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Thread: Hawaii's Best Hamburger? Where?

  1. #151
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    Default Re: Hawaii's Best Hamburger? Where?

    I had one on Saturday from Kua Aina at Ward. While eating it I was thinking about this thread and it occured to me what that one of the things that might make a burger enjoyable to eat would be the lettuce.

    If it's shreaded like the Big Mac and the Whopper then there is a tendency for the shreaded lettuce to drop from the sandwich which is to me a bad thing.

    Kua Aina's burger had the entire leaf with the stiff middle part in it. If the lettuce is in the burger it makes the sandwich way thicker, which might be a problem to eat it, but at least you have the option to use the leaf or not (and you can always eat it by itself).

    For the life of me I can't remember which burger had just the lettuce leaf without the stiff middle part.

  2. #152
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    Default Re: Hawaii's Best Hamburger? Where?

    Quote Originally Posted by helen
    there is a tendency for the shreaded lettuce to drop from the sandwich which is to me a bad thing.
    I've got to nominate that one for the most bizarre sentence of the day. (And with this group, that's a difficult distinction to earn. )

    For the life of me I can't remember which burger had just the lettuce leaf without the stiff middle part.
    Well, maybe the most bizarre two sentences.
    .
    .

    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

  3. #153
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    Exclamation Re: Hawaii's Best Hamburger? Where?

    Quote Originally Posted by pzarquon
    Ward? Market City? Shows how out of touch I am. (Eh, Albert? ) The last two MOS Burger outlets I've seen were on University in the YMCA building years and years ago, and then in the increasingly high-rent Ewa end of Waikiki on Kalakaua. Never had one yet... mostly 'cause my friends at UH always called 'em "moss burgers."
    With good reason. They are pretty terrible.

  4. #154
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    Default Re: Hawaii's Best Hamburger? Where?

    Nico's has been mentioned previously as the home of a great burger. A friend of mine just took me there today, and I finally went for a burger instead of one of their famous seafood dishes. And I gotta say, it was pretty darn good! Burger patties had a nice char but were very tender inside. The cheese, in particular, was perfect. Just stringy enough. Two thumbs up.

  5. #155
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    Default Re: Hawaii's Best Hamburger? Where?

    Quote Originally Posted by pzarquon
    Burger patties had a nice char but were very tender inside. The cheese, in particular, was perfect. Just stringy enough. Two thumbs up.
    The lettuce, man... tell us about the lettuce!!! Shredded or chunky?


    (Sorry, Helen. I couldn't resist. Just a joke, k?)
    .
    .

    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

  6. #156

    Default Re: Hawaii's Best Hamburger? Where?

    Quote Originally Posted by TuNnL
    With good reason. They are pretty terrible.
    There was MOS Burger outlet for a short while in the Pearl Kai Center across Tower Records. That was more than a decade or two ago, though.

    MOS translated to "Mountain, Ocean, Sun."

  7. #157

    Default Re: Hawaii's Best Hamburger? Where?

    Quote Originally Posted by oceanpacific
    There was MOS Burger outlet for a short while in the Pearl Kai Center across Tower Records. That was more than a decade or two ago, though.

    MOS translated to "Mountain, Ocean, Sun."
    I would go to the mountain, ocean or sun in order to steer completely clear of ever eating one of those nasty things ever again.
    Ugh. Super-awful ... and you know me, food's my favorite!
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  8. #158

    Default Re: Hawaii's Best Hamburger? Where?

    Quote Originally Posted by Creative-1
    I had the burger at Town (in Kaimuki) this week and it was soooooo ono!

    The showstring fries are good too.
    I finallly had the burger at town and it is excellent. North Shore Cattle Co. beef, brioche bun and served with the aforementioned fries which are amazing - $7.49. We splurged and added gorgonzola cheese for an extra $1. Highly recommended.

  9. #159
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    Default Re: Hawaii's Best Hamburger? Where?

    Quote Originally Posted by lokelani
    Big City Diner!!

    I love the mushroom burgers... fresh mushrooms & garlic.. yum... They are the BEST! we once sat on a table & all the girls ordered like 5 mushroom burgers & 1 portabello mushroom burger.... & if I'm going to pay 8$ for my burger... I'd much rather sit in a nice air conditioned restaurant then outside sitting next to cars on a hot summer day ... (if I had to pick kua aina ward or big city diner ward.... ) ...besides I love their bubbies ice cream & brownie pie.. yum!

    ok - now I'm reading the hamburger thread! I also like Big City Diner simply because its the ONLY place that seems to understand "extremely well, well done & no tomatoes any where near my burger!" Anyplace that can manage THAT order correctly gets the most points from me.

    Fran

  10. #160
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    Default Re: Hawaii's Best Hamburger? Where?

    The last time I tried to order a burger the way I like it, Big City Diner required me to sign a waiver. It was tasty, but the whole legal liability thing was a downer.

    Yeah, I know, in this day and age, they're stuck between a rock and a hard place, and you're told just about everywhere that your only options are "medium well and above." But I'm beginning to think that a "best burger" joint would probably someday have to be a hole in the wall that isn't afraid of a little pink meat.

  11. #161
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    Default Re: Hawaii's Best Hamburger? Where?

    Quote Originally Posted by pzarquon
    The last time I tried to order a burger the way I like it, Big City Diner required me to sign a waiver. It was tasty, but the whole legal liability thing was a downer.

    Yeah, I know, in this day and age, they're stuck between a rock and a hard place, and you're told just about everywhere that your only options are "medium well and above." But I'm beginning to think that a "best burger" joint would probably someday have to be a hole in the wall that isn't afraid of a little pink meat.

    I don't mind a little pink - its when its soooooo juicy that the bun gets wet, thats what I don't like. Same reason for no tomatoes - the bun gets all wet, then I have to throw it out & I'm wasting my $8. IMHO - the very best burger is the one I cook at home!

    (reason for edit: too many exclamation points )

  12. #162
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    Default Re: Hawaii's Best Hamburger? Where?

    For Big City Diner, I remember a year ago a friend ordered her burger rare and because it was below medium rare she had to sign a waiver because the Dept. of Health said you have to cook it to a least medium rare.

    On the messy burger issue, the more things drop, the less enjoyable, eating the burger gets, but for me that varies. I won't get bent out of shape if a small drop of ketscup or burger grease drops on the plate (or the burger wrapper) when the burger is almost gone. I do shake my head when I first bite on the burger and on the other side drips of glob of sauce.

  13. #163
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    Default Re: Hawaii's Best Hamburger? Where?

    I just have issues with wet bread - it comes from a place back in the dark ages of my childhood.

  14. #164

    Default Re: Hawaii's Best Hamburger? Where?

    Quote Originally Posted by anapuni808
    I just have issues with wet bread - it comes from a place back in the dark ages of my childhood.
    Hamaga steak, instead!

  15. #165

    Default Re: Hawaii's Best Hamburger? Where?

    Quote Originally Posted by LikaNui
    The lettuce, man... tell us about the lettuce!!! Shredded or chunky?


    (Sorry, Helen. I couldn't resist. Just a joke, k?)
    Not a joke to me....I hate full leaf lettuce on ANY sandwich.... Shredded all the way, ESPECIALLY on burgers :-)

  16. #166

    Default Re: Hawaii's Best Hamburger? Where?

    Quote Originally Posted by tikiyaki
    Not a joke to me....I hate full leaf lettuce on ANY sandwich.... Shredded all the way, ESPECIALLY on burgers :-)
    I dislike lettuce on sandwiches too, so I'd rather it be the full-leaf...so I can take it all off the sandwich in one move.

  17. #167
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    Default Re: Hawaii's Best Hamburger? Where?

    Quote Originally Posted by helen
    For the life of me I can't remember which burger had just the lettuce leaf without the stiff middle part.
    Duh, giving the amount of Jumbo Jacks that I eat I should have known this. The one I had last night jogged my memory.

  18. #168
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    Default Re: Hawaii's Best Hamburger? Where?

    The Advertiser revisited their burger overview from June yesterday.

    Notably, the Kulia Grill came in last. Of course, after the Kulia Grill took the prize in Hawaii Diner's review (that no doubt inspired the Advertiser's attempt), they went and changed their recipe... so the Kulia Grill burgers haven't been at all noteworthy for months now.

  19. #169

    Default Re: Hawaii's Best Hamburger? Where?

    Quote Originally Posted by pzarquon
    The Advertiser revisited their burger overview from June yesterday.

    Notably, the Kulia Grill came in last. Of course, after the Kulia Grill took the prize in Hawaii Diner's review (that no doubt inspired the Advertiser's attempt), they went and changed their recipe... so the Kulia Grill burgers haven't been at all noteworthy for months now.
    Why in the world would someone change an acclaimed recipe? The "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" thing SCREAMED to mind when I read this post.
    Disclaimer - I've not been to Kulia Grill ... no personal experience/axe to grind, etc.
    Last edited by Erika Engle; August 13th, 2006 at 11:50 AM. Reason: punctuation
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  20. #170
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    Default Re: Hawaii's Best Hamburger? Where?

    Yesterday for the first time I visited Kiawe Grill in Kalihi and tried their


    BBQ Cheeseburger Deluxe - 6 oz. ($4.95)

    and

    Steak-Cut Fries ($2.15)

    Believe me, the name Kiawe Grill is literally what this food is about. I seen the grill. It's a restored heavy-duty steel box-shaped unit with a thick iron rod cooking grate and a pit below that burns solid Kiawe LOGS that spew dancin' smokey flames straight up into the meats. They have it sort of hidden in the back, but if you ask me, the grill itself should be a showcase in an "open kitchen" setting. Yeah yeah, I'm the guy that sits there and stares at the BBQ fire. Pyro. lol

    The house-made beef burger's patty had a slightly smoked, char-grilled flavor, cooked perfectly medium and need-a-napkin juicy! It was also so big (seemed bigger than 6 oz.) that along with that large portion of steak fries, I only could eat half the burger (shown above). Very juicy. When I return (and I will), I'll ask them not to put ketchup, mustard and relish on it. That was the only thing that didn't work for me. The bun is great; substantial with a nice crust and soft texture. Only gripe on that was they didn't lightly toast the inside on the grill. Next time I'll ask them to do that too. Overall, it was fantastic.

    The steak-cut fries was a little over-cooked (hard crust), but still very tender inside and salted perfectly. For just $2 bucks, the portion was HUGE. I shared it with my buddies.

    This is probably the only restaurant in Hawaii that offers these kind of exotic meats for burgers...

    I'm gonna' suggest to the owner to offer a swiss'n'mushroom option.

    Besides burgers, Kiawe Grill also features BBQ plates with a Korean flare to them, including up to 1 lb. of self-serve Korean vegetables on the side. Wow!

    They've now been added to my preferred list of lunch hour restaurants. I'm goin' back for that Ostrich burger!

    Highly recommended.

  21. #171
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    Default Re: Hawaii's Best Hamburger? Where?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pomai View Post
    Yeah yeah, I'm the guy that sits there and stares at the BBQ fire. Pyro. lol
    Too funny... and once again, great pics Pomai.

    I go to the Kiawe Grill in Moiliili all the time... the ostrich is a nice change of pace, but I would also suggest trying the Angus and Kobe hamburgers.

    The regular cheeseburgers are good, but the Angus and Kobe ones are GREAT. Kiawe-grilled Kobe... I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

    Also, like you mentioned, don't forget the regular plates there too... Kiawe-grilled chicken and salmon taste oh-so-ONO with the smokey flavor added.

  22. #172
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    Default Re: Hawaii's Best Hamburger? Where?

    Wow, Pomai. Just reading the menu made my stomach growl. Much as I love a good burger, I can't believe I haven't made the trek to Kiawe Grill. I most certainly will now!

  23. #173
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    Default Re: Hawaii's Best Hamburger? Where?

    Thanks for the tip PJ. I was really tempted to order the Kobe, since they had a few signs around that pushed it, but the higher price I thought might not have warranted it's that much better. Now that you say it is, I'll do that!

    Can you explain exactly what you thought of the Ostrich burger? Does it taste like beef? Is it more dry because it's leaner? I don't wanna' order it and be disappointed only for the sake of saying "I tried it".

    Also, does the Moili'ili location have that wood-engraved menu board like the Kalihi location? I assume they have the same vegetable station like this one...



    at the Kalihi location...

    next to Diners Drive In nearby Farrington H.S. on King St.

  24. #174

    Default Re: Hawaii's Best Hamburger? Where?

    I ate at the Moiliili location some months ago and they had the same type of wood engraved menu board, and the same vegetable station.

    They also had a few dead and dying roaches laying around the customer area, which didn't appear to be as clean as it should be, which might be why I never went back. I'm not too discriminating, and I liked the kiawe BBQ taste, so I might try them again if they've cleaned up the place.

  25. #175
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    Default Re: Hawaii's Best Hamburger? Where?

    As Mapen points out, the menu and the veggies are the same. They even have a scale on top of the cold case so you can weigh it out!

    Quote Originally Posted by mapen View Post
    They also had a few dead and dying roaches laying around the customer area, which didn't appear to be as clean as it should be, which might be why I never went back.
    In the 3 or 4 years I've been going there, I've never seen a roach. Dead or alive. So take that statement and Mapen's and make of it what you will.

    As for the burgers... the ostrich was indeed too dry for my taste. It did taste more lean than regular hamburger would, IMO.

    Both the Kobe and Angus are good, but I prefer the Angus myself. And you're right, a mushroom and swiss option would be WINNAHS.

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