This is one of the best places to get the local special, the plate lunch. Plate lunch in Hawaii customarily has two scoops of rice, one (or two) scoops of macaroni salad, shredded cabbage, and a meat like teriyaki beef, fried mahi-mahi, or chicken. A good place to go for plate lunch is Rainbow Drive-In. Here the servings are healthy, the prices are affordable, and the food is tasty.
Rainbow is located at 3308 Kanaina Avenue and open Monday thru Sunday from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm. They are closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day. Call ahead for take-out orders at 808-737-0177. A word of warning, this place gets busy at lunch time. Yes, I say that about a lot of restaurants here, but that's because they're good.
Rainbow has been serving plates for 50 years. The founder, Seiju Ifuku, learned to cook, surprisingly, in the Army with the 100th Infantry Battalion. The 100th Battalion served in World War II and saw action with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team in Europe. After the war, Seiju opened a couple of drive-ins in and around Waikiki. He opened Rainbow in 1961 and it's been there ever since. Check out the clip about Rainbow from Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives with Guy Fieri. The piece about Rainbow starts at about the 1:00 minute mark.
Walk up to the counter to order. There's a lot of goodness to like here. If you want a big meal, order up the loco moco plate as seen in the video clip.
I like to get the Mix Plate, this is a little bit of everything. There's teriyaki beef, fried chicken, fried mahi-mahi, 2 scoops of rice, a scoop of macaroni salad, shredded cabbage, and tartar sauce.
If you want more vegetables than just the shredded cabbage to go with all that meat, get the side salad. All in all, this is a good place to stop by for lunch...or breakfast and dinner.