Cheap Eats: Dean's Drive Inn

Published: Sep. 16, 2009 at 2:43 AM HST|Updated: Jul. 5, 2011 at 6:16 PM HST
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Lee Costa
Lee Costa
Sky Cameron
Sky Cameron
Dean Mishima
Dean Mishima
Rack of lamb plate lunch
Rack of lamb plate lunch
Teriyaki meatloaf
Teriyaki meatloaf

with Lyle Galdeira and Russell Yamanoha

KANEOHE (KHNL) - Russ and Lyle travel to the windward side of Oahu and feature a local drive-inn, and before you start thinking that's too far to go for Cheap Eats, think again. They have talked to people who have come through the tunnels every day, just to eat at Dean's Drive Inn in Kaneohe.

If you're going to put your name on the sign, your food better be good. Dean's customers say, it's even better than good.

"The best teriyaki steak on the Windward side. It's just original, not that thin stuff like L&L sell or anything like that, it's the original steak. It's the best" said Lee Costa of Salt Lake.

With reviews like that, it's no wonder; Dean's Drive Inn has them driving in from far and wide.

"Everything here is good. I live in Salt Lake and I come this far just to eat. From Salt Lake, cause they got the best" said Costa.

For owner Dean Mishima, it's not just about the plate lunch, it's about the plate lunch experience, starting with soup and salad, right on through to dessert.

Sky Cameron from Chinatown started out with soup, then he had a plate lunch, then he had dessert.

"Gotta have everything over here, it's the best plate lunch on the island. Opah, with the shoyu ginger sauce, brown rice, tossed greens and I'm having a little brownie with a little shortbread cake on it" said Cameron.

Dean takes the plate lunch to another level, case in point, his signature ahi cakes. An original recipe, they are out of this world, cooked up golden brown, and that's just the beginning. Topped with sweet chili aioli, this is not the normal plate lunch, this is cranked up a notch.

They come from far and wide to have lunch here at Dean's Drive Inn. The everyday menu features beef teriyaki, the ahi cakes with the sweet chili aioli and of course, Russell's favorite, chop steak.

Dean's features a board full of specials every day, based solely on the freshest ingredients available. Russ and Lyle tried the pulehu rack of lamb and teriyaki meatloaf.

As good as the food is at Dean's, the prices may be even better. Most of the top-of-the-line selections for lunch and dinner are in the seven to nine dollar range.

"Now what other place can you go to and have a plate lunch with a rack of ramb. Look at that -with mint jelly on top" said Lyle.

Open every day except Saturday in the Adon Plaza, just a stone's throw from the Kaneohe library. That's a windward swing on this week's Cheap Eats.

Dean's Drive Inn
45-733 Kamehameha Highway