b Happy Sumo Food Journal: April 2006

Sunday, April 30, 2006


The B.I.G. is a coffee shop style, plate lunch place in Kona. It's at 75-5702 Kuakini Hwy, just south of Henry street. It's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We went there twice, once for lunch and once for dinner. They have standard diner type food in addition to the typical plate lunch offerings. You'll notice there's also a dessert menu. I had absolutely no room for dessert, although after looking at it again, the B.I.G. Ice Cream Pie sure would be good right now.

This place is very popular, and many guidebooks recommend going during off hours. We were there early for dinner (around 5:30) and it was very crowded when we left, with people waiting inside and outside of the entrance. Pictured below are the beef stroganoff (one of the day's specials, meatloaf was the other), the chop steak and the tempura fish.

Portions here are BIG! I would have liked to compare portion sizes between this place and the Hawaiian Style Cafe, but we only had breakfast there. I had the tempura fish and it came with six pieces of fish. I could only finish half of it. My mom and sister ended up sharing the B.I.G. Saimin, which I did not get a picture of (sorry Mike, I know saimin is one of your favorites). But I can report that I had a taste and it was very good, and I'm not a big saimin fan.

My take: Service was good (food comes out quickly, refills are a little slow), Ambiance was good, Food was very good. Overall rating - 4 sumos.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


This is a diner-style, local plate lunch place in Waimea. The address is given as 64-1290 Mamalahoa Hwy, but it doesn't show up correctly on any mapping websites. I still haven't figured out the addressing scheme, but apparently, at least on the big island, the addresses are grouped by the first two digits, then the last four. It has nothing to do with the mile markers, so I have no idea how (or why) this system is used. It's on Hwy 19 on the left side right before you hit the Hwy 190 intersection (coming from the Kona side). GPS coordinates are N 20' 01.367 W 155' 40.490.

It's only open for breakfast and lunch and is closed on Saturdays. There's a large U-shaped counter and a few booths in front and more booths and tables in the back.

There's a whiteboard with the day's specials, in addition to the regular menu. My shot of the menu was a little shaky. They have something called "The Big Mok," which sounded good, but I didn't try it. Pictured below are the three-egg omelette, steak and eggs and the pancakes.

The portions here are big! With most of the breakfasts, you get a choice of toast or pancakes. If you just have a big appetite, order the toast. If you want to sumo-size it, get the pancakes. You get two pancakes about 10" in diameter. We ate breakfast here three times! On our third trip my brother-in-law said that he didn't feel as full after finishing the steak and eggs, which meant that he was getting used to the portions.

My take: Service was good, Ambiance okay, Food was good (not rated excellent because we only had breakfast - which is hard to do poorly). Overall rating - 4 sumos.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


This is a casual, plate lunch place in Kona. It's on 75-5660 Kopiko St., the same street as the Kona Hilo Hattie store. We went here for dinner. They are open for lunch and dinner. You order at the counter and they call you when your food is ready.

I had the miso butterfish. They have a prime rib special on Fridays only, which was the day that we were there. I would have liked to try it...maybe next time. Actually I would have liked to try just about everything on the menu. Pictured below are the butterfish and the kalbi. The butterfish was excellent, very tasty and cooked perfectly. I didn't taste the kalbi but it looked really good.

My take: Service n/a, Ambiance n/a, Food was excellent. Overall rating - 4 sumos.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Welcome to the inaugural review of the HSFJ! Thanks to Mike for getting us off our okoles and setting everything up. The following restaurants were visited during my recent trip to the Big Island in April, 2006. For the rating system, one to five sumos. If it was especially good, I'll give it a Kenny Bania "the best, Jerry, the best!" rating.

Roy's Waikoloa

We wanted to go somewhere nice since it was Easter Sunday and we were celebrating my sister's birthday. I'd never been to Roy's before but since my friend Tim raves about it, I figured it would be good, if expensive. I have to say that the service was excellent. They kept our water full and kept asking if we wanted another baguette. If you left the table to use the toilette, they would actually refold you napkin for you!

For appetizers, we split the Big Island Organic Farmed Baby Greens Salad and the Slipper Lobster Fish Potstickers. The salad was good, fresh greens and tasty dressing. The potstickers were just okay, I've had better.

For entrees, I had the Whole Roasted Hawaiian Moi. It was good, but not as tasty as the miso butterfish I had at Kona Mix Plate (for one third of the price). The waiter said "back in the day, only Hawaiian royalty was allowed to eat this fish." Yes, he actually said "back in the day."

For dessert, we shared the flourless chocolate souffle, pineapple upside-down cake and strawberry shortcake. I don't understand why restaurants point out if a dessert is flourless. Can anyone comment on that? I didn't get a picture of the souffle, I think we ate it too quickly.

Finally, after all that food, we had one final, birthday dessert. We were so full by then that we ended up taking it to go. It did, of course, eventually get eaten.

My take: the service was excellent, the ambiance was good, the appetizers were okay, the entrees were good, and the desserts were the best Jerry, the best! Overall rating - 3.5 sumos.