Mainlanders, meet the Hawaiian plate lunch. Starting tomorrow, HoloHolo Food Truck will serve owner Hoku Kim's take on the meals of his youth, which involve a main entree, two scoops of rice, and macaroni salad. Look for the truck regularly at the Ballard Mini-Pod (54th and 17th), with other engagements listed on the official website, Facebook, and Twitter pages.
The name HoloHolo is a Hawaiian term; Kim says it means "to go out for a drive, go out cruising, usually down to the beach or downtown. I thought it fit the food truck concept of being mobile."
It also fits the concept of the plate lunch. Kim, who left a tech career to open his food truck, explains that in Hawaii, "a lot of diners and drive-ins along any beach you go to serve plate lunch," but not many places in Seattle offer the unfussy cuisine — and he's eager to fill the niche.
Online, find the truck's menu, with entrees including Kalua Pork (slow-cooked pulled pork seasoned with 'ono Hawaiian flavor), Barbecue Chicken, Traditional Laulau (steamed pork and fish wrapped in taro leaf), and Sweet Potato Laulau, all for $9 or less. For sides, you can get Papaya Dressing or Spam Musubi (cooked Spam on rice wrapped in nori seaweed), and the macaroni salad can be subbed out for mixed greens if you're feeling starch-sodden.
Kim says for him, as a first-time restaurateur, menu planning and food cost have certainly been difficulties, and he expects to face new challenges as he begins plating his food for customers, but he says his biggest struggle so far has been building out the truck, a task he finished himself after his contractor left him high and dry.
Despite that, Kim is looking forward to sharing a style of food that's near and dear to his heart. "I hope when people eat the food they think about being on a beach in Hawaii," he says, "like they just had a nice long day in the sun and now they're eating some good food and relaxing."
5401 17th Ave (Ballard Mini-Pod), (206) 898-9522, website. Open Wednesday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.