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Tuesday, November 26, 2013


The Combo Plate Lunch.
Whenever a patron walks up to a plate lunch counter and asks the pretty girl working there, "Can I get a beef and seafood combo?" What he's asking for is possibly any meat or beef entree with another entree that's a shrimp, scallops, lobster, clam, squid or fish. And Hawaii's plate lunch culture keeps on banging in the bucks!

As plate lunches have evolved from very simple ones, with 2 scoops of rice, 1 scoop of macaroni salad, and the meats or fish. Don't be surprised if you see more upscale plate lunch presentations as culinary trained chefs start to delve in plate lunches. It's common to see mahi mahi sautéed with a wine and cream sauce with capers, or some succulent Duroc pork chops with a teriyaki glaze, and a gourmet looking bean salad in lieu of my favorite mayonnaise based mac salad.

Combos are perfect for those that want different flavors and textures. If you feel like eating pork and beef you can get it. If you want seafood and chicken, you can get it, the combos offers the plate luncher another option. I've ordered a loco moco combo once with chicken katsu, the girl looked at me funny because a loco moco is a totally filling meal, I got charged a little extra but that's okay, as long as it's good…locals don't complain.
This plate comes with a large scoop of rice instead of 2
chicken kalua combo
Another plate with chicken and kalua
Korean BBQ style comob
Meat Jun Kalbi Beef
Kalua & Katsu combo w. Brown Rice

Savory, umami, sweet and sour, the flavors from Hawaii's Plate Lunch Culture makes it one of a kind. The large chain restaurants that were created in Hawaii can be found in many places outside of Hawaii. L&L, is one restaurant that is franchised and going global. Plate lunches are becoming mainstream, there's even high end restaurants serving some plate lunch style entrees, and rightfully so, because it's simple and if done right very delicious or ono. The easy cooking, one pot meals like beef stew, or beef curry, or pork adobo. Roasted chicken Chinese style, if there's no duck is good. The ethnic styles are so inviting, the smells, aromas that fill the air when you drive or walk up to a very good quality counter, and sometimes the grungiest of dives are the ones to eat at, for some reason those are the ones with the good food. Weird, strange but it is true. The old buildings with mom and pop written all over it, the faded Coke signs, the hours of operations are 6 am to 3 pm, closed on Sundays so the pops can go fishing, yes those are the places to go and eat..though fading away. If you see a long line of people standing in line in the warm Hawaiian sun, the trash cans look slimy, the screen windows loose, the food must be good.
copyright 2013