A favorite summer festivity: annual bon dances, this one at Jikoen Hongwanji Mission in Kalihi.
I grew up in Kalihi and for years have driven past the large red-and-white sign that reads, “Megs Drive-In” (@megsdrivein).
And surprisingly, I never stopped by.
But back in April, Melissa Chang (@melissa808) of Nonstop Honolulu dropped by the old-fashioned drive-in that’s been serving plate lunches since 1967.
So when friends of mine wanted to check out the breakfast there — namely, the pancakes — it didn’t take much for me to agree to tag along.
Here’s what our recent breakfast — which turned into an impromptu tweetup, then lunch — looked like:
Meg’s Drive-In, 743 Waiakamilo Rd. Hours: 5:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 5:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday. Phone: (808) 845-3943
The 49-year-old man, Sam Mazzola, was found face down in his waterbed, tied with bondage restraints and had obstructions over his nose and mouth.
It wasn’t the way he had died that gave me pause.
It was where.
People still have those?
I never saw the appeal of waterbeds. I remember my cousins had waterbeds in their home in Mililani. Even back then I thought they were odd. This coming from someone — me — who grew up sleeping on futons instead of beds. I was convinced I’d get seasick trying to sleep on one of those things.
So what ever happened to waterbeds? Do people still use them?
I found an article in TIME dated July 1987 — exactly 24 years ago — that declared, “Oh, Wow, Water Beds Are Back!”
The article reported that the $2 billion waterbed industry — up from $13 million in 1971 — was the fastest-growing segment of the bedding market, accounting for 21 percent of all mattress sales. Back then, beds ranged between $100 and $600, with nearly three-quarters of the buyers older than 30. Many of them chose waterbeds over other kinds of mattresses because of health issues including back pain, arthritis and insomnia.
So where are they now? Anyone know?
“Everything tastes better fried.”
That was enough to lure me to the corner of Ward Avenue and Kapiolani Boulevard to check out Hawaii’s Fried Musubi (@friedmusubiHI), a new food truck run by a mother-and-daughter team that boasts a menu of fried goodness.
Julia Vuong, or Mama, who has more than 30 years of culinary experience, runs the kitchen. Her daughter, Sophia, brings the innovation. Together — and with assistance from brother Alan — they have devise a fairly simple menu of complicated proportions.
Consider this: There are three versions of a fried musubi — Da Classic Spam Musubi, Hawaiian Styled Ahi Musubi and the Spicy “Bomb” Musubi, all paired with your choice of pesto or wasabi aioli. Then there are the daily specials, which often includes one of the best pork spring rolls around. And finally — and to use, the showcase item — Mama’s Home Made Fried Chicken. Easily, this is the best fried chicken I’ve had, possibly ever.
But that’s not it. Hawaii’s Fried Musubi also serves up dessert — fried dessert. We’re talking deep-fried Oreos, cupcakes and Twinkies.
It opened this week to rave reviews, long lines and a sell-out on its first day.
Hawaii’s Fried Musubi (food truck), 777 Ward Ave. in parking lot on corner of Ward Avenue and Kapiolani Boulevard. Hours: 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. Phone: (808) 391-3835
About Catherine Toth
Born and raised on Oahu, Catherine E. Toth has worked as a newspaper reporter in Hawaii for 10 years and continues to freelance — in between teaching journalism, hitting the surf, hiking with her two dogs and eating everything in sight — for national and local print and online publications.
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