Local Eat spotlight: Bobby’s Hawaiian restaurant pays homage to his heritage

First impressions of Bobby’s Hawaiian restaurant

Bobby’s Hawaiian Restaurant is a culinary oasis off Highway 99 in Lynnwood, Washington. Walking through the doors silences the background noise of traffic as you are greeted with relaxing Hawaiian music and a friendly “Aloha!” Staff.

The fresh air combines with the sizzle of Kilby kitchen back ribs. The interior is painted in tropical colors, and there’s island decor everywhere you look. And although the building is a bit older, the dining room is spotlessly clean.

Going to Bobby’s is probably the closest anyone to Lynnwood can feel like they’re actually in Aloha State.

The entrance to the store.

Bobby Jr. pays homage to his father’s legacy

Tragically, the store’s original owner, Bobby Nakihei, passed away last month. Now his son, Bobby Jr., is overseeing operations, taking over the role his father left behind.

“The funny thing is I don’t even cook at home so everything I learned I learned here,” said Bobby Jr. when asked if his dad had him. learned to cook. “It’s a good thing because I didn’t have bad habits, I didn’t have my own way of doing things. So everything I was taught only mimics exactly what he was trying to make me understand.

Lynnwood Hawaiian Restaurant
Bobby Nakihei and his wife Diana.

Bobby Jr. says his father ran a tight ship, and his attention to detail came not only from his experience in the Navy, but also from the lessons life had taught him. “In the islands, we didn’t have a lot of money, you know? We were not among the rich. So you just learn to take care of what you have, ”says Bobby Jr.

Bobby’s Hawaiian Restaurant has long been a family business. Bobby Jr. gets to work with his mother, Diana, and sister, Psalms, by his side. Diana is the genius behind the huge slices of cake sold in the shop, while Psalms runs the grill in the kitchen.

When asked what it was like to work with them every day, Bobby Jr. replied, “This is the greatest gift I have.

The staff at Bobby’s Hawaiian restaurant. Bobby Jr. stands on the right with his sister, Psalms, in second position from the left. Photo: Kienan Briscoe.

“I am lucky to see my mother every morning, to see my sister every afternoon. And it is such a blessing, especially after what has happened, ”he said. Explaining that a lot of people have to devote time to their loved ones and that he is fortunate to have them already near them on a daily basis, he said: “So now it is about taking care of that and taking care of it. of this blessing. “

The Spirit of Aloha

One of the pillars of Mr. Nakihei’s philosophy was to share the Aloha spirit. Her son told the Lynnwood Times that the Aloha Spirit “is love in the form of action. It’s not just a matter of saying it. It’s not just a matter of knowing. This is how to use it to communicate. So the first thing you should hear when you walk into my restaurant is “Aloha! The last thing you should hear is “Mahalo!” “”

“And it’s not just words,” Bobby Jr. continues. “It’s a way to connect.”

Mr. Nakihei also spoke about the Aloha Spirit in an interview with The Times last May. “Whether it’s your first or your hundredth time walking into our restaurant, we want to make sure you feel the aloha spirit – love and food sustains it,” he said.


Mochiko Chicken

According to Bobby Jr., Mochiko chicken is a staple. The chicken is drizzled with garlic sauce then fried to perfection, with rice and a sweet teriyaki dip on the side. Bobby Jr. says this dish appeals to everyone, ages 8 to 88. He also explained that this item represents the iconic fusion of cultures that defines Hawaiian cuisine since their Mochiko Chicken is derived from Japan but has a Hawaiian twist.

The chicken was perfectly executed. Sometimes fried chicken can be excessively fatty and fatty, but not this Mochiko. The nuggets were perfectly crisp with light garlic shells. The chicken itself was quality, and combining it with rice and gravy on the fork makes it a real crowd pleaser.

Kalbi ribs

Kalbi ribs are sensational. The cups are thin but wide, and with all that surface area, every bite has a lot of flavor. I didn’t get the name of the exact sauce they grill them with, but it was a mild, teriyaki flavor – and mixed with the flames on the grill, they give off a subtle smoke as well. They are chewy, juicy and tasty. The balanced sweet and smoky flavor profile makes Kalbi ribs my favorite (so far).

Plate combo with Mochiko chicken and Kalbi baby back ribs

Guava cake

After the chicken and ribs, I barely had room for dessert. But seeing how massive these slices were, I had to give it a try. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of cakes just because they can often be too sweet or dry, and this guava cake was neither. Each bite was so chewy it reminded me of a very leches cake, and the guava flavor was fruity, making it a truly refreshing dessert. If you are looking to make someone say “WOW” on their birthday or any occasion, I recommend you choose one of these installments.

Guava cake


The review of Bobby’s Hawaiian Restaurant is interesting to me as it was my first experience with authentic Hawaiian cuisine. But without a doubt, I am converted. Every item I have tried has been light and tasty, and I will definitely be ordering them again. The atmosphere was lovely because of the decor and cleanliness and how incredibly cooperative and friendly the staff were.

In the end, I’m going to give Bobby’s Hawaiian restaurant a huge “ALOHA!” Bobby’s food captures the aloha spirit, and I felt the love when I tried it.

What’s next for Bobby’s Hawaiian restaurant

As the holidays approach, Bobby Jr. is looking to help families with their food services. “For Thanksgiving and Christmas, we’ll be doing our version of Thanksgiving and Christmas by allowing people to order from us for these events,” he said.

Bobby's Hawaiian Restaurant
Bobby Jr. talks about Hawaiian cuisine, his father’s legacy, the Aloha spirit, and working with his family.

“Usually we close our doors and sort of do our own thing, but we realized that a lot of people would like to use our food as one of their Thanksgiving spreads. So give us a call or come see us and we can arrange one of your dinners for you. We can only take a limited amount, but we would love to be able to share this with you.

Bobby Jr. said the restaurant would only be open until noon for pickups on these holidays. Interested readers can call the store at (425) 259-1338, order online at bobbyshawaiian.com, or drop by in person. They are located at 14626 Highway 99 STE 101 Lynnwood, WA 98087. Click here for opening hours.

Look for the video review for Wednesday, November 17 on the Lynnwood Times website.

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