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On The Prowl For Loco Moco

Ono, You Know

November 4, 2018

Story By: Ellise Kakazu | Photos by: Anthony Consillio

Editor Ellise Kakazu is ready to devour GRYLT’s Angus “Hawaiian Style” Loco Moco ($10.98)

In order to survive, you must eat. This is a principle that applies to essentially all living things, from animals to human beings.

The way people and creatures of the wild obtain food is very different, but the innate desire for a good, nutritious meal is in all of us.

This week, I decided to channel my inner carnivore spirit animal, the cheetah, and chase down a meaty treat that all locals know and love — loco moco. With its hefty beef patty base topped with protein rich eggs, loco moco is one of the heartiest meals one can devour.

So, let’s pounce!

A WILDLY DELICIOUS CATCH

The hunt for a great loco moco leads me to Ala Moana Center, a jungle of a shopping center filled with many retail, entertainment and dining options.

A closer look at GRYLT’s Angus “Hawaiian Style” Loco Moco

While there are many eateries at the mall, there is one in particular that serves up some of the most nourishing and delectable meals, and that place is GRYLT.

Located within the Center’s Makai Market Food Court, GRYLT fires up fresh steak, chicken, seafood and vegetable selections.

“We serve nutritious food,” notes Jose Arias, executive chef. “Food that you can get vitamins and minerals from.”

One of GRYLT’s latest creations that pack high levels of protein is Angus “Hawaiian Style” Loco Moco ($10.98). According to Arias, the restaurant’s rendition pays tribute to a classic loco moco but brings an added twist to the plate by adding crunchy, crispy fried onions and green onions to the mix. “The onions really step it up,” notes Arias.

Another way Arias helps GRYLT’s loco moco separate itself from the rest is by using only top-grade ingredients to create the delectable dish. Arias explains the loco moco’s homemade beef patty consists of 100 percent Angus beef and contains no fillers, eggs are local, and mushroom-onion gravy is made in-house and is gluten-free.

“We get a lot of good compliments (on the loco moco),” says Arias.

GRYLT has been redefining what healthy food looks and tastes like since 2011. The locally owned and operated company currently has a total of three locations on island, all of which offer ferociously tasty plates like Surf & Turf Platter, Grilled Chicken, Garlic Shrimp, Wild Caught Ahi and Angus Steak.

“(GRYLT) shows people that you can still eat well and feel satisfied,” explains Arias. “It’s about transparency. It’s about knowing what you are putting into your body.”

SWOOPING ON IN

Feeding stampedes of hungry humans, both young and old, is New Eagle Cafe.

New Eagle Cafe’s Loco Moco ($10.45 breakfast, $12.75 lunch and dinner) PHOTO BY M. GALACGAC

The cafe has been helping visitors answer the call of hunger for decades, offering up a range of local favorites such as mahi mahi, prime rib, Hawaiian Chopped Steak and Loco Moco ($10.45 breakfast, $12.75 lunch and dinner).

According to longtime server Maria Dona, New Eagle’s Loco Moco is one of the restaurant’s top-sellers, as the combination of gravy, beef and eggs is a local favorite that kamaaina simply cannot get enough of.

“Loco moco is like a local cuisine for Hawaii,” adds Dona.

Though loco mocos easily can be found at many restaurants throughout the state, Dona explains New Eagle’s version is special because the patty and gravy are homemade. In order to create the undeniably delicious hamburger patty, the New Eagle team combines ground beef, onions, breadcrumbs, eggs, oyster sauce, salt and pepper. How is the house-made gravy prepared? Well, Dona notes there is a laundry list of ingredients that are used to create the restaurant’s tasty brown gravy. Therefore, this recipe remains a secret.

In addition to the hefty hamburger and luscious gravy, you can expect to find two eggs prepared any way you wish, and the perfect amount of rice within a bowl of New Eagle’s Loco Moco. Available for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this loco moco can be enjoyed anytime.

So next time your stomach lets out a loud, angry growl, run down to New Eagle Cafe and get your hands on a satisfying meal.

After digging into some of the best loco mocos in the Honolulu kingdom, I can see why the kamaaina favorite is such a highly sought-after meal. It is filling, delicious and comforting all at the same time — it simply is “purr”-fect!

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