All ‘Things’ Worth Waking Up ForCover Story Features
February 16, 2014
Story By: Alana Folen | Photos by: Leah Friel
For the ultimate breakfast enthusiast, Eggs ‘n Things is golden. This hot spot for both locals and visitors alike has gained quite a fan base since its inception in 1974, when founders Jan and Jerry Fukunaga opened the first establishment on Ena Road in Waikiki. With nearly four decades to its name, continuity and commitment to its valued patrons remain apparent, as Eggs ‘n Things serves up a breakfast of champions morning, noon and night by incorporating only the best ingredients into its dishes.
With three Eggs ‘n Things establishments on Oahu — the first conveniently located on Saratoga Road, the second on Kalakaua Avenue (Waikiki Beach Eggspress) and the most recent hatching on Piikoi Street next to Ala Moana Center — you can always get your breakfast fix.
Dining Out recently sat down with Eggs ‘n Things Ala Moana restaurant manager Robby Takahashi to discover all “Things” truly worth waking up for.
DO: What is the restaurant’s philosophy?
Takahashi: Eggs ‘n Things’ philosophy has always been serving quality food with the spirit of aloha. Eggs ‘n Things is a place you can go to eat good food and still feel at home. We always try to create traditional American dishes with a local flair.
DO: What makes Eggs ‘n Things stand out in Hawaii’s restaurant scene?
Takahashi: We stay true to our traditions. It’s the small things that make a difference. We still cook everything to order, we don’t allow microwave ovens in our kitchens and our portions are still very generous. We use only the freshest ingredients when possible, and I think we may be one of the only restaurants using 100 percent fresh, local USDA certified eggs. There is nothing better than working with fresh, local ingredients. If we do well, we want the people who support us to also do well — so in that case, we always try our best to source locally.
DO: How would you describe the atmosphere and dining experience at all three restaurant locations?
Takahashi: Our Saratoga location is our flagship eatery, and has a real sense of history and heritage to it, as some of our current employees have been there for more than 20 years. There’s a greater sense of nostalgia here. Waikiki Eggspress offers a more fast-paced environment geared toward patrons on the go, who just want to grab a quick bite to eat. We do quite a bit of takeout orders here, yet we still carry on the tradition of serving quality food in the spirit of aloha. Then, Eggs ‘n Things’ Ala Moana/Piikoi location is catered more toward kamaaina, from the ample parking available, to a more diverse menu and alcohol served in the evenings. It is the largest of the three locations, and being that it’s outside of Waikiki, it is the most relaxed in terms of atmosphere.
DO: What has Eggs ‘n Things been up to recently?
Takahashi: We’ve been rediscovering our roots and sometimes putting twists on them. We’ve brought back alcoholic beverages to the menu at our Ala Moana location. We’ve also reintroduced some old favorites to our dinner menu, and are constantly finding ways to implement our current ingredients into interesting lunch and dinner items.
DO: The restaurants are always bustling. Who are the driving forces in the kitchen?
Takahashi: We actually have a team of about three or four chefs of varying styles and specialties who share that role. We feel that each chef brings an important ingredient, if you will, to Eggs ‘n Things, and that is what makes our food special … kind of like the diversity of Hawaii. For example, Chef Jr.’s Special Adobo Fried Rice ($13.95) began as an employee meal, which features Chef Jr.’s special adobo, kamaboko and green onions, served with two eggs to your liking. We don’t put anything on our menu that we ourselves wouldn’t want to eat.
DO: Eggs ‘n Things really values customer input, correct?
Takahashi: Yes! In fact, Whip Pancake Sampler and Fresh Mixed Salad were created due to customer demand — so, if a request keeps coming up, our chefs get right to experimenting and creating. Whip Pancake Sampler ($12.75) presents patrons with three of our most popular pancakes — strawberry, banana and blueberry. For those who prefer greens, Fresh Mixed Salad ($8.95) with seared Cajun ahi (an additional $4.95) is a healthy serving of our green salad mix, accompanied with our poke ranch and our homemade garlic croutons.
We’ve also received requests for an acai bowl, so we included Hawaiian Acai Bowl ($7.45) on the menu. Patrons love it because of our exclusive acai puree accompanied with granola and fresh fruit, and drizzled with decadent honey.
DO: That’s wonderful! Are there original Eggs ‘n Things creations that are still on the menu to this day?
Takahashi: Yes. Cajun Ahi and Eggs ($14.95) made its debut almost 40 years ago, and it continues to be very popular with our customers. The fresh ahi is prepared Cajun-style, paired with scrambled egg whites and complemented by our gluten-free tri-color potatoes (an additional $1.95 for tri-color potatoes).
DO: Visitors from Japan seem to love Eggs ‘n Things. What has driven the success of the restaurant’s popularity with international clientele and kamaaina alike?
Takahashi: I believe Eggs ‘n Things has gained such popularity thanks to our core tradition of serving great food with a warmth that is uniquely local. Our patrons know that whatever the meal — breakfast, lunch or dinner — you are going to get something good and satisfying to eat, and that’s universal for both locals and visitors.
Eggs ‘n Things
343 Saratoga Road
Daily, 6 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4-10 p.m.
WAIKIKI BEACH EGGSPRESS
2464 Kalakaua Ave.
Open daily, 6 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4-10 p.m.
EGGS N THINGS ALA MOANA
451 Piikoi St.
Open daily, Sunday-Thursday, 6 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 6 a.m.-midnight