Something For Everyone

A La Carte Columns

August 28, 2016

Story By: Christina O Connor |

Baby Back Ribs ($24.99 for full order, 19.99 for smaller order) File photo

Baby Back Ribs ($24.99 for full order, 19.99 for smaller order) File photo

When he was opening the first Big City Diner in Kaimuki in the 1990s, Lane Muraoka conceptualized the restaurant by thinking of three generations of family members sitting down to eat together. He wanted to ensure that the menu would have something that all of them would want.

That’s why you can find a wide array of options designed to satisfy a range of palates at Big City Diner, which now has six locations throughout Oahu.

“It’s not a typical diner,” Muraoka says. “We have an emphasis on choices.”

Part of that, he explains, includes offering a number of healthy options. One of those healthier options is Cobb Salad ($13.99), which is stocked with smoked ham, roasted smoked turkey, avocado, red onion, tomatoes, jack and cheddar cheeses and roasted corn — all over a bed of romaine lettuce hearts.

“It’s not a traditional Cobb, but we just took different things that we thought went well together,” Muraoka explains.

If you’re hosting a party, Big City Diner offers a platter for this dish — Cobb Salad is $59.95 per platter — as well as other favorites like Baby Back Ribs ($84.50 per platter).

Big City Diner is an avid supporter of University of Hawaii athletics, and all locations will open at 5:45 a.m. for the Hawaii v. Michigan game Saturday, Sept. 3.


Within Big City Diner’s extensive menu, you’ll find a lot of local influences — owner and president Lane Muraoka describes the menu as “local American comfort food.” Baby Back Ribs ($24.99 for full order, 19.99 for smaller order), for instance, is served with white or brown rice — with an option to upgrade to garlic mashed potatoes. “They are slow-roasted, and then they are smoked, and then they are grilled,” he says. “It’s marinated in a guava barbecue sauce that we make.”

Big City Diner

Six Locations: Kaimuki, Ward, Kailua, Windward Mall, Pearlridge, Waipio Shopping Center
Sunday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday–Saturday, 7 a.m.-midnight

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