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Mar 23, 2006 02:51 AM

Best Hawaiian plate lunch in Bay Area

  • r

need help.

I have tried a few Hawaiian plate lunches.
know any in the East Bay such as Hayward and Fremont.


*L and L

let me know where to go!


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  1. Kilohana Grill in San Ramon is usually good. They have a special Lau Lau and Kahlua Pork plate on Friday and Saturdays. Love their potato salad too.

    4 Replies
    1. re: toofacetious

      I second Kilohana Grill, and the lau lau/kahlua pork plate. An Emeryville branch should be open any day now.

      1. re: Debbie M.

        Where in Emeryville???

        1. re: Brian Stack

          I just checked their website, and they didn't have it posted yet (but it says it will be open in March/April). However, the PDF of their menu says 4115 San Pablo, which I think puts it in the same strip as Arizmendi.


          1. re: Debbie M.

            It is open now, though I've only eaten at the San Ramon location which is one of my regular lunch haunts. I really like the BBQ chicken, which has a teryaki-like sauce. They cut the chicken into strips and it has a nice char-grilled flavor. Family owned and operated (with some hired help) and the service is very friendly.

    2. v

      Drove all the way down E. 14th/ International Blvd. yesterday, saw three spots between Hayward and Oakland. Look for Wiki-Wiki and Hawaiian BBQ, can't remember the other. Hope that helps.

      1. If this is the the one hidden in a tiny strip mall than I was impressed with their friendliness and good food.
        Sista's Cafe 983 Manor Blvd. San Leandro 351-4010
        Of the chains, Waikiki BBQ is average at best in El Cerrito, better in Berkeley. L&Ls unremarkable. Each chain has the original island secret recipes, but the cooks at each location differ wildly. Ohana at Appian Way in Pinole is the yummiest on this side of the EastBay.

        1. Hawaiian Drive Inn on Hesperian in Hayward is ok. Its in a strip mall near Mr. Chau's, between Winton Ave and Jackson Ave.

          Similar to L&L. Decent portion size, especially the Chicken Katsu. Rice can be dry. I like the Aloha Saimin, which has spam, chicken and egg in it.

          1. Mahalo BBQ in Milpitas at McCarthy Ranch is very good except for the katsu sauce which is not like anything I grew up with.

            L&L on Calaveras sucks

            Waikiki BBQ in Livermore is ok but they didn't use any white pepper or anything else in their mac salad other than mayo & macaroni.

            Kilohana grille...what's up bbq chicken using breast meat? This place has a plate lunch concept which caters to mainland tastes.

            4 Replies
            1. re: petaldust

              I went to Kilohana on San Pablo in Emeryville. Man the Kalua Pig in the styrofoam container looked bland and bare. No bruddah sized portions but not bad. It was okay, a little too salty and that usually doesn't bug me.

              The specials are also odd, like you can only get pig and cabbage on Weds...but straight kalua everyday. Made no sense, like the chicken breast. To be fair however didn't try their breakfast but there was a low Aloha vibe.

              For really good bbq/teri chicken, Da Kitchen in Mountain View is awesome and they use da thigh. Very close to what they serve on Maui.

              Hukilau in SF, SJ and PA is good and up to standard but in the $8-9+ range and more a sit down place.

              Re: L&L, inconsistent place to place and even within each store. I had good plate lunch and went back to the same branch and it was bad. They do however serve a PILE of food and the katsu tends to turn out well.

              1. re: ML8000

                I stopped by Da Kitchen 2 months ago and it looked closed. The kitchen was cleaned out as were the drinks in the coolers. It's possible they were remodling but I'm assuming they're closed for good. Quite a shame really since they had really good kaluha pig and lau lau.

                1. re: Porthos

                  That is a shame. I wonder if the proliferation of Hawaiian chains are killing off the Mom and Pop places. You know you use to have to hunt, search or drive to get plate lunch before the chains took off.

                  1. re: ML8000

                    Da Kitchen is actually a chain of sorts. The Mountain View location is/was the 3rd location. The other 2 are on Maui, one in Kahului, the other in Kihei. The webiste still shows the MV location, but I tried the number and it was disconnected. The site also shows a "new location" in San Diego, but there's only a picture.

                    I've eaten at the one in Kihei, and it was a true Hawaiian plate lunch. I highly recommend it.

                    I agree that Kilohana is different, but I think they do a better job than the chains like L&L. The family that owns/runs Kilohana is from Kauai. The food may not be exactly what you'd find in the places in the Islands, but its good, and they are very nice people.