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Most of us have seen it– the line around the block at Boots and Kimo’s in Kailua– most patrons waiting patiently to try the famous banana mac nut pancakes smothered in the “secret” sauce that gives it its notoriety. And while this family owned restaurant is bursting at the seams with customers each day, the owners are happy to stay just where they are and have no intentions of expanding. Hawaii Now host Kanoe Gibson sat down with the owner’s daughter, General Manager Crystal Kiakona, to try some of Boots and Kimo’s more popular dishes and to see if she could get the “ins” on the mac nut sauce.
About Boots & Kimo’s
Boots and Kimo’s opened on Father’s Day in 1994 in honor of the owner’s father George “Boots” Kiakona. Boots loved to cook and had a dream of owning a restaurant one day. Boots’ sons Rick and Jesse conferred with their Uncle Kimo who owned “Kimo’s Gazebo” on Maui, where his version of mac nut pancakes were a specialty. Rick and Jesse’s mom Mary Ann taught the children hospitality and keeps the family workers in line to this day.
“This restaurant was built for our family so that we could all pay our bills and not become rich. (It was) just something that we could do together as a family, and also to showcase the aloha spirit and the love that we have” said Kiakona.
Boots and Kimo’s first restaurant sat across the street from Pali Lanes on Hekili Street in Kailua. It was a humble beginning with six booths, three center tables and a counter. With a slow start, the family worried that the restaurant may not make it. But once the word was out, they quickly outgrew the space they were in, spurring their move down the street to a space that holds three times as many customers. And while there is still a line out the door, it moves quickly, and it is well worth the wait.
Boots and Kimo’s serves authentic local food and is known for its breakfast menu which includes savory favorites such as kalbi, shrimp alfredo omelettes, and grilled Portuguese Sausage from Maui. It also has a full lunch menu.