Say ‘Aloha’ to Wailana Specials

Columns Foodie Fare

September 1, 2013

Story By: Christina O Connor | Photos by: Leah Friel

A long-time local favorite, as well as a popular visitor destination, Wailana Coffee House pleases its audience with both classic diner-style American fare and local delights.

“We have a very diverse menu,” says general manager Kenton Tom, adding that diners are pleased to find American breakfast classics along with local staples, such as loco moco.

In celebration of Aloha Week later this month, Wailana has created a special menu — a yearly tradition that the restaurant has been doing for years. The menu will be available from 11 a.m. to midnight Sept. 20 and 21. The menu includes the Hawaiian Luau Dinner ($16.25), which features kalua pig, lau lau, chicken long rice, lomi lomi salmon and poi.

It also comes with a trip to the all-you-can eat salad bar, as well as a beverage (coffee, tea or soft drink). To top it all off, haupia pudding is served for dessert.

“It is a great deal,” Tom says.

For another dinner deal, the Aloha Week menu presents Hibachi Chicken and Shrimp Kabobs ($14.50), which features chicken breast marinated with fresh ginger, shoyu and smoked hickory flavor, along with shrimp kabob skewers with fresh mushrooms, tomatoes, onions and bell peppers. The meal is also served with your choice of starch — mashed potatoes, french fries or rice — as well as corn on the cob, salad bar, haupia pudding and a beverage.

“The chicken is marinated barbecue style to give it a nice smoky flavor,” Tom says.

Another Aloha Week option is Teriyaki Striploin Steak ($16.95), an 8-ounce steak accented with fresh green onions. It is served with your choice of starch, salad bar, corn on the cob, haupia pudding and a beverage.

“The steak is marinated overnight in a barbecue sauce,” Tom explains.

If you’re craving breakfast, which Wailana serves up around the clock, Tom recommends another Aloha Week special, Portuguese Sweet Bread Combo ($9.50). The dish, which Tom says is one of his personal favorites, features sweet bread with orange marmalade, two pieces of bacon and two eggs, and served with coffee or tea.

“They grill the sweet bread like French toast, and then put orange marmalade in the middle of the bread,” he says.

“Aloha Week is celebrated with parades and demonstrations of Hawaiian culture,” Tom says, “and we just wanted to be a part of it.”

On the Side

Before Wailana Coffee House was founded in 1969, the location was home to Kapiolani Drive-Inn, a classic 1950’s-style eatery complete with car hops. Francis Tom took over the establishment and created Wailana Coffee House, which maintains some of those classic diner concepts while adding its own flavor.

“Wailana has been popular ever since,” general manager Kenton Tom says.

Kenton, one of Francis’ three children, grew up working at the restaurant.

“The whole family ended up working here,” he explains. “When we were young, my brother, my sister and I all helped out, and now we all run the company.

“It has worked out very well,” he adds. Kenton prides Wailana Coffee House on extending that familial feel to all of its guests.

“We welcome all of our customers and we love having them here.”

Contact Christina O’Connor at diningout@staradvertiser.com

Wailana Coffee House

1860 Ala Moana Blvd.
Open 24 hours daily, except when the restaurant is closed from 10 p.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday

Honolulu, HI 96815

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Hawaii's Best