So growing up in Hawaii, I have numerous fond memories of Rainbow Drive-In. Just a local drive in that has been around of about 50 years with some of the best plate lunch food in Hawaii. 

Where the magic happens...

Thanks to the show with overtly flamboyant Guy Firei from Food Network’s Diner’s Drive-Ins and Dives for making me miss home. With thoughts of plate lunch fairies dancing in my head, I dreamt that I was working on the line at Rainbow’s in Honolulu. AWESOME! 

Overt host of DDD, Gui Fieri

Rainbow’s has an uncanny ability to turnout food like a machine…I can distinctly remember high school time placing the order for my favorite “Boneless chicken gravy all over with a large slush float with ice cream”. 10 seconds later, the plate would slide right out from the kitchen. Amazing-cause it took me longer to say “Boneless chicken gravy all over”. Just magical I say. 

Instantly, my mouth waters when I see this sign...

We decided that the gravy would be the most utilitarian homage to Rainbow’s since it is used numerous of their plate lunches. Besides, who doesn’t love gravy? 

Sexy time gravy!

Ingredients: Chicken thigh bones, Chicken neck bones, dried shrimp, konbu, water, tomato puree, crushed garlic, salt, wochestershire (sp?) sauce, caramel coloring, chili powder, granulated onion, granulated garlic, sugar, and flour slurry. Sounds simple right? 

We got pretty close. We’ll let the pictures below give you the play-by-play which happens to parallel the DDD bit. 

Empty pot

Chicken thigh bones

Dried shrimp. BTW, these are pretty good as snack w/ beer too

Ginger chunks

Konbu added

Add cold boil!

After a few hours, strain

Tomato puree



Worchestershire sauce..glug glug glug

Chili powder

Granulated onion

Granulated garlic

Sugar sugar

Stock back boil for a few hours!

Flour slurry - made with flour...

mix flour with water. We found that an immersion blender works best

Everyone in the pool! Add slurry to thicken

QuarryLaneFarms Loco Moco Plate Lunch with mac salad and homemade cucumber kimchee and daikon

Few things (in our opinion): 

1. Color was a bit more red when compared to Rainbow’s. Tastes about the same. 

2. Browning the chicken thigh and neck bones. Should produce a darker stock and more savory rich flavors. 

3. Need to work on the viscosity of the gravy. Maybe more slurry next time. 

Truth be told, we were sure that despite our best efforts, we knew we wouldn’t be able to replicate the magic of Rainbow’s. BUT-this gravy was a fun time…just trying to replicate a childhood recipe which we will sure to have the real deal on our next trip to Hawaii (Besides, its been a while since we’ve done a D-I-Y pictorial). 

Since I know you’re dying to know what my favorite plate lunch at Rainbow’s? Check-check-check-it-out. 

Rainbow Drive-In Boneless chicken gravy all over plate lunch

Utterly beautiful I say. And I would honestly say that Bourdain completely missed the boat on this one. 

Of course the magic of Rainbow’s is best understood standing in the parking lot with family, friends, and a few plate lunches. 

Wanna go? 

Reporting live from QuarryLaneFarms…