Where You Live: Jane's Fountain
April Vera Cruz suggested Jane's Fountain in Kalihi for our latest Where You Live segment.
Walking into Jane's almost seemed like stepping into a time machine. Everything from the jukebox to the slice orange booths screams nostalgia.
"It's got that feel of being here a long time. Some people come and say, 'Oh, I remember when I was young,' because there used to be a higher counter there," said customer Marc.
In the middle of the restaurant, a jukebox in mint condition.
Karen Kan is the waitress/owner of Jane's Fountain. Kan hasn't changed the menu since she bought the eatery from the Nakasone family just four years ago.
But, the establishment has been open since the 1940s. Many say the fountain is the kind of place that makes Liliha, Liliha. And it's still home to local grind classics.
"When my mom and dad would want to eat saimin, this was the place to come," said customer Josh.
Saimin is one of the most popular items here. The dashi, which means soup, is made daily.
"I always order the Wun Ton Min and sometimes I order the hamburger cause it's easy to just take," said Marc.
The burgers are another staple at Jane's Fountain. On the other side of the restaurant, we caught veteran customers Kathy and Larry chowing down on their Hamburger Steak Plate complete with two scoops of rice, side of mac salad, corn and tsukemono.
"Homemade hamburger, so its' good," said customer Kathy. "Hardly find places like this that make their own. Especially the hamburger steak."
Back in the kitchen, we tried asking Kan what goes into making her ono burger.
"Some egg, some salt and sauce. That's it. Regular," said Kan. "Not too much. Just something everyone know how to make."
Many of Kan's customers have been coming here for decades, like Makaleka Aikalakahele. Her first meal here started when she was in diapers. She says places like this are hard to come by.
"To me, it's a mom and pop deli. You don't have too many. You have all the other restaurants," said Aikalakahele. "It's like home base. You know you getting homemade food."
Aikalakahele introduced her Aunty Gladys to the cheeseburger here and now Aunty says she's hooked!
"So I came back intending to take one home with me. I live in Makaha. So, I took it in the car and took one bite, and the thing never even make it to Ewa Beach. Was all gone!" said Aunty Gladys.
The tiny Liliha eatery is open as early as 7 a.m. and cooks meals until 9 p.m. on weekdays. So, whether it's breakfast for dinner, dinner for breakfast, the choice is yours.
And what's a fountain without a root beer soda float? It's topped with, not one, but two scoops of vanilla ice cream goodness.
It was so nice spending time at a place like this because you have so many regular customers that have come over the years, and its' really like everybody know everybody, and you see them catching up on conversation while they order their hamburger.
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