Loco Moco – Hawaii’s Most Sloppy and Comforting Delicacy

By Mark Wiens 31 Comments
Loco Moco
A loco moco is a sloppy culinary masterpiece, and you’re going to love it!

WARNING: What you are about to witness is a graphic display of protein surrounded by a pool of oozing juices. Proceed at your own risk.

What is a Loco Moco?

The basic components of this Hawaiian delicacy are really quite simple; It begins with a bed of Japanese style rice topped with thick grilled hamburger patties, covered in over easy eggs and then it’s artfully lathered in a generous portion of beefy brown gravy.

An epic meal, would be an understatement when you’re talking about a Loco Moco – it’s something even more grandeur, something that you not only want to devour but even get passionate with.

A loco moco is a reason to celebrate any meal of the day, but just like Sri Lankan hoppers, I think it makes a great breakfast start to the day.

Hawaiian Loco Moco
Hawaiian Loco Moco

Loco Moco is available throughout Hawaii, and its reputation has even reached to other parts of the world now (it’s popular in Japan, and I’m hoping it becomes a Thai street food staple soon).

I got this particular foam container of delight from the highly recommended Papa Ole’s Kitchen restaurant located on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.

If you happen to be cruising around the island, you have no option but to make a pit stop.

I ordered the large Loco Aina Special, a mega calorie rich pile of steamed rice, two gigantic beef patties, three fried eggs and a massive spoon of brown gravy ($10 buck and worth it).

Hawaii Loco Moco
Hawaiian Style Loco Moco

How to Eat a Loco Moco

After popping the yellow yolk with the tip of my chopsticks is when things got really messy (and more delicious).

The yellow-ee richness flowed like a golden waterfall, combining with the luscious brown gravy and congealing itself like a blanket over each delicate granule of rice.

Unlike a SPAM Musubi which you can eat with your hands, a loco moco is not hands food! Using either a spoon or disposable pair of chopsticks, grab a bite and savor the deliciousness.

Hawaiian Food
Take in all the glory up close and personal!

For the Loco Moco dining experience you’ll want to craft each bite with a proportionate amount of rice, piece of hamburger, egg, and a bunch of the sloppy brown gravy egg mixture all over.

Also, feel free to add as much or little hot sauce as you can handle. I’ll just recommend that with hot sauce, it’s always the more the merrier.

Best food to eat in Hawaii
You need a bite of this!

None of that worthless fast food preserved ground beef – a loco moco is created with high quality ground beef, mixed with a few light seasonings, a smidgen of salt and onions. The patty should be firm yet tender, mild yet massively beefy.

If you want to get this exact loco moco that I ate above, head to Papa Ole’s Kitchen on Oahu’s North Shore:

Address: 54-316 Kamehameha Highway., #9 Hau’ula, Hawaii, 96717. Check all the details on their website here.


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31 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Angie | Big Bear’s Wife

    4 years ago

    This is the #1 must have on my husband’s list for our upcoming trip to Hawaii!

  • Samantha

    4 years ago

    Mmm I love loco mocos! Hawaiian food is one of my favorites but I can’t eat it too often or else I’d be much chunkier haha

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Hey Samantha, glad you love Hawaiian food too, yes it is heavy on the calories!

  • Bama

    5 years ago

    This looks like one of those comfort food. Ah, look at the oozes! Alright, I can hear my stomach craving now.

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Haha, it is seriously comforting. I can hear your stomach too!

  • Ayngelina

    5 years ago

    Oh all the food I ate on Maui I could not bring myself to have it for breakfast, it is WAY too much for me.

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      It is not the lightest option for breakfast – breakfasts like this are the reason I eat oatmeal and fruit 90% of the time for breakfast!

  • Caanan @ No Vacation Required

    5 years ago

    Health be damned, this is just about my dream meal.

  • Marco

    5 years ago

    I think this looks like my kind of meal! I grew up in a town known for creating funky little dishes like this and I think its why I’m so open to different types of food. Looks like the Loco Moco is filling too which is always a plus in my book!

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Right about that Marco, filling and comforting. What town are you from?

      • Marco

        5 years ago

        Springfield, IL — their specialty is called a Horseshoe (texas toast on the bottom, hamburger patty, french fries across the whole thing and then cheese sauce poured on top) — if you’re ever around those parts, definitely try it out!

        • Mark Wiens

          5 years ago

          Wow Marco, that sounds pretty impressive too. I’ll be sure to check it out if I’m in Springfield, thanks!

  • Turkey’s For Life

    5 years ago

    Oh, yes please – and most definitely with as much hot sauce as possible. Can understand why you described the loco moco as comforting! 🙂
    Julia

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Thanks Julia, more hot sauce the better. Simple things made really good are always some of the most comforting dishes!

  • Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)

    5 years ago

    I didn’t see this dish a lot while in Japan, but it was actually all over Hong Kong! The food there was pretty amazing, and while I don’t think you could improve on this delicious looking dish, I feel like if there’s a way, the amazing chefs of HK will somehow have figured out how to do so!

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Hey Steph, awesome that you found this in Hong Kong, and you’re absolutely right, the chefs in HK know what they’re doing!

  • Stephanie – The Travel Chica

    5 years ago

    That looks amazing! Awesome food photography.

  • Maria

    5 years ago

    I drove 4 hours once to experience Poutine. I thought that was an intense dish… until I read this post. 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Haha, thanks for sharing Maria. I still haven’t had a poutine, but it looks pretty insanely unhealthy and delicious too!

  • Simon Kau kau

    5 years ago

    Mark, Check-out this website Cafe 100 in Hilo on the big island they talk about the history of the Loco Moco, Cafe 100 have been serving this since 1949!. That where I had my first Loco Moco about 30 years ago! :o9

    http://www.cafe100.com/the-loco-moco.html

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Hey Simon, thanks for sharing that, very cool! I’m reading about the history now.