Hearty Meals Just For DadCover Story Features
June 5, 2016
Story By: Ali Resich | Photos by: Anthony Consillio
Kenton Tom, vice president and general manager at Wailana Coffee House, knows a thing or two about giving a nod to dads on their special day.
After all, it doesn’t have to be Father’s Day for him to tell you about his pops, Francis, and his inspiring journey to open the family restaurant 47 years ago, going all the way back to the early days when the establishment took root as the former Kapiolani Drive Inn. While proving the old adage “Like father, like son” to be true in his case, Tom has continued to help Wailana flourish to this day, and he invites Hawaii’s families to celebrate their men of the hour with a special Happy Father’s Day menu for the upcoming holiday.
Just as the iconic fixture of Waikiki has done for decades, Wailana Coffee House will once again offer its menu of Dad-approved meals June 19 from 11 a.m. to midnight.
And if there’s one word to describe the selection of entrees available on the menu — besides delicious, of course — it’s hearty.
Tom agrees, pointing out that “the premier item for fathers that day will be the New York Steak.” Made for the most carnivorous of eaters, each juicy slab is priced at $17.50 and made more flavorful with jumbo beer-battered onion rings and sautéed mushrooms.
There’s also Roast Turkey with Smoked Ham ($14.95) for the meat lovers in your family, offering a deluxe assortment of macadamia nut stuffing, old-fashioned giblet gravy, cranberry sauce and a crown jewel of grilled pineapple ring to accompany the sumptuous turkey and ham.
If your old man is fonder of ocean-sourced edibles, then Seafood Continental ($15.50) is the way to go. Plump shrimp and scallops, as well as tender mahi mahi, come together in a creamy casserole creation, all accented with a wine sauce and herbs.
These main dishes surely are satisfying, but they’re just part of the whole package offered on Father’s Day. Each special also includes access to the all-you-can-eat salad bar, which lights up with goodies such as li hing pineapple, three-layered Jello with strawberry, haupia and lime flavors and green bean salad, in addition to the salad fixings.
“For the holiday, we put our soup of the day out there as part of the salad bar as well,” adds Tom. “It’s going to be Portuguese Bean Soup … it’s really one of our best soups.” The broth for this local favorite is enhanced with smoked ham hocks, making it richly irresistible.
Wailana’s Father’s Day meals also come with a choice of starch (baked or mashed potato, french fries or rice) corn on the cob, apple cobbler and a beverage (coffee, tea or soft drink). And if you’d like to toast Dad with a nice glass of wine, Burgundy, Rose or Chablis are available for $5 apiece.
Patrons have long adored the fact that they may order breakfast all day long at the 24-hour restaurant, and Father’s Day will be no exception. Eggs Benedict Royal ($12.50) is available as the breakfast special that day, presenting smoked ham, turkey breast, poached eggs and a generous smothering of house-made hollandaise sauce on top of English muffins. The dish also includes hash browns, as well as the refreshing additions of glazed peach slices and coffee or tea.
“Our customers don’t go away hungry,” confirms Tom.
LOUNGE it up!
In need of some relaxation? Wailana Coffee House is home to a cocktail lounge, located next to the main dining space, that features drink and pupu specials, as well as live music with Kevin Mau Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
THE ‘KING’ of all menus
The restaurant celebrates momentous days year-round with special menus, and next up is Kamehameha Day June 11, when Wailana will dish out a Hawaiian Plate, Teriyaki Rib Steak, Chicken Papaya and more for the state holiday.
Wailana Coffee House always has been known as Waikiki’s go-to family restaurant for value, quality and affordability served up in a diner-style menu of American classics and local favorites. Now, the eatery’s adding some Mexican flair to its offerings with a new dish: South of the Border Breakfast Bowl ($10.95). Seasoned taco-style beef, nacho cheese, scrambled eggs, salsa and smoky bacon are piled onto hash browns. And since some like it hot, jalapenos are served on the side.
Wailana Coffee House
1860 Ala Moana Blvd., Waikiki
Open 24 hours daily (except when the restaurant closes from 9:30 p.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday)
Validated parking is available on Ena Road