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Hawaiian Lunch Plate Enters Politics

Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act proposal 2013: Hawaiian Luau Lunch Plate for every child in every school in every state, every Friday! Aloha!*

Group uses Hawaiian plate lunch to criticize Michelle Obama

A news story broke this past Monday on KFVE/KGMB/KHNL-TV HawaiiNewNow.com about a religious/political opposition group who runs a Facebook Page titled ‘Christians Against Obama’s Re-Election‘, who recently posted a photo of a Hawaiian Plate, along with a caption that read “MICHELLE’S SCHOOL SPECIAL #2! AND HERE WE WERE THINKING OUR CHILDREN WERE JUST BEING PICKY. NO WONDER OUR CHILDREN ARE COMING HOME STARVED! WHO WOULD WANT TO EAT THAT?”

Must have been a slow news day, but still, it’s the principle at hand. Special “#2”? “Who would want to eat that?” Oooh, them be FIGHTIN’ WORDS right there!

Here’s a screenshot of how that appeared on this group’s FB page…

Screenshot courtesy of HawaiiNewsNow.com (and TastyIslandHawaii.com)

“WHO WOULD WANT TO EAT THAT?”, referring to the Hawaiian lunch plate you see above, which to my surprise was taken from, alas, right here on The Tasty Island! Hah?

Specifically, that photo came from a review I did back in April 2010 on my return to Marujyu Market in Aiea. Even more specific, it’s Marujyu’s broke da’ mout’, supah ono “Plate #14”, which included a massive house-made Laulau, Squid Luau, Lomi Salmon (underscore SALMON!), and Poi for a – as I said in my FB comment – “an economy-boosting $7.30”. ‘Cause you know, gotta’ throw politics right back at ’em, right? lol No, seriously though, that’s how much I paid for that massive, supah’ ono Hawaiian lunch plate, so at least it boosted my “personal economy”. Take that!, you, you, you.. lol

The thing is, of all the photos that pop-up in a search on ‘Hawaiian Plate’, they go and use mine, which I’m not sure whether to be honored or offended. What? Was that the most unappetizing-looking Hawaiian plate they could find to suit the context of the caption for it?

And notice I call it “Hawaiian Lunch Plate”, not “Hawaiian Plate Lunch”, as that’s NOT a “Plate Lunch”. A plate lunch is defined as an entree – usually a stick-to-your-ribs stew or meat of some kind – along with 2 scoops white rice and 1 scoop mac’ salad, which this is FAR FROM!

Really though, using photos from my site is totally fine with me, with or without permission, as long as it’s all about the “GOOD NATURE of FOOD and EATING FOOD” (see my ‘About’ page). However this is being used for defamatory political purposes, and regardless of intent, they didn’t even give my site credit! The nerve! Or would I even want my site’s URL on that photo when used in such context? Sure, my hit count went through the ROOF for the last few days, but still.

That’s actually a funny thing to use for political mudslinging. Should us Hawaii folks fly Chicken Nuggets and Tater Tots back at them? Food fight! LOL!

Getting to the bottom of it (pun intended), let’s try punch in ‘Hawaiian Plate’ on Google, and see what results in the image query…

A-ha. No wonder. Just in that top portion of the page able to fit in a screen shot, four of the twenty-four image results come from TastyIslandHawaii.com. Scroll down that page, and there’s even more from here.

What it appears to be, is the admin’/demon (ha-ha!) of that page who posted that did a quick online image search like I just did on ‘Hawaiian Plate’ or ‘Hawaiian Plate Lunch’, and that was one of the MANY images that returned query.  So they just thought, “This will work”, and went with one of my photos, without even researching what exactly that was. Or did they? Because if they had, they’d realize what it is would almost completely negate their caption. Not only is traditional Hawaiian food as is on that plate very healthy, it’s also expensive (Marujyu’s price being the exception to the rule!), yet most importantly SACRED and endeared to the people of Hawaii.

Ending up going totally viral on FB throughout the Hawaii community both here in the islands and abroad, that now infamous post wound up backfiring on this so-called “Christian” group. So much so, that they removed the photo post, turning around and offering an apology to “the people of Hawaii”.

Surf ‘n Snack’s Loco Moco, $6.50

As one FB poster suggested, what they SHOULD have done if they wanted to use Hawaii as a scapegoat to take aim at the First Lady’s Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act platform, is post a photo of a Loco Moco plate lunch with DOUBLE SCOOPS Mac Salad. lol

The irony of it is, our lovely First Lady isn’t even from Hawaii, unless they’re loosely connecting the dots through the President, who is (and I won’t get into any “birther” issues here, so you please don’t either). And when the POTUS is here with the FLOTUS and ohana for their annual Hawaii home-coming winter vacation, I don’t recall the local news ever reporting them being spotted in the Aiea area, let alone Marujyu Market.

What would be VERY COOL in a nonchalant political way, is if they DO pay a visit to Marujyu Market on their next vacation here just to spite that post! Ha-ha-ha!!!!!!  Hey, who knows? The First Lady might enjoy the Hawaiian plate from there so much, that it WILL become a requirement in schools! In all states! Woo-hoo!!!

And if my opinion or take on it isn’t enough, go to the HawaiiNewsNow.com Facebook page and read the now HUNDREDS of comments endorsing that Hawaiian plate (<—that link will take you directly to the photo with the comments).

Laulau, Squid Luau, Lomi Salmon and Poi… coming soon to a school cafeteria near you! (let’s pray)

Like I suggested earlier, I think the moderator of this opposition group was looking for the “crappiest-looking” Hawaiian lunch plate to fit that caption (thanks, thanks alot), which personally I think it looks the complete OPPOSITE, as did the majority of FB members.

However let’s be honest, if you didn’t know what you were looking at, let alone ever haven eaten it before, Laulau, Squid Luau and Poi aren’t exactly the most appetizing in appearance to the casual, unaware observer, to word it lightly. Yet once you TASTE it, Oh My God, if prepared correctly, this food-of-the-Gods is like the best thing on EARTH!

That said, let’s look back in the archives at some of the onolicious Hawaiian grindz that’s been featured here…

People’s Cafe Hawaiian Luau Feast!

People’s Cafe: Kalua Pig/Lau Lau Combination Plate – Kalua Pig, Laulau, Lomi Salmon, Chicken Luau and Poi. $11.25

Peoples Cafe: Kalua Plate – Kalua Pig, Lomi Salmon, Pipikaula, Chicken Luau and Rice. $9.20

Helena’s Hawaiian Food – (clockwise from top left) fresh Poi, Haupia (with sliced fresh onions sharing same tray), (Hawaiian style) Beef Stew & Short Ribs Pipikaula Style (U.S. Choice beef)

Highway Inn Laulau plate

Young’s Fish Market – Laulau plate

Alicia’s Market – Hawaiian Plate: Pork Laulau, Kalua Pig, Lomi Salmon and Poi. $10.75

Joe’s Lunch Wagon – Hawaiian Plate: Chicken Long Rice, Pork and Butterfish Laulau, Kalua Pig, Lomi Salmon, Mac’ Salad and Rice, $6.50

309th Luau Plate

309th Luau Plate

Windward Poi Bowl – Brian’s Combo: “The Works” includes Laulau, Kalua Pork, Pipikaula, Lomi Salmon AND choice of Chicken Long Rice or Chicken Luau and Rice or Poi. $10.95 (plus $1 dollar more for Squid Luau “upgrade” as shown).

Windward Poi Bowl – Brian’s Combo

OK, OK, that’s enough already! Torture!

“WHO WOULD WANT TO EAT THAT?” It would be safe to say just about every person who reads this blog would LOVE to eat any one of those plates! I. WANT. SOME. OF. THAT. NOW!!!!!!!!!

So on Tuesday, November 6th, 2012, it appears you won’t be hittin’ the polls to vote for which President is best for our great country’s economy and world affairs. Oh no, no, no, that’s insignificant and TOTALLY missing the point. It will be which President and First Lady endorses and eats the healthiest, most ONO ‘KINE GRINDZ!!!

Related links:
Aiea Eats: Marujyu Market – The Tasty Island
Return to Marujyu Market – The Tasty Island
Marujyu Market Catering – Yelp user reviews
MarujyuMarket.com –  Official website
HawaiiNewsNow.com – KFVE/KGMB/KHNL-TV news page
BarackObama.com – Official website
MittRomney.com – Official website
FaceBook.com – Official (drama) website

P.S. A recycled photo from the last post: In light of living a healthy lifestyle and politics, here’s yours truly again (PROUDLY Portuguese/German/English/Hawaiian, in that order) with the very much un-PC, ridiculously overpriced, yet incredibly AWESOME Hawaii Air National Guard F-22 Raptor (1 of 18 in our inventory) at the Kaneohe Bayfest airshow on day two a few weeks ago. At the time weighing in at 177.2 lbs. (me, not the Raptor), making that a total loss of 30 lbs. since May this year (whereas I’m currently back down/up to 177.9 lbs.)…

*Story cover photo courtesy of TastyIslandHawaii.com, with superimposed photo of First Lady Michelle Obama courtesy of too many websites to single any one out.

29 thoughts on “Hawaiian Lunch Plate Enters Politics

  • October 18, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    If they started serving squid luau in mainland school lunches, I’d pay the kids at least $30 a plate just to bring me some. Of all the things I miss about living in Hawai’i, it’s my friend’s Auntie’s squid luau. Brings a tear to my eye just thinking about how I’ll probably never taste something as delicious again in my life.

    • October 19, 2012 at 6:53 pm

      Aloha Jay,

      EXCELLENT way to start things off here! Just lamenting about the food, not the heat of the politics, which is what I tried to do in writing this piece. Make light of it. I also want to make clear that I’m not hating on this group, nor do I anyone in this world. Throw lemons at me and I make lemonade out of it. That now-deleted FB post is just amusing, as is the reaction to it. ;-)

      While not the same without Hawaiian Taro Leaves, you COULD pull off a Squid Luau right in your own kitchen using Spinach leaves, Calamari, onions, chicken bouillon, and canned coconut milk – all of which are available just about EVERYWHERE. Shoots, some places right here in Hawaii do that (I won’t name names), because they don’t want to pay the extra cost for Hawaiian Taro Leaves. Raw Hawaiian wetland Taro (called in Hawaiian Kalo), the leaves (which are loosely called “Luau Leaves”) and the resulting Poi are all very expensive ingredients, even right here in Hawaii, as it’s very difficult to farm.

  • October 18, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Having gone through a plethora of Hawaiian plate photos, I’m seriously craving Hawaiian food, which is probably impossible to get at 10:30 pm on a Thursday night. :)

    • October 19, 2012 at 7:03 pm

      If Helena’s were open 24 hours a day, I bet it would be PACKED the entire time! Way out on School Street, with minimal parking, no matter! Imagine eating there 2am in the morning after a “long night” (designated driver of course!)? Brah, that would be like the ULTIMATE nightcap!

  • October 19, 2012 at 12:02 am

    Pomai, back during my mom time they did serve laulau in school lunch at Lanakila School. She told of musubi,saimin, teriyaki beef with nomasu and mac salad. They even made kalua chicken shreded it taste like pork kalua.

    • October 19, 2012 at 7:07 pm

      I vaguely remember on occasion Heeia Elementary in Kaneohe had a Hawaiian themed lunch, including poi. This was like way back in the 70’s.

      I could go on and on and on about school cafeteria memories! Some fond, some not so much. lol

  • October 19, 2012 at 1:31 am

    Pomai, there a recipe on Viet World Kitchen for Okara potato salad and seem to be a good one. She make things with okara too.

  • October 19, 2012 at 7:34 am

    If my school lunches ever looked like that, I would have been licking the tray clean.

    • October 19, 2012 at 7:15 pm

      Speaking of school lunch trays, it’s funny how that’s the preferred serving “plate” of choice for the “hardcore” Hawaiian food folks (count me in!). The light green color of that indestructible ABS tray, along with the partitions for each item compliment Hawaiian food so well. Modern, yet CLASSIC!

  • October 19, 2012 at 8:36 am

    If only my school lunch looked like that.

  • October 19, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    The worst looking Hawaiian food has got to be squid luau (unless you consider the hanabata-looking raw crab, which is seldom included in a Hawaiian plate lunch), but that luau is soo ‘ono!!

    • October 19, 2012 at 7:19 pm

      I second that. And as the old adage goes, “Never judge a book by its cover”!

  • October 19, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Damn. I love squid luau.

  • October 20, 2012 at 12:28 am

    I would totally hit that lunch plate. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and as for taste, ono all day long.

    • October 20, 2012 at 5:52 am


      Did you get to try the Smoked Blue Crab Palusami Dip at the competition? Also “not pretty”, but freekin’ AWESOMELY-TASTING ONO! Your stuff is consistently excellent, and your carefully-manicured chicken beyond the eye of beauty! However, next year I’d suggest “thinking outside the box” a little and try unusual stuff like that. If I judge again, that’s what I’ll be giving bonus points for, as I did this year.

  • October 20, 2012 at 4:45 am

    Pomai, we are so lucky to have cafeteria cooks in many public schools. Fresh made food and breads and pastries. My cousins in San Francisco have to eat reheated food that’s made several weeks ahead in some other places and sent to many schools locations. It’s not cheap also, about 1.75 to 2.00 per students. Now many schools do not have in San Francisco reduce price lunch for low income.

    My cousins wish they had Hawaii cafeteria lunches and saw menu awesome.

    • October 20, 2012 at 5:57 am

      Back in the 70’s, Heeia elementary (public) school lunch was 10 cents. At St. Louis (private school), lunch prices were about the same as outside. This was in the 80’s when plate lunches were in the $2-3 range. Which is funny, because I used to starve and save my lunch money (thanks dad!) to buy records – back when music was on vinyl 33 LPs, not digital – at Towers. Which at the time, new release LP records were about $12-$15 on “sale”, and average $20 regular price.

  • October 20, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Mrs Tanji was the cafeteria manager for Wilcox School. She was amazingly good at her job. Feeding over 600 kids and 40 or so adults 5 days a week. Every lunch was custom cooked. Every child at about 4th grade or so had to work in cafeteria twice a year. All day. No thought about knives etc. You were taught how to use them and you were expected to do your job quietly and competently. We all did. For years after many snack-bars in Lihue used recipes very similar to the more popular lunches, such as hamburger stew, sweet-sour spareribs with vegetables, shepherds pie made with hamburger and mixed vegetables.

    • October 21, 2012 at 9:09 am


      So true, how we all remember the “Cafeteria Lady”. I don’t remember our “Cafeteria Lady”s name, but I sure do remember how she looked. A filled-in Japanese lady, with a white outfit and hairnet of course. And she was very nice to us! I did cafeteria duty once every year, each year working directly with her. And each time, it was one of my favorite days of the year at school! :-)

      As for Hamburger Stew, we had a version of that called “Mulligan’s Stew”. Was so ono! One of my faves!

      I seriously want to do an article on school lunch, going to a public school and documenting their procedure and food of course. I think that would be the most AMAZING post yet! I have contacts to get that going.

      • October 21, 2012 at 2:08 pm

        Hamburger Stew:
        1.3 lbs Hamburger or so.
        1/2 round onion, dice
        1 small salad potato diced small or frozen diced
        6 oz. frozen mixed veg. w/ Lima Beans (half bag or so)
        1 small tomato sauce
        1 TB Spoon Worcestershire
        Brown onion and burger. Drain. add rest of ingredients except potato. Simmer for no less than 20 min. add liquid if necessary to keep gravy up. Add potato, bring liquid up. 20 min. Flavor to taste.
        Serve on rice.
        The trick is in the cooking time. It seems ready after a few min. It really needs about 45 min simmer to develop flavor.
        Super easy. Ono. Japanese pickles and home made hot sauce on the side.

        • October 22, 2012 at 5:31 am


          Perfect. In fact, that sounds almost like the “Mulligan’s Stew” I remember so fondly from Heeia Elementary days! I have a bag of meatless ground “beef” (tofu-based) from Down to Earth that I’ve been meaning to use soon, and this recipe will be PERFECT for that! Most definitely with some Tsukemono (Beni Shoga) on the side; make that on top, pass on hot sauce. Mahalo for sharing!

          • October 22, 2012 at 6:31 pm

            Then let me suggest you use beef broth as the balancing liquid. And perhaps some garlic, Bay leaf, and whatever herbs you favor.

      • October 25, 2012 at 10:31 pm


        Excellent tip for using vegetarian-friendly tofu-based ground “meat”. I have no problem using meat-based broths purely for flavor, sans the flesh of the meat. I’m not THAT “hardcore” of a pesceterian, making exceptions and “bends” here and there. With that, weighing myself this morning, I’m currently @ 176.7 lbs. Yes!

    • October 21, 2012 at 5:45 am

      Mr. Souza,

      From one Podagee to another, I found that video HIGHLY OFFENSIVE. You racist, you. Nah, that was funny! Reminds me of a few relatives I have who talk almost like that! LOL!!!

      Are you related to any Teves? If so, than indeed we may be related.

  • October 22, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    What a righteous post! It’s sad how willfully ignorant some people can be. But all those gorgeous photos, and now I’m so hungry, with no laulau in sight …

    Did you grow up in Heeia? When I was in town Labor Day week, I went on The Bounty of He‘eia field trip that was part of the Food and Wine Festival, to learn about the ancient fish pond, then up the mountains (or to the top of the ahupua’a!) to have lunch among the taro patches. It was an awesome day!

    When I read the okara post, I meant to mention the okara salad at Ramen Halu in San Jose, which is what the Viet World Kitchen recipe is based on. It’s great. Halu gets their okara straight from San Jose Tofu. Since I’m about 40 miles from San Jose, I don’t get there much, but when I do, I always have that salad! And not to hijack this thread with more okara, but in Tokyo there’s Hara Donuts, that makes their donuts with okara and soy milk (their parent company is Haru Tofu). The one time I went there, I had a kinako donut. It was so light and tasty … I’m really looking forward to going back again!

    • October 25, 2012 at 10:47 pm


      Nearby Heeia Pond, in Ali’i Shores. Back then I don’t recall there being any type of field trip there. At least my school in name of it didn’t take us there! Sheesh! Mahalo for the link on the KSBS tours on the “Bounty of Heeia”. I’d surely get “chicken skin” doing that today! *Adds to bucket list*

      Also thanks for the info on Hara Donuts, using the Okara AND Soymilk. I’m pretty sure the “lady” who makes the Tofu Mousse for Aloha Tofu has either made, nor knows how to make that. Paul?

      Crispy Kinako Doughnuts…

  • January 13, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    i can see you must be from the mainland there is NOTHING wrong with the food in that plate infact some of it was forbiden for women to eat in the old times if you dont like hawaiian food you always have option 2 pack your bags and go back to the mainland there is too many haoles that came and stayed here as is the less haoles here the better in my opinion


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