Waimea is home to quite possibly my favorite restaurant on the whole island, the Hawaiian Style Cafe. Famous for their generous portions of hearty food, Hawaiian Style serves a mix of tourists, local families and blue collar workers looking for a good meal at a fair price.
The day we ate there, the place was filled with state road construction workers and a group of hands from a local cattle ranch. While the lunch plate with the Korean short ribs with stir-fried glass noodles looked delicious, we came for what many say is the best loco moco on the island.
Loco moco, for the uninitiated, is essentially your choice of breakfast meat served over steamed Japanese rice, smothered in brown gravy and then topped with a fried egg. it has been made famous in my hometown of Los Angeles by Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo's foie gras version at Animal on Fairfax. At Hawaiian style, we tested two versions, one relatively healthy dish and one in search of a defibrillator.
The first, more healthful version had two grass fed beef hamburger patties, grilled and served over steamed brown rice, with grilled onions and a fried egg (no gravy). The fried egg was perfectly cooked and the grilled onions added a nice sweetness to the leaner, herbal qualities of the grass fed beef, but this dish was no match for the historically accurate cornucopia of meats served on "The Big Mok." For $7.75, the Big Mok comes with two pork sausage patties, two Portuguese linguiça rounds and two thick slices of Spam on top of steamed white rice, with brown gravy and the fried egg. I think the photo speaks for itself.
For photos of the dishes, click here:
Hawaiian Style Cafe
65-1290 Kawaihae Rd, Kamuela, HI 96743