Archive for the 'Oahu' Category

Koa Pancake House

Wednesday, November 16th, 2005

in Aiea, Oahu

I used to come here more often in the past, but have stopped going for a while… until I sampled a bite of their loco moco, I had to come back for further investigation!

Koa Pancake House has 3 locations I know of (Aiea, Waipahu and Kaneohe). They look like they are doing great since they are constantly busy, especially during breakfast. We went to the Aiea location which is right next to McDonalds.

Koa Pancake House Aiea

It was about 11am and the place was packed with people eating mostly breakfast items. Lots of pancakes, waffles and eggs… I also saw lots of burgers too. The inside has a very warm koa theme with koa walls and decorations, giving the restaurant a nice mellow ambiance.

Koa interior Koa Pancake House menu board

I had to order the Fried Rice Loco Moco ($5.95).

Fried Rice Loco Moco Loco Moco Close-up

A generous portion of fried rice with ham and crisp green onions topped with a tender grilled burger, tasty thick brown gravy, and two eggs. This loco moco tasted great, but there was something different about it. The problem was that it didn’t really taste like an authentic loco moco. It might’ve been the gravy: thicker than usual, tasting more like a salisbury steak type of gravy. Good stuff, but I wish it were less thick so that it would mix better with the rice. On the plus side, they did everything else great: the fried rice was very delicious , the burger was very tasty – slightly charred, and the eggs were nicely cooked too.

Bev ordered a “Lite Bite” which included 2 pancakes, 2 link sausages, and 1 egg ($3.75). Really good deal!

Lite Bite

The pancakes tasted good and were very light and soft… but the inside was a bit too soft to me and Bev (probably a little undercooked?). Still, it tasted good. I also wished that the outside of the pancakes were a bit crispier too, but they weren’t. The link sausages were good and crisp (tasted like Farmer John’s). Good deal for $3.75.

Koa Pancake House has good food for a great price, although not the best you can get. Service was very friendly and everybody had smiles on their faces, including the customers, who seemed all very friendly. I would probably come back again for some breakfast or try some of their lunch items.

99-115 Aiea Heights Drive #256
Aiea, Hawaii 96701
488-8805, 488-8816

On Oahu again :)

Thursday, November 10th, 2005

Arrived late last night and resisted the urge to go straight to Curry House. Can you believe it? We went to Bravo’s Italian restaurant instead, which turned out great. I’ll get a review up when I get back to Hilo.

Now it’s morning, and I’m hoping to go to my old time favorite: Rocky’s in Waipahu. I grew up on their pancakes and fried rice ommelettes when I was little!

Also, I just had a sample of my brother-in-law’s fried rice loco moco from Koa Pancake House’s, and I must say, it was so delicious. Watch out Hilo! The gravy was dark and thick (there was even a spare bay leaf in there!), the burger homemade and tender, and the fried rice was good too. I hope to do a loco moco review there before I leave…

So much food so little time! Give me some recommendations…

Oahu Trip September 2005

Friday, October 7th, 2005

I’m sorry I havn’t posted for a while. I’ve just been side-tracked with a lot of things, but I will get back into the groove, no worries!

This past September I visited Oahu, and instead of posting multiple posts (like last time — I still need to finish that series), I’ll just post a more condensed photo-heavy post of my food adventures.

Okay, so I land on Oahu. What’s the first thing to do?


Kaka`ako Kitchen

Thursday, September 1st, 2005

Oahu Food Adventures, July 2005 (part 2 of 5)

This is part two of a 5-part post from my recent visit to Oahu in July featuring the following places: Curry House, Angelo Pietro, Kaka`ako Kitchen, Elena’s, Yotteko-ya, and Popeye’s.

Kaka`ako Kitchen

I’ve passed by this place many times whenever I visit Oahu since all the stores/movie theaters are nearby. It always looked appealing to try this place… a local plate lunch place sitting on high priced real estate? The food gotta be good there, I thought. I’ve also heard some good things about this place. I was able to try this place out for a late breakfast/early lunch this past July.

There was a good amount of people considering it was before 11am, but we found that we just missed breakfast. :( We were sad because we wanted to try the loco moco, and they consider the loco moco a breakfast food(!), so they wouldn’t serve us a loco moco.

C’mon now, what kind of place only serves loco mocos for breakfast? Who says a loco moco is just breakfast food anyway? They had hamburger steak — how much harder would it be to make a loco moco? Depriving a Hilo boy of his loco moco is a very bad idea!

Other than the loco moco inconvenience, the place was really nice (I only have food pics, sorry). Everything looked really clean and there was a nice open sunny vibe about the place. The people were actually nice besides the loco moco thing. If you are eating in, you place your order at the counter, then they give you a number. When your food is ready, they bring the food to your table, which is nice.

After a lot of thinking, I ordered the Beef Stew ($6.25) with brown rice and mac salad.

Kaka`ako Kitchen’s Beef Stew

What a perfect breakfast, right? :) The beef stew was good and satisfying, but not really good. It tasted like regular homemade type of beef stew, but without the love… not as good as da one gramma or aunty [insert name here] makes. There was too much vegetables for my taste and I prefer more bigger fatty pieces of beef. The mac salad was not bad. Gotta have tabasco, right?

Bev ordered the hamburger steak ($6.25), the closest thing to a loco moco.

Kaka`ako Kitchen’s Hamburger Steak

Bev thought the hamburger steak was just ok. It was good at first, but it got tiring to eat after a while. The consistency of the burger was very mushy like a soft meatloaf, but without the yummy meatloaf flavor. The outside of the burger was also burnt. I like slightly charred burgers, but there is a difference between a nicely charred burger and a burger burned by frying it too much.

Hamburger Steak Closeup

The gravy was good, though, and the onions on top made for a nice texture combination. Overall, it was acceptable, but like the beef stew, it wasn’t that great.

We might’ve just ordered the wrong things. I’m willing to give this place another chance, but I’m not too excited to come back here.

Kaka`ako Kitchen
Ward Centre
1200 Ala Moana Boulevard
Telephone: 808-596-7488

Curry House CoCo Ichibanya (Oahu, July ’05)

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005

Oahu Food Adventures, July 2005 (part 1of 5)

This is part one of a 5-part post from my recent visit to Oahu. I’ll try to disperse the following places along with Big Island places over the next few weeks: Angelo Pietro, Kaka`ako Kitchen, Elena’s, Yotteko-ya (thanks for the recommendation reid!), and Popeye’s.

Visiting Oahu makes me feel like a child in a candy store, except now, I feel like a guy with so many great food choices, I don’t know what to do! I’m originally from Oahu, and every time I go back, so many fond memories come back to me.

Curry House is a successful franchise originating from Japan and I just *have to* eat here every time I go to Oahu. I hear they have hundreds of them in Japan! Oahu is lucky to have 5 locations: Waikiki, University Ave, Ala Moana, Pearl Kai Shopping Center, and McCully Shopping Center. Most of the time, they are consistent in quality and taste.

We went to the Pearl Kai Shopping Center one this time. The people are really nice here and the food is always good at this location.

Pearl Kai Curry House outside

It was really crowded! We had to wait a few minutes before getting a seat. While waiting, there were a lot of take-out orders being picked up.

Take out orders at Curry House

We then ended up sitting at the bar, which is a good thing since we get a free entertainment show. Watching them pour the curry over fresh hot rice and meats is so exciting!

Curry House Kitchen

There are so many different kinds of items to choose to go with your curry! They use the same curry sauce (spicy or mild) for all the dishes, but the variations are endless when you mix it with the different items on the menu. You can choose how much rice you want and if you want spicy or mild curry.

Menu Front Cover

Curry House Menu

I ordered the beef curry (my fav), a side of cream corn croquette (a new item), and we also shared a side salad. Click on the menu above to see a sample of the different kinds of curries!

Beef Curry

The beef curry was so good. Curry House’s curry is a Japanese style curry. It’s very smooth, rich, thick, spicy, and a little sweet. The beef pieces are so tender, too. Also, I love the beef curry because they stew the beef with the curry, and the beef flavor permeates all of the curry, making it so rich and flavorful.

Cream Corn Croquette

The cream corn croquette tasted like cream corn made into a hash, then breaded and deep fried. It was a bit sweet and went very well with the spicy beef curry. Very yummy!

Green Salad

The salad was really good too. What makes this salad is their great tasting shoyu-based dressing and the corn.

Chicken Cutlet with Spinach

Bev ordered Chicken Cutlet with Spinach Curry!

This was quite tasty as well. The chicken was nice and crispy and the spinach tasting really fresh and not overcooked. I’m so proud of Bev since she graduated to spicy curry, which tastes so much better than the mild! ;)


All set to eat? Don’t forget the pickled vegetables called Fukujinzuke, I think. It’s great sprinkled over the curry.

I’d love to know what other people like to order at Curry House. And If you haven’t eaten here yet, you must!

Curry House Coco Ichibanya
98-199 Kamehameha Hwy in the Pearl Kai Shopping Center
Aiea, Hawaii 96701

Oahu Here I Come!

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005

Well, I’ll be visiting Oahu today and will return on Monday night. Hopefully, I’ll end up writing about a few food adventures while over there. Please check back soon! :)