From Pizza to Lumpia: Here Are 4 Ways to Upgrade Your Birria Taco Obsession in Honolulu
Yes, birria tacos are still hot in Honolulu. But if you’re over the dippable, crunchy snacks (and even if you aren’t) we’re already digging these riffs on the original riff on the rustic Mexican stew.
‘Ewa-based Aloha Mamacita’s plate features three corn tortillas fried in a mix of fat from birria beef (cooked with ancho peppers, guajillo peppers, cumin, Mexican oregano, whole cloves and roasted tomatoes) and a house-made chile oil comprising olives, ground ancho peppers, guajillo, Mexican paprika and cayenne pepper. The tortillas are stuffed generously with beef, mozzarella, onions and cilantro. All plates come with lime, red onions and cilantro to toss in the cup of chile consommé before dunking.
Haus of Fusion’s birria banh mi is one of the Instagram business’s most popular items. The baguette is filled with birria meat and an array of pickled red onions, carrots, daikon and cilantro with a side of beef broth infused with chiles and Mexican and Asian spices.
$16, pickup is in Kaimukī, @hausoffusion
In this un-pho-gettable dish from Cocina de Roja, rice noodles swim in a birria stew topped with shredded beef, mung bean sprouts, red onions, cilantro and Thai basil for a refreshing balance to the hearty, meaty base.
$12, 2334 S. King St., @cocinaderoja
Waikele food truck El Jalisciense calls it a birria pizza, but it looks more like a giant quesadilla. Twelve-inch tortillas—typically used for burritos—are brushed with consommé, stuffed with cilantro, onions, birria meat and cheese and crisped up on a flattop.
$35, 95-790 Lumiaina St., Waipahu, (509) 423-4871, @eljalisciense2017
Instagram-based Elimeko Kitchen sells queso birria lumpia and birria wontons for pickup in Makiki. The golden-brown ultra-crispy rolls are filled with 10-hour-braised beef birria, mozzarella cheese, red onions and fresh cilantro and deliver a satisfying crunch with every bite, even after a dunk in the broth that comes with it.
Packs of six, nine and 12 for $12, $18 and $24, @elimekokitchen