Moke’s Bread & Breakfast Opens Second Location in Kaimukī
Loco moco, biscuits, liliko‘i pancakes and more for those days that you just don’t want to drive to Kailua.
Photos: Robbie Dingeman
Kailua and Kaimukī both share a core small-town identity that attracts a mix of new and old businesses and both communities have a growing affinity for breakfast.
So that might help explain why homey Moke’s Bread & Breakfast just expanded to the heart of Kaimukī’s restaurant district, alongside the municipal parking lot in the space last occupied by Kan Zaman. The new spot offers mostly the same menu as Kailua, a mix of sweet and savory breakfast specialties with a reliable ($10—$15) mid-range price point. There is a lunch menu with sandwiches and salads but breakfast is the main event.
Favorites include the comforting over-easy eggs, burger, rice and brown gravy of a loco moco ($11.95). It’s worth the upgrade of the Loco Moke, which subs a 7-ounce serving of rib-eye steak for the patty ($15.95). Another savory favorite is corned beef hash for $13.50.
Photo: Enjy El-Kadi
Sweet seekers crave the liliko‘i pancakes (two for $8.95/three for $9.95), fluffy pancakes topped with sweet with a hint of tart. A recent special included blueberries and a White Rabbit candy-style sauce.
The stuffed hash browns with rye bread.
Trying to balance the sweet-salty ratio without needing a nap before lunch, we order a honey-butter biscuit ($3.25)—which has a lot in common with a scone—alongside an omelet stuffed with an array of fillings. Looking for something a little different and a vegetarian option? Try the stuffed hash browns ($11.95 with a choice of toast), which offer all the cheese, veggies and other fillings that can come in an omelet, wrapped up in a crispy blanket of hash browns instead of eggs. It’s not something we’d whip up at home so it’s a fun diner-style splurge. The rye bread came thick and fresh with it.
The new place, which opened in April, offers the same consistently good food and friendly service as the Kailua location, which opened 15 years ago and kept expanding in size and popularity. Servers say they trained at the mother ship. The town place includes a smaller, more contemporary vibe. (Kailua is more than twice as big, seating closer to 75 than 35 and it has a cozier grandma’s kitchen décor while Kaimukī leans to a simpler aesthetic with photos of Diamond Head.)
The rest of the menu fills out with breakfast standards. With nearby neighbors that include Koko Head Café, Koa Pancake House and Big City Diner, Moke’s seems to be finding its new townside groove in another good breakfast neighborhood. And with the Pali Highway in a state of emergency through August, this Moke’s seems to be catching on quickly.
One logistics note: The Kailua restaurant is all one level with benches and seats to help ease the wait at busy times. The Kaimukī eatery is on the second floor, up a couple of flights of concrete steps.
1127 11thAve., Suite 201, (808) 367-0571, mokeshawaii.com, closed Tuesdays.