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Hawaii’s Loco Moco Breakfast


Hawaii’s Loco Moco Breakfast is a very hardy meal and would fill you up without a problem. It was created in Hilo, Hawaii’s Big Island and has become an island favorite ever since. The next time you are lucky enough to visit our beautiful islands and would like to taste some of Hawaii’s famous dishes, stop by one of the many restaurants and ask for a Loco Moco.

 Hawaii's Loco Moco Breakfast

Hawaii is one of the most sought out vacation destination spots in the world and living on the West Coast we can catch daily flights to the island chain.  Vacationing on Kauai it is easy to get into the island groove, the island trade winds, clear water and of course, the local cuisine.

Ironically, in a gardener’s paradise the meals here can be quite heavy, the standard plate typically includes rice, macaroni salad or a scoop of both.  One of the most popular breakfast choices is the rib-sticking dish aptly named the Loco Moco.

The Loco Moco origins are linked to the Lincoln Grill Restaurant in Hilo, Hawaii.  Kids from the Youth Center across the street liked to hang around the restaurant, were always hungry and with little money in their pockets.  The kids reportedly put in a request for the filling, economical dish which was named after one of the kids nicknamed “Crazy” or “Loco” for his wild attitude.  Moco rhymed with Loco and so the “Loco Moco” was born.

The Loco Moco consists of a scoop of rice, a hamburger patty topped with a fried egg and smothered in brown gravy.  Most restaurants double up and give you two of each; rice, hamburger and eggs for a monster breakfast.  Break the egg yolk and let it run over the burger and into the rice to add richness to the gravy. 

We tried four restaurants this time around to come up with our best Loco Moco choice 2012 for you to try on your next visit, ranging in price between $8 and $12.

Hawaii’s Loco Moco Breakfast

Ranking fourth, Ono Family Restaurant was the only single version, one scoop of rice, patty, egg and gravy. This is one of the most popular breakfast restaurants in the town of Kapaa, but unfortunately the gravy was lackluster and dull. 

In Princeville Marketplace, the North Shore Grindz is a convenience store and grill sharing real estate with the gas station.  Order at the counter and eat on the outdoor patio.  Last year, this was one of our favorites, but this trip the dish was two huge scoops of rice, meat, eggs but scarcely any gravy.  And that was too bad, as the gravy was quite good.  Even when we asked for more, we received only a tiny little container and with all that rice you need more gravy. 

Coming in second is another beloved local’s restaurant in Kapaa, the Kountry Kitchen.  We changed it up a bit here and ordered the dish with Kalua Pork instead of hamburger patty.  This was a good dish with lots of shredded pork, rice, egg and gravy – savory and filling however the eggs were a bit overdone.

A clear winner on our quest was the Island Palm in Kapaa.  Chef Stan put together a great dish that tasted as good as it looked.  The gravy here is outstanding, rich and complex and the burger and eggs were cooked perfectly.  We also liked that artistically the dish was plated nicely, certainly not a requirement for what is virtually a heart attack on a plate but we appreciated the extra effort.

Why the Loco Moco hasn’t hit the West Coast is interesting, although we hear it is starting to appear on So Cal menus.  The Loco Moco is a simple, but calorie-packed breakfast that should fuel you through a day of activities on beautiful Kauai, or realistically share it with a friend.…

Hawaii’s Loco Moco Breakfast can make a man out of just about anyone who sinks their teeth into this delicious meal, and make sure to ask for it with a slice of one of Hawaii’s favorite treats, pineapple…

 ~~Aloha Nui Loa


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