Iconic EateryCover Story
May 21, 2023
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO
With the school year ending and summer starting to heat up, St. Louis Drive In is offering an array of flavorful specials as multiple generations flock to the go-to spot for local-style comfort food in the heart of Kaimuki.
Located conveniently on Waialae Avenue, across the street from Saint Louis School and Chaminade University, St. Louis Drive In serves local favorites prepared with plenty of experience and extra helpings of aloha. Owner Wayne Akimoto continues to lead the family restaurant, which his relatives opened in 1960.
“Over more than 60 years in business, we have been serving the same simple foods, which has been successful for us,” Akimoto says. “We have added other local foods to our menu, which we feel is attractive to the community. Prices are reasonable, and along with our old-school vibes, you can come back to enjoy the food you grew up with.”
As an inside scoop for Dining Out readers, St. Louis Drive In is offering multiple specials throughout the month, including the Star-Advertiser Seafood Special for just $11.50. This can’t miss offer includes grilled ahi, two scallops, two shrimp tempura and ahi sashimi accompanied by rice and tossed salad. Seafood Bento ($11.50) is another incredible deal that includes salmon, grilled teriyaki ahi, shrimp tempura, scallop, konbu seaweed, egg roll and rice with furikake and ume.
Japanese Plate Deluxe ($12.50) is also on special and comes with mochiko chicken, teri beef, ahi sashimi and two shrimp tempura along with rice and tossed salad. The Super Japanese Plate Deluxe ($13.50) features the same items plus two scallops to round out the seafood medley. Roast Pork Plate ($10.50) features succulent pork cooked for five hours daily, which makes the meat very tender and delicious, and comes with two scoops of rice and a choice of tossed greens or macaroni salad.
“It’s been rewarding to see people grow up as generations of families continue to come back, and we’re lucky to have hard-working employees who give it their all,” Akimoto says. “Because our employees have been with us for so long at our small hole in the wall, including some who have worked in the restaurant industry for more than 50 years, we hon or them with that dignity, and loyal customers look forward to that dedicated service and their favorite dishes.
“We try to elevate the experience for everyone, including offering different varieties of seafood and plating the dishes like you’re going to eat a nice meal in Waikiki. It’s a different breed of plate lunch when there’s sashimi on the plate, too. The rest is history, and we keep learning something new every day; that keeps it fun and interesting!”
For the latest information and available specials, follow St. Louis Drive In on Instagram @st.louisdrivein_hawaii.