When you take a step back, Hawaiian cuisine is an amazing cross section of food. The multicultural makeup of the islands has resulted in a series of dishes that are on one hand inventive, but on the other hand, amazingly indulgent. The favorite dish loco moco, which is two burger patties on top of rice and slathered in gravy and a fried egg, bears resemblance to the kind of thing a 14 year old would make for dinner when his parents are away for the weekend. Still, it’s delicious, filling, and a lot of fun to eat. No one’s complaining.
There’s no shortage of Hawaiian food places in the South Bay, but most of them are in a semi-fast food model. You typically order at a counter, off of a menu above your head, and in 5 minutes the food is served to you in a styrofoam takeout package. If you want a more communal experience, the kind of dining that you can have conversation over, Carson’s Back Home In Lahaina is what you need. Not only is it a sit-down establishment with Hawaiian food, it’s just a great dining environment in general – a stage for live performances, a bakery for cookies, and a full menu for your complete indulgence.
The restaurant itself is often described as “tucked away,” but tucked away even further within it is its own little bakery. Once you enter Lahaina, proceeding to your left will take you to the hostess, but detouring to your right will open up a small corner bakery with shelves upon shelves of baked goods, mostly cookies. These buttery short bread cookies have been baked and packaged for your consumption, and they come in a stunning diversity.
Theoretically, you could grab a handful of walnut powdered sugared cookies and finish it off with some oatmeal coconut cookies. If you’ve got little ones with you, they’ll surely appreciate the colorful fruity crisp cookies, which appears to be the regular buttery short bread with Fruity Pebbles cereal baked into it. It’s definitely a nice place to stop by on your way out.
A Main Course Experience
The main attraction is the dining room itself. A relaxing sky blue painted wall with big open windows works well with Carson’s oft-sunny weather. It’s what you’d expect from a Hawaiian restaurant without any of the kitsch. It’s even more festive on Friday and Saturday nights, where the dining room stage often sees live music performances.
The entrees can be ordered in a bowl or a larger plate. You can even combine two chicken or beef entrees if you can’t make up your mind between Hawaiian barbecued beef or chicken katsu. The rest of the menu features all the fan favorites — fried chicken, teriyaki, mahi mahi, fried saimin noodles and, of course, the legendary loco moco. Spam enthusiasts will enjoy their favorite canned meat in musubi, sandwich or fried rice form. An interesting mish mash of foods and food types, sure, but they’re all going to fit together when they fill your belly.
Because the portions here are big. If you have any familiarity with Hawaiian food, fast or otherwise, you’ll know that’s one of the reasons to it in the first place. If you’re starving or simply have a considerable appetite, a place like Back Home In Lahaina will take care of you.
How do you like your curry dishes? What country does your favorite curry come from?
Back Home In Lahaina – (310) 835 – 4014
519 E Carson St., Carson, CA 90745