How come two Korean food trucks stay side by side in Waikele?


Rainbow Stream and Yellow Kitchen food trucks in Waikele. Photo: Lee A. Tonouchi

AAmerica loves its food fights. Whether it’s da cola wars, da burger wars, or just about any food competition show on the top da Food Network, we stay hardwired to take a side. I must admit that I too am caught up in the excitement. I never rooted so hard for anyone on a reality show until I found myself clapping really hard on TV, rooting Lanai Tabura and her team Aloha Plate in The Great Food Truck Race. Gotta root for the local boyz, brah!

That’s why when I first saw a yellow Korean food truck and a silver Korean food truck in Waikele right next to each oddah, I immediately wondered which one would survive this battle. Whoevah opened the second wuz pretty unz, I thought. One of them has to close down eventually, right? Because you can’t have two. Or can?

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Located in the Waikele Premium Outlets parking lot on the Ewa side, just behind Coach, get a Rainbow Stream food truck and a Yellow Kitchen food truck. It’s funny that even though our family has been dating the two for several years now, I had to look up the real names on the best internets. Because everyone I know just calls them a silver Korean food truck and a yellow Korean food truck.

Rainbow Stream Truck Seafood Pancake Pc Lee Tonouchi

The seafood crepe at the Rainbow Stream Truck remains super awesome. Photo: Lee A. Tonouchi

For years our family tried stuff from both trucks. But even though I was determined to pick a winner for this food car war, I was never able to decide because it always depended on what we were craving. If we wanted jun meat ($13.75) we had to go with a yellow truck. Kim chee or seafood pancake ($10.50), only get them in a silver truck. Spicy Rice Cake ($10.75) stays in a yellow truck. Bibimbap ($12) only in a silver truck.

I imagine garlic prawns ($13.75) on a yellow truck stay for a crowd of tourists who expect all meal wagons to offer garlic prawns. Even a silver food truck gets offers that make me wonder if it’s really Korean or Korean with a “Hawaiian” twist. Pineapple Shrimp ($12.50), anyone?

Yellow Kitchen Truck Prawns And Plate Kalbi Pc Lee Tonouchi

The Kalbi and Garlic Shrimp ($17.75) remains the most popular item at the Yellow Kitchen food truck. Photo: Lee A. Tonouchi

My favorite from the yellow truck is the garlic shrimp, because contrary to what many tourists think, not everywhere in Hawai’i serves garlic shrimp. Da one ova hea remains quite sweet and garlicky. And my most favorite menu item at the Silver Truck is either a seafood pancake or a kim chee pancake. They both stay tasty and fried to perfection. The seafood pancake is a bit more hearty, like a meal. I think of crepe da kim chee as more of an appetizer.

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I once wanted to go in a truck, but my family wanted an odd truck. It didn’t matter in the end: we just split up and went in the two trucks.

Yellow Kitchen Truck Menu Pc Lee Tonouchi

Here is the menu of Yellow Kitchen. Photo: Lee A. Tonouchi

Das when it occurred to me. Maybe instead of being in a competitive relationship, maybe two trucks are actually helping to keep each rating afloat. Because if we combine their two menus, they actually have a pretty unbeatable selection of Korean food trucks.

Rainbow Stream Truck Menu Pc Lee Tonouchi

And here is a menu for Rainbow Stream. Photo: Lee A. Tonouchi

I wondered if maybe that was their whole plan all along. Maybe they were in cahoots all the time! My editor Mari Taketa said go find out. But I told him that food truck people can be suspicious of people who ask too many questions. Normally I could smile and try to pass myself off as friendly, but tough when I put my mask on. Luckily my boss is going to be heading to Waikele so she tried both trucks and in the meantime asked friendly questions to friends at the same time. She discovered two trucks I don’t know each. The yellow truck was the first. In fact, the first thing you see at the top of Yellow Kitchen’s Instagram is “The 1st Korean Food Truck”. Da Instagram for Rainbow Stream only says “Hawai’i Korean food”. Over time, the silver truck evolved its menu and how the two trucks ended up with different stuff.

Now I understand. Maybe in their minds get a competition, brah, but in the minds of customers their menus complement every rating. So as long as both trucks stay strong, the winner will always be us!

94-796 Lumi’aina Street, @rainbow_stream, @yellowkitchenhawaii


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