Hawaiian Style Café an Aloha State classic.
Every time we go to The Big Island, the original Hawaiian Style Café in Waimea is on our itinerary. Not eating at this institution is a non-starter for my husband. There’s always a line. We always wait our turn for a couple of seats at a table or the counter.
The owner is local boy (not an insult, BTW) Guy Kaoo who grew up the Big Island. For a time, he lived in Los Angeles but returned some 25 years ago, working at the enormous and posh Hilton Waikoloa, eventually rising to catering manager. He spent seven years designing menus and recipes to serve up to 1,000 or more guests. In 2005, Guy answered the siren call of the Big Island when he had an opportunity to purchase the café. He has maintained the heavily local menu, reflecting the food of his childhood. He and his wife Gina continue to feed Hawaiian and visitors with incredible portions of local comfort food.
In December 2012 they opened their second location, in Hilo on the island’s east coast. And Guy and Jo’s Hawaiian Style Café debuted on the 10th floor of a downtown Tokyo highrise — described by observers there as “chic,” a word that would never apply to either of The Big Island locations.
The original café is at 65-1290 Kawaihae Road, Waimea/Kamuela; 808-885-4295.