Santa Monica: Aloha Spirit at Pono Burger

hula dancers

hula dancers at the Pono anniversary party


At the recent anniversary party for Pono Burger, the Hawaiian aloha spirit was strong. Hawaiian chef Makani Geradi welcomed us and made us feel right at home.

We enjoyed salad, sliders and delicious creamy milk shakes. The next time I’m in Santa Monica, I’ll have to stop by again for a full sized burger. It’s close enough to walk to if you want to catch dinner before a show at the Broad Stage and away from the busy Third Street Promenade area so you don’t feel rushed.

sliders at Pono

sliders at Pono


Chef Makani introduced three new flavors and we got to sample them in slider form. My favorite was the Paniolo which reminded me of a Western burger with onion rings and BBQ sauce. Chef Makani was drinking whiskey one night and had an epiphany to include it along with Kona coffee sauce making this a twist on Hawaiian flavor. I also thought the Kahiki or the more “Greek” one with eggplant and tzatziki was an excellent take on those traditional Greek flavors. For a really good burger, try the Palani with the lovely goat cheese and sunny-side up egg.


The Paniolo ~ Organic beef patty, smoked cheddar, Niman ranch bacon, housemade Kona coffee bourbon BBQ sauce, housemade buttermilk beer battered onion rings

The Palani ~ Organic beef patty, Herbs de Provence, grilled organic sliced tomato, Cypress Grove purple haze chevre, Niman ranch bacon, organic sunny-side up egg

& organic arugula drizzled with extra virgin olive oil

The Kahiki ~ Organic beef patty, organic roasted red bell pepper & Ras el Hanout grilled eggplant, housemade tzatziki sauce, organic cucumber strings with citrus mint drizzle




I already had a salad earlier so I didn’t feel so bad eating all the fries. And eating some more. I couldn’t stop either when the sweet potato fries came out as well. Why are fries so good? Oh yeah, it’s deep fried.

salted caramel shake

salted caramel shake with bacon


So we know that salted caramel is good. Shakes are awesome. Combined, they’re even better. But take it to the next level and add bits of bacon. Oh yeah, Pono Burger went there.

Like I said, I’ll have to go back for a full-sized burger and possibly spend some time with a strawberry shake.


Pono Burger

829 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401  —  (310) 584-7005

© The Minty 2014