Our gang meets up for breakfast almost every morning.
And it’s almost exclusively at Rainbow Drive-In. (Hence why I post so many photos from there.)
We eat there for three reasons: food is great and cheap, it’s the closest spot to where we surf (Waikiki and Diamond Head), and we know the owner, so we can cruise there for as long as we want.
But the other day, someone suggested that we try a new place every month. She and her husband had just been to Nico’s Pier 38, a restaurant and fish market located just off Nimitz Highway.
I had been there before for lunch and dinner — it’s been open since 2004, but last year it moved to a nearby location and expanded to 160 seats with a full bar — but I didn’t know it served breakfast.
So I was intrigued.
Breakfast runs from 6:30 to 10 a.m. everyday but Sunday (which I thought was strange). And the menu is big enough, with items like fish and eggs, loco moco, fried rice, pancakes, French toast and sides. Prices range from $3.25 for a bowl of saimin with Spam, kamaboko and green onions to $8.95 for a fish omelette with garlic and green onions. A bit pricey — at least compared to Rainbow’s — but you get a ton of high-quality food. And you really can’t beat the view!
So here’s what we ate: (All photos taken with a waterproof camera — Pentax WG-3 — by the way.)
Here’s the omelette ($7.95), which can come with two of the following: Portuguese sausage, bacon, ham, Spam, kamaboko, cheese, mushrooms and green onions. The omelette also comes with white or brown rice and fruits.
This is the loco moco ($8.75, $5.95 for a mini). It’s a combination of Nico’s hamburger steak — which tastes a lot like meatloaf — and two eggs and rice with a mushroom-onion gravy. This guy opted for fried rice, which is on the peppery side. Talk about overkill — but in a good way!
The French toast ($5.25) is made with sweet bread from Kaneohe Bakery — plus! It’s got cinnamon, too, which was a nice touch, and the plate comes with fruits.
Here’s the fish omelette ($8.95) with chunks of grilled ahi, garlic and green onions.
I got the breakfast croissant ($4.25) with bacon — it actually comes with ham, but you can substitute it out — eggs and lots of cheddar cheese in between a buttery, flaky croissant. Heaven.
So if you’re looking for an uncrowded, relaxed place to eat breakfast, consider Nico’s Pier 38. You order your meals take-out-style and grab any table you want in the dining room. It’s hard to believe more people don’t venture here, but then again, maybe that’s a good thing for us.
Nico’s Pier 38, 1129 North Nimitz Highway. Hours for breakfast: 6:30-10 a.m. Monday through Saturday. Phone: (808) 540-1377.