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Off Track: Last Chance for Dean’s Drive Inn’s ‘Ahi Cakes, Teri Beef and Fish Specials

June 25, 2022
Robbie Dingeman photograph from this Frolic Hawaii article

From the Frolic Hawaii website

Dean Mishima admits he’s feeling bittersweet as he prepares to serve his last drive-in meals on July 10: “That’s my passion. I love to cook, talk to people, take care of the community.”

Mishima has been elevating the Windward O‘ahu plate lunch scene since the summer of 2006, when he opened a 24-seat mom-and-pop place in Kāne‘ohe. He fixed each plate to order, earning a reputation for Island comfort food with a chef’s flair—complete with a swirl of vegetable garnish—even after a move down the road to a place four times larger. This cook-and-talk story combo gained him devoted diners from across the country eager to dig into local-style specialties of ‘ahi cakes ($18.50), tender broiled teri beef steak ($21.95), and an ever-changing array of umami-rich soups, fresh fish and dessert specials. People still trek across the island to pick up those ‘ahi cakes—lightly cooked patties filled with chunks of fresh ‘ahi.

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