Erika Engle

Order loco moco without
leaving the couch or
picking up the phone

DINING choices for couch potatoes have expanded through a partnership between Oceanic Time Warner Cable and anytimegrinds.com, a local online restaurant guide.

Oceanic's digital cable customers can now place take-out and delivery orders at the Oceanic Food Court using their remote control to make selections on channel 001.

Oceanic and previous technology partners pioneered the possibility of ordering pizza via digital cable boxes five years ago. The new plate-lunch partnership did an initial launch in October, offering food from Molly's Smokehouse in Wahiawa and Loco Moco Drive Inn in Kapolei, according to anytimegrinds.com founder and President Kyle Matsuyama.

"We just launched the other eight restaurants on Nov. 15," he said. "What we tried to do is get restaurants that are well-respected in the community, or if they did delivery, delivery was a high priority, because people nowadays want to order and not leave the house." It is also possible to place orders for take-out.

Oceanic declined comment yesterday, but it plans to make an announcement about the service soon.

The companies launched the service with an eye toward diversity, both in types of cuisine offered and neighborhoods served. There are no Windward Oahu restaurants listed, but more locations will be added, Matsuyama said.

Anytimegrinds.com and Oceanic earn revenue from restaurants that sign up to offer the service to viewers.

Anytimegrinds.com lists any restaurant's name, address and phone number for free, but eateries are assessed $19.95 a month for menu posting and other online services.

Long distance grinds

The mainland sister of L&L Drive-Inn is open in the Big Apple. L&L Hawaiian Barbecue threw open its doors Nov. 18 without any publicity, according to co-founder Eddie Flores.

The volume of business was so high that the company sent three cooks and company Vice President Eva Kam, daughter of co-founder Johnson Kam, to lighten the load.

"There's a lot of Hawaii kids, especially from Punahou and Iolani who are in New York," Kam told Brandon Dela Cruz, director of marketing for L&L Franchise Inc.

There are also public school grads, such as Baldwin High School alumnus Jared Maeda, in the area.

A Boston University graduate and researcher at the Boston Medical Center, Maeda and Abraham Lagrimas, a Waipahu grad and Berklee College of Music student, got two days of local food fixes during the Thanksgiving break. They made the trek from Boston after reading about L&L's plans in Hawaii newspapers online.

"We were really excited to eat local grinds on the East Coast," Maeda said.

The first day, Maeda ordered the chicken katsu mini plate for about $5 and the next day, a Hawaiian plate of lau lau and kalua pig for about $8.

"The portions were very big," he said.

Walking the few blocks between the World Trade Center site and the plate-lunch purveyor on Fulton Street, bundled in warm weather gear, the duo saw the familiar signage. "We were just stoked and tripped out that it was in the middle of New York City," Maeda said.

Make plenny brown gravy, Mrs. Maeda. Jared's ready for more local kine grinds when he comes home for Christmas.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: eengle@starbulletin.com



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