What’s the one place where most Hawaii locals have eaten at? Zippy’s. Their classic Zip Pac and famous chili will always have a place in local culture.

I have been going to the Pearl City Zippy’s since I was a child and have always loved whatever new unhealthy dish they make. I went there recently on a hot August day. I walked through the aged double doors with large etchings on the pale glass. These doors have been the same since I set foot in there as a child. For once I was lucky, there was no line and I was immediately seated.

I haven’t eaten at the sit-in restaurant in awhile and browsed through all the new items on the menu. Then I read the words “Chili Moco”. I thought, “Well I like Zippy’s Chili, and love Loco Moco, so that must taste amazing when put together.” The waiter came and I immediately asked for the Chili Moco.  A layer of rice, below a hamburger patty topped with a egg and loaded with Chili; I was intrigued. The hardest part was the wait, and when I saw the steam drifting from the bowl that the waiter was bringing, it was love at first sight.

[one_third]A layer of rice, below a hamburger patty topped with a egg and loaded with chili…[/one_third]

I smeared the egg all over the grilled patty. I dug my fork in and made sure I got a bite of each item in the bowl. I took a big first bite of rice, chili, beef patty, and egg. This dish sank like the Titanic, beautiful and luxurious on the outside but unable to reach its intended destination. I believe the source of the problem was the hamburger patty because it tasted like I ate the char off a grill. The patty and the chili didn’t combine in glorious harmony, and was just an amazing combination to gaze at. The burger, rice, and chili tasted merely like burger with chili and rice, and didn’t have the same symbiotic relationship as gravy, burger and rice. So I leaned back in my chair and sighed with my order of chili, hamburger patty and rice in front of me.