Where to Eat, Down the Street

Wide selection of food and desserts awaits within a mile of school

By Kent Nishimura, Kapi‘o Staff Writer /

A gurgling noise cuts through the silence in class. Your cheeks turn red as you blush. That noise was you, and it was your stomach telling you that you’re hungry.

Luckily, if the samplings of the Ohi’a Cafeteria and Subway won’t satisfy your hunger, there is a cornucopia of eateries within a mile of Kapi‘olani Community College that offer a wide variety of fare from various culinary disciplines.

A stone’s throw away from campus, about 0.7 miles down Monsarrat Avenue, is a two-block stretch with more than a dozen restaurants and shops that make up an eclectic mix of cuisines as well as locally owned and chain establishments including Pioneer Saloon, Bogart’s, Happy Valley Pizza and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

Customers at Pioneer Saloon (Photo: K. Nishimura)

Customers at Pioneer Saloon (Photo: K. Nishimura)

Pioneer Saloon, situated right across the street from a tiny strip mall with popular brunch spot Bogart’s and the Diamond Head Cove Health Bar, offers an eclectic mix of plate lunch style food.

“I love the deep fried baby tako,” said KCC student Ken Takemura who frequents Pioneer Saloon. “It’s always for fresh and juicy.  The spicy mayo is also good, but you really have got to try it with katsu sauce. Cheee!”

Baby Tako Plate. “It’s always for fresh and juicy. " (Photo: K. Nishimura)

Baby Tako Plate. “It’s always for fresh and juicy. ” (Photo: K. Nishimura)

The deep fried baby tako plate lunch comes with a generous scoop of rice – patrons can choose between brown, white, and shiso rice – a choice of macaroni, tossed, or pasta salad, and of course 10 to12 individually deep fried baby tako.

If you’re not lucky enough to snag one of their three parking stalls next to the restaurant, there is very limited street parking on Montserrat as well as more street parking on side streets, if you’re fine with a short walk.  Depending on the time of day it might be best to make a phone order in case there is a very long line.

A short walk up few blocks will take you to a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, which just like Starbucks serves a wide range of coffee and tea drinks as well as pastries and snacks.  As with most coffee shops there are seating and free Wi-Fi available.

“It’s a great place to study,” said Raelynn Nichols a KCC student. “I can get a cold drink, a snack if I’m hungry…and there’s AC!”

So depending on what your craving is, here’s a selection of places within a mile of campus:

Pioneer Saloon, 3046 Monsarrat Ave., 808-732-4001

It looks like a saloon out of the Old West, but walk inside and it’s a bustling plate-lunch joint. Open since 2009, Pioneer Saloon features plate lunch style meals.  The ahi plates, featuring locally sourced fish, are popular.

Pioneer Saloon (Photo: K. Nishmura)

Pioneer Saloon (Photo: K. Nishmura)

Diamond Head Market & Grill, 3158 Monsarrat Ave., 808-732-0077

Paying homage to Burgerland drive-in that preceded it, Diamond Head Market & Grill serves plate lunches as well as burgers and fries.  The market is great for quick grab-and-go food, while the grill side features generously portioned plate lunches ranging from wasabi ahi salad to char siu pork plate lunch.

Bogart’s Café, 3045 Monsarrat Ave., Suite 3, 739-0999

The breakfast/brunch line may be long at this tiny café off of Montserrat, but your food, whether it’s crab eggs Benedict, bagel sandwiches or fried rice, isn’t made until it’s ordered.  The taro-banana pancakes and waffles with the haupia sauce is also a local favorite.