Palate-pleasing patties

Destination Dining

May 12, 2019

Story By: Lianna Mccurdy |

The sunny Kona side of the Big Island is cherished for its picturesque beaches, historical sites and stunning scenery. No Kailua-Kona day is complete without a must-try local specialty: the Loco Moco. This made-in-Hawaii dish appears on menus in various preparations, but all call to the traditional structure cooked up after World War II, a fusion of Asian and American cuisine.

1. Ulu Ocean Grill + Sushi Lounge
72-100 Kaupulehu Drive

Chef de Cuisine Chad Yamamoto, of Ulu Ocean Grill + Sushi Lounge, drew inspiration from the classic Loco Moco — comprised of a hamburger patty, white rice, a fried egg and brown gravy — to create the eatery’s Ahi “Loco Moco.” A sushi-rice base supports Yamamoto’s delicate composite of ahi tartare, quail egg and sweet soy kabayaki gravy.

2. Island Ono Loa Grill
75-5799 Alii Drive

Island Ono Loa Grill favorite, the Ono Loa Loco Moco, is a plate big enough for two. The dish is a compilation of hamburger, kalua pig, scoops of rice, macaroni salad and Ono Loa’s signature onion rings. Topped with gravy and house made Hawaiian Chili Pepper Vinegar Aioli, this menagerie of local bites is packed with intense flavor.

3. The Fish Hopper Seafood & Steaks
75-5683 Alii Drive

Simply delicious and served as a breakfast special, The Fish Hopper’s Loco Moco ensures you start your day off right. Pick your choice of protein for a custom bite: a Certified Angus beef half-pound hamburger patty, Spam or chicken. The Hawaii-style plate is finished with two eggs and brown gravy atop a pile of rice.

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