Since having my baby in October 2008, I’ve started seeing things a little differently. Due to the down economy, so many companies have gone out of business and it makes me wonder if the establishments that I’ve grown up with will be around when my baby is old enough to enjoy them as well. It’s sparked an appreciation for the things that I’ve once took for granted. They say that familiarity breeds contempt and that’s certainly true. Having lived in Hawaii all my life, it’s easy to overlook the things that make it truly a great place to live. I’ve decided to start a “best of Hawaii” series on my blog, beginning with the entry on Sunnyside (Wahiawa, Hawaii). The “best of” ranking is completely biased and arbitrary — based on my own opinions of my favorite go-to places as a lifelong resident of this wonderful place.
Take a poll of Hawaii residents and ask them to name their favorite plate lunch place and you’ll likely get a ton of votes for Rainbow Drive-in. For over 45 years, Rainbow Drive-in has been serving up a variety of dishes, all with two scoops rice and mac salad. After all, a plate lunch just wouldn’t be complete without the obligatory carb-overload.
Pictured above covered in brown gravy goodness is the Boneless Chicken plate. When you order it, say “gravy all over” and this is what you get. Literally gravy all over — even the macaroni salad is doused with the gravy! (I never knew how sinfully delicious brown gravy on mac salad tastes.) This is Hubby’s favorite plate, which makes him nostalgic for his high school days when a stop at Rainbows was always on the agenda after a surf session in Waikiki.
Aside from the great food and low prices, Rainbow Drive-in has such a neat history. The founder, Seiju Ifuku learned how to cook during his tour of duty with the famed 100th Battalion during World War II! I love the philosophy of the founders (as told on their website):
Seiju and Ayako’s philosophy was to serve plates with generous portions of hearty, simple food, with two scoops of rice and a side of macaroni salad at a reasonable price.
What a simple, yet effective philosophy for business. No wonder they’ve been around for nearly half a century. I hope they’ll be around at least another 50 years. Go visit them next time you’re in town!
3308 Kanaina Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815
On the web: rainbowdrivein.com
Who is Champuru?Aloha, I'm Donna, known everywhere on the Internet as "Champuru." I was born and raised in Hawaii. I'm a Christian. I'm married to my best friend of 18 years, we struggled with infertility and successfully conceived via IVF (and by the grace of God!) in 2008. I resigned from my coveted "secure" government job to be a work-at-home mom to my 3-year-old daughter. Using my degree in Information Technology and the skills obtained in the marketplace, I started my own business. Now, I work from home, taking clients on a part-time basis, working in my PJ's while the little one sleeps. Life isn't always easy, but it's all good.