Friendly family feeds folksCover Story
December 29, 2019
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO
At Moke’s Bread & Breakfast, the friendly and knowledgeable team takes the time to make simple, delicious brunch cuisine the right way within a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere.
Local diners have made Moke’s their go-to home for ono breakfast-and-lunch options since the restaurant first opened in Kailua in 2004; diners can also enjoy Moke’s Bread & Breakfast on 11th Avenue in the culinary hotbed of Kaimuki.
Moke’s Bread & Breakfast brand manager Keola Warren explains that his parents grew up working in the restaurant industry and had ambitions of opening an eatery of their own.
“They also lived together in Kailua while they were dating,” says Warren of his parents.
“We always had lots of friends and family on the Windward side so it seemed natural to open the restaurant in Kailua. The family history is a big part of the business.”
Warren’s father, Moke, grew up cooking with his mother, and as the youngest of five boys, he learned many of the family’s classic recipes. His mother Teri was a waitress out of high school, and Warren’s parents met while working together at a restaurant in Waikiki.
Moke graduated from the culinary program at Kapiolani Community College and went on to work as the head butcher at the Halekulani Hotel under Chef Mavro, while also mentoring Warren in the restaurant business.
“We opened the Kailua restaurant when I was 19 years old and I have been working there ever since,” says Warren. “I took some time to get my degree in merchandising from UH Manoa and worked at other restaurants in the evenings. These experiences broadened my understanding of operations and management and many of the principles I learned in school I am able to apply to my role in the restaurant now.”
Warren invites diners to try Moke’s most popular dish: Lilikoi Pancakes ($8.95 for a short stack, $9.95 for a full stack).
The pancakes are made from scratch and follow Warren’s grandmother’s recipe.
The iconic lilikoi is sourced locally from the Big Island and adds a perfect balance of tart and sweet — the Moke’s team calls it “liquid gold.”
Corned Beef Hash ($13.50) is served with two eggs, rice or hash browns, and toast. Warren explains that “We make the corned beef from scratch and then mix it with potato and green onion. It is a very simple but delicious recipe. Most people don’t want to take the time to make it right, but we do.”
Loco Moke ($15.95) is a delicious take on a loco moco.
Moke’s uses house-cut ribeye instead of a hamburger patty, and the savory beef is topped with two eggs any style and house-made gravy from scratch, which is they key to the dish.
Diners rave about the Reuben Sandwich ($11.95), which is served on Moke’s homemade dark rye bread and piled high with thinly sliced brisket, sauerkraut and thousand island dressing before all the flavors come together with melted Swiss cheese Burger enthusiasts will go wild for The Big Kat Burger ($21). T his behemoth of a burger begins with Moke’s five-ounce burger patty that is topped with cheese, bacon, a corned beef hash patty, lettuce, onion, and tomato as well as a sunny side up egg.
“It’s a big boy burger for Big Kat’s only!” says Warren.
Savor something special
For diners who have yet to try the lunch items served up at Moke’s Bread & Breakfast from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the restaurant is oﬀering a special incentive for guests to enjoy the delicious selections. Throughout the month of January, diners will receive 15 percent oﬀ the lunch menu on weekdays (Moke’s is closed on Tuesdays). As a reminder, Moke’s will be closed on Wednesday, New Year’s Day.