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origin of the loco moco

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i will be going to the big island at the end of this month and have got tons of very casual and one or two upscale places to eat from all the postings. thank you chowhound!

but i was wondering where the loco moco got it's start. two postings here claim Cafe 100. wikipedia says Lincoln Grill or May's Fountain. hawaii magazine says lincoln's as well. any historians?

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  1. Hard to argue with the links on the Wikipedia site...even Cafe 100 doesn't claim to have created it...only credit for popularizing it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: macaraca

      thnx, didn't see those links

    2. Hi, indelibledotink:

      Hmmm... Let's see... Huamoa (aka eggs, brought with, c800AD) + Pipi (beef, gift from George Vancouver, 1793, but kapu to eat until 1830) + laiki (rice, first try grow 1858) + Knorr brown gravy mix (?)....

      Nah, I'm sayin gets one hungry opu in 1859, well before Knorr or those restos. Hiki no?

      Aloha,
      Kaleo

      1. I thought loco moco was inspired by maui wowie

        10 Replies
        1. re: Bellachefa

          I keep imagining the Loco Moco was a dance craze from the early 60s. Still, you can't get any more Hawaiian than this popular dish.

          1. re: Tripeler

            Hi, Tripeler:

            Except maybe poi, 'uala, lu'au and pua'a or moa kalua ('Ilio has gone out of vogue).

            Aloha,
            Kaleo

            1. re: kaleokahu

              Aloha Kaleo,

              I love your posts. It might be more informative to translate for the lay person/traveler when you use hawaiian words. I often know what you speak of, but many don't have the time to google or go to an English/Hawaiian dictionary.

              1. re: Bellachefa

                E Bellachefa, Aloha:

                Good point. For others' benefit, since you have 'olelo (thank you for that):

                "Except maybe poi [pounded cooked taro, sweet or fermented], 'uala [sweet potatoes], lu'au [foods steamed in ti leaves] and pua'a or moa kalua [pork or chicken, baked underground] ('Ilio [dog] has gone out of vogue)."

                I was being coy with our aikane (friend) Tripeler, who is very wise about many things, including Hawai'i nei. Many foods have become "Hawai'ian", and it has been so since the first star- and bird-guided voyaging canoe touched. Halakahiki (pineapple), Pipi kaulau (chipped beef) Lomilomi (chopped) salmon, Loco Moko, SPAM Wasubi, Mac salad, Mikana (papaya). Any grinds with aloha are welcome, we say.

                No try Hahalua (manta ray) or koa'e (frigate birds), though. They're family.

                Aloha,
                Kaleo

                1. re: kaleokahu

                  When I mentioned that Loco Moko is the most "Hawai'ian" i meant it in the context of outside of Hawaii as it is the most popular Hawaiian dish encountered. To be honest, though, I have no idea what "SPAM Wasubi" is, but guess that it's a SPAM Musubi with plenty of wasabi inside.

                  1. re: Tripeler

                    Hi, Tripeler:

                    I think we each knew what the other meant. Pono 'ole au onda "Wasubi" though. Pono 'oe.

                    Do you think LM is popular outside of Hawai'i, or the dish visitors encounter most while visiting? I would have guessed kalua pig...

                    Aloha,
                    Kaleo

                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      Honest answer, of all my many visits to the islands, I have still yet to try Loco Moco. Now poke, roadside huli huli chicken or kalua pig.......mmmmm hmmmmm

                      1. re: Bellachefa

                        E Bellachefa:

                        LOL, don't build LM up to much in your imagination before you try, or it is likely to ho'ohoka (disappoint) a little. More 'ono like Mac Salad than 'ono like hulihuli chicken, IMO.

                        Aloha,
                        Kaleo

                        1. re: kaleokahu

                          mmmmmm hmmmmm is hawaiian for yummy LOL!!!!!

            2. re: Tripeler

              Performed by Little Eva, no doubt????

              Hunt

          2. Here's a link to an excerpt from an article written in '81 which puts a few names to the story, but not much else...
            http://www.popular-today.com/2008/11/...

            The only other thing I've seen is that the original Lincoln Grill was on Kino'ole Street in Hilo, which runs parallel to the park.

            Somewhere down this street...
            http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&amp...

            1. Until Thursday I'd never had a loco moco in 28 years.........However I was at He'eia Pier and had theirs, AMAZING!!!!! A perfectly charred Kuahiwi beef patty, perfect eggs running all atop the most flavorful gravy imagineable. That and their patty melt made for an amazing breakfast!

              3 Replies
              1. re: manomin

                you know... they REALLY do need to add a "like" button on chowhound.

                1. re: manomin

                  Gardena Bowl in Gardena CA gives you an option of hambuger patties or portuguese sausage patties with or without grilled onions...

                  1. re: flylice2x

                    Porta Moco, niiiiiice. But beware the haoa (heartburn).