Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (or Good Places to Eat Breakfast)--O'ahu Style
I really like watching Foodnetwork's "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" as I love diners and diner food (especially breakfast). Unfortunately, I don't think O'ahu has many great diners. What is specifically disappointing is the lack of creative updates on diner food. It's a bit surprising to me because I think there would be a solid market for this type of food. (The lines for IHOP were pretty long when they first opened up here.)
Anyway, this is thread to discuss some of the better diners and breakfast eating places on O'ahu.I'll try to breakdown and post some of my favorites as well some places I've been to recently.
Pancakes and Waffles (1284 Kalani St, behind the old Gem store on Dillingham) has a pretty good breakfast, depending on what you order. The vinha d' alos is excellent, and the fried chicken (after 10am) is very good. Haven't tried the crepes or benedicts, but the pancakes are fine.
I would think of Zippy's as the ultimate 3D place, it is a diner and a dive.
Rainbow & Like Like both qualify on the drive-in side.
Koa Pancake House, Wailana Coffee House, Eggs n Things, Bogart's Harry's Cafe, Ana Miller's, Nu'uanu Okazuya, Alakea Delicatessen and Matsumoto's Okazuya.
Those all have good breakfasts, some have good lunches too and then there are places like Ethel's, Helena's, Boulevard Saimin, Side Street Inn, Chun Wah Kam, Char Hung Sut, Libbey Manapua, Cafe Kalia and Kahai Street Kitchen.
Side Street Inn
1225 Hopaka St, Honolulu, HI
201 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96813
Wailana Coffee House
1860 Ala Moana Blvd Ste Lbby, Honolulu, HI 96815
Char Hung Sut Restaurant
64 N Pauahi St, Honolulu, HI 96817
1425 Dillingham Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96817
Matsumoto's Okazuya Restaurant
1323 Gulick Ave, Honolulu, HI 96819
Kahai Street Kitchen
237 Kalihi St, Honolulu, HI 96819
I'm not sure how long Kit and Kitchen has been serving breakfast, but I recently went to check it out. Basically, it's cheap but the quality can be decent (for the price) to not so great. That's the same for the breakfast items we got. (I can't remember most of them now. I do remember the pancakes, which were of a similar quality to microwave pancakes.)
Our family has recently been going to Mocha Java for breakfast--a place made not typically thought of as a restaurant. They have some interesting dishes that are pretty decent.
Yeah, the owner seems like a really nice guy, which makes me root for him. The deal with Kit n' Kitchen is value. You get decent portions and quality for the price you pay--which is pretty minimal. It's not a place I would recommend to out-of-towners, but for locals, especially those on a budget.
Was Kit n' Kitchen open in the 80s? Where was it?
Have to agree that Oahu really lacks an outstanding triple D. There are a number of decent breakfast spots we patronize, but nothing like what you can find on the mainland. We like Jack's in Aina Haina, Like Like Drive In, Wailana Coffee Shop, Anna Miller's and Liliha Bakery.
Besides the pancakes, Liliha Bakery also makes a terrific mahi mahi plate. I also like Rainbow's portuguese sausage and eggs with chili over the rice, a rib sticking breakfast plate served all day.
I think I've only been to one crepe place (next to Serge's in Manoa). I like the nutella, banana crepes, although that's more of a dessert than breakfast food, imo.
Re: Liliha Bakery
I think they make some of the best pancakes (although they might have slightly gone downhill). It's just regular pancakes, but they're really good for some reason. (I think the fact that they come to you piping hot is a factor.) Also, try their grilled butter rolls with "radioactive jelly."