I developed a bad habit during my trips back home. I found myself taking photos of my breakfasts with my phone and sending them to my friends. And for some reason, I've kept on doing this even after returning to San Diego. Recently, JohnL suggested that I do posts on these, which I thought was a great idea, so here goes....we'll start with Oahu.
I found myself getting up pretty early, say at 5am or so in the morning during our stays on Oahu. Not wanting to wake anyone up, I'd often take a drive, sometimes with an objective in mind, or perhaps just to fill up gas. On the morning I hit up Nam Fong, the roads were clear with no traffic, so I headed all the way up to a place that's near and dear to my heart..... Like Like Drive In. Talk to any "townie" of my generation and you'll come with a list of places like Tin Tin Chop Suey and Like Like Drive In. Actually, this location of Like Like is not the original from 1953.
Back in the 90's the folks running Like Like swapped the restaurant over from the portion of the building to the right.
Walking in the place at 430 am on Thanksgiving was quite interesting. As I entered, the last of post drinking crowd was leaving and all the old-timers, newspapers tucked under their arm were entering. Still, this being a family holiday, the place was empty. The look and feel, down to the booths really stirs memories.......
I really didn't order a locomoco per se, but looking over the menu I just happened to order two easy over eggs with rice and a hamburger patty. The woman serving me said, "you need gravy with that, right?' Not do you want some gravy, you "need" some gravy. And you know what? She was right....I needed some gravy with this.
I usually don't care for burgers that have been pressed down on the flat-top, but this patty had developed a wonderful crust from a well aged griddle and had been seasoned to boot. The gravy was decently flavored and not glue-like and went well with the runny eggs and rice.
It was a nice way for me to start the day......just like old times. Though I'm not doing too much active work nowadays, so I pick my spots.
Not too many of the places I grew up eating are left....Kaimuki Inn, Kuhio Grill, Alakea Grill, Chunky's, Wisteria, Suehiro, King's, McCully Chop Suey (the first air-conditioned Chinese restaurant in Hawaii!), King Tsin, Ebisu, Aotani Fountain, all gone....... Not too many like Like Like left, I'm hoping they'll be around for just a bit longer.
Like Like Drive In
745 Keeaumoku St
Honolulu, HI 96814
Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
One morning, I went to gas up our rental and drove into Waipahu, which is just down the street from my In-Laws place in Ewa Beach. For some reason, Leeward Drive-Inn called to me.
Man, when was the last time I ate here? The sign said "since 1964" and I think I probably had the fried noodles, which is what they, well, at least in my day, were known for....probably circa 1984. The parking lot has seen it's share of cars, all the lines for the stalls have worn away, though in typical Hawaii style, everyone seems to park their cars as if those lines still existed.
Funny thing, there were a bunch of guys having breakfast before work sitting in back of a minivan parked in front of the dining room. The big guy, sitting on a ne of those handy-dandy folding stools looked me up and down and said, "eh, I thought you one katonk, but you get da' shuffle...." Translation; "Based on your pale and unhealthy complexion, I believed that you were a Japanese from the mainland. However, when I observed your gait, it became obvious that you were not." I guess I still walk like a local? I laughed and told him, "at least you didn't think I was a bobora!" Translation;"you are indeed quite observant. I am flattered the opinion that my country of origin was Japan never entered your mind." It was just an expat local bonding moment.....
The menu at LDI is pretty large and extensive....... but I made up my mind fairly quickly. Once my food was ready, I grabbed my plate and headed off to the flourescent orange tables. The dining area looked kind of beat and no one was eating in the area so I could grind in peace.
I got Portuguese Sausage, Eggs, and Fried Rice, which was a pretty good amount of food.
This was just passable, the fried rice was very "local style", that is, made with Calrose rice. There were bits of Portuguese Sausage and some funky tasting "faux Spam". The sausage wasn't browned enough for me and tasted a bit off. The eggs were fine....this ended up just being nutrition.
Leeward Drive Inn
94 209 Pupukahi St
Waipahu, HI 96797
Hours: Mon - Thurs 430am - 11pm
Fri - Sat 430am - 12midnight
Sunday 5am - 11pm
This last one is sort of a quiz.......folks who have been to Hawaii will probably know this one. A fairly decent plate of Rice, eggs, which was really hard, Portuguese Sausage, and Spam®.
Quite an artery clogging breakfast......brought to you by:
Yep, Mickey D's in Hawaii serves up Portuguese Sausage, Spam®, or even both, in what they call the "Deluxe Breakfast". Don't remember the last time I actually had food from a McDonald's, but I happened to be close to the Pearl City location early one morning.....
I realize this post has been kinda long....so thanks for hanging in there are reading.
Here's the sunrise as I pumped gas one morning.
Of course I listened to KCCN.....until they kept playing the same songs over and over......what happened to variety?
But a couple of tunes stuck with me.......