After a three-to-four year absence from the menu, Zippy’s has reinstated its popular clubhouse sandwich recently. Had one for a late dinner at the Kaneohe restaurant last night, after taking in the I’m a Bright Kid Foundation musical at Paliku Theatre. Comes with French fries.

But alas, Zippy’s continues to neglect wait-help; service is horribly slow, even to get a table, and more waiting to place your order when you’re seated.

OK, all restaurants lack the help they need, but understaffing will be detrimental down the line. That was one of many issues leading to the closure of the Koko Marina dining room in Hawaii Kai.


Welcome to Chow Fun. Beginning with this posting, we’ll share periodic chats about food and dining. More informal revelations than the usual reviews, with focus on chowing … from snacks to casual dining.

Had a recent yearning for BBQ ribs, so ventured to Tex808 BBQ & Brews at the Hawaii Kai Shopping Center. This joint is jumping, for folks hungry for ribs and brisket.

Made two visits, since what I wanted to try the first time – the kal bi ribs – was sold out.

So, I ordered the usual ribs, with a choice of sauces, which wound up being a generous portion. I ate one half, taking the leftover home.

Still curious about the kal bi, I returned a week later and ordered ‘em.

The Tex88 kal bi, served with rice and salad on an aluminum tray.

Alas, I had mixed feelings. While the portion also was plentiful  – two rather thick slabs, not the thinner cuts you get at Yummy BBQ outlets or Kim’s (in Hawaii Kai), so I consumed one, took one home.

Frankly, if you like Korean kal bi, stick to a Korean  BBQ restaurant. The Tex version had the Korean flavor, but it’s smoked like the house ribs, so the ribs were tough and  dry. The butter knife provided (no serrated knife) could not easily cut through the meat.

Menu diversity is wonderful, but the kal bi here turns out to be a disappointing distraction.

The ribs and brisket come with choices of starch (rice, fries) and sides (like potato-mac salad, baked beans). The cafeteria style presentation – an aluminum tray with the entrée, with the sides served in paper luau-type mini-trays – was functional but uninspired.

There are tables facing the Hawaii Kai marina, and boats float by and there are mutual waving, from boaters and diners. On a dark night, blackness rules, with glistening lights from residents across the bay.

The waitstaff is friendly, and your server is your cashier, and mine signed me up for frequent diner points, but didn’t explain the rewards. There’s (loud) music some nights, perhaps targeting bar-area folks.

Another setback: the restaurant doesn’t serve coffee or tea but offers soda and wine.


It’s been months, since I’ve had breakfast for dinner. ‘Tis the breakfast item — two eggs, plus hamburger patty, with a side of brown gravy — from Liliha Bakery.

The meal comes with rice and a side salad, Just the right fare last night, at the Macy’s Ala Moana Center location.


A Belgian waffle store, La Liegeoise, has opened at the Koko Marina Shopping Center in Hawaii Kai, in the former Sophie’s Pizza slot a stone’s throw from Zippy’s take-out space.

The concept is a holdable waffle with options for toppings of your choice.

I chose a basic cinnamon sugar topping, sprinkled over a waffle that had a crispy exterior and a tad sticky interior, making it a chewable pastry toasted like a conventional thick Belgian waffle but with a slightly moist inside.

The basic waffle is $7, with a $1 charge for your choice of a topping such as Nutella, peanut butter, strawberry jam and whipped cream, or not-so-common options like Oreo, Fruit Loops, M&Ms and salted butter caramel.

The various toppings kinda makes La Liegeoise’s waffle trying to play catch up with the trendy doughnuts. So far, no bacon topping. Nor maple syrup.

Some considerations: if you’re holding and eating the waffle, you might want a topping that won’t topple. If you eat the waffle flat, you could still use your fingers and munch as you would a slice of toast. Or use utensils like you would a normal waffle.

But here’s the rub: the quicker you eat it (it’ll be warm), the better; if you’re buying for dessert after dinner, it won’t be fresh (it’ll be cold).

Best option: eat in-store, since there are a few tables. You can splurge and buy before or after a movie, make it your breakfast, or your snack after shopping instead of shave ice.

My opinion: It’s a middling newcomer with an uphill battle to compete with fancy doughnuts and malasadas, where patrons order up a dozen. Don’t think these waffles will have too many take-out orders of 12. …

Services set for John Michael White

A memorial service for the late John Michael White will be held at 2 p.m. May 18 at Central Union Church, 1660 S. Beretania St.

White died March 31 at age 81.

White, pictured, was known for his support of a range of community organizations, including Boys Bunch Hawaii, of which he was a founding member, the Hawaii Polo Club and the polo community, and Make a Wish Foundation.

I knew him best as avid theater patron, where he always shared his manao with a handshake and beaming smile, at productions at Diamond Head Theatre and Manoa Valley Theatre.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to John’s favorite causes.

Survivors include a son, Jeffrey Michael White, and a daughter, Tracey White McCarthy, and several grandchildren. …

Make Longs a part of your day, again

Well, you can make Longs a part of your day again, when Kumu Kahua revives the Lee Cataluna comedy, “Folks You Meet at Longs,” May 25  to June 25…

The show, which was a hit when it originally premiered in 2003, is a glimpse of folks who frequent the aisles of the drug store where just about everyone shops. There are monologues and interaction, just like any day at a Longs. Not surprisingly, CVS Longs and HMSA are among the partners in sponsoring this run.

The acting ensemble features Alysia-Leila Kepaʻa, Brandon Hagio, Cori Matsuda,  Darryl Soriano, Dawn Gohara, Jason Kanda, Jonathan Reyn,  Judy Lucina, and Thoren Lagaʻali Black.

Alvin Chan, who is directing the revival, said , “It’s an honor to work on a piece that I consider to be part of Hawaii’s theater canon.”

For ticket information, call  (808) 5364441 orvisit

And that’s Show Biz. …