Me:"My name is Kirk, and I'm a Loco-holic"
Group: "Hel-lo Kirk"
Me:"I've been secretly munching on Moco's over the last four months, and have almost been caught with gravy on my breath several times....."
Actually, the Loco Moco, along with Portuguese Sausage, Eggs, and Rice are my breakfasts of choice. I really don't usually eat a very large breakfast, but when I decide to have a hearty breakfast (usually breakfast and lunch), the Loco or PCE&R are what I choose. For those who don't know what a Loco Moco is; in it's most basic form a Loco Moco is Rice, Hamburger Patties, Easy-over, or Sunny Side up Eggs, covered in gravy. Tabasco, or some other hot sauce is used to complete the dish. It's origins are much debated, but is believed to have originated in Hilo around 1949.
One day while sitting to get a haircut, I was reading one of those Car Magazines, you know the ones; they compare exotic cars that we could never afford, 500 horse power with a sticker price in 6 digits..... When it came to me. Instead of the great Porsche versus Ferrari Shoot-out, I'll do the Great Loco Shoot-out! Instead of torque and horsepower, I'd do gravy and rice! The ideas that come to you when you're waiting to get dead cells trimmed off your body! So I decided to compare 5 Loco's; 4 Domestic, and one imported, and even two of the same "model".
Of course I needed a way to measure the Loco's. So I decided on the "Modified Rubio Scale", originally developed by James "Da' Lord of Loco" of Big Island Grinds. The original Rubio Scale measured each item on the Loco, I decided to take the "base" items, the Burger, Gravy, Egg, and Rice. To this I added "Stuffs", that include macaroni salad, Spam, or any other item that comes with the Loco. All items are graded on a scale between 1 through 5, with 2.5 being average.
So before I have to donate my arteries to Medical Science, let's get started:
LOCO#1: HAWAIIAN ISLAND BARBECUE
*** HIB has closed
BURGER: Standard pre-formed mass produced patty, not dry though - 2.0
EGGS: Cooked almost perfectly, edges crisp, yolks intact, not seasoned - 4.0
RICE: Average, slightly mushy, but ok - 2.5
GRAVY: Nice color and texture, but no taste, not seasoned - 2.5
STUFFS: Macaroni Salad, too much mayo and no salt - blah - 2.0
TOTAL: 13 points for what I consider to be a below average Loco($6.39), luckily I had alot of Tabasco! Also shows how one really good item, in this case the egg, can bring the Loco rating up.
LOCO#2: RUTT'S CAFE - LOS ANGELES *** Update, Rutt's Cafe has closed
BURGER: Handmade, well seasoned, onions and green onions, make a good burger - 4.0
EGGS: Cooked perfect, crisp edges, nice runny yolk, I'd even say soft in texture. - 4.5
RICE: Well cooked - 3.0
GRAVY: Lumpy and too light, taste was ok - 2.0
STUFFS: Macaroni salad, good mayo, but flavored with relish, yuck. Didn't know what to do with the dinner roll - 1.0
TOTAL: 15 points for an above average Loco($6.35) for our one "import" model (from Los Angeles) previously posted on July 18th. A good example of how one or two weak links can bring a "good" Loco down.
BURGER: Premade, but actually seasoned, not dry, doesn't taste like cardboard for a change - 2.5
EGGS: Totally average, no crisp edges - mediocre - 2.5
RICE: Average - 2.5
GRAVY: Pretty good flavor, I know it's packaged, or whatever, but savory - 3.5
STUFFS: Somebody remembered their salt shaker today! Nice amount of Mayo, I thought it was pretty good - 3.0
TOTAL: 14 points is about as good as I think a Loco($6.39) can be at one of these Hawaiian Barbecue places, maybe another point if the eggs were done better!
LOCO#4: DA KINE'S
*** Da Kine's has closed
BURGER: Grilled nicely, but tasteless, and dry, dry, dry - 2.0
EGGS: Yolks overcooked and solid, otherwise average - 2.0
RICE: This was a shocker, Dakine's always has mushy rice, except this time - well cooked - 3.0
GRAVY: Nice and dark, but tasteless, and not enough of it - 2.5
STUFFS: Macaroni salad; you'd think with all the carrots and celery, this salad would have some taste - but noooo, very bland. Why is everybody afraid of salt? 2.5
TOTAL: 11.5 What a disappointment. When I first opened the take-out container, my first thought was, "where's the rest of my Loco($5.75)?". Almost looks like 1/3 of the Loco is missing!
LOCO#5: L&L HAWAIIAN BARBECUE - SPORTS ARENA LOCATION
BURGER: Well seasoned, pre-formed burger, moist - 2.5
EGGS: I don't know if you can see it, but there are brown bits all over the egg. The main cause of this is that the frying surface was not cleaned or scraped after the last item was cooked. Threw off the taste of the eggs, and who likes biting into "mystery bits"? - 1.0
RICE: Actually very well cooked, you could count the grains of rice - 3.0
GRAVY: Too light, and not well flavored - 2.0
STUFFS: Somebody forgot the salt shaker when they made the macaroni salad, and too much mayo - 2.0
TOTAL: 10.5 Just goes to show, that all of these L&L's are not created equal. Funny thing is that this location is right next to a Starbucks, which I thought was so appropriate, being that L&L's are taking over the world!
Just in case you're not tired of Loco Moco's yet! Here's a menu with my Fantasy Loco Moco, would it be a 25 pointer? Who knows, I'll let you know when I go back home for vacation. Reid's got a few Loco Moco posts on Ono Kine Grindz. Want to see a nice homegrown Loco? Santos has one on his fine site The Scent of Green Bananas.
Alright, time to go, I'm feeling like an unemployed Sumo Wrestler after writing this. What did I have for dinner tonight? Cold Tofu! Man, I need a shower.......