Image: Sarah Flotard

Price Scale

Inside a parking lot–adjacent cafe, encircled by bland hospital buildings, clinics, and accounting firms, dwells a most Hawaiian snack. A dense brick of slightly sweet marinated rice, a thin slab of teriyaki spam, all bound by a belt of nori, make up the musubi, an island staple that marries Japanese onigiri, or rice balls, with the salty meat miracle that is Spam. Owners Jamie Cancel and Brandon Sumailo opened Cafe Kai along sleepy Wheaton Way in 2016, where the Oahu natives serve the Hawaiian comfort foods they know best. Sticking to traditional flavors they grew up with, the menu includes a classic iteration of teriyaki Spam and gets more inventive with combos like Spam, bacon, and egg or Spam, bacon, and avocado—the Hawaiian avocado toast of musubi. Then there's an extra two-piece musubi wherein kalua pork is sandwiched by two decks of rice and topped with furikake, a savory Japanese seasoning. The caffeinated beverages, much to the relief of harried nurses, remain.

Meal Times
Breakfast, Lunch