Ken’s House of Pancakes is a legend in Hilo. Located on the corner of a busy intersection near the hotels and the airport, locals and tourists alike flock to this seemingly always busy restaurant for their huge fluffy 3-egg omelettes, sumo sized saimins and loco mocos, burgers, oxtail stew, and a whole array of local and American foods. Also, where else can you go for a sit-down meal at 3am in the morning in Hilo? Ken’s is the only place!
Here is a sampling of their menu. Notice the Sumo Moco at the bottom!
From the menu:
“Sumo” Moco – This is a serious “bell ringer”. 6 scoops rice, choice of spam (4), 5 oz. Lean “Home Grown” beef patty (2), or 6 oz. mahi-mahi. Gravy + 3 eggs any style. *drool*
Ken’s has a relatively new thing going on that when anyone orders a “Sumo” menu item such as the Sumo Moco or the Sumo Min (a huge amount of saimin and garnishes), they ring this bell really loud…
…and all the waitresses/waiters yell a resounding, “SUMO”!!!!!!! They seem to have gotten it down to a science already, with perfect timing. Even the regulars join in and yell “SUMO”!!!! It gets especially louder as the clubbing-folk stumble in after the night is over.
The people at Ken’s are very warm and full of the aloha spirit. Even at the most crowded times, you can see that they are under pressure, but they still keep their cool and are nice and attentive. It feels like a big family in there.
On this visit, we sat at the counter since there were no seats available. The cooks and waitresses were going at it full blast.
Here’s their counter setup. The ketchup and tabasco is offered when the food comes.
I ordered the “Pocho” (under $7).
3 eggs with portuguese sausage, onions, and cheddar cheese. Don’t mistake this for one of their omelettes… their omelettes are bigger and fluffier. I ordered this since I wasn’t feeling hungry enough for their huge omelettes. The eggs were soft and the portuguese sausage was tasty. I put shoyu and tabasco all over.
It also came with pancakes.
Ken’s pancakes are deliciously fluffy and yummy. They also have coconut and lilikoi syrup by request, which is a great option! Although these aren’t the best pancakes I’ve had, they are still very good.
Also ordered was their Oxtail Stew (~$10).
The oxtails are extremely tender and the tomato-based stew has a deep, rich flavor. The serving is very generous, with lots of oxtail. Carrots and celery accompany the oxtails. On the side is mac salad and 2 scoops rice. Tabasco is highly recommended for dis one! I know you guys stay drooling already!
On another visit, I had a loco moco, which I just have to include here!
Ken’s loco moco is one of the better loco mocos in Hilo. The hamburger patty is big and freshly grilled. The gravy is homemade and is lighter (in color) than the regular packaged brown gravy used by most places, but it also tastes better than most places. The gravy matches the loco really well. The eggs (it came with two, but you can’t really tell in the picture) were cooked just right. At $5.45, it’s a more expensive loco moco, but still a good deal for a nice sit-down place.
Also really good are Ken’s fries, served by the basket (shown halfway eaten already).
The fries are really crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Excellent.
A pancake house has to have good coffee, and Ken’s coffee is always hot, fresh, and rich.
They keep a thermos container full of coffee at your table so that you can drink as much as you like.
Hilo is very lucky to have Ken’s House of Pancakes and I couldn’t wait to feature them on here.
Ken’s House of Pancakes
1730 Kamehameha Ave.
Hilo , HI 96720
Open 24 hours.