Richardson’s Beach, Hilo

September 8th, 2005 by James

Even though this is a food blog, I’ve decided to share a couple pictures I took at Richardson’s beach recently.

Richardson's Beach waves People relaxing at Richardson's Beach

7-Eleven Hawaii

September 2nd, 2005 by James

It was another rainy morning in Hilo and I had a load of laundry which needed to be dried. Since we no more dryer, I went to the nearby laundromat conveniently located next to 7-11.

7-11 Hawaii

Even though it was crowded, I was greeted with a friendly hello. The workers here are almost always very nice. I walked around deciding what to get, finally stopping in front of the musibis and dim sum steamer.

I picked up a Deluxe Spam Musibi ($1.45).

Deluxe Spam Musibi

Deluxe Spam Musibi

Deluxe Spam Musibi Closeup

I also got 2 pork hash for a dollar.

2 Pork hash

Pork Hash Inside

I ate happily while waiting for my clothes to dry. It was good!

7-Eleven Hawaii Inc – Hilo
895 Kinoole Street, Hilo, HI 96720
(808) 961-6446

Kaka`ako Kitchen

September 1st, 2005 by James

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

Blane’s Drive Inn: Loco Moco Plate

August 27th, 2005 by James

Blane’s Drive Inn, downtown location

I’m very sorry guys, I just had to do this again. I woke up this morning craving for a loco moco, not just any loco moco… it had to be a Blane’s loco moco. I’ve featured their loco bowl in the past at the Industrial location, but this time I got the loco plate at the Downtown location.

Blane’s Drive Inn Ordering window

I was thinking of getting a mix plate with katsu for sake of variety, but I could not deny my loco moco craving (sorry kelly!). There must be something in the gravy that makes it addicting.

The plate ($6.25) is a double loco moco with mac salad and miso soup. It’s a small price to pay for a happy stomach all day long.

Blane’s plate lunch w/ miso

All of their take-out plates are served this way, with a styrofoam cup of miso soup anchored to the top of the plate with a thin rubber band. Brilliant idea, I think! The miso soup looks like it could fall easily, but the rubber band actually does support it fairly well and can withstand the bumps and turns on the seat of my car.

And without further ado, here it is in all it’s gravy glory!

Blane’s Loco Plate

*gives you a few minutes to stare and drool*

Here’s the miso soup.

Blane’s Miso Soup

And one more closeup.

Blane’s Loco Plate Close-up

This loco may be even a little better than the Industrial location, based on this experience. Or maybe it was because I was craving it so much?

In any case, the loco moco plate is just amazing. The two burgers were very tender and had a great taste; gravy was plentiful and soothing to the soul; eggs were well cooked; mac salad was good and mayonaissey, which went really well eaten with the loco moco.. and the miso soup was nice for in between bites.

I’m so happy right now. :D


Blane’s Drive Inn
217 Waianuenue Ave
Hilo, Hawaii 96720
Menu Hotline: (808) 969-6677, Phone: 969-9494

Ken’s House of Pancakes

August 24th, 2005 by James

Ken’s House of Pancakes neon sign

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!

Ken’s Menu Ken’s Loco Moco Menu

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…

Sumo!!!!!!!!

…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.

Rush time for Ken’s

Here’s their counter setup. The ketchup and tabasco is offered when the food comes.

Ken’s Counter

I ordered the “Pocho” (under $7).

Pocho

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. :D

It also came with pancakes.

Ken’s 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).

Ken’s Oxtail Stew

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

Ken’s Loco Moco Closeup

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).

Ken’s Fries

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.

Ken’s Coffee

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
(808) 538-1877
Open 24 hours.

Freddy’s Drive-In: Loco Moco

August 19th, 2005 by James

Hungry? Got two bucks? Well take a look at this:

Freddy’s Loco Moco Menu

Yes, a hamburger loco moco for $1.90. Freddy’s has got to have the best loco moco value in Hilo!

Freddy’s Restaurant/Drive-In

Freddy’s has a nice eating area with big windows providing lots of natural light.

Freddy’s Eat-In area

The service was very friendly and quick.

“One hamburga loco. Sunny side up. Thanks. :)

Loco Moco Close-up!

Hamburger detail

Isn’t it a beauty?

Slide your plate a little to the right and the loco moco condiments are right there.

Loco Moco Condiments

You gotta put on da shoyu, ketchup, and tabasco, or you’re not having the full loco moco experience!

Overall, this loco moco is very satisfying and tastes very good, but for the picky details…

  • Burger: Good size and taste was good. Based on the texture I could tell this was a premade burger, but it still tasted good in the overall picture.
  • Gravy: Standard brown gravy. Good amount given. Flavor was nothing special, but it was just right.
  • Egg: Perfectly cooked nice quality egg.
  • Rice: Good rice! Cooked just right.

Freddy’s loco moco is a very decent loco moco. They cut some corners to make it cheaper (like the burger), but the beauty of a loco moco is that it is a cheap, fast, and satisfying meal. So, this is a perfect representation of the essence of a true loco moco.

For those who want to dine in, Freddy’s has a restaurant area on the side.

Freddy’s Restaurant Area

Freddy’s is also famous for their sandwiches, which are very big, fresh and delicious. Their plate lunches are also very good. I hope to feature more food from here in the future. :)

Freddy’s Restaurant/Drive-In
454 Manono St
Hilo, Hawaii
(808) 935-1108