Outside of the South Bay (and the recent poke craze), L.A. isn’t particularly well known for Hawaiian food. That said, more people visit Hawaii from L.A. than any other place, so some island flavors are bound to cross over to L.A. County. Rutt’s Hawaiian Café has been a casual Culver City mainstay since 1976. Paul Wahba purchased the restaurant in 2000 and relocated to a larger space with more catering capabilities to start 2017, but long-timers will still appreciate the island feel.
The new space features a yellow and blue facade, covered patio, and dining room with surfboards and sea turtles decorating white walls. A sign promotes the fact that “Guy Ate Here!,” a reference to Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. I haven’t seen the episode, but sure hope that Fieri ordered Hawaiian Fried Saimin ($11.45). This king-sized stir-fry, the likes of which I’ve experienced many times on Kauai and Maui, is a comforting mess. Flour noodles are treated to plenty of oil and tossed with pink-rimmed fish cakes, scrambled eggs, thin-sliced char siu, scallions, and onions. If you really want to go for it, add batons of ultra-savor SPAM for an extra $2, a small price to pay for more flavor (and Hawaiian street cred).
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.