Waikiki Eats: Wailana Coffee House

Yesterday morning I had breakfast with “Maui Mom & Dad” (my girlfriend’s parents) at Wailana Coffee House, where as you see, and as expected on a Sunday morning,  there was a considerable line of folks waiting to get in. After about a 20 minute wait, we got a table.

Established in 1970, Wailana Coffee House is one of very few restaurants in Waikiki open 24 hours a day, making it a popular destination for post-partying clubbers and graveyard shift workers in the area. It’s a casual diner serving up all the usual breakfast, lunch and dinner all-American favorites, along with a few local twists at very reasonable prices.

The dining room makes you feel right at home with comfortable, semi-private booth seating…

Getting right to it, we’re starving, so let’s see what’s for breakfast!…

“Maui Dad” chose the “Hawaiian Style Breakfast”…

Wailana Coffee House –  Hawaiian Style Breakfast: Corned Beef Hash, Two Eggs and Butter-Grilled Banana, $6.95 along with a Hash Brown, $1.60

Most of Wailana’s breakfast plates include a side of toast…

Wailana Coffee House – Toast (toast!)

Something about  back-to-basics TOAST served in a restaurant always looks so much better than the one I make at home. I think it’s just the fact that I didn’t make it. Or is it the plate?

The toast is already buttered, while they provide 3 kinds of jelly, jam and marmalade for the finishing touch.

“Maui Mom” wasn’t that hungry, opting for just a side dish of English Muffins and Portuguese Sausage…

Wailana Coffee House – Toasted English Muffin, $2.25

plus this…

Wailana Coffee House – Portuguese Sausage, $3.50

She noted the brand as tasting like Purity, which we’re both highly favorable of. I must admit though, for the life of me, would NEVER think of ordering a combination of English Muffins and Portuguese Sausage. Very interesting. She ended up “borrowing” (code word for donate) one of the buttered banana slices from “Maui Dad’s” plate and made quite a nice-lookin’ sandwich out of it all.

See, so even as “plain jane” as this looks and sounds so far, we already came up with something sort of “Fusion” in the form of a Portuguese Sausage English Muffin Sandwich with Buttered Banana slice. All it takes is a little imagination and creativity. lol

Finally, while the all-you-eat pancakes including 2 eggs and bacon for just $5.75 looked like the deal of the day on the menu (actually that deal is available all day and night every day!), yours truly couldn’t resist the ever-so-decadent Eggs Benedict…

Wailana Coffee House – Eggs Benedict: Toasted English Muffin, Smoked Ham, Turkey Breakfast, Poached Eggs, Hollandaise Sauce, Hashed Browns, $8.95

Moving beyond the classic Eggs Benedict featuring Canadian Bacon, this one also includes a generous helping of sliced, very moist turkey breast…

Sliced turkey breast – check

And of course that smokey ham (otherwise usually Canadian Bacon) and toasted English Muffin….

Smoked Ham and Toasted English Muffin – check

Then of course you got that flavor-packed runny yolk just waiting to burst out of the perfectly-poached egg…

Ooey-gooey runny poached egg yolk – check

Then you make the love happen by combining the Hollandaise sauce along with everything on the plate and go for it!…

An Eggs Benedict “love fest”

Oh yes, you know want a bite of that. MM-MM-MMM! So good!

It must be noted that I could taste lemon and a hint of nutmeg in the Hollandaise, so they certainly didn’t cut any corners, making some “jiffy sauce”.  It was exactly how authentic Hollandaise should both taste and feel on the palate, while being smooth as silk  and having just the right “stick” and richness to it, without making me worry too much about my next doctor’s visit. Ha! You can tell  Wailana’s cook takes pride and pays attention to detail in preparing this sauce.

While I won’t hand Wailana’s Eggs Benedict the “best I’ve ever had” award, at least on this particular visit, I have no complaints. Solid 4 SPAM Musubi.

“Maui Dad” still makes THE BEST EGGS BENEDICT I’ve ever had, and while that may seem biased, there’s a lot of credential behind that, which perhaps I’ll get to later.

“Maui Dad’ gave his “Hawaiian Style Breakfast” plate a solid satisfactory 3 SPAM Musubi, backing up that claim by pretty much polishing the plate. I actually couldn’t finish my Eggs Benedict as I was full after getting through three-fourths of it, so the portions are certainly decent here.

Ah, that was good.

There’s ample parking in the basement (entrance located on Ena Road) for just 50 cents with validation.

Wailana Coffee House offers good food, great value and a wide variety of selections on the menu to satisfy just about everyone in your party, at a convenient, easy-to-find location right in Waikiki.

Wailana Coffee House
1860 Ala Moana Blvd Lbby
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 955-1764

The Tasty Island rating:

(3) Very Good. Considerable of another visit or purchase. (Supah’ Ono!)

Related links:
Wailana Coffee House – Yelp user reviews
Wailana Coffee House – Ono Kine Grindz review

P.S. Here’s the completed Trump International Hotel Waikiki, taken yesterday as I walked down Kalakaua avenue…

Trump International Hotel Waikiki – August 24, 2009

It’s so new to Waikiki’s skyline, you’d almost think this is an illustration, but nope, that’s the real deal.


18 thoughts on “Waikiki Eats: Wailana Coffee House

  1. This was the old go-to place when when we lived on Hobron Lane. Best to get in before 0830 — usually only a small line, and no waiting if you want to sit at the counter with the locals. They had a guava-stuffed French Toast dish that was pretty good. Only ate lunch there once or twice — too many refugees from the high prices at the Hilton!

  2. Wow, I can’t believe this place is still around. Back when I worked the night shift in the late 70’s early 80’s it was either Wailana or Canterbury’s.

  3. After my grandparents moved to Hnl (they were from Maui, too) I’d take them to Wailana every time I visited from the mainland. Grandpa always got the all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast and Granny alternated between the eggs benedict and the strawberry waffle. This went on all thru the 90’s. Food was consistently good and the service was very efficient and friendly. Mahalo for the memories!

  4. I could eat eggs benedict every day. Actually, I could eat Hollandaise sauce on everything. Every day. Thanks for the awesome report and that pic of your breakfast. Wonder why they add the turkey? Does it add a good layer of flavor?

  5. Wailana is just the ticket sometimes when I come over there for a gig. After the airports, sound checks, show, etc…. sometimes you just need some comfort food, and they really fit the bill.

  6. That looks so good. I love having breakfast in Hawaii. I’ll try and keep some Portuguese sausage in the freezer if I just want to have fried eggs over rice and sausage for dinner. Otherwise spam will do in a pinch — no defrosting required. It might be monstrous, but I’ve thought about maybe trying to do a Hawaii-style eggs benedict/locomoco redux — instead of hollandaise, use gravy. Swap out the bread with some rice, use spam instead of ham, and poach a couple of eggs. Gads, my arteries are clenching just thinking about it…

  7. Oh, brings back good memories of going to Wailana right after a night out in Waikiki ….. that was so long ago!! I remember Canterbury’s, too. Nice post…and good to see that this place is still around!

  8. Dale, I guess now that you’ve tied the knot, them 3AM nights out in Waikiki are only but a memory. lol

    TheDailyReviewer, thanks! I think.

    Deanna, for the life of me I can’t remember Cantebury’s. Were they in the spot that eventually became California Pizza Kitchen, which is now Todai?

    Da’ Man, right back at ya’. lol

    Wasabi Prime (cool sn!), I really can’t see an Eggs Benedict being the same without the Hollandaise sauce. On the other hand, how about making a Loco Moco, substituting the brown gravy for Hollandaise. A true heart attack on a plate, but I bet taste really ono!

    Marcus, indeed, a great “gig” for comfort food at Wailana.

    Syndrax, EXCELLENT question. In fact, I thought the turkey was a bit overkill. No need. Just the Canadian bacon, nuff. The turkey actually made it too “meaty”. Some may like that extra “punch”, but not me. I’m all about balance.

    Donna L. I’m guessing that $5.75 all-you-can-eat pancakes, which also includes 2 eggs and bacon is what’s drawing the huge crowd of folk from the nearby hotels, where you can barely get toast for that price.

    Kirk, as I mentioned to Deanna, I can’t remember Cantebury’s. The condo is still there of course, but not a namesake restaurant.

    John Book, exactly. Both figuratively and literally. The menu selection is great, and the food is “choice”.

    Nichole, I was rather impressed when “Maui Mom” assembled it like that. I was like “wow, that looks pretty good!” Genius!

    Betty, I’m quite confident you’ll be very satisfied with the Eggs Benedict, as well as everything else on the menu at Wailana.

    Marvo, I have yet to blog Eggs ‘n Things at their new location across the post office in Waikiki, above Natural High. You might remember the former location near the old Jack in the Box and Seven-Eleven at the beginning of Kalakaua had a catastrophic kitchen fire. Since then they moved.

  9. I love WCH! I try to go there with my friends whenever I’m visiting. Another good diner-type place is Anna Miller’s by Pearlridge. Everytime I view your blog, I get hungry! lol!

  10. My housemates and I visited Wailana after a Saturday-morning excursion to Diamond Head. None of us had really eaten breakfast, so after that steep walk, you can imagine how utterly we destroyed our plates. I had the Chinese-style (shrimp foo young) omelet. The veggies were nice and crisp, with tiny shrimp throughout. And the hash browns (which I ordered on a whim) were a magical combination of crunchy and soft.

    I just wish my housemates and I had known about the parking structure on Ena–we ended up getting fleeced by the Hilton.

  11. Dear Manager,

    On April 19, 2010 I met some friends at your restaurant in Waikiki Ala Moana Blvd. for dinner. I arrived at 5:30 P.M. My friends were already waiting. I waited 30 minutes, but no one came to take our orders. My friend went to get the menus herself, and asked the waitress and the receptionist if someone could come take our orders in 5-10 minutes. We waited about 10 minutes , but nobody came, so my friend went to get someone. At about 6:15 a waitress came to take the orders, grumbling about how she thought the other waitress was going to serve us. By about 6:30 we had dinner. I asked the waitress to bring me some water without ice (because ice has so much bacteria in it, and it adds a funny taste to the water also). The waitress grumbled about how the ice had melted, so why did I need water without ice. When she took my order, I asked if I could substitute. She said she would ask. Then I said if I couldn’t substitute, I would have liked something else. She replied, “It’s up to you.” Like, I don’t care. After serving the food, instead of returning shortly there after, to ask if everything was okay, she came back in about 15 minutes, stopped at the table next to ours, mumbled to herself, “okay, okay,” then went back to the front of the restaurant. After I had finished my food, she came over, and asked, “Are you still picking?” How impolite. Was I a bird? I was a waitress before, so I know what waitresses are supposed to do, and I always give a nice tip, because I know it is a great part of our wages, but she didn’t get a tip from this waitress that night. I would have excused the tardiness in the beginning, but she only made it worse with her attitude. The only reason I didn’t get up and walk out, was because I didn’t want to offend my friends. The restaurant was not full either. There were plenty of vacant seats. It was as if we were not even there. The waitress needs to be better. The only good part was the food.

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