hawaii foodies: loco moco in honolulu

Old Apr 16th, 2003, 04:23 PM
  #21  
Kal
 
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Mels, I'm beggin' ya! Please! No Fair doing this when I'm still 250+ days out!

We tried making it at home, but once again, it ain't the same as BEING there!

Here's to Loco Moco Dreams!
"Kal the Slim"
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Old Apr 16th, 2003, 05:52 PM
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"You are what you eat"--check my brother out, I bet he does a column on loco moco soon:
http://hawaii.rr.com/leisure/reviews..._ocihawaii.htm
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Old Apr 16th, 2003, 09:53 PM
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It's me, Melissa's faithful brother.

If this was a bad day for Yum Yum Tree, it was the wrong day to have a bad day!

I joined someone who is there EVERY DAY and usually has SEVERAL guests. I had to search for a waitress in the KITCHEN so that I could order my Marigoing test item. Deduct three points for service.

When it finally came, it was a large pile of rice with a hamburger patty, two eggs, and and lots of cold light brown congealed gravy on top. Deduct two points for presentation.

The rice had undercooked patches. Down
three points. The hamburger patty was
hard. Another two points. The gravy was bland. Another two points.

Don't bother with a point total. Don't read me wrong, I've had some good
breakfast orders at Yum Yum Tree, but on this day, with this dish, the bells were not ringing. Disregard my finishing the meal; that relates to my childhood training more than anything else. Melissa was not trained in the same way, she doesn't understand.,,,
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Old Apr 16th, 2003, 11:15 PM
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This is too funny, It took me a while to get back to posting, but the loco moco thread kinda jumped up at me. ...And lo and behold, it's Mliss and Tony, although mostly Tony. Tony: Was there any doubt that registration was free?

Pake jokes aside, thanks to Anthony we now have THE definitive guide to the Big City loco moco.

In our family quest for the perfect loco moco we haven't roamed as far, but we share this wisdom:

When it comes to loco mocos, there are many things to consider: the texture of the patty (gotta be good), the delicate treatment of the egg (fried or scrambled, sunny side up or over easy), and then there's the gravy. Gloppy is not acceptable. It has to be silky smooth and delicious.

My teenage sons LOVE King's cafe's locos, It's a fried rice kinda thing. The gravy is great, and believe it or not, what makes King's locos superior is presentation. Didn't think it was possible, eh?

Although the boys can put them away, I'm daunted by the sheer mass and weight of a King's loco moco. So I go for the #2 breakfast (w/fried rice.) I also recommend King's fresh-squeezed oj. Heaven on a sunday morning.

Kal, we should get the gang together for breakfast when you come nex time.




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Old Apr 16th, 2003, 11:35 PM
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WELCOME BACK KALENA! A round of loco moco w/fried rice for everyone.
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Old Apr 17th, 2003, 10:15 AM
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Well, Kalena, apparently you've been absent from the scene for some time. Welcome back! However, you shouldn't be commenting about finance chinois, considering the spending history of some of your, ahem, relatives. And it's not the relatives you think I mean, ho, ho, ho!

My brother and I talked briefly about the criteria for a perfect hamburger patty. Presuming that the meat has been properly spiced, the key word is patty; it's not called a pressy and should not be treated as such. Kua Aina (in Haleiwa) minimizes the handling of the meat, forming the patty without eliminating the tiny air pockets that give lightness to the texture. Air, together with just the right amount of rendered fat and diced vegetables, will give you a succulent patty.

The other important factor is the cook and how the grill is handled. The heat should sear without burning, the meat
turned every thirty seconds to allow for the even flow of juices as the patty is cooking. The finished patty should a nicely carmelized crisp exterior, providing initial resistance to the teeth, followed by a burst of succulence, what the Chinese call t'sui,
a food cooked to exactly the point of doneness and no more.

The egg cooks on a different part of the grill to provide a different texture to the dish. The grill cook would undercook the egg slightly so that the hot gravy poured over it would bring it to the point of perfect doneness.

The rice should be softly cooked, hot and not compressed into an impermeable mass. A fluffed serving of rice permits the hot gravy to flow among the kernels, not lie threateningly like a barrier of cholesterol on top of the dish.

The gravy should have some darkness to it, suggesting the infusion of some savory into the liquid, rather than the
blandness of blandness of flour and water. It has to be hot but not burnt.

Making a good loco moco is not easy. A good cook will keep a steady eye on the meat and egg, not easy to do when pancakes, french toast, and sausage are flying around the kitchen.

Good luck in the search! All of us are breathlessly awaiting your find.

Would you be interested in being a guest columnist for "What's Cookin...
Around Town" on Hawaii Roadrunner and tell everyone about your quest?
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Old Apr 17th, 2003, 10:29 AM
  #27  
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Slurrrrrrrrrrrp!

Buffalo meat and some of Jean Marie's finest Portuguese Sausage gravy!

Aloha to you, Kalena.

We may have to spend 2 days on Oahu this Dec/Jan trip just to hit these places before going over to Kauai so we can work them off!
Mels and Mrs Kal can go jogging and we can sit around and talk anything BUT politics! ;-)
Kal
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Old Apr 17th, 2003, 06:08 PM
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it looks like my loco moco debut may happen this satdy. jpnese friend has now arrived, and made it clear she wants REAL loco moco, like locals eat. which rules out alan wong and sam choy. to top it off, she treated me to alan wong's last nite, was nearly in tears at the presentations of the 5-course tasting menu--the contrasts of taste, color, texture, the fusion of jpnese, chinese, local and other influences--and said it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

now i have to top that w/ loco moco. based on something of a consensus here, i think we may go to king's cafe.

pakeporkchop, i understand pake, but why porkchop? ur description of t'sui made my mouth water. does t'sui also occur in jpnese cooking, like w/ broiled meats or oily fishes, as in misoyaki salmon belly?

and the guest column thing, wd this be an open invitation to join the quest, or wd i singlehandedly be responsible for the quest?
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Old Apr 17th, 2003, 10:50 PM
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The quality of t'sui is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle yolk upon the rice beneath. The eater is twice blessed.

Many will meet in winter. Some will meet soon.



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Old Apr 17th, 2003, 11:39 PM
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PakePorkChop's daughter (the one who protested at Bush's inauguration) is reading this at her computer and cracking up at us! I wonder why?

Mari, have you ever had Peachy Pork Chops? That's one of those home-style local thangs we grew up with (tastes like something you'd order at the Kam Bowl). I think that's where my brother's play on words comes in. And instead of jowls I guess he can call them pork chops.....har har
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Old Apr 18th, 2003, 01:09 AM
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kalena: what?

melissa, ur niece is not the only one laughing. i've recommended this thread to several others, and expect loco moco sales to rise shortly across hnl. and btw, who eats at kam bowl? the only time i was there was to p/u a pot of oxtail soup, and the sound of bowling pins crashing down the lanes was deafening! are the peachy pork chops good??
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Old Apr 18th, 2003, 09:10 AM
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Actually, I have not had such pork chops at Kam Bowl, just the oxtail soup and i think fried rice. My mom used to make peachy pork chops, but it tastes like something you'd eat at a bowling alley in Kalihi! Hmmm, maybe I will take my mom there this weekend....(she is so deaf!)
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Old Apr 18th, 2003, 10:49 AM
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Neice of PakePorkChop and Melissa here. I just wanted to add that PakePorkChop does not only collect so-called "take-out" menus in Hawaii. Or from the United States, for that matter. I witnessed the illegal "collection" of a restaurant menu in Vienna (??) a couple of years ago. Purely for research purposes, of course.
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Old Apr 18th, 2003, 11:49 AM
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marigong: It was the idea of the quest for the perfect loco moco.

For a moment there, the humble loco kinda transported me into another state and I saw you and your japanese friend eating loco mocos at King's this weekend, and all of us and Kam eating loco mocos this winter at a yet undisclosed location, and all locos had achieved the perfect synergy of egg yolk and gravy over a succulent patty and...it was all so beautiful that I was driven to poetry.

But ok, I'm back down to earth.
Let's plan on a loco moco gtg for Kam if we don't run into each other earlier.

Tony: still perplexed about which relatives, but i *think* I get it..... Now, what's this about the menus? LOL!

I do love oxtail soup. That may be the worthy subject of another quest. King's is ono, but maybe I need to get out more.




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Old Apr 18th, 2003, 10:11 PM
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Hmm, Kalena, you celestial blossom, you bring up an interesting point. What other exotic stuff do you guys like? I mean, Kam Bowl also serves beef tongue, which PakePorkChop and I eat. We also enjoy oxtail soup, stew, etc. Mari, are you game for stuff like that? There is a grill-your-own place on Kapiolani called Gyu-taku that has standard and exotic stuff on the menu, and they are actually pretty good.

Mari, there are a ton of books brewing here....better tell Donovan we're going to give him a run for his money....
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Old Apr 19th, 2003, 12:06 AM
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Can't cook and have never had loco moco. Have only this to offer from a very old Dave Donnelly column...

"THE New York Times did a food feature on eats in Hawaii which began thusly: "Loco Moco is the original fusion food." That's by way of leading into what Chef Alan Wong has done with the dish. In his version, it's fried rice bound with nori, crowned with a tiny shrimp and pork hash patty and a quail egg, which he calls "mini loco moco." Chef Sam Choy, who uses the traditional chicken egg in his concoction, is quoted as countering, "When people come to Hawaii, you want them to have a taste of Hawaii, not froufrou stuff."

Touche, Alan Wong, Touche.

I would like to know why Melissa and Pake never took the "kids" to Kam Bowl for this great menu they apparently have.
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Old Apr 19th, 2003, 01:53 AM
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wait, wait. no bickering here, no room for family dysfunction. daughterofporkchop, i have heard a rumor that kam bowl has gone downhill, so ur older, wiser family members may have been trying to spare u.

melissa, i too have grilled beef tongue at gyutaku (last friday during happy hour). one of the busiest meals i've had in a while. i prefer being waited on hand and foot--have u been to nonbei?

also, while i'm ashamed to admit it and too lazy to do a google search, i've never heard of donovan delacruz. can he write?

kalena can write. she cd write the intro for the book! we'll have chapters on loco moco, oxtail soup, (not sure abt beef tongue), peachy pork chops, and what else? are we limited to entrees? and what will be the defining climax of each chapter, the life's lesson, the hardship overcome? i see a work of narrative non-fiction, w/ lots of food pictures . . .
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Old Apr 19th, 2003, 05:48 AM
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If I recall, the kids are always too busy going to work or rehearsal or all those other things you young kids do. You barely have time for all the dim sum lunches we treat you to! Not to mention, you now live in Pgh. But that's OK daughterofporkchop (who should have consulted Aunt Em for a screen name!), next time you come home I will take you to Kam Bowl instead of Scoozees!!

Mari, where u been?? Donavan Dela Cruz is now a state Rep, but previously did a guidebook on all the okazu-yas in Hawaii (or at least on Oahu) called, "Oh, 'Cause You Hungry." As a J-School grad, he knew how to pitch so he did the local talk show circuit and everything. In fact, he and his writing partner did a follow up book on "Hole in the wall" dining and another on "omiyage tips."

I've not been to nonbei, but you are right.....being waited on does have its merits. Esp when your tablemates don't help cook!

Maybe the book's lesson involves my nieces, teaching them how to eat properly and how simple, old-fashioned eating equates to simple, old-fashioned common sense to get you through life?? Can shave ice from Aoki's satisfy you as much as a Ted's pie? What's the difference between people who like "wet" fried rice as opposed to "dry?" (That came up at work once.) And how did the Kuakini St. culture change when Masu's took over the old Honda's spot? If I stop eating Chinese style pig's feet and switch to Okinawan style, will I grow hair? All kinds of life mysteries revealed ....
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Old Apr 19th, 2003, 09:49 PM
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Loco Moco Nazi here...

'nough chit-chat, back to work!

One policeman recommended Columbia Inn,
$4.65 for one patty, one egg.

Another fellow recommended KC Drive-in,
$4.55 for one patty, one egg.

My eighteen-year-old recommended "You Hungry?", the "local-style" food corner
at Kapiolani and Atkinson. "Hungry" costs $6.04 and "sorta hungry" costs $4.04. Don't discount this one: Nadine Kam gave 'em four stars.

On the upscale side, Canoes at the Ilikai Hotel will give you a grilled patty with two eggs for $12.95.

Finally, Liliha Bakery does not list
"loco moco". You ask for the hamburger steak with egg and gravy on top.

The Pake Porkchops is a food catering club that specializes in serving a whole roasted pig. In a classic club picture, the corpulent choppers posed with their cleavers and the pig, which appeared to have the thinnest body in the group...
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Old Apr 20th, 2003, 01:38 AM
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Ah yes, you know, after 3 kids it's hard to regain your high school figure. ;-)
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