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Inside Feature

Dishing Out Specials in a Big Way

By Kyle Galdeira Photos By LAWRENCE TABUDLO
May 18, 2015

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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.

The iconic establishment has satisfied multiple generations of diners since 1998, and has five convenient locations: Kailua, Kaimuki, Pearlridge, Waipio and Ward Entertainment Center; a sixth diner in Windward Mall is on track to open by the end of summer. 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 throughout the menu.

As the summer days heat up, diners can quench their thirst and enjoy excellent pupus with Big City Diner’s Pau Hana happy hour available Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. Guests will enjoy 50 percent off pupus with a two beverage minimum per table along with multiple drink specials, including $3 Corona and Corona Light bottles. The restaurants also offer a popular late-night happy hour from 9 p.m. to closing Sunday through Thursday, and 10 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. Diners receive 50 percent off appetizers with a one beverage minimum per table, in addition to $3 Blue Moon pints on draft and $5 Pinnacle Vodka “Whip Its” (regularly priced at $8), such as Orange Creamsicle and Black Cherry flavors.

Popular appetizer choices, which are 50 percent off during designated happy hour periods, include Wings Over Big City ($10.99), the restaurant’s famous chicken wings tossed in a spicy guava barbecue sauce that really packs a punch. Diners also rave about Calamari Tempura Strips ($9.99), which are panko-breaded, fried until golden brown and served with a spicy garlic-wasabi aioli sauce and lemon. BCD Chili Nachos ($11.99) steals the show, as a bed of tri-colored tortilla chips is smothered with the restaurant’s famous chili and topped with shredded Jack and Cheddar cheeses, chopped tomato, sweet onions, roasted corn, green onions and sliced black olives. The flavorful dish is accompanied by fresh salsa, cilantro and buttermilk dip.

Big City Diner also is serving up 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 customers 21 and older. The restaurant also offers an array of freshly crafted cocktails, ranging from Bloody Mary ($7.75 with Absolut Peppar vodka and $6.75 with well vodka) to Mimosa ($8.50), a Champagneand- orange-juice blend that is both delicious and refreshing. These specialty drinks in particular are great with breakfast or throughout the day.

As graduates prepare to celebrate their momentous occasion with family and friends, Big City Diner is standing by with catering options crafted to please everyone from keiki to kupuna.

The establishment’s expanded full-service catering department 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 on to BigCityDinerHawaii. com or call corporate chef Dennis Franks at 487-8588 or 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 for custom orders, so the necessary products can be acquired and prepared. During the busy graduation party season, seven- to 10-days’ notice is recommended and customers may arrange for pickup at any convenient location.

Guests may choose from a variety of a la carte, pre-built and customized menus, which feature favorites such as Baby Back Ribs with Famous Guava-Barbecue 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 Franks.

May is “Military Appreciation Month” at Big City Diner, a celebration designed to send a warm “Mahalo” to our troops. Diners are encouraged to ask their server for details on how to enter and win a host of Samuel Adams coolers, chairs and other great prizes. The appreciation celebration also boasts beer specials as well as $12 Pint and Classic Burger combo Thursdays.

Big City Diner

Ward Entertainment Center, 1060 Auahi St., Honolulu
(and four other locations islandwide)
591-8891
Sunday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-midnight
BigCityDinerHawaii.com