Mahi mahi is a prized catch at Wailana

Columns What's Cooking?

April 19, 2015

Story By: Rachel Breit | Photos by: Rachel Breit

When Wailana Coffee House general manager Kenton Tom goes fishing, what he always hopes to land is a mahi mahi at the end of his hook. The fish’s large, moist flakes and delicate, sweet flavor make the effort of nabbing one well worth it. The Hawaiians named them “very strong” for good reason.

As soon as Tom manages to seize one, he brings it to the restaurant to give his guests a taste. If he isn’t so lucky, other fishermen come to his aid, offering their fresh catches. It is a true example of ocean-to-table dining.

Savor the magnificent mahi sauteed in lemonand garlic-infused butter with mushrooms and diced tomatoes in Catch of the Week ($12.95). Choose a side dish of rice or potato (baked or mashed), then load up on greens at the salad bar.

The fish is plenty meaty, but if real meat is what you crave, turn your attention to another menu that boasts, “Weekends are for beef lovers!” in large red letters. Here are two entrees worth a closer look. They also include the aforementioned fixings.

Marinated overnight in soy sauce, garlic, ginger and green onions, grilled Teriyaki Steak ($15.50 weekdays, $14.25 weekends) is tender and bursts with flavor you know and love, especially with the addition of a teriyaki glaze. The 8-ounce New York Steak ($15.50 weekdays, $14.25 weekends) is billed as the “king of steaks,” and best enjoyed with the simplest of preparations: seasoned with salt and pepper and broiled to your liking.

There’s much more to be discovered — or rediscovered — at Wailana Coffee House. The fact that the eatery hasn’t changed much in the last 40 years or so since it opened, is what makes the family-run spot so renowned.

Wailana Coffee House

1860 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu
Open 24 hours daily (except when it closes from 9:30 p.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday)

Honolulu, HI 96815

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