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Apr 8, 2011 11:49 AM

Hawaiian Plate Lunch

Does anyone know of a good authetic Hawaiian plate lunch place? I have already been to L & L and Ono Hawaiian BBQ.

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  1. Rutt's Hawaiian is a favorite of mine. Their royales are great, but never had their other plate options.

    Rutt's Hawaiian Cafe
    12114 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

    1. There's a place downtown called The Aloha Cafe that may fit the bill.

      Aloha Cafe
      410 E 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

      1. Rutt's makes very good Hawaiian breakfasts, but there are other places that serve better Hawaiian plate lunch.

        Back Home Lahaina and their sister restaurant, The Loft are good sit-down restaurants. Back Home's Hawaiian fried Chicken is excellent, along with their fried rice. Several locations for each.

        Bruddah's in Gardena is more old fashioned but one of the best PL places. I like their fish and teri chicken. Maybe the most authentic PL in LA.

        Three Brothers does not have Hawaiian roots, but serves very good PL, notably their chicken katsu. Harbor City.

        Other notables:
        Gardena Bowl, TNT in Torrance, Shaka's in Alhambra and Monterey Park.

        Others will chime in with their favorites

        1033 W Gardena Blvd, Gardena, CA 90247

        Three Brothers Restaurant
        23722 Western Ave Harbor, City, CA

        7 Replies
        1. re: Ogawak

          Nice list.

          I would also add The Loft and Bob's Okazuya.

          1. re: Ogawak

            We live near Rutt's and I'd concur with your assessment about the plate lunches. The royales are good especially if you ask for it with fried rice. But I've never been super impressed with their plates.

            We'll actually drive down to Bruddah's if we're craving a plate lunch meal bad enough. I also like their mac salad the best. The mac is smaller and the balance of dressing better. It all works together much better.

            Anyone been to Bob's lately? We keep meaning to try them but just keep driving towards Bruddah's instead.

            1033 W Gardena Blvd, Gardena, CA 90247

            1. re: Jase

              OK this may get me yelled at but... if you like Kalua pork, I actually find Ono Hawaiian BBQ to be pretty damn amazing.

              I don't care for the rest of their stuff, but Ono's Kalua Pork is pretty damn spot-on. (And it comes w/rice, mac salad, and steamed cabbage.)

              Ono Hawaiian BBQ
              1147 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

              1. re: Jase

                At Bruddah's they use spaghetti not macaroni for the mac salad. Don't know what you mean by "dressing", they should be using Best Foods Mayo.

                Agree, Bruddah's for plate lunches and the best loco moco in town.

                1033 W Gardena Blvd, Gardena, CA 90247

                1. re: monku

                  They still use a hollow tubular pasta and it's just a smaller gauge than I'm used to seeing at other Hawaiian places. I'm used to calling that macaroni. Spaghetti to me is long thin non hollow noodles. Either way, I like the smaller pasta.

                  As for the dressing, it just tastes like there is something else besides mayo. Whatever it is, I like the overall whole.

                2. re: Jase

                  I agree with you on that one. Rutt's is pretty mediocre, but you must admit you get a lot of food for the price. It bothers me that they slap King's Hawiian rolls on the plate. IDK maybe I'm too picky.

                3. re: Ogawak

                  For a chain, I think that Ohana Hawaiian BBQ has the best kalua pork. I'll take the Ono recommendation under advisement :-).

                  Also, the 'original' Loft (on Artesia Bl) did it extremely well with cabbage. The various spinoffs keep closing / reopening elsewhere so I haven't kept track.

                  Ohana Hawaiian BBQ
                  4421 Redondo Beach Blvd, Lawndale, CA 90260

                4. I like the Kalua Pork with Cabbage at Moana in Burbank. I don't know if it is actually a superlative version because I've never had it at any other restaurant. At $7.99, I think it's well worth the money.

                  1. Only way to get an authentic Hawaiian Plate lunch is to go to Hawaii .. Ono's, Helena's or Young's Fish Market..

                    What are you looking for? Laulau, Lomi salmon, kalua pork, squid luau, pipikaula and of course poi??? Bruddah's for the above for Hawaiian food.

                    If you're looking for plate lunches with an asian flair the like teri beef / chicken, tonkatsu, royales, loco moco, etc., then the rest of the places mentioned are good to go......


                    Sorry, born and raised in Hawaii, so when you say Hawaiian plate lunch, to me it means with hawaiian food. Just "plate lunch" is all the rest... with rice and mac salad....

                    I grew up next to the original L&L before it was L&L and they never had hawaiian food until they started the franchise out to the mainland.

                    Now I'll hear it from the rest of da bruddas out there...Hey I grew up around Lanakila Park/ Palama area, what you expect.....

                    1033 W Gardena Blvd, Gardena, CA 90247

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: flylice2x

                      Gotta agree. Mainland plate lunches are nothing like Hawaii plate lunches. We don't have the same passion like the old time lunch trucks and delicatessens back home. All we have here is what I call "pseudo" Hawaiian-style imitators who try their best at replicating what they think people will tolerate here. Our old muti-cultural dishes like tripe stew, pig feet, pork cutlet with lots of gravy, hot dogs beans and rice, okazu, pasteles, etc., just don't happen much here on the mainland. Some places here like Bruddah's in Gardena come pretty close to making homesick islanders happy but the other imitators fall short for us old timers who remember how it was.

                      1033 W Gardena Blvd, Gardena, CA 90247

                      1. re: flylice2x

                        Pretty sure the OP was asking about Plate Lunch that would include Japanese and Chinese influences as opposed to the Ono and Young's offerings you mentioned. And since they originated in Hawaii, they''re "Hawaiian".

                        What my wife (St. Louis and Kaneohe) misses here is the Korean style PL's which include kalbi and kimchee. The closest we have found are the kalbi dishes served at Tofu Ya on Sawtelle. And, no, she doesn't want Korean BBQ; she wants it already cooked.

                        Tofu Ya
                        2021 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

                        1. re: Ogawak

                          Have you and your wife tried Seoul Grindz in Glendale? Pretty good Hawaiian style Korean plates.

                          136 S Brand Blvd
                          Glendale, CA 91204-1308
                          (818) 637-8566

                          For Plate Lunchs I like Shakas - Monterey Park and Alhambra. Broke da mouth.


                          Also for awesome chicken, Harrys Aloha Cafe in Gardena. It isnt The old Aloha Chop Suey but still very good.


                          I also second the recs on Bruddahs, Onos and Ohana.

                          1033 W Gardena Blvd, Gardena, CA 90247

                          1. re: macnut

                            Seoul Grindz has been out of there for some time's an L&L Hawaiian BBQ.

                            1. re: monku

                              well that sucks. Thanks for the heads up monku.

                          2. re: Ogawak

                            For Korean style PL's has your wife tried Gushi? They have two locations on the west side, one in Westwood Village and the other next door to Tlapazola Grill on the corner of Gateway and Barrington.

                            978 Gayley Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024

                            Gushi Cafe
                            11670 W Gateway Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                            1. re: Servorg

                              Thanks for the tip. I'll be sure to report back.

                          3. re: flylice2x

                            Hey flylice2x, what was the name of the original L&L before it was L&L. We were just talking about that in the office yesterday and a some of us have eaten there, but no one could remember the name. Back then if you wanted Hawaiian food you had to go next door to Young's before they moved over to the Kapalama City Square. Thanks.

                            1. re: curiousgeo

                              From this Advertiser article, Eddie Flores bought his first location and kept the name L&L from the previous owner.