Food Box

Falafel King offers not just good food, but more atmosphere than the average food truck.
Image: nina buck

Food Trucks Serve Israel’s Fave Snack

Da Falafel King, yet another source of healthy but fast food, is absolutely lovely. Two charming young women work inside the ocean-blue truck in Moiliili (the original is still in Waikiki), greeting everyone as though they were family, taking orders, even serving pita appetizers to those waiting on their orders. Falafel, deep-fried nuggets of ground chickpeas, is the national snack food of Israel, and popular all over the Middle East. Lemon trees rustle on either side of the entrance to a small lanai area with wooden tables. There are tiki torches, papaya trees, what looks to be a fledgling fig, planter boxes with herbs and flowers.

Combo plates come with a sandwich, drink (extra for coconut juice or sweet nether malt beer, a dark non-alcoholic beverage) and french fries or pita chips ($11). I got the chips, wonderfully soft and rolled in herbs, perfect for dipping in rich, thick hummus. My sandwich was loaded with crunchy falafel and a salad of Hawaii-fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, red and white cabbage, pickles and a slice of smoky eggplant, all drowned in homemade tahini sauce. Delicious. Big. And kosher (we checked).

If you canʻt get to the other locations, look for them at the Israel Day Festival on the Honolulu Hale grounds May 20.

Da Falafel King, King and University streets, 11am–10pm Mon.–Sun., closed Saturdays, 291-5282; 2255 Kuhio Ave., 10am-1 am Sun.–Tue., 10am–pm Wed.–Sat., 223-7899.