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Feb 17, 2012 11:30 AM

da falafel king (honolulu)

just wanna give a little heads up about my fave newish place to eat in town --- da falafel king -- they've had a stand in waiks for some time now (in front of the Shack), but have recently opened a truck in moilili, between down to earth and kinko's near university (i usually park behind kinkos and walk over). i've been to the the stand in waiks once ages ago, but since they opened the truck in town i've been once or twice a week for the last month and a half. because its damn good food. israeli falafel i've ever had, by far. besides being perfectly seasoned, they are smaller falafel balls, more fried surface area to filling ratio, less mushy than others in town (i.e. fat greek). they fill the pitas with a bunch of different salads, tahini, homemmade hot sauce (on request- get it! not super spicy but super flavorful), pickled, cabbage, etc -- welcome to holy flavor country.

the kebab pitas are also fantastic -these are ground lamb+beef balls with spices and herbs - every ball was cooked medium when i had it. impressed. again, stuffed with salads, etc - ask for hot sauce in there.

i've also had the schwarma - chicken and lamb, and while its pretty damn good, i like the aforementioned better.

a unique little treat they make are their pita "chips" -- as they have to cut off the top of the fluffy pita to get it stuffed, they take that small piece of pita and quickly fry it and toss it a zaatar-like seasoning and usually hand it to you as an amuse bouche. tasty nugget.

its a bit pricey, but its hawaii (usual excuse?), and they import pitas etc from israel. 8 bucks for falafel pita, 3 extra bucks with fries (lightly paprika/salty seasoned, tasty dipped in tahini - ask for extra) and a drink. kebab and schwarma sando is like 10-11 bucks. worth it to me, but i can understand any $ hesitation.

go check 'em out - i want them to do well, they're super nice folks and i think they do some of the more consistent and tasty food round these parts. open for lunch and dinner weekdays...closed saturday (i think) and not sure about sunday....

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  1. Thanks for a great post! Next time I'm in town I look forward to this!

    1. I've been meaning to try them for several weeks but haven't gotten there yet. Your post gives me the push I need to get down to business. One question: somewhere I got the idea they do really good french that true?

      5 Replies
      1. re: macaraca

        i've had the fries twice. once they were perfect, and once some fries in the basket were perfect and some were a touch soggy -- made me hesitate writing too much about them. they are nicely seasoned though, and like i said, i really like the tahini dippage. would totally get them again without question....i try not to though. the sandwich alone is sufficiently filling for lunch even though i can easily kill the combo and slowly slip into kanakattack

        1. re: fatstern

          these guys are moving into diego's old spot on king st in moilili and explanding menu...prob open in a couple months, FYI. i still go once a week or so, and the falafel and kebab never disappoint. recommend you order some 'amba' on the side....amazing thin sauce made with pickled mango and currey-esque seasonings. adds a brilliant twist.

          1. re: fatstern

            There was no truck, but a sign in the parking lot at MCC/DTE last night saying they had moved the truck nearby to the corner of University and Coyne...didn't go to see, but sounds like it is across University from the Greek Corner, and opposite Bubbies on Coyne.

            1. re: macaraca

              yep, in the old first Hawaiian Parking lot.

              the food is really good, a bit pricier than i would have expected but not outrageous.

              1. re: macaraca

                thanks, was wondering where they went

        2. Amba is sort of like liquified indian mango pickle. There's another sauce popular in Israel that's worth trying if these guys have it ... it's called schoog. A Yemeni hot sauce, made mostly of dried hot red (can be fresh green) chills. The red one is a lot like the red chili condiment you see on tables in some Chinese restaurants in Hawaii. A lot of Israeli falafel sammies have fries IN the pita with all the other stuff.