The fascinating mashups of Hawaiian cuisine were born out of necessity. Living with geographic isolation and bouts of economic deprivation, islanders had to mix and match what was available, and the dishes that became popular – macaroni salad; Spam sushi; and the hamburger, rice and gravy combo known as loco moco – filled the need for flavor and calories at a minimal cost.
James Strange, founder of Kimo’s Hawaiian BBQ, has become a local ambassador for these Hawaiian comfort foods, first through his food truck and, more recently, at his brick-and-mortar restaurant just off Candelaria NE between Carlisle and I-25.
The restaurant sits on Girard amid a stretch of auto repair shops and industrial operations that has in recent years been infiltrated by restaurants and pubs. La Cumbre Brewing Co., Bacon Jam, and Palmer Brewery and Cider House are all within shouting distance.