Sunday, August 2, 2009

(Not So) Hawaiian Brunch @ Back Home in Lahaina

Weekend brunch in the South Bay can be a madhouse. As we drove on Highland Ave., we noticed tons of people spilling out of restaurants, waiting for a table. After getting a $45 parking ticket for an expired meter at El Porto just a few minutes prior, we were a little agitated and did not want to deal with the hassle. Sigh, but I want my breakfast food!

We decided on Back Home in Lahaina, a Hawaiian restaurant located away from the madness of Manhattan Beach. I have been there for dinner once and ordered their famous fried chicken. However it's been at least five years since, so I was game to try.

The decor of the restaurant is rather unique. When you first walk in, you can't help but notice the large tree in the dining room. You feel like you are in a rain forest.

I liked the multi-cultural condiments on the table; Asian Sriracha chili, all-American Heinz ketchup, Mexican hot sauce and Japanese soy sauce.

There were many interesting items on the lunch menu, including the fried chicken, spam dishes, kahlua pork, lau lau (fish steamed in ti leaves) and loco moco. It was about 11am and we had just missed the breakfast serving. We pleaded with the waitress to let us order breakfast items, after all, it is difficult to devour fried chicken or loco moco after a morning surf. She obliged. I quickly ordered a glass of mimosa and the french toast. Darren ordered the french toast as well, and Allan got the omelet.

The french toast was served with a choice of blueberry, strawberry or mango. The mango was swimming in some mystery liquid and it had an odd flavor. Was it butter or oil or syrup? I cannot tell. The mango did not taste fresh at all; it tasted processed. It is definitely disappointing if they chose not to use fresh mangoes, after all mangoes are currently abundant at the grocery stores. And cheap too! Mangoes were priced at three for a dollar at Ralphs last week. The bread was the saving grace; it was Hawaiian sweetbread, not to be confused with another favorite, the thymus gland. The bread was sweet and flavorful, and the french toast was coated with a generous amount of egg.

The omelet is served with either hamburger, Portuguese sausage or links, and comes with white rice and a macaroni salad. The omelet was nothing to write home about. It was dry and a little over cooked.
Overall, I think the breakfast items were underwhelming. I reckon that if we had ordered some Hawaiian dishes, we would have been pleased with our meal. Our bad.

There is a little store area at the entrance that sells Hawaiian fare such as snacks and t-shirts. I spotted the little melt-in-your-mouth cookies that I used to eat when I was young. It came in a package of 5. I was excited and in heaven. The boys didn't really enjoy it as much as I did. I also bought a box of Macadamia cookies. The cookies were buttery and crumbled in my mouth. It was a nice treat for my drive home.

Hits: Mimosas, sweet bread, potentially good Hawaiian dishes if we had ordered, snacks
Misses: funky mango, dry eggs
Rate: **

Back Home In Lahaina
916 N. Sepulveda Blvd.,
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 374-0111

No comments: