‘Brewing’ Hearty Meals at Value Prices
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Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Wailana Coffee House welcomes crowds during all times of the day with a menu filled with a variety of entrees at value prices.
“We’re open 24 hours except for Tuesday nights — Tuesday nights, we close at 10 p.m. and open at 6 a.m.,” says Kenton Tom, Wailana’s general manager. “Breakfast and lunch are our busiest hours. For weekends, our midnight shifts are really busy, and from 10 p.m. to about 2 a.m., it’s pretty busy. The dinner shifts are steady throughout the whole week.”
Formerly Kapiolani Drive Inn (KDI), Wailana Coffee House opened in 1969 and became a casual family diner. When asked what makes Wailana different from other restaurants of its kind, Tom emphasizes the eatery’s originality.
“We make all our food from scratch; we make our own pancake batter, we cook everything fresh,” he says.
While entrees like the Broasted Chicken ($10.95) are popular with the lunch and dinner crowds, the most popular item on Wailana’s menu is the all-youcan-eat pancakes ($5.50).
“Our pancake batter is original; we don’t use a mix,” says Tom. “Customers can order the banana, macadamia nut, blueberry, pineapple or coconut pancakes for just a little more. We sell hundreds of those a day.”
Another popular breakfast item is the Eggs Benedict ($9.85), which Tom considers one of Wailana’s signature dishes.
“(In the Eggs Benedict), you have the hollandaise sauce, the poached eggs and the smoked ham and turkey breast atop a toasted English muffin,” he says.
While the restaurant is known for its hearty breakfast entrees, customers will not be disappointed by the restaurant’s choice of desserts. As of late, among the most popular dessert items has been the fried ice cream, according to Tom.
“That’s ice cream dipped in batter, then rolled in bread crumbs and it’s fried,” he explains. “You have the ice cream inside and crust on the outside, with topping and chocolate. We have other desserts — like banana splits and sundaes — but that one (the fried ice cream) has been very popular, lately.”
Wailana Coffee House offers different specials every day, which has previously included entrees like leg of lamb and roast turkey. Thursdays, though, are constantly busy because of the restaurant’s featured oxtail soup. While Wailana does not offer monthly specials, the restaurant has promotions for holidays and special occasions, such as Mother’s Day, Kamehameha Day, Father’s Day and the Fourth of July. The Kamehameha Day menu includes a Hawaiian Luau Dinner ($15.95), complete with kalua pig, laulau, lomi salmon and poi, and a Chicken Papaya entree — seasoned and roasted chicken half with a tropical papaya-orange sauce. The Father’s Day menu features dishes such as the New York Steak with Onion Rings ($16.95) — steak served with beer battered onion rings and fresh mushrooms — and the Chicken Florentine ($12.95) — chicken breast atop a bed of bacon and spinach, topped with hollandaise sauce and garnished with crab meat. Complete dinners are served from 11 a.m. to midnight.
In addition to its special menus, Wailana Coffee House also offers a banquet menu and banquet facilities.
“Our banquet menu is especially popular during this season — with graduations — and around Christmas,” Tom says. “We have two banquet rooms and validated parking.”
While its menu may continue to develop in the future, Wailana strives to reach the same audience — families.
“That’s who we cater to … it’s (Wailana) maintained that theme all the way,” Tom says. “Of course, we’ve updated the menu and changed items, but the basic theme’s always been the same — casual family dining.”
Wailana Coffee House
- 1860 Ala Moana Boulevard
- Honolulu, HI 96815
- (808) 955-1764
- Open 24 hours