Tucked away in the industrial district of Mapunapuna is an eatery that appears to have withstood the test of time. Sitting on Mapunapuna Street, near Mokumoa Street, just a couple warehouse fronts makai of the Sony Hawaii service center is Masa’s Cafeteria.
Inside Masa’s you will encounter a spacious room filled with folding party tables and chairs lined up in the cafeteria style, and you will see the food line directly to your left. At the far side of the room is a stage area just like in local public school cafeterias. I appears to have been used for large group functions back in the day. Unfortunately I didn’t think to take a picture of it at the time.
And now for the food… The menu consisted of cafeteria staples such as curry, hamburger steak, sandwiches and burgers, accompaniments like side salads and slices of pie. There were also items on the menu like roast turkey with gravy, chicken and pork adobo and “fresh corned beef” which is pretty much not-canned corned beef. I opted for the corned beef on this day. I also picked up a slice of custard pie and a fountain drink on my way down the food line to the cashier.
The corned beef was flavorful and tender, and there was quite a lot of it! The meat had a softness to it that just made it flake apart with very little effort, and melt in your mouth with minimal chewing. It reminded me very much of the kind of food I would have around St. Patrick’s Day except for the lack of boiled cabbage, carrots and potatoes. The meal came complete with two generous scoops of rice and a hearty scoop of mac salad.
The custard pie wasn’t anything too special. It was pretty much the standard custard pie that you could get at any supermarket bakery or similar place. However, a couple points to note is that the custard was a silky soft texture, but the crust wasn’t very flaky.
If you weren’t able to notice, the dishes that all the food is served on for dine in is actual chinaware and the utensils are all metal not disposable paper or plastic. The dishes along with the trays and the whole feeling of the cafeteria kind of makes you feel like you’re being transported back in time.
Overall the food at Masa’s is quite simple, like cafeteria food is supposed to be, and even somewhat nostalgic. There aren’t too many places around that still will serve this kind of home-style comfort food in a cafeteria setting. I really did enjoy the food, and will definitely be back for more!… As soon as I can get some more week days off from work. I think next time I will try something smothered in gravy, or maybe even the chicken and pork adobo…