Hawaiian Food Moves From Food Truck To Storefront Spot

The crew at Pakele's Hawaiian Food includes (from left) Hawaiian, Jacques, Jasmine and Mercades Pakele, Pua Murakami and Yukie Pakele. The restaurant is now open at Koolau Center. Photo by Lawrence Tabudlo, ltabudlo@midweek.com.


One of Kahaluu’s favorite food trucks recently found a more stationary home. Now open at Koolau Center in the former Pizza Hut space is Pakele’s Hawaiian Food.

Pakele’s has all the local favorites, ranging from chicken katsu plate lunches to steak, shrimp, burgers, soups and a variety of other Hawaiian foods. It also offers daily specials, Filipino Saturday Specials, take out, catering and sides and desserts – including its famous bread pudding as well as a special menu for healthy eating.

The transition from food truck to restaurant has been anything but easy, however.

“We’ve been really busy since we’ve opened and there’s a lot of different foot traffic,” said

manager and owner Jensen Pakele. “Our goal is to just make everyone happy.”

A current favorite is Squid Luau for $3.95, and all menu items range in price from $1.75 to $12.95. The restaurant also takes the time to accommodate everyone and is able to serve all children as well as adults. Families and individuals can dine inside or take it all home.

Pakele was inspired by his late mother to start his food truck business.

“We pride ourselves in family-oriented home cooking. We have a big family, so we know how to cook for a big family,” he explained.

The new restaurant is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday-Saturday. For more information, call 239-4422.