All Aboard for Flavor with Local Food Express

Digest On the Menu

September 8, 2013

Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: Leah Friel

Those looking for an expansive array of local-style cuisine prepared quickly and at affordable prices will be pleased to learn about Local Food Express.

Situated in the heart of Kapolei on Farrington Highway, Local Food Express enters its second week of serving customers, including some who come from as far away as Honolulu and Waianae. Owner Mike Zhu brings a wealth of restaurant experience to the table, and the family business features local favorites from plate lunches, sandwiches and Asian cuisine to Hawaiian food, sides and party platters that offer enough choices to meet the desires of any diner.

“It’s a combination of all the favorites that local people love to eat,” explains Zhu, when describing the restaurant’s expansive menu. “We decided to open the restaurant to give those who live in the area an opportunity to enjoy their local favorites. The portions are large, and prices are affordable. With so many young families in the areas, we wanted to keep prices low so everybody can enjoy our food.”

Zhu recommends Local Food Express’ Loco Moco ($5.95 mini, $8.55 regular), as the local mainstay features homemade beef patties with farm-fresh eggs prepared to order and a savory gravy. All regular plate lunches include two scoops of rice and a scoop of macaroni salad or tossed salad, while mini plates include one scoop of rice and one scoop of salad — brown rice can be substituted for 40 cents (mini) and 80 cents (regular).

Garlic Chicken ($5.95 mini, $8.25 regular) is another popular selection from one of nearly 50 plate lunch options. The dish features a special homemade sauce that is sure to make loyal diners out of first-time customers.

Customers also rave about BBQ Mixed Plate ($9.55 regular only), a prototypical local-style combination plate featuring an assortment of barbequed meats. The dish contains BBQ Short Ribs, BBQ Chicken and Teriyaki Beef Steak — a trio that pushes the limit of the plate on which it rests.

Local Food Express also serves up an assortment of healthy options while not sacrificing taste. Healthy Garlic Shrimp ($8.95 regular only) comes with a scoop of brown rice and fresh tossed salad, and incorporates a sweet, zesty garlic sauce and onions that envelopes the tender “Kahuku-style” shrimp.

“We use butter, garlic and onions — it’s a recipe that makes the shrimp very tasty,” Zhu says.

As a special scoop for Dining Out readers, Local Food Express is offering a scintillating grand opening special: All regular plate lunches, including beef, chicken, pork and seafood, cost just $6.99 apiece through September.

Those looking to cater a special event — whether it’s a family get-together, tailgate party or business function — can call on Local Food Express for a host of party platters. Options include Chicken Katsu, Mochiko Chicken, Chow Mein, BBQ Short Ribs, Garlic Shrimp and many more (prices vary). Interested customers are encouraged to call the restaurant to set up a custom catering menu. As an added incentive, those who place catering orders of more than $200 receive free delivery.

“We encourage customers to come and try their favorite local food, especially now with each plate discounted to just $6.99,” Zhu says. “What do you have to lose? Everybody has to eat, so come find your favorite plate at Local Food Express.”

Local Food Express

563 Farrington Hwy. #101B, Kapolei
Daily, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

Kapolei, HI 96707

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best