If you’re visiting the Islands, start your food journey at Pagoda Floating Restaurant & Catering, where you can sample dozens of ono (delicious) local favorites at a price that won’t break the bank.
Kick off your morning right with a loco moco, a signature Island dish that consists of grilled hamburger patties and eggs cooked to your liking, on top of steamed white rice and smothered with homestyle gravy ($11.95). Or choose from four omelets, such as the Giants omelet, with two eggs filled with a choice of two toppings: mushrooms, onions, spinach, tomatoes, bacon, Portuguese sausage, ham or bell peppers ($10.95). If you’re in the mood for something sweet, pick from pancakes, waffles and French toasts. Breakfast is served à la carte daily from 7 to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 to 9 a.m. on Sunday. There’s also a daily breakfast buffet from 7 to 9:30 a.m. The buffet has miso soup, a salad bar, assorted breakfast meats, hot selections, pastries, cereal and beverages. Prices are $13.95 for adults, $11.95 for seniors (ages 60 and up) and $5.95 for children ages 5 to 8.
On Sundays, the brunch buffet is available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and features soup, salad and appetizers, three types of poke, a chef’s station, entrees and a dessert station. At the chef’s station, enjoy slow-roasted prime rib served with au jus and creamy horseradish, made-to-order omelets and a waffle station with assorted toppings and whipped cream. Entrée highlights include steamed Alaskan snow crab legs, golden crisp shrimp and vegetable tempura and catch-of-the-day-inspired dishes. Prices are $39.95 for adults, $33 for seniors and $15.95 for children.
Don’t get too full on breakfast, since Pagoda’s lunch à la carte menu, available Monday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., has lots to offer. Feast on pork lechon (roasted suckling pig) deep-fried to perfection and paired with a savory dipping sauce ($9) or a mahimahi sandwich. For dessert, try the Green River ice cream float ($3). Green River is a lemon-lime drink that is popular at many Hawaii drive-ins and old-time restaurants. Or go big with the prime rib complete meal, which comes with an 8-ounce slow-roasted prime rib, soup of the day, a choice of salad and starch, and dessert ($38.95).
The lunch buffet is available Monday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and offers soup, salad and appetizer stations, plus various entrees and desserts. Try the Molokai-style steamed fish, seasoned with cilantro, ginger, shoyu (soy sauce) and onions, a favorite dish of late hotelier H.T. Hayashi, who founded Pagoda Restaurant in 1964. The Punaluu sweet bread pudding with crème anglaise sauce and Chantilly cake are must-tries at the dessert station, in addition to the ice cream bar with assorted toppings. Unlike most buffets, Pagoda doesn’t have a soft-serve machine. Instead, it provides ice cream cups, a big hit especially with seniors who want to eat their dessert on the way home. Buffet prices are $19.95 for adults, $17 for seniors and $7.95 for children.
Pagoda’s weeknight dinner buffet is similar to the lunch buffet and is available Monday through Thursday, 5 to 9 p.m. Prices are $21.95 for adults, $19 for seniors and $8.95 for children. But the restaurant is perhaps most well-known for its weekend dinner buffet, which is served Friday through Sunday, 5 to 9:30 p.m. The weekend dinner buffet includes a chef’s station with slow-roasted prime rib, snow crab legs, shrimp and vegetable tempura, maki sushi and hand rolls, and chocolate fondue at the dessert station. Pricing is $41.95 for adults, $36 for seniors and $17.95 for children. There are à la carte options, too, Monday through Thursday, 5 to 8 p.m. Highlights include Pagoda’s famous garlic chicken, tossed in a soy-chile sauce ($14.95), hamburger steak with sautéed onions and homestyle brown gravy ($16.95), and oxtail ramen in a savory broth seasoned with ginger and Chinese parsley ($18.50).
No matter the time of day, you can enjoy a delicious meal with family and friends at Pagoda Floating Restaurant & Catering while overlooking the restaurant’s signature waterfall and koi (carp) pond. Reservations are not required.
Pagoda Floating Restaurant, 1525 Rycroft St., (808) 948-8354, pagodahawaii.com. Open Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday through Sunday, 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.