they want me to cook it, then I figure I might as well go mobile," said Mohica. "It'll just be a little easier and I can make my own hours. If I don't feel like operating today or tomorrow, then we'll just park it."
In sad news for another Boise catering staple, Focaccia's on Parkcenter is officially closed. Run by Chef Bill Green, the bistro and bakery closed up shop in mid-December. According to a note on the restaurant's website:
"Due to the intense battle for his wife's health, Chef Green has made the decision to close his beloved restaurant effective Friday, Dec. 16, at 3 p.m. ... We trust that someday, Chef Green will again be able to provide some delicious fare for the wonderful people of Boise and the Treasure Valley."