Small bites that pack big flavorA La Carte
July 10, 2022
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: Anthony Consillio
From its array of iconic plate lunches to delicious a la carte selections and slush floats, which are perfect during the hot summer months, Rainbow Drive-In continues to serve up aloha in each of its signature locally inspired meals as it has done for generations of loyal customers over the past 60-plus years.
After opening in 1961, Rainbow Drive-In now serves guests at four convenient locations: the flagship restaurant on Kapahulu Avenue as well as Ewa Beach, Kalihi and Pearlridge.
“We’ve had multiple generations of families coming to the same spot to enjoy their favorite meals,” says Chris Iwamura, Rainbow Drive-In’s CEO and third-generation owner. “We strive to keep Rainbow Drive-In a place where you can consistently visit and get that same feeling and taste of nostalgia and comfort.”
Chili Tots ($5.25, Kapahulu) is a popular “small bite,” as crispy tater tots are topped with Rainbow’s famous homemade chili. Or, pick up a Loco Moco Bowl ($5.75, Kapahulu), a smaller version of the restaurant’s popular Loco Moco Plate, which includes one hamburger patty served over a scoop of white rice, topped with homemade gravy and one egg.
When headed to the beach, be sure to pick up a BBQ Beef Sandwich ($5.75 regular, $6.50 with cheese; Kapahulu) in which tender sliced beef is marinated in barbecue sauce and seared on the grill before being placed in a soft white bun with mayo and lettuce; the team at Rainbow Drive-In recommends adding cheese!
“It’s great that our guests can enjoy smaller items for snacks on the go, between meals, or even as great additions to their favorite plate lunches!” Iwamura says. “Our guests know that our food is not fancy, but rather simple, hearty, local comfort food.”