A Meal Just For DadCover Story
May 20, 2018
Story By: Caroline Wright | Photos by: Anthony Consillio
Detectives Steve McGarrett and Lou Grover are sitting in a booth at Wailana Coffee House, rhapsodizing over breakfast.
“I’m tellin’ you, man … they have the best. They have the best pancakes on the island, hands down,” says McGarrett, as he pops an enormous bite into his mouth.
“These pancakes are the bomb,” agrees Grover with a little moan of happiness.
Fans of CBS’ reboot of Hawaii Five-0 will chuckle with familiarity when reminded of the scene from an early episode. As they happily feast on their flapjacks, McGarrett asserts that the magic is in the combination of maple syrup and Wailana’s famed haupia syrup, and Grover enthusiastically agrees. (Then they speak somewhat disparagingly of their absent co-worker Danny Williams and his preference for boysenberry.)
No matter what you pour over them, the pancakes at Wailana Coffee House are, indeed, the bomb. They’re available as traditional buttermilk hotcakes, of course, but also with banana, blueberry, pineapple, coconut or macadamia nuts added to that amazing batter.
Wailana’s famous pancakes are only the beginning of the bounty there, though. Father’s Day, on Sunday, June 17, presents a terrific opportunity for this beloved Waikiki diner to showcase some of its most savory fare.
For starters, dads who want to begin their special day with something a bit more substantial than pancakes can opt for Wailana’s Eggs Benedict Royal ($14.75). In this sophisticated classic, toasted English muffin halves are topped with smoked ham, turkey breast, perfectly poached eggs, and hollandaise. They’re accompanied by crispy hash browns, glazed peach slices, and coffee or tea.
On the dinner menu, dads who crave the ocean’s best can feast on Seafood Continental ($17.75). This complex trio of shrimp, scallops and mahi mahi is gently simmered in a creamy sauce made with fine herbs and wine.
“My favorite is the New York Steak with Onion Rings ($19),” says general manager Kenton Tom. “It’s the ‘King of Steaks,’ served with sauteed fresh mushrooms and beer-battered onion rings, a baked potato with sour cream and bacon, and buttery corn on the cob.”
Any of these meals would please a hungry papa. “They’re good, hearty dishes for the working father,” Tom says. “For a lighter touch, there’s always our fresh Roast Turkey with Smoked Ham ($17.75) with Chef Peter’s delicious macadamia nut stuffing, made with chopped bacon and vegetables.” Old-fashioned giblet gravy, savory smoked ham, and a grilled pineapple ring filled with cranberry sauce provide the perfect blend of sweet, smoky and salty flavors that most dads find delightful.
Remaining consistent with the eatery’s holiday menu tradition, each of the Father’s Day dinner plates come with choice of salad bar, soup or fruit cup; choice of non-alcoholic drink; and a dessert.
One of Wailana’s most appreciated gifts to hard-working dads on Father’s Day are its meals for kids ages nine and under. At $3.25 for breakfast and $3.75 for lunch and dinner, the kids’ menu offers options that will please even the most finicky keiki.
One last tip: Ask your friendly waitress to be seated at the O’Loughlin table, and if it’s available, she’ll lead you (and your dad) straightaway to the very booth in which that Hawaii Five-0 pancake scene was filmed.
Among locals, Wailana Coffee House is legendary for the value it adds to every meal. Guests enjoy the all-you-can-eat salad bar that comes with every dinner — a smorgasbord of house-made dressings and favorites like Green Bean Salad, Rotelle Pasta Salad, and Li-Hing Pineapple. In June, all of Wailana’s dinners will include an order of fresh garlic bread. Guests who order the 8-ounce New York Steak will enjoy a slice of cream pie from Ted’s Bakery!
On Saturday, June 9 at 9 a.m., start your day with the King Kamehameha Celebration Floral Parade in Waikiki, a magical festival of flowers, horses, princesses, dancers and warriors. Then head on over to Wailana Coffee House for a menu that celebrates Hawaiian culture with a selection of tasty island-themed dishes. For a tooth-some breakfast, try Wailana’s famous Portuguese Sweet Bread. Evening specials will include the Hawaiian Luau Dinner, Teriyaki Rib Steak and Chicken Papaya.