food & Drink / Most people know the Blue Lotus Farm stand, a fixture at the Saturday Kapiolani Community College farmers’ market, for its colorful shave ice, giant omelets and onolicious sake butter clams. There’s much more than meets the eye, and, in fact, it may just be the best-kept secret at the ever-more-crowded institution. (That is, until this piece runs.
Owner Greg Yee started farming in Hauula 12 years ago, and initially focused on growing fruits and vegetables. Within a couple of years, he bought some chickens purely for the fertilizer they’d generate for his organic operation, and he began offering the eggs for sale at the market. When his egg supply eventually exceeded demand, he did what any reasonable businessperson would do: He made omelets.
And what omelets they are, made with your choice of duck or chicken eggs and filled with shrimp or cheese. Served atop two scoops of brown rice with homemade cucumber pickles and surimi-mac salad, it’s a hearty way to start your day.
For those with smaller appetites (or who like to graze throughout the market), the kalua chicken bun can’t be beat; it’s a generous mound of slow-braised chicken on a buttered and toasted roll, with more of those sweet-sour cucumber pickles. You’d be hard-pressed to find a tastier, more filling way to spend $2.50 at the market…maybe even on the whole island.
Those items are actually on the menu; even better are the items you have to know to ask for. Farm-fresh eggs by the dozen are available, although it’s best to place an order a week ahead of time (extras, if any, get snatched up early). They aren’t cheap–$8 for a dozen extra-large eggs–but the flavor is unbeatable.
Where there are eggs, there must also be birds. With advance notice, Yee will send one of his birds to the big coop in the sky for your dining pleasure. Be aware that, because these birds lead a more active life than commercial ones, they are more flavorful but not quite as tender, and are better suited to slow, moist cooking methods than they are to quick roasting. (This writer procured a Thanksgiving duck from Yee, and it was magnificent cooked kalua-style.)
Local, organic and delicious. That’s what keeps those in the know coming back for more.