About two weeks ago, I mentioned that Mo was back with Homestyle Hawaiian. So here's the second part....sorta.....
Two weeks is but a blink of an eye for a new business, and Mo's still making adjustments, some long term, some like this temporary(click to enlarge):
The good thing is, you can kinda keep up with things with Homestyle Hawaiian on Twitter.
It does look like the menu is pretty much set, but it's just like Mo to keep his "old time" customers happy.
One of my favorite things are "mixed plates" aka "combo plates", after all everyone loves variety, right? It does run two bucks or so (depending what you get) more, but the portions are slightly larger, and like I mentioned before, you get variety. Like this Chicken Katsu, Korean Chicken mixed plate:
As with Mo's Island Grinds, our favorite overall dish is the Korean Chicken, and the Missus loves the sauce aka Korean Sauce that Mo uses for that dish. Mo mentioned that while on hiatus, several other Hawaiian BBQ joints actually offered to but his recipe.
Those that know me are also aware that I love my Katsu.... in all forms. Breaded and served with Katsu Sauce, Mo's is almost "local kine" which is more ketchup based, than the "Bulldog" and other similar Japanese sauces. At Homestyle Hawaiian, add some Korean Sauce, and you have Lava Chicken, and even though it's not on the menu, you can request a Chicken Cutlet($5)...... in this case it's Katsu covered with gravy:
Even though Mo wasn't born and raised in Hawaii he seems to understand the changes in tastes. We once had a discussion of "Local Kine Plate Lunch Kalbi" which tends to a more sweet flavor, probably because many of the early Lunchwagons and "Drive-Ins" that served this in the Islands were of Japanese ancestry. My tastes have changed since moving to the Mainland, but if you enjoy a sweeter Kalbi, you'll love the version here.
That's not to say that things always stay the same. I've never been a big fan of the Macaroni Salad at Mo's, and now at Homestyle Hawaiian. On my last two visits however, the salad is less heavy, and has more flavor:
And then there are the "works in progress" such as Meat Jun.
Meat Jun is pretty much a Hawaii thing (BTW, my favorite was from Choi's Family Kitchen), so it'll be interesting following the progress of this dish.
And then there's this:
Recognize it? Probably not, since it's not served at Homestyle Hawaiian.... well not really. I've always joked with Mo, telling him that the Missus's favorite thing is the Korean Sauce, and it seems that She relishes the drippings from Korean Chicken on the cabbage garnish on the bottom of the plate! When I've mentioned this to Mo, he's always laughed and shakes his head. And though it's kinda embarrassing, I always ask for some extra sauce when I order Korean Chicken, and Mo being a nice guy, will always give it to us. So we saved up our Korean Sauce, until I had enough. I shredded some cabbage, sliced some cucumber, and topped with some mint. I heated the sauce to wilt the cabbage a bit....... and I had that! Of course it was missing the nice protein-fatty flavor from the chicken, but the Missus wiped the whole thing out. I normally wouldn't mention this except...... on a recent visit, I was sitting and eating my plate, when a couple came in to order some food for a small catering thing. During the discussion, the gentleman also wanted to get an order of "coleslaw". Mo told the guy he "doesn't serve coleslaw"..... Like a schoolkid trying to score points with the teacher I raised my hand, "oh-oh Mo.... I know exactly what he wants, Exxxx-xactly what he wants...." When I mentioned this to the Missus, She gave me the ultimate "I told you so look".
As I write this, Homestyle Hawaiian is still sorta a work in progress; it's still cash only, the hours are changing from week to week, etc, etc..... So I guess we'll need to follow things on Twitter for a bit. Hopefully, it'll all be worth it in the end.
Homestyle Hawaiian Island Style Food
7524 Mesa College Drive
San Diego, CA 92111
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