Special Dispatch: Kahana Sands, Kahana, Maui
Sands of Kahana
4299 Lower Honoapiilani Hwy
Kahana, HI, 96761
by Malcolm Eggs
"Speed limit enforced by laser." (Traffic sign, near Kahana)
Sands of Kahana: a four-star hotel full of fake plants, glittering sea views and people reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I'm sat in the poolside diner, waiting to order breakfast.
Our waiter is in long baggy shorts. He makes a decent attempt at toothy American cheer but there's something else, a fragility behind the eyes. It's like he's one dark thought away from smashing the shit out of a fish tank with the putting wedge he keeps behind the counter in case of visitors from the past.
I'm here to sample loco moco, a Hawaiian traditional breakfast of rice topped with a burger, two fried eggs and onion gravy. It sounds plain terrifying and the name means 'crazy snot', but it's traditional so there absolutely has to be something good about it. Our waiter is delighted.
When he delivers my plate, he says, "don't be intimidated by the way it looks". Which is a fair comment: this gleaming white and brown heap is not Miss Hawaii material. I dig in. The burger is dry, thin and chewy. The gravy is the clingy kind we used to fear more than even nuclear winter back in the school dinner halls of 80s Birmingham. Competent rice and eggs are slaughtered in the crossfire.
I'm ashamed to say I make myself eat enough to avoid awkwardness, and then sit scowling at a distant palm tree. Our waiter picks it up without a word and walks off. Such a beautiful place; such an unbeautiful breakfast. London seems so far away.