Most people think sweet bread when someone mentions the King's Hawaiian brand. But did you know King's Hawaiian also has restaurants? Only catch is that the restaurants are in California and not Hawaii. No worries, put this on your list of Hawaii things outside of Hawaii to check out! They've got all the local dishes from saimin to loco moco, and of course, sweet bread.
King's Hawaiian Bakery and Restaurant
Next time you're in Los Angeles, make sure to visit King's Hawaiian Bakery and Restaurant!
If you're a local, it's always super fun to check out local spots outside of Hawaii. If you're not from Hawaii or haven't been to Hawaii, then its neat to get a taste of the islands on the mainland.
King's Hawaiian is a popular brand that originated in Hilo (Big Island / Hawaii Island) and then moved to Honolulu (Oahu). They no longer have operations in Hawaii (the Honolulu location closed in 1992), but they are thriving on the mainland.
It always crazy to visit a random mainland supermarket and see King's sweet bread on the shelves. How far they have come!
King's operates two restaurants and today's post is about their main location. Have you ever been to Zippy's in Hawaii? Zippy's is our go-to local diner chain. This restaurant feels like the dine-in locations of Zippy's, but on the mainland!
Half the space is devoted to the restaurant (full table service). The other half is devoted to the bakery. You should experience both parts ^_^
King's is located in Torrance, California. If you're coming from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), it's just a 20 minute drive!
The main flagship location is called King's Hawaiian Restaurant Bakery & Restaurant (2808 Sepulveda Blvd). This location is where all these photos were taken.
They also have a second location called The Local Place Bakery and Cafe (18605 S. Western Avenue).
If it's your first visit, go to the flagship Restaurant at 2808 Sepulveda Blvd. It has a *dine-in restaurant and that's where you can get the complete experience. The Cafe location is order-at-the-counter with a slightly different menu.
*Currently takeout only.
What To Order
Tip: King's is a restaurant and bakery. The highlight and their strong suit is the bakery. So go for the baked goods, and have a meal while you're there.
Saimin (pictured above) hits the spot. King's has their own brand of saimin noodles, and these noodles are served in dashi broth with char siu, green onions, bean sprouts, egg, and kamaboko (Japanese steamed fish cake).
Dine there for the full experience, but I can also confirm saimin is delicious devoured in the car...just be careful not to spill the soup.
If you want the noodles but not the soup, order Fried Noodles (aka Fried Saimin). The noodles are quickly stir fried together with bacon, char siu, kamaboko, and green onions.
Can't check out a local spot without getting plate lunch. Stick to classics like loco moco, chicken katsu, kalua pork plate.
Most of the plates come with rice and mac salad (they do a potato-mac salad). The kalua pork plate also comes with lomi lomi salmon.
They make the French Toast with their sweet bread! More about sweet bread at the bottom of this section.
Paradise Cake (2nd photo from top)
Everyone seems to love this cake! Also known as "Rainbow Cake" or "Queen Emma Cake", this is a very popular type of cake in Hawaii. I'll do a whole post on it soon ^_^
It's a chiffon cake (we are CRAZY about chiffon cakes in Hawaii). There are three layers: guava, lilikoi (also called passion fruit), lime. Each cake layer is separated by a brush of whipped cream. The whole cake is topped with matching fruit glaze (all three flavors).
P.S. If you get super into this cake, they also make a Paradise Cheesecake which is the same concept but with layers of cheesecake instead of chiffon cake.
You can also get the Paradise Bundt Cake which layers all three flavors into a simple chiffon cake (no whipped cream or fruit glaze) - this makes a great breakfast or snack type cake.
There's also a Paradise Cupcake, which is a cupcake version of the cake. The three flavors are swirled together in the cupcake. Guava glaze is injected into the middle of the cupcake, whipped cream on top.
Which to try? Paradise Cake is most popular, but it's also fun to try all the different styles and compare!
Don't overlook the other cakes. Locals got a real sweet tooth and there are many types of cakes that you can only find in Hawaii or at Hawaii-type places.
This includes a Dobash Cake which layers chocolate chiffon with chocolate dobash pudding. The sides are covered with chocolate cake crumbs, so good. Dobash cakes are super popular in Hawaii.
They also make Dream Cake which has chocolate chiffon, whipped cream, and chocolate shavings. Guava Cake focuses on just the guava component of the Paradise Cake.
There's also Haupia Cake and Lilikoi Crunch Cake (like Lemon Crunch, but made with lilikoi).
Sweet Bread is perhaps their most popular item, and one you can find many markets and restaurants across the country.
I'm not sure when sweet bread because such a popular thing nationwide but it was something we grew up eating all the time in Hawaii. They come in loaves and squares and buns, but the "classic" is the round loaf. We just cut wedges, and eat as is! Or even better, toast it a little and slathered butter on top.
Soft and fluffy with that delicate "crust"....what's not to love?
No need to worry about parking. There is a big free parking lot attached to the restaurant.
Saimin or fried saimin (depending if I want soup or no soup), plus a slice of cake (usually the Paradise Cake or Dobash Cake). And a loaf of sweet bread to take home for later.
They sell all their cakes by the slice and as a whole cake. Make sure to order at least 24 hours in advance for a whole cake.
King's makes their signature sweet bread in a ton of forms so it can be overwhelming. If you're looking to make sliders, get the small slider size. They also have burger buns and hot dog buns.
I mostly get the round loaf. It's the classic and can be used in many different ways (though I usually just end up snacking on it).
- King's Hawaiian Bakery and Restaurant | 2808 Sepulveda Blvd, Torrance, California 90505 | khbakery.com
- Price (approximate): Plate Lunches $10.95 - $16.75, Saimin $8.75, Cake Slices $3.95 - $5.50; Whole Cakes $23.75-$29.95; Bread $2.99-$5.25
- Hours: Monday-Sunday (7am-9pm)