For me, this all started with me having this extreme craving for manapua one day. I knew it was going to be a fail because I don't know of any places here in San Diego that carry manapua that is delicious and ones that taste just like how I had them when I was growing up as a little girl. Without throwing shade at a local franchise restaurant, that was the only place nearby that had some. I just got off work, it was dinner time and I was on a mission to fulfill my craving. My daughter and I drove out and picked up a quick order and that was the saddest day. I was excited to at least fill in that longing of a 'decent' manapua. Um. Fail.
A good friend that I've known since my elementary days messaged me on Facebook stating his cousin and wife makes some delicious manapua. They just started a family business called Pena's Manapua. Since then, so much has been going on in my life that I haven't had the chance to look further into it and give it a try. I already felt sad thinking about my last experience. It was one fine day while I was at work when I got another message that my friend was in town and that his cousin would like us to try their signature manapuas. My excitement got triggered with manapua all over again and made arrangements to meet and that has been the best decision I slapped myself silly for. My son, daughter and I met with my good friend and Pena's Manapua. The love that they put into what they do explains why what you get is nothing but quality.
Our first bite into one, that was it! I was brought back to my days as a little girl! I have to say, when my son and daughter took their bite into one, all of us probably looked cheesy as heck! I didn't know whether to laugh or keep on eating because I was so happy! My tastebuds were dancing and I wanted to put my emoji praising hands in the air but didn't want people to think I was a weirdo. The bread was made perfect where it is not too dry, not to moist and doughy. The Char Siu pork filling was on point! The filling was the perfect ratio to the breading. The pork was cooked down to the perfect tenderness with the right amount of sauce, spice, and flavor. Each bite had your eyes rolling to the back of your head.
I couldn't resist, I placed an order not long after. They do have additional kinds of manapua which are Kalua Pig and Corned Beef Hash. I still have yet to give them a try but for now I am still getting my Char Siu fix on! I also ordered malasadas which were absolutely amazing! Fresh, hot, and melt in your mouth goodness! I have to say, Pena's Manapua is as legit as it gets. Seriously! LEGIT!
You have to give them a try. You won't regret it. Check them out and see what they are all about. I enjoy supporting local businesses and hope you will to! Below is their website. Don't forget to follow them on their social media!