QUESTION: When I was in Honolulu a few weeks ago, I had my mind blown by something called loco moco, a weird and filling breakfast dish that must have weighed in at 2,600 calories at least. I hadn’t been expecting anything more profound than a plate of mac-nut pancakes, but — sweet Jesus! — I think I saw God. Does anything like loco moco exist here, or do I have to hijack the next outbound jet to Oahu? I think I have finally found a dish worth giving up Atkins for.
—Shelley, Valley Village
ANSWER: Loco moco is one of the great summits of Hawaiian drive-in cuisine, a tremendous mound of fried rice topped with oniony fried hamburger patties, fried eggs and quarts of evil brown gravy. The Hilo diner that invented the dish is a legend in local food lore, practically a loco moco shrine. The incomparable Alan Wong sometimes does a deconstructed version with a shrimp patty, a lemongrass-flavored black-bean purée and a single fried quail egg.
For loco moco in these parts, look no farther than Bruddah’s, the funky, turbocharged South Bay center of all that is Kine Grindz, where the plate lunches re-define multicultural cuisine, and the loco moco is as big as your head. Eat assiduously enough at Bruddah’s, and you could grow up to be a sumo champion or a defensive tackle for the Colts. Bruddah’s, 1033 W. Gardena Blvd., Gardena, (310) 323-9112.
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