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Feb 25, 2011 08:39 PM

Loco Moco

What's the best one in LA? I've actually never tried this dish.

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  1. At Bruddah's in Gardena.
    (Closed Mondays)

    1033 W Gardena Blvd, Gardena, CA 90247

    1. If you live near an L&L Hawaiian BBQ they do a decent one in a pinch.

      1. I like the one at Kings Hawaiian in Torrance.

        Kings Hawaiian
        2808 Sepulveda Blvd, Torrance, CA

        1. Besides Bruddas there is...In order of preference...
          Gardena can substitute hamberger for portugese sausage patties
          Bob's Hawaiian Style Restaurant just down the street from Gardena Bowl on Vermont
          The Loft on Hawthorne in Torrance
          Back Home In Lahaina in Manhattan Bch on Sepulveda Blvd
          Sully's on Hawthorne Blvd in Torrance
          The Local Place - Part of King's bakery on western Ave
          King's Bakery
          L&L- any location
          Big Island Hawaiian BBQ -any location
          Wikiwiki Hawaiian BBQ in El Segundo -can choose spam instead of hamburger

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

          Back Home In Lahaina
          916 N Sepulveda Blvd, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

          Big Island Hawaiian BBQ
          1441 Knox St, Torrance, CA 90501

          33 Replies
          1. re: flylice2x

            You forgot Tak's Coffee Shop, they do a pretty good loco moco too.

            3870 Crenshaw Blvd # 101
            Los Angeles, CA 90008-1815
            (323) 295-0195

            Tak's Coffee Shop
            3870 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90008

            1. re: monku

              How does Shakas compare to these places?

              1. re: ipsedixit

                I'd say Shaka's is in line with the loco moco at L&L.
                The fried saimin at Shaka's is the best around.

                1. re: monku

                  I haven't been to the L&L in Pasadena in a while. But, they swore they made their gravy from scratch(I knew someone who cooked there) and their hamburgers were hand formed patties of slightly higher quality from my experiences at other L&L's around the LA area.

                  1. re: monku

                    If I recall correctly, the loco moco burger patty at Shakas is hand-formed (sure looked that way) and the gravy seemed decent enough, and probably more like housemade than from Sysco.

                    That said, I've never really understood the appeal of the loco moco.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      That said, I've never really understood the appeal of the loco moco.

                      Because you're not Hawaiian?

                      Only been to Shaka's in Alhambra, and it didn't leave much of an impression on me.
                      Try their fried saimin.

                      1. re: monku

                        Probably. But then what makes hamburger patty, gravy, rice and egg all that Hawai'ian?

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Supposedly originated in Hilo, Hawaii.
                          You'd think it would be something common on the menu at Denny's.

                          1. re: monku

                            If you think about it, it really is just one variation of that Rochester, New York classic, the Garbage Plate.

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              Don't know much about "the Garbage Plate", but Loco Moco is a well known dish in Hawaii.

                              TNT's Aloha Cafe in Torrance is another good place for loco moco (they were the original Gardena Bowl owners).
                              24032 Vista Montana
                              Torrance, CA 90505
                              (310) 375-4553

                              Wasn't it you that said you liked a good Salisbury steak?
                              Not that different...hamburger steak drenched in gravy w/ a starch.

                              TNT's Aloha Cafe
                              24032 Vista Montana, Torrance, CA 90505

                          2. re: ipsedixit

                            Created at the Lincoln Grill in Hilo in the 1940s. Teenagers with little money asked the owners to create a dish for them. So a bowl of rice with a hambuger patty somothered with gravy was invented. Later came the fried egg.

                            Today there are different variations depending on the location on the islands.
                            Portugese sausage, spam, bolgna, grilled onions. I've had it with tonkatsu.
                            Another version is Curry stew or regular stew over rice and fried eggs.
                            As a kid I used just get one scoop rice in a bowl covered with brown gravy for 5 cents
                            at the Nu'uanu YMC.A. in the mid 60's and L& L wasn't even L& L then on Liliha near
                            Liliha Bakery...

                          3. re: monku

                            The hot item at Shakas in Alhambra is the Bacon & Portugese sausage fried rice, no komobuko please.

                            1. re: Burger Boy

                              Burger Boy,
                              What is "komobuko"? Do you mean "kamaboko"? That is fish paste sausage, sort of.

                                1. re: Tripeler

                                  Or, as my wife always calls it "Oh no! Kamaboko" ;-D>

                                    1. re: Burger Boy

                                      Right, kamaboko -- it's a variation of the Kama Sutra.

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                Agreeing with Monku. People in Hawaii were forever brought up eating heavy starches and meat smothered with thick gravy or something to the equvalent. Pork/veal cutlet plus rice with brown gravy, beef/curry stew over rice, pork and beans with hot dogs over rice, katsu and gravy, and don't forget the mac to have mac salad! It's a nostalgic thing. It reminds and identifies to where and what our immigrant Hawaii ancestors experienced. Goes back to the old plantation days.

                                  1. re: monku

                                    Chili and spaghetti also ...with hot dogs thrown in...

                                  2. re: Clinton

                                    Vienna sausages and spam musubi !

                                    1. re: monku

                                      Get over to Sunny Blue on Main Street in Santa Monica and you'll never think of O-musubi in quite the same way...

                                      sunny blue cafe
                                      2728 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405

                                        1. re: monku

                                          Their website tells it better than I can: All I know is that they make a delicious and addicting product...

                                          1. re: Servorg

                                            More of a Japanese place than Hawaiian.
                                            I don't know.........where's the Spam musubi on the menu?

                                            1. re: monku

                                              "...where's the Spam musubi on the menu?"

                                              That's just your "Hormel's" talking...Give the real thing a try and you'll be an ex-spammer for sure...

                                            2. re: Servorg

                                              They said they were going to open a branch in Los Feliz.

                                              When? WHEN???!!!!!!

                                              Please : )

                                1. re: monku

                                  For fried saimin, my favorite is at Gardena Bowl. Forget L&L here on the mainland. Even Eddie Flores who started L&L in Hawaii says that there are only a couple of L&L's which he likes. Each one is different from one another.

                                  1. re: Clinton

                                    Each one is different from one another
                                    That's for sure.
                                    His daughter had one on San Francisco's Clement Street called "Eva's" which lasted only a few years.

                                    The fried saimin at Shaka's in Alhambra is better than Gardena Bowl.
                                    And I'm a fan of Gardena Bowl (hand made Portuguese sausage patties).

                                2. re: ipsedixit

                                  Bruddah's is the best because they use a big hamburger steak(ground beef, bread crumbs, seasonings) on a large pile of rice with eggs, sauteed onions and I'm hoping a house made(probably isn't) rich dark brown gravy.

                                  1033 W Gardena Blvd, Gardena, CA 90247

                                  1. re: monku

                                    That's the key to a great loco moco. Handmade hamburger patties. Pre-formed burger patties just don't cut it. Of course the thick brown gravy has to be tasty too topped with a sunny side-up egg.

                                  2. re: ipsedixit

                                    Have mixed feelings about Shaka's.
                                    They were a bunch of So-Cal boys (one a friend's son) who started that restaurant not Hawaiians.
                                    Fried saimin, 442 combo and shave ice is pretty good.

                              2. After you're done with your trial running one of the Pacific Islands examples at any of the places recommended I suggest you then go to Animal and give their foie gras (foie gras with quail egg, spam and hamburger) spin on it a try.

                                435 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                10 Replies
                                1. re: Servorg

                                  +1 for Animal's version. Delicious.

                                  1. re: Servorg

                                    only one problem with the Animal version, I don't want the Spam on there, but the gravy, quail egg, foie gras, and hamburger are all very very very good.

                                    btw, is the loco moco at animal really huge or is it a tiny, thick burger with tiny toppings on it???


                                    1. re: kevin

                                      It's a decent sized portion. The amount of foie was probably proportional, if not equal, to the size of the spam and burger patty. In fact, I found the dish way too rich for my palate. Something about runny egg yolks and foie just overwhelms me.

                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                        and it's there most expensive item on the menu at like 35 or 36 bucks if i'm not mistaken.

                                        i really liked the fried veal brains w vadouvan that i had there, as well as the rock cod in the brown butter sauce ( or is it beurre blanc) as well as the hamachi tostada, i think they don't have the fried hominy on the menu there anymore.

                                        1. re: kevin

                                          Definitely a dish to share ... with many other people.

                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                            "Definitely a dish to share" - No way. That's a perfect single serving

                                      2. re: kevin

                                        It's not too big, but very rich...and the spam seems quite mild to you might actually like the entire combo.

                                        1. re: Servorg

                                          if i can leave out the spam, maybe i'll just get the loco moco and a beer or two to wash it down at the bar, plus perhaps just some stick toffee pudding for dessert.

                                          sounds like a nice dinner to me.

                                          i really like the fact that they are one of the very small, finite number of restaurants that actually serve high quality food up to 2am, rather having to settle for diner food at that hour or a greasy slice or two.

                                          1. re: kevin

                                            You can easily pull the piece of spam out and set it aside. They won't do it for you but you won't be stymied by doing it...don't worry.