Scratch Kitchen in Hawaii Kai, occupying the prime location vacated by Outback Steakhouse earlier this year, finally has its liquor license so is fully open for brunch and dinner.

Had a brunch visit earlier, when the menu was scanty. Now, the restaurant is fully open, awaiting patrons.

If you’re seeking breakfast fare, this isn’t your best destination. The brunch offering includes:

THE CLASSIC: three island eggs cooked any style, bacon, salad or crispy smashed potatoes. $16

MILK N’ CEREAL PANCAKES: Topped with fresh fruit and a side of our house milk syrup. $15

BRULEE’D FRENCH TOAST: Punaluu sweet bread, fruits, shredded coconut, maple syrup ala mode $15

Two of the brunch/breakfast items become part of the dinner dessert choices:

BRULEE’D FRENCH TOAST: Punaluu sweet bread, fruits, shredded coconut, maple syrup. $10.

MILK N’ CEREAL PANCAKES: banana, berries, milk syrup. $12

Call it repurposing or down pricing the morning fare; rather peculiar.

So we finally tried dinner. I order what sounded appealing; my wife ordered the fried chicken biscuit:

GRANDMAS FRIED PORK CHOP PASTA: 10 oz bone-in fried pork chop, pappardelle, garlic lemon sauce, capers, parmesan cheese, sautéed broccoli, cherry tomatoes. $26.

COUNTRY GRAVY FRIED CHICKEN BISCUIT: Famous fried chicken, country gravy, house made scallion biscuit, fried kale. $22

The fried chop, top photo above, with the pork sliced but bone retained, came with a pasta with sauteed broccoli and cherry tomatoes. Plating was attractive, with the floured chop crispy brown providing visual variety atop the pasta, and the veggies. The chop was seasoned properly; the pasta lacked seasoning and could have used a bit more salt and pepper.

The chicken on the open-faced biscuit,. second photo above, was overwhelming, bathed in gravy and served with eye-catching fried kale which was crispy; I’m not a kale fan, but my wife is, and fried to me tastes better than raw. The presentation of the chicken atop the biscuit, with lots of gravy, seemed more plentiful than attractive, and wifey ate half and took home only the chicken.

The overall menu is ample and merits a revisit, with ribs and burgers among the choices.

Scratch Kitchen here takes reservations, but on a Saturday night, half the booths and tables had ample space for walk-ins.

My wife had a glass of red wine, with her meal, which was fine; I tried the plantation iced tea, which lacked fruitiness, like tea with a small dollop of lilikoi, back lacking sweetness; a bit of sugar and a sliver of lime or lemon might have provided the plantation jolt.

Prices are competitive with other eateries in East Oahu, like Beastside Bistro at Niu Valley Shopping Center, or Liko’s at the Hawaii Kai Shopping Center. These relatively recent spots, however, boast more island-centric menus that are drawing brisk business on weeknights and weekends.

There’s lots to explore; the restaurant still features a bar with TV monitors, but there’s new booth seating at the bar; a lot more airiness, too, in the interior main dining area. Outside seating has been removed, for now; clearly, Scratch does not need more tables; it needs more diners.

Reservations: or (808)589-1669.


  1. Nice to hear a positive review since it seemed most reviews were on negative side. We look forward to dining there soon. Thanks you.

Leave a Reply