I was watching the Hawaii episode of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. There it was, Ono Restaurant. I was actually at a restaurant featured on the Travel Channel. I don't know if that is a good thing or bad. Nowadays, from what I'm reading in recent reviews, you can't just walk up and take a seat anymore, unless you show up at odd hours.
When I visited Hawaii in 2001 (a little over a month after 9/11), it literally took me three days to find an authentic Hawaii restaurant on Oahu. The one that I found was Ono. When I was there, I talked to the owner or manager (someone of authority) and told him that I was seeking out real Hawaii food and had so far done so without luck until I heard about his place.
He sat me down and paraded dish after dish in front of me. The experience was very similar to Bourdain's experience on his TV show. My favorite dish was laulau, of course. I think I gained 5 pounds that day, which I have yet to lose years later. OK, slight exaggeration, but I think I did over indulge.
I mentioned Ono in my Hawaiian vacation journal. I added that entry to my blog in 2005 here. I have a less than flattering photo of the front of the restaurant which I will keep private. From what I've reading, it no longer matches what someone would find when they arrive there. Ono is still very small, but the term "hole-in-the-wall" doesn't seem to apply anymore.
Much like Bourdain, I recommend making at stop of Ono Restaurant.