I moved to Southern California from Hawaii back when I was in high school, and even though I ended up living not too far from a little suburb called Hawaiian Gardens (funny, eh?), it took driving around town during my college years for me to find decent Hawaiian food near my new home. One of my early finds, and still one of my favorites, is Bruddah's in Gardena.
Bruddah's is a small, casual eatery crammed between storefronts on Gardena Blvd. that attracts a regular flow of transplants from Hawaii. The place has a laid back local vibe and the food is "ono" (that's "delicious" to those not in the know). It's been more than a year since my last meal there, so when Joel mentioned Bruddah's yesterday as a possible lunch stop I was all for it.
Joel digs their Hawaiian combo plate, which includes lau lau and kalua pork as well as the required scoops of rice and macaroni salad. A plate lunch can't be called a plate lunch unless it includes scoops of rice and mac salad, and not only does Bruddah's do kahlua pork and lau lau right but I'm convinced that they serve the best mac salad around.
I tried to balance the food groups a little bit with my meal and went with their daily special of shoyu chicken and chow fun. The chow fun mixes noodles with veggies, so it wasn't the total meat and carb fest that Hawaiian food can often be. The shoyu chicken took me back to my childhood and the mac salad disappeared in a flash.
Bruddah's food isn't fancy or upscale, it's just good local grinds. Oh, and they make their own Portuguese sausage too. Mmmmm... They're closed on Monday's and offer a variety of daily specials every other day. Grab a plate lunch and a can of one of the Hawaiian Sun drinks and you're set.