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King's Hawaiian Restaurant

I was wondering if anyone has been to the King's Hawaiian restaurant. I buy the dinner rolls all the time, but have never made the trip to Torrance. People tell me they drive over an hour to go, I want to make sure it's worth the drive.

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  1. I used to work for Honda in the area while I was in college, and went quite frequently when it first opened (so it's been a few years since I've been there). I rather liked it, and their island-style fried chicken. The pastries are good there, too...the paradise cake is yummy...three different layers of cake (pineapple. guava, and I think coconut) and it's not overtly sweet.

    1. I do like it but I don't think it's worth an hours drive. They do have a great bakery.

      1. If you want to taste slightly overpriced, often Americanized Hawaiian food in a soccer mom friendly atmosphere, then this is the place. The Local Place (owned by the same folks) is closer to Hawaiian fast food and is also freeway convenient for those just traveling through. Both locations stock King's bread and bakery goods.

        There are many better Hawaiian style restos in the Gardena area, most notably Bruddah's.
        http://www.chow.com/lists/67
        I also like Bob's Okazuya or the Gardena Bowl Coffee Shop for breakfast served all day.

        If the OP would let us know where he's coming from, there are likely good alternatives closer to home worth trying.

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        Bob's Okazuya
        16814 S Vermont Ave, Gardena, CA 90247

        Bruddah's
        1033 W Gardena Blvd, Gardena, CA 90247

        Gardena Bowl Coffee Shop
        15707 S Vermont Ave, Gardena, CA 90247

        The Local Place
        18605 S Western Ave, Gardena, CA 90248

        Kings Hawaiian
        2808 Sepulveda Blvd, Torrance, CA

        1 Reply
        1. re: DiveFan

          +1 on DiveFan's post. Bruddah's probably comes closest to what I think of as the Hawaiian Grindz experience. The place is old with a nice "patina" which reminds me of the small eateries in the older sections of any of The Islands that I've been to. The food is pretty much on par with what's typically found in The Islands, save the salt and fat level. And since this is a pretty close facsimile of the typical Grindz experience, lots of expats go here.

          For a first time exposure to Hawaiian comfort food, King's is approachable to most. It would be similar to having El Torito for a first time Mexican experience, but with a big bakery counter added in. As DiveFan mentions, The Local Place puts you a couple steps closer to The Islands, and it's just off the 405.

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          Bruddah's
          1033 W Gardena Blvd, Gardena, CA 90247

          The Local Place
          18605 S Western Ave, Gardena, CA 90248

        2. Definitely do not go out of your way to go there. If you happen to be in Torrance, then fine, if you're okay with regular mainstream food and pastries. It's a festive place cuz it's usually crowded, they've got a bit of a Hawaiian theme, and there's lots of colorful pastries to look at, but they're supermarket quality.

            1. Not worth an hour drive. I'm always hungry when I leave there.
              Prefer The Local Place if I'm going to patronize King's Hawaiian....easier on the wallet.
              Their bakery stuff is the only redeeming quality.

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              The Local Place
              18605 S Western Ave, Gardena, CA 90248

              3 Replies
              1. re: monku

                Disagree about the bakery. The cakes are tasteless and flat out awful. Love Kings rolls though.

                1. re: OC Mutt

                  Well, I have to disagree with you OC Mutt.... Have you had their Dobash cake? If you haven't, order it and you'll maybe have to give them one bakery exception. It's a rich, ultramoist, chocolate cake.

                  They also have a nice bruleed banana pastry that's tasty. And, well, I think most of us agree (even you), that their sweet bread/rolls, are good eats.

                  As for the food in the restaurant, I'd have to agree that it's mediocre at best.

                  1. re: DrBruin

                    Their Napoleans are great too.

              2. I Never like the restaurant to eat at, even in Hawaii. Only the bakery, but of course in Hawaii they had more competition for the baked goods from Liliha and Delite bakeries just to name a few. Here in Torrance and Gardena they are the only ones with the Hawaiian stuff.
                They do make great sweet bread. I remember when the loaves were actually loaves and not not round.

                1. I did enjoy the fried rice with a fried egg on top for breakfast but understand that the Shakas restaurant in Alhambra has a much better version of this dish. The paradise
                  cake was very disappointing. I did enjoy the hamburger buns. They're oversized and very good in my opinion. I wouldn't drive over an hour just to eat there.

                  1. As someone mentioned before, King's is OK for the first time visitor for "Hawaii-portrayed" cuisine. I say "portrayed" because that's what most non-local islanders feel Hawaiian food is. Tropical drinks with colorful umbrellas served along with ham and sliced pineapples. Typical Gilligan's Island ambience. I would then recommend either the Loft on Hawthorne Blvd. or King's Hawaiian for that type of experience. For more authentic comfort-type foods most locals are accustomed to, my recommendation would be Bruddah's or Bob's Okazuya in Gardena. Very little fancy ambience but mostly nostalgic for transplanted Hawaii locals or new mainland visitors who desire to see what locals eat.

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                    Bob's Okazuya
                    16814 S Vermont Ave, Gardena, CA 90247

                    Bruddah's
                    1033 W Gardena Blvd, Gardena, CA 90247

                    1. King's is good, if a bit overpriced. Here's where me and my hubby from Oahu go monthly:

                      Bob's Hawaiian Style/ Okazu Ya - 16814 S Vermont Ave, Gardena, CA 90247, (310) 515-2250
                      A little ghetto, but the best plate in town. We had our wedding reception there. TOTALLY worth the drive, over Kings!

                      Aloha Cafe - 410 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, (213) 346-9930
                      Very convenient to downtown LA, very good food; they catered our hula ho'ike (show)

                      Shakas - 2300 S Garfield Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91754, (323) 888-2695 for cafe style or
                      101 W Main St, Alhambra, CA 91801, (626) 293-5520 for the restaurant
                      Both serve lunch/dinner, I love their very FRESH ingredients and the laid back atmosphere of the Monterey Park location

                      L&L here is not like the ones in Hawai'i sadly. Now if someone opens a ZIPPY'S here, I'll be there in a heartbeat :) aloha

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                      2nd St Cafe
                      442 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                      Main St Cafe
                      450 Main St, El Segundo, CA 90245