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(DFW) Hawaiian?

I'm looking for some genuine hawaiian food. Not various proteins coated with macadamias or Polynesian fusions (not that there's anything wrong with that). A simple plate lunch would be nice, if not ideal. poi would be wonderful. Kalua or poke would make me your best friend.

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  1. The closest thing in town is Roy's in Plano right off the toll road.

    1. I've been looking for the same thing ever since we moved out here a few years ago. Loco moco and spam musubi for me, please.

      Roy's is what it is, but a cheap plate lunch it ain't.

      5 Replies
      1. re: healthyscratch

        ha - good luck! If you find such a thing please let me know!! Maybe we can convince someone to start a Zippy's franchise here

        1. re: gavlist

          In phoenix we had a place called L&L that actually came from Hawaii. It was the sort of place that authenticophiles loved to hate. It got close enough to be real, but wasn't like their grandma's. I would kill... no, maim, for some of that kalua pork and mac salad.

          1. re: kindofabigdeal

            Look what I found on L&L's website:

            Lewisville Coming Soon!
            420 East FM. 3040, #850
            Lewisville, TX 75067

            Oh my. Not so far from where I work in West Plano that I won't be making that trip for lunch more than I should.

            Yeah, I've heard Hawaiian ex-pats badmouth mainland L&L's, too. But I am nowhere that picky.

            1. re: healthyscratch

              The L&L website still says the Lewisville location is "Coming Soon", but they did add a phone number, so I called it and spoke at length with Bill, the owner (very pleasant guy).

              He's run into the standard delays, but hopes to have the place running right at the start of 2008. Also mentioned he was looking to open in other locations, specifically Plano.

              So, not much longer. Bill even offered to personally make me a loco moco plate if I drove out to the site today...

          2. re: gavlist

            A while back, some transplanted Hawaiians tried to open a shack, serving the casual Hawaiian fare that I think we're all looking for -- long rice, kahlua pork, musubi, lomi, poke, etc. I guess they didn't get enough support to stay open.

            Funny anecdote: the former exec chef of Ferre Restaurant in West Village actually grew up in Hilo. Last year, he concocted a Kahlua pork Caesar salad for the annual Caesar salad competition...he didn't win, but he did come in 3rd, I think...

        2. Sushi Yama has Spam Musubi, although I haven't tried it yet.

          It's a special item on the wall.

          Sushi Yama
          8989 Forest Ln # 112

          1. It's not close to Dallas, but: http://www.alohasanantonio.com/id22.html

            Nothing else until someone like open up an L&L in Texas.

            1. WOW!!! An L&Ls coming here?! Sweet!!!
              I can't believe I somehow missed this thread. I made musubi yesterday and the other night I tried my hand at baked manapua (if you're interested in that, tell me) for my mom!

              Heres something local.. locally.. for you guys (i'm just copying my post from hawaiithreads)

              "Here in Texas, I usually shop between two different Japanese shops in Dallas, a 100 yen shop called Minoya and a small food store (with killer fish (but no butterfish )), but a few months ago I tried out one I'd never been to before called Kazy's. Well, what do you know... walking in, we were faced by a gigantic palatte of Hawaiian Sun! They also had Hawaiian Salt, Portuguese sausage, Aloha shoyu AND the guy said sometimes they get POI.
              I guess this means ones of three things:

              a) it was destiny and they kept all that stocked just for us...
              b) local Japanese have taken quite a liking to island stuffs
              c) there is a very elusive Hawaiian community here!

              Who knows. All I care about is that I am sipping on Guava Nectar... ONO!


              I guess you guys would be letter "C"!!!
              Wheres everybody now?

              2 Replies
              1. re: captainshen

                Oddly HEB in Austin (Parmer and Mopac) carries Aloha Maid.

                1. re: captainshen

                  captainshen, what's the name and location of the store that you purchase your Aloha Shoyu from? Thanks in advance

                2. Guys-- I stopped by the new L&Ls location today. They're not open yet, but it looks spectacular and gorgeous! It was insanely cool to see a 55 cup rice cooker.

                  Are you excited??

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: captainshen

                    I'll be excited if they serve Loco Moco.

                    1. re: captainshen

                      I'm excited, I've been meaning to call and check up on their progress, thanks for the update!

                      And I've never been to an L&L's that didn't serve loco moco... That, kalua pork, and spam musubi will be my first order...

                      1. re: healthyscratch

                        They're scheduled to open late Feb (I'm guessing mid march though ;) )

                        Kalua pork and spam musubi will be my first, too!

                    2. The best I know of is Cuba Libre on Henderson. Great food, not too expensive, cute chef, and STRONG margaritas!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: DeniseAV

                        Genuine hawaiian food is NOT to be found at Cuba Libre. Although they have some fusion tropical dishes, the emphasis is Cuban food.

                        I had no idea about the cute chef. Thanks for the head's up.

                      2. I just drove by this morning and a had a nice long look at (wreck at Round Grove & MacArthur this morning) L&L Hawaiian Barbecue on Round Grove Rd in Lewisville. It looks like they lack about a week or less to get the store ready for the opening. It is in the same shopping center as Cristina's and directly across the street from the RaceTrac gas station just past MacArthur Rd on the west side of 35

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: LewisvilleHounder

                          They actually opened yesterday. Not a great weather for your first day but they are in business and I'll be checking them out this weekend.

                          1. re: dugout19

                            The chef from Ferre is now at Kitchen 1924 in lakewood. His name is Ke'o and he's available for private events if anyone is craving a big hawaiian dinner...

                        2. L&L Hawaiian Barbecue is open for business now. I am not sure about the rest of you but I guess I am missing something here. The owner or manager was very zealous about his products almost to the point of being annoying. My wife and I tried the Luau Luau Pork with BBQ combo and we got BBQ Chicken and with the recommendation fo the manager, the "Hawaiian way" with two scoops of rice and macaroni salad. Everything was lackluster witht eh exception of the taro leaves covering the pork. We like those b/c it reminded us of something healthy (like spinach). Macaroni salad was typical run of the mill awful. The BBQ chicken is just teriyaki chicken, it was tender and tasted of teriyaki....gues that is all tha can be said. The Luau Luau Pork was a bit salty and really had no flavor beyond that, roast salty pork wrapped in a taro leaves. I wanted to like this place but the fact that is was a chain and it was really bad made my wife and I decide not to go there again. We followed up the awful with a great....Bliss Frozen Yogurt in the Best Buy shopping center at 121 @ 35

                          12 Replies
                          1. re: LewisvilleHounder


                            I stopped by for lunch on Sunday and didn't get the same impression. I'll concede the fact that the "Hawaiian BBQ chicken" is essentially teriyaki chicken and that the lau lau is a tad oversalted (though, eaten with the steamed rice, it's actually about the right amount of savory).

                            Like you, I really enjoyed the kalua pork (pork roast wrapped in tarot leaf), it had a nice slight smokey flavor. Of the BBQ items we tried, the sparerib was by far the best. Thinly sliced so that upon grilling, the fatty parts gain a crunchy outer exterior that exploded with richness when bitten into.

                            And Spam musubi was... well actually tastier than I expected and not as scary as I thought Spam would be.

                            Perhaps you're looking for more out of this simple plate lunch chain than it can really provide? I mean, macaroni salad is macaroni salad. The elbows were al dente and it wasn't too salty or too bland. Teriyaki grilled meat is teriyaki grilled meat. All the meats were slightly charred on the outside and tender on the inside. We're so overexposed to teriyaki chicken that perhaps no version will be exciting unless some crazy "out of box" ingredient is introduced. But this place is clearly not gourmet, you're paying about $8 for a big plate lunch.

                            It's not the greatest lunch I've ever had. But I'm interested in returning to try other things on the menu (e.g. loco moco).

                            1. re: donnaaries

                              I was expecting some kind of sweet/sour bbq baste I guess. Being that I have never been to Hawaii I wasn't sure what to expect. I do know they have a large Japanese population/influence there, one of our family friend is from Hawaii. So that would explain the teriyaki and "sushi like" Musubi. Maybe the Kalua pork had a bit of seasoning to it (i.e. smoke). I will admit the place did give me some ideas on dinner options, i.e. sea bass wrapped in taro leaves. Perhaps the spam options offer a bit more. Just not the greatest meals like you said.

                              1. re: LewisvilleHounder


                                Hawaiian plate lunches fall into the comfort food category, nothing more. If some of us got your expectations raised because of our perhaps overzealous desire, it's just because it's something we miss a lot that we haven't been able to find out here.

                                Loco moco, for example, is just a hamburger patty on top of rice, with a fried egg on top, covered in brown gravy. That ain't winning any culinary awards, nothing exotic or adventurous, it will probably take three days off of your life. But to some, it's heaven on earth.

                                1. re: healthyscratch

                                  healthyscratch, I'm glad you got your loco moco! I know we talked about that in this thread.

                                  interesting fact: There is loco moco in Japan, by the same name! I guess it meandered on over from Hawaii (?). I brought some exchange students down there from UNT and they squealed with glee. She said you can get it 'almost everywhere' there.

                              2. re: donnaaries

                                I think donnaaries has it right - the food sounds exactly like what I'd expect of hawaiian plate lunch. Thanks for posting guys. I'm looking forward to trying it soon!!

                              3. re: LewisvilleHounder

                                I was dissapointed. This was very different from the L&L I frequented in Phoenix. Ours had an overhead menu, but it was also flanked with hand written offerings, sometimes repeated, that included poi, intriguing sweets and other things that the owner would say "oh no, you don't want that. Americans don't like it." The DFW one is far too clean and chainy. To top it off, you can order things "texas style." Huh? I came here for hawaiian. This would all be fine with me if the offerings were better. The rice was poor. The macaroni salad was OK. Pretty plain, but I think they cooked to the macaroni to an appropriate texture. On the other hand, this is the only option for a plate lunch. I'll be back to give them another shot, but I was dissapointed with my first trip.

                                1. re: kindofabigdeal

                                  decor aside, this place was exactly what I'd expect... not at all different from what you'd be likely to get at some local restaurant in hawaii (in my experience). The one disappointment for me was the spam musubi... in the past, I've always had the spam slab sautted with a sugar/shoyu mixture that caramelized on the outside. This time, it was just straight-up spam, griddled to get a bit of browning, and put on the rice with some shoyu. It was ok, but not as good as it could have been. I also had the lau lau (which was ok) and the kalua pig was good - juicy and flavorful, although I wasn't crazy about the cabbage they served it with.

                                  Next time (if I make it out that way again), curry katsu!!

                                  1. re: kindofabigdeal

                                    I'm going to defend them here.

                                    They don't have a handwritten menu, but all you have to do is ask Bill (the owner) and he'll tell you when they might have poi or haupia next. Last time i was there, i asked for haupia, and they had it (good stuff too!). He also mentioned to me planning on having specials on the weekend (like lomi lomi salmon and dakine).

                                    And I can totally understand the 'Texas Plates.' I'd never order them (hell, I can't even order a burger there-- not with all the kalua pig and garlic shrimp around!) but being from a family with mom from Hawaii and us kids raised here, I understand it. I connect with my mom's roots on a culinary level-- my sister, not so much. So this enables the Hawaii people in the family to eat what they want without the one kid/sister/wife/husband whining about the strange food. The Texas Plate was the owner's idea, to accommodate for mixed or picky families. (note: he also offers brown rice and has a real grill (as opposed to flat) on his own accord. Some of the other things he did include a stellar filtering/cycling system for the oil to prevent waste and he has one of those nifty high mounted water heaters to save energy. Yeah, I spent a while up there talking to the guy!)

                                    In any case, I hope you do give it another try and keep this all in mind!

                                    1. re: captainshen

                                      Picking on the Texas plates may have been unnecessary. I'm just used to places that do that sort of thing not being good at any of the menu.

                                      That's great to know about the menu. When I asked the guy taking my order about other possibilities all i got in return was a head scratch. I'll certainly be back sometime.

                                  2. re: LewisvilleHounder

                                    Made it out to Lewisville this past weekend to check out L&L. Of the many L&L's I've been to (Hawaii and mainland), this one really wasn't that different. Kalua pork, chicken katsu, pork lau lau, spam musubi, they all tasted like we expected them to. So we were pretty happy about that. (And we were very happy they got the mac salad right; you can't find Hawaiian mac salad just anywhere.)

                                    Yeah, there are much better plate lunch places to be had, if you live in Hawaii or Southern California. In DFW, this seems to be the only game in town. So I ain't complaining. Although for my waistline's sake, I'm going to have to limit myself to one or two visits a month.

                                    1. re: healthyscratch

                                      we went last night, and loved the lau lau. this is likely to become a regular spot for us--entrees big enough to share, fair warning! we ordered 2 and have now had 3 meals and still have more...

                                    2. re: LewisvilleHounder

                                      What you described is pretty typical of the local plate lunches back home. It is as one poster described, "comfort food." It's definitely not for everyone. Oh yeah...Hawaiians love their salt. We eat this candied fruit called Li Hing Mui...it will make your mouth pucker like no one's business. We also have something called Salty Seed. Salt dried prunes. Yeah...I know. It's just what we grew up with. Also, L&L is a chain owned by Eddie Flores(?)something and to own a franchise on the mainland (he owns all rights), you don't have much discretion with the menu. I lived in California when the first one opened and personally, I like the mainland L&l's better. They are way cleaner, serve fresh veggies and just tend to be more consistent than the ones back home.

                                    3. Went back and tried the mahi mahi tacos... good batter, nicely seasoned fish... terrible dry slaw and stale tortillas. Favorite item remains the pork lau lau. Gotta hand it to L&L for making this food so affordable though... those combo plates can feed two easily!

                                      Full review of all the BBQ items, Spam musubi, mahi mahi tacos, pork lau lau, and pork kalua: http://donnacooks.wordpress.com/2008/...

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: donnaaries

                                        My favorite there is the Chicken Katsu w/ Curry. But hands down the loco moco is my favorite. They have spam musubi (can you say awesome) Thank goodness I live in Plano and can't drive here everyday...It's not like the food in So Cal or Hawaii but I will take it while I am here!

                                        1. re: PWORD9D8

                                          Totally agree, PWORD9D8. The Chicken Katsu is great, but the Loco Moco is the best. I think it's the slightly smoky flavor of the hamburger patty that gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling all over.

                                      2. L & L in Lewisville is now open!

                                        1. Anyone know if there's Hawaiian in Houston?

                                          1. Apparently a new L&L just opened in Plano, 8404 Preston Rd. (southeast of Stonebriar Centre).

                                            Quite a bit closer, for us at least, than the one in Lewisville. Will hopefully make it out there this weekend.

                                            1. Okay .. Who wants to get some real stuff from Hawaii in Austin Texas? I know that there is more then just some Hawaii transplants in Austin ! Tell me what you want and i will try to get it for you.. I am tired of not getting anything close to real "loco kine grinds" unless i make it myself with some half real recipe. I have worked as a cook and chef for 20+yrs both in Hawaii and Oregon and i have gotten tired of no loco grinds in Austin! Let me know if i can try get somthing for you. I will post my website as soon as it is ready for you guys that like get em before the end of the year.If i get enough money from this i can get some killa ' kine Aku for my New Years!! If you need someone to cook some loco grinds let me know i can cater small kine.

                                              1. I have found this fairly new place HULA HOTTIES CAFE at 244 W. Davis st. right near Bishop Arts District in Dallas! They have a very cozy and comfy atmosphere, everything is handmade and their bakery is awesome. They have spam musubi and kona brisket musubi.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Chloemywestie

                                                  Being from Hawaii, I can tell you Hula Hottie's (outside of the spam) is not true Hawaiian. L&L is the closest thing.