This is the real thing - a small diner in a San Ramon strip-center and run by a true Hawaiian family. The place isn't much to look at. It is small and plain. A few tropical flowers are painted on the wall and that's about it for Hawaiian décor. Festive Hawaiian music is played and puts you in the Aloha spirit.
You order at the counter and then find an empty table. It's usually crowded, so, at times, finding a table is the like finding a place to put your towel down on Waikiki beach.
Patrick and Breana's favorite dish is the Kalbi Ribs, which are ribs marinated in Korean BBQ sauce, and then char-grilled. All this for only $8.95. I like the mahi-mahi or the saimin, which are island noodles cooked in broth and then garnished. They also have a true Hawaiian favorite called Loco Moco. This dish is a bowl of rice and a hamburger patty topped with two fried eggs and then smothered in brown gravy. It's the real thing, I have had it in Hawaii and it's delicious. Don't miss the Hawaiian Poor Boy. It's got Hawaiian steak inside. Okay, you ask, "What is Hawaiian steak"? It's SPAM!!! Yes, Hawaiians eat more spam than anyone on the planet. They really love it. So this fried spam sandwich with two fried eggs on top is a true favorite of the Hawaiian people.
The dishes all come with two scoops of white rice, and an island salad. The prices are cheap when you see all the food you are offered.
On Friday and Saturday, they serve their luau specials: Lau Lau, which is pork in luau leaves that is steamed for hours in a ti leaf pouch, or Kalua Pork, which is pork roasted for hours and pull-apart tender. Yes, they even have poi!
Kilohana is open from 11:00am until 8:30pm and is closed on Sundays. It's a fun place for unusual, but real Hawaiian food. You will notice the place is filled with Hawaiian families - this is the REAL deal!
September 21, 2004
From journal Living in the shadow of Mt. Diablo