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Inside Feature

Go ‘Big’ This Season

By Kyle Galdeira Photos By Bodie Collins
December 14, 2014

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Serving as Oahu’s “Hawaiian-style diner” for nearly two decades, Big City Diner continues to carry the banner as the go-to destination for fresh, hearty meals served in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere.

As the holiday season remains in full swing with the new year right around the corner, Big City Diner is standing by to assist customers with catering options crafted to please everyone from keiki to kupuna.

The iconic eatery has satisfied multiple generations of diners since 1998, and features five convenient locations: Kailua, Kaimuki, Pearlridge, Waipio and Ward Entertainment Center. With an eclectic array of menu options, Big City Diner features locally influenced cuisine crafted to please patrons of all ages with an upscale twist, but without the inflated prices. President and owner Lane Muraoka makes it a priority to incorporate a multitude of fresh, local products and ingredients, including the freshest vegetables available from D. Otani Produce, throughout the menu.

Big City Diner continues to expand its full-service catering department headed by catering administrator Rona Tam, and the skilled team is poised to assist customers with everything from fundraising events and private parties, to holiday gatherings and family get-togethers. Customers are encouraged to log onto BigCityDiner-Hawaii.com, email Rona@BigCityDiner-Hawaii.com or call the restaurant at 487-8588 or the catering line at 487-8188 for more details. The catering staff asks for at least 24 hours notice for in-house menu items, and at least 72 hours notice for custom orders, so the necessary products can be acquired and prepared.

Customers now have the option of ordering the newly introduced Big City Bento Deluxe ($9.95, minimum 10 bentos per order, available at the Pearlridge location initially), which is perfect for feeding sports teams and those at events where a hearty, quick meal is necessary. The large bento features steamed white rice with furikake, egg omelet with green onions, grilled Spam, grilled hot dog, chicken wings, breaded fish and red ginger.

“Customer service comes first, and we welcome personalized orders,” says Tam of the multiple catering and delivery options available.

Big City Diner also offers catering platters, including one featuring the popular Big City Cobb ($13.99 a la carte, $59.95 for a platter serving 12-15 people), a “notso-traditional Cobb” with hickory-smoked turkey, diced ham, chopped tomato, red onion, black olives, roasted corn, California avocado and Jack and Cheddar cheeses atop chopped romaine.

Diners continue to rave about Baby Back Ribs with Famous Guava-BBQ Sauce ($24.99 “Big Slab,” $19.99 “Not So Big Slab,” $84.50 for a platter with approximately 45 ribs). The ribs, which resemble one of Fred Flintstone’s favorite entrees, are slow-roasted for five hours until the meat falls off the bone, and slathered with a sweet and tangy guava mango barbecue sauce.

“The ribs are made so they’re served tender, and include that unique local flavor from the barbecue sauce that we make in house,” says Big City Diner’s corporate chef Dennis Franks.

To wrap up a satisfying meal, diners are invited to delve into Big Brownie Pie ($7.99) — a delectable dessert featuring a mountain of Bubbies’ Vanilla Bean ice cream atop a BIG brownie, which is smothered in chocolate, whipped cream and macadamia nuts. Mama’s Bread Pudding ($5.99, $7.99 ala mode) is another popular dessert, and like the BIG Brownie, may be ordered in a pan ($32.75) that feeds 12-15 guests — another perfect party option.

Patrons also will be pleased to learn that Big City Diner recently reintroduced its popular Li Hing Lemonade ($4.49). The massive 25-ounce signature beverage provides refreshment on a hot Hawaiian day, and may be supplemented with one’s favorite spirit from the bar (additional cost) for those customers 21-and-older.

Muraoka reminds guests that Big City Diner will be open on Christmas Eve and Day (7 a.m. to 10 p.m.), as well as New Year’s Eve (7 a.m. to 10 p.m.) and Day (8 a.m. to 10 p.m.).

Diners also are encouraged to enter to win a Vacations Hawaii trip to Las Vegas as part of the Miller Light Super Bowl parties that will be held during the “Big Game” at each Big City Diner location.

Big City Diner

Pearlridge East
98-211 Pali Momi St., Ste. 900, Aiea (and four other locations islandwide)
487-8588 (restaurant), 487-8188 (catering)
Sunday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-midnight
BigCityDinerHawaii.com