Wailana Coffee HouseDigest Step Up to the Plate
July 22, 2017
Story By: Elima Pangorang | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
A CLOSER LOOK AT THIS WEEK’S HOUSE SPECIAL: OXTAIL SOUP ($15.75)
As the lunch crowd shuffled in and out of Wailana Coffee House when Dining Out stopped in one day, the faithful and prompt servers hustled from table to table collecting orders, refilling coffee cups and greeting diners with never-ending smiles. All the while, the buzz of conversation and clanking plates and utensils came together to trigger a cozy feel of familiarity — that of a traditional, family-oriented diner.
Wailana’s general manager, Kenton Tom, bears the same smile and sense of pride that lights up each server in the establishment.
A family business, Tom inherited the restaurant — which originally started out as Kapiolani Drive Inn in 1951 and then transformed into Wailana Coffee House in 1969 — from his father Francis.
The convenient eatery that sits on the outskirts of Waikiki has been satisfying appetites of all types of diners with delicious comfort foods, such as sweet waffles and pancakes, hefty burgers, sizzling steaks and cutlets, soothing wonton mein — and so much more.
For the ultimate comfort dish, try Wailana’s Oxtail Soup ($15.75) offered on Thursdays. Tom mentions that the beloved meal takes a full 24 hours to prepare. “The day before, we bake the oxtail until golden brown, (then) cool and refrigerate it,” he says.
Tom encourages giving the soup a go, especially since Thursday also is Senior Day, in which diners ages 55 and older get 10 percent off their entire bill. “So all you need is one senior and it’s a double-bonus day for the whole table,” laughs Tom.
Wailana Coffee House
1860 Ala Moana Blvd., Waikiki
Open 24 hours a day, except from 10 p.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday