Thursday, September 24, 2015

Waikiki Beach & The Rainbow Drive-In - Hawai'i Travelogue Video

Take a walk on the Waikiki beachside with the Traveling Cheap$kate. It's a full plate of video footage featuring: a scenic stroll along the beach; a visit to the world famous Rainbow Drive-In for a Loco Moco Plate Lunch; and a fast food stroll for Spam Musubi.

My wife and I stayed across the street from Waikiki Beach on the 11th floor of Park Shore Waikiki Hotel, which has a view of Diamond Head. Everything we craved was within walking distance.

Click on any photo to see larger.

On the beach squealing posses of local kids caught waves on their boogie boards, while others soaked up the sun strolling and lounging. The area is bustling but we always found a comfy sandy spot to people watch.

Of course there are all manner of dining choices. Well, you know I'm going to find budget eats. Right down the street, about 4 short blocks away. is where I went the most: the Rainbow Drive-In.

 It's a locals hangout for cheap plate lunches and more. Amy tried the Mixed Plate of BBQ Beef, Mahi Mahi fish fillet, a slab of Boneless Chicken, plus 2 scoops of Rice and 1 scoop of Macaroni Salad, all for the price of $8.25. What a deal!

Click on photo to read menu item descriptions.

I ordered the Loco Moco Plate. It's what to get if you have a big appetite, especially after a day in the ocean surfing, swimming or boggie boarding. The Loco Moco Plate is 2 Eggs (any way you like them,) 2 Hamburger Patties, 2 scoops Rice, 1 scoop Macaroni Salad and, to quote their slogan, "Gravy all over." And it cheap, at $7.50.

This entree is not for the faint of palate. It's a delicious hot mess when you get eggs over easy. Nothing's better than mixing the yolk with all the other ingredients. Somehow it works. I've been to Hawai'i a few times and have never ordered a Loco Moco - it just seemed too deceptively simple, and too much.

The gravy is made from chicken broth and quite flavorful. The Hamburger is just plainly fried on a flat top. Rice is for extra carbs and soaking up the egg yolk and gravy. I especially like the Macaroni Salad. It's extra creamy with mayo. This version doesn't have shredded carrot, like in some plate lunches I've tried in Hawai'i. For my cheap$kate recipes for Macaroni Salad and Sticky Rice, just click here.

 The Rainbow Drive-In also serves a smaller Loco Moco Bowl that's easier to handle.

This blog post is a food 2fer. Not only do I review a Loco Moco Plate, but you get a fast food side of Spam Musubi from the 7 Eleven, that I bought around the corner from the Rainbow Drive-In.

Locals have their version of grab and go grub, and it's not a hot dog in a bun -- what they like is a sauteed slab of Spam on sushi rice, wrapped with a black band of dried seaweed (known as Nori.) Go into any convenience store, or deli case in a grocery, and you'll find a warmed heat-lamp case of Spam Musubi.

Now I know it sounds gross, but until you've tried it don't turn your nose up, too high.

You might not even know what Spam is, as it's become persona non grata in the food world. All it is, is a processed meat loaf in a can. It may be mystery meat, but if you can handle a hot dog, then you can handle Spam. Actually, Spam is made primarily from ground pork shoulder and ham. The Huffington Post did a short article about Spam, here.

Spam became popularized by the military during WWII. So anywhere American soldiers were stationed, including Hawaii and Korea, Spam followed, and was absorbed into the locals diet.

Japanese make up a part of the local populace, so they added "Hawaiian Steak," or Spam, to their traditional Musubi recipes. Musubi is any protein or veggie with sticky rice that's wrapped in dried nori, or seaweed. It's a small single serving, slightly shorter than a Twinkie.

There are many flavors of Musubi. I've tried breakfast Musubi, a combination of bacon, omelet and Spam. You can in anything including: cucumber, avocado, fried chicken, steak, tuna and salmon. Spam's typically sauteed, and sometimes marinated with soy and teriyaki sauce for extra flavor.

Bacon, Egg & Spam Musubi

So kick back and check out my latest Hawai'i Travelogue. It's a fun trip that won't cost you a thing. And do check back for my own recipes of Loco Moco and, of course, Spam Musubi. You might not want to chow down with me, but you will be entertained.

(As an aside, we had some of Amy's friends and workmates over when I just finished the video below. I showed it to them and got reactions that ran from outrage to laughter - just the reaction I hoped for. Hey, I know what I highlight foodwise is not for everybody, that's why I try to, at the very least, keep it fun.)

Waikiki Beach & The Rainbow Drive-In - VIDEO

Play it here, video runs 6 minutes, 20 seconds.

My YouTube video link for viewing or embedding, just click here.

99 thanks to:
Rainbow Drive-In
3308 Kanaina Avenue
Honolulu, Hawai'i 96815
808) 737-0177

A great Hawaiian radio station that I feasted on, selecting a few tropical tunes for my Travelogue videos, called "Territorial Airwaves - Your Source for the History of Hawaiian Music."
Online at:

Video song: "You're At A Lu'au Now" by Mel Peterson

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