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Thursday, July 13, 2017

THE BEST HAMBURGER AND LOCO MOCO IN HAWAII?

Just so you don't get an impression that all I eat is gourmet food from Michelin 3-Star restaurants, I also happen to enjoy plate lunches and similar fare.  Last week I posted on HAWAII'S BEST 2017 Chinese food.  Today, from that survey, the best hamburger, then I'll expand to a local favorite, loco moco.

First of all, the price a fast food outlet charges for their burgers is almost meaningless, for you can find a simple one for a buck and a fancy version for $10.  Then there are the ones that purport to use wagyu beef.  I haven't found one that uses real Japanese wagyu, which can cost 10 times more per pound than wagyu from Australia and the USA.  Some burgers do taste better, and, to a degree, these tend to get voted for by consumers.  In Hawaii, #1 comes from Teddy's Bigger Burgers:


So I went to Teddy's and created a blue cheese with onions special.  The taste was quite good, deserving of a #1 ranking.  I ate at the Diamond Head Lookout, where there was a person willing to lend you his parrot for a buck.  Anytime you see this anywhere in the world, the term scam comes to mind.  However, tourists seemed to enjoy being with that parrot, so I guess I should not deprecate the efforts of an entrepreneur trying to make a few dollars.

I've posted on loco moco several times, so to quickly explain, here is a quote from one of them:

I have become an authority on cuisine, so would like to advance a campy dish mostly found only in Hawaii:  loco moco.  Created 67 years ago at the Lincoln Grill in Hilo, Nancy and Richard Inouye used the waste oil from frying pork chops, bacon and all those terrible processed meats to make a gravy, which was poured on white rice with a hamburger patty.  Later came fried egg on top.  Three students from Hilo High School then named it loco for crazy, and, to stick to this Spanish connection, plus for poetic reasons, added moco, Little did they know that loco moco means crazy boogers (also known as snot).    Actually, well-named, for this must be close to the the worst dish of all time.  I have it at least twice/year, maybe more.

My favorite loco moco was served at Morimoto's at the Ilikai, except it was called loco moto, using Japanese wagyu beef instead of hamburger.  Only cost $23.  Morimoto's is closed, but scheduled to re-open this Fall at the new Pacific Beach Hotel, to be named Alohilani Resort at Waikiki.  There will be two restaurants, Morimoto Asia (there already is one at Walt Disney World in Florida) and Momosan (New York City has a Momosan Ramen) Waikiki.

Alan Wong featured his version (left) at the Pineapple Room in the Ala Moana Shopping Center, charging $18.50, but using Veal Jus with salsa, grilled onions and fried rice.  Hope this does not reflect any health risk of the dish, but the Pineapple Room, too, recently shut down.

Best 15 Loco Mocos in Hawaii?  Try this list, which touts Hilo's Cafe 100 as #1.  My favorite variation for only $6.50 is Zippy's Chili Moco, which adds their terrific chili over rice, and macaroni salad on the side.  Rainbow Drive-In's loco moco is rather pedestrian, but only costs $4.50.  What I have at least yearly is their spaghetti plate with rice and macaroni salad.  I would enjoy this bento a lot more if these carbohydrates were not so menacing to my health.  But with all that grease and who knows what else, loco moco just has to be more lethal.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, for the 24th time this year, broke its all-time high, up 21 today to 21,553.  From all reports, Janet Yellen, Fed chairwoman, said enough to the Senate Banking Committee to aid investor confidence.

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Tropical Storm Fernanda is expected to very shortly reach hurricane strength, and as currently projected, could well reach Category 4 status and head towards Hawaii:



I would not be particularly surprised, though, for some weakening to occur by Tuesday of next week. Here are some computer models:




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