Not your typical school lunch

I had lunch with Twitter friend Mike Sumida the other day, and since he works in the Kaimuki area, he suggested we do something different and eat at Kapiolani Community College’s Ka Ikena restaurant. Wow! While KCC does have cafeteria fare, the option to try the offerings of their culinary program is pretty cool, if you want to splurge a little.

Lunch runs about $20 per person and includes a starter, entree, dessert, and beverage. Dinner is about $30. KCC alum Ed Morita reminded me to keep in mind that this is a student-run restaurant, so the food and service toward the beginning of the semester is probably going to be less than stellar. Then again, at the beginning of the term, it’s easier to get a reservation. As the students get more polished, the quality goes up and the reservations are harder to come by.

To be honest, the food was totally fine and was a good value for the kind of food, the quality and the ambience. The service is super attentive, if a bit awkward. The hard part for me was holding back on instructing the kids: Many of you don’t know that I waitressed for five years (and was pretty good at it!), so I kept wanting to grab the pitchers to show them how to pour water properly. Serve on the left, bus on the right! Keep your fingers in an “L” shape to balance more plates in one hand! If you’re a veteran waitress/waiter dining at the beginning of the semester, smile, avert your eyes, and try to cut them some slack.

Here’s what we ate. I didn’t try Mike’s food, but you can see how he liked it at his blog, here.

Ka Ikena at KCC

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Important: It’s in the Ohelo building. KCC has pretty good signage, so it’s hard to get lost. Unless your name is Melissa Chang.

By the way, parking is free on campus; you can park anywhere that’s not marked for staff, but go early so you can troll for a space.

If you want to try Ka Ikena, reservations are required. You can also view their menu online each semester to see what they’re serving.

Ka Ikena at Kapiolani Community College
4303 Diamond Head Road


You can read all of Melissa’s blogs at Follow Melissa on Twitter@Melissa808, on Foursquare as Melissa808, or email at

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