In search of the best pancakes in Kailua

Shrove Tuesday just around the corner

By John Bakator

Necessity is the mother of invention; they say. Depending on the sources you read, the first pancakes arrived on the scene some 30,000 years ago. I can see why. Take some ground up grains add some water and cook on heated stones and voila! you have pancakes.

As March 5 (Shrove Tuesday) is around the corner or Pancake day as its called in some parts of the world. This is the last day before lent and a great opportunity to get some last minute extra carbohydrates.

Pancakes, for me, have become a kind of a tradition when travelling. They are a great way to get a boost of energy for my attempts at getting off the grid or seeking some adventure.

So far, the island of Oahu has some great offerings.

Locals and travellers from far off places come to gather in Kailua, Oahu, to enjoy a plate of these tasty disks.

Mokes serves these delightful breakfast treats. Named after its owner, Mokes Warren, this out of the way and best-kept secret has been serving the residents of Kailua since 2005.

Moke Warren, was born and raised in Oahu and went through the Kamehameha school system.

Moke enrolled in culinary school in Kap’iolani Community College. Finding work on the north shore of Oahu, Moke met his wife Teri. Yes, sun and surfing was part of the mix in the early years but they married and moved to Kailua.

Moke found work in the Halekulani Hotel as a master butcher but learned the fine art of bread and sauce making. Fortuitous learning as all pancake aficionados can attest.

Moke and Teri noticed that the breakfast niche was quite popular in Kailua with lines out the door.

In 2003, Moke and Teri made the decision to open their restaurant and they haven’t looked back.

They understood that serving up pancakes is great, but it had to be Hawaiian themed and it had to taste great. It was all in the topping.

Moke put his knowledge, skill and ability toward finding the topping people go crazy over to this day. The star of the topping, of course, is passion fruit – lilikoi. There are other ingredients Moke won’t divulge. Trust me I tried!

The result is heavenly. A lot of “aloha” goes into each order of pancakes with lilikoi sauce.

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