While Seattle has its fair share of sunshine, it also has (more than) its fair share of what seems to be endless cloudy days. When it seems like the clouds and rain won’t ever go away or when the sunshine is so bright it leaves you longing for a tropical vacation, cozy up to one (or all) of these Hawaiian restaurants and let your mind and your taste buds relax in the comforts of island-inspired cuisine.

Kona Kitchen

Nestled in the Maple Leaf neighborhood of North Seattle is a little slice of island paradise. The magic of Kona Kitchen rests partially in the fact that breakfast is served all day long. This is a dream for anyone who has ever raced to their local fast food joint at 10:26 a.m. hoping to make it in time for a breakfast sandwich.  Fear not, you can enjoy a plate of their heavenly Hawaiian French Toast made with Hawaiian sweet bread for breakfast, lunch or dinner. If you haven’t ever had the pleasure of eating rice for breakfast, this is the perfect place to start. A plate of the Hawaiian Style Fried Rice, packed with BBQ pork, spam, green onions and topped with eggs (cooked to your preference) is the perfect addition to your breakfast rolodex (that’s right…rolodex). Although this plate is quite large enough to share, you just might find yourself guarding this dish from incoming forks once you have that first bite. If you are in the mood for a hearty island staple, try the Loco Moco which boasts rice and eggs topped with a gravy drenched hamburger patty (also available with Katsu).

While breakfast is undoubtedly chockfull of palatable dishes, the reason to drive out of your way to Kona Kitchen is for the Korean Chicken. This family recipe fought long and hard to reserve a regular place on the menu. Previously only (as Cher Horowitz would proudly say) “sporadically” offered, loyal customers would call to find out what days it would sneak onto the specials board. Now the savory, juicy filled bites of chicken can be enjoyed every day. Served with perfectly rounded scoops of rice and mac salad, this meal won’t leave you hanging. If you have a hard time narrowing down your choices, order Da Kanak Attack. This lunch style plate is designed so you can explore the many different menu items in one perfect dish. Teriyaki beef, mochiko chicken, Spam (embrace the Spam), and Portugese sausage sit among the traditional rice and mac salad for a dish that will leave you dreaming of your next visit.

Insider Tip: Kona Kitchen is owned by film actor Yuji Okumoto, who you may recognize as the villain, Chozen, from Karate Kid 2. More recently he has been spotted in episodes of Grimm and NCIS: Los Angeles. You just might catch him and his family enjoying a meal among an assortment of signed photos of his famous friends (including Pat Morita, aka Mr. Miyagi).

8501 5th Ave. N.E.
Seattle, Wa 98115
206-517-5662
Online: konakitchen.com

photo: Cynthia L. via Yelp

Where do you find your favorite Hawaiian grindz? Let us know in the Comments below.

— Jenifer Castillo