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Mar 15, 2010 01:48 PM

Best Hawaiian in OC - ?

There seems to be no consensus as to which is the best place to get Hawaiian BBQ in OC.....
anyone feel strongly about a reliable place? Thanks.

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  1. Bruddah's (Gardena) is quite possibly the best hawaiian in SoCal IMHO, a short trek from the OC

    1. almost like saying who has the best bottled water in the desert? I can't think of any place in OC that has decent Hawaii-style food including L&L or any other pseudo Hawaiian BBQs. As the OP recommended, Bruddah's in the south bay would be your best bet closest to OC for Hawaii-style food. But "best" is purely subjective. You might even like King's Hawaiian or the Loft both in Torrance? Back home to Lahaina in Carson has OK food and live entertainment.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Clinton

        There is a Loft location in Huntington Beach at the corner of Beach and Warner. Haven't been yet.

        The trip to Bruddah's is worth the effort to get the best Hawaiian food in SoCal. But if you can settle for pretty good, I like Maui Hawaiian BBQ in Fountain Valley (near Fry's, in the Costco shopping center) to satisfy my loco moco or BBQ chicken cravings. But the kalua pork and lau lau are just OK. You gotta go to Bruddah's if you want those done right.

        1. re: Wonginator

          I've been to that Loft and it's 1 step above L&L

        2. re: Clinton

          Op sounds like they're looking for "Hawaiian BBQ", which means teriyaki beef, chicken and mixed grill plates...then places as lowly as L&L would fit the bill. How bad can you make teriyaki chicken. L&L owner in Pasadena told me they make the gravy from scratch and I've been back in the kitchen and never saw pre-packaged gravy or teriyaki sauce, so maybe give them some credit.
          Bruddah's is probably the most authentic Hawaiian restaurant and everything seems to be made from scratch or imported from Hawaii. They get Ziippys chili and saimin noodles from Hawaii. New owners when Earl sold the business a year or so back.
          Someone mentioned to me years ago the owners of The Loft weren't from Hawaii, but maybe that doesn't make a difference. Same with Shaka's a few local college boys.

          1. re: monku

            re "a few local college boys", local here or local Hawaii?

            1. re: OCAnn

              Thinking USC because the dad told me his son was one of those in the group.

            2. re: monku

              Hi monku,

              Oh wow, so Bruddah's original owner and chefs are gone? Do you know if the new owners have been able to maintain the quality of Bruddah's since? Thanks.

              1. re: exilekiss

                I went a couple months ago and the food was the same. I noticed some changes with some of the furnishings which tipped me off there might have been a change in ownership and then I asked. I saw some of the same people in the kitchen. Bruddah's is a gem.

              2. re: monku

                True, the guys who run The Loft are South Bay locals (Carson and Gardena) and are not from Hawaii. Some of them have parents from Hawaii though.
                The original L &Ls Drive-In on Oahu would probably surprise people with some jaw dropping flavors. Their food is pretty darn good for plate lunch style local food.

            3. Loco Moco with Island Fried Chicken @ The Loft

              1. Looks like you're stuck w/the chains or The Loft. With the chains, I prefer the mac salad @ L&L, but prefer the lau lau & Kahlua pork @ Maui Hawaiian BBQ.

                1. There's also Ono Ono Hawaiian BBQ in Tustin on 17th street. Not saying it's the best in OC, but it is another option if you're looking for something in the Tustin/Orange area. Not worth going out of my way to get there, so I usually stick to the Loft in HB or Maui Hawaiian BBQ in Fountain Valley if I need a quick fix.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: I got nothin

                    I'll second Ono Ono in Tustin. It changed hands last year, but the food remained pretty consistent. We used to go with a group from work weekly for lunch, now it is probably monthly. The old owners opened a new place north of the 5 on Jefferey, but I have only been there once.