Ed Kawamura Sr. of Veterans Helping Veterans liked the ribs during the Battle of the Food Trucks presented Sunday evening by Parking Lot Paina at the Kauai Veterans Center parking lot in Lihue.
“The ribs are really good,” Kawamura said. “I don’t know about anything else.”
The ribs, produced by using the special ingredient — honey from the Kauai Nectar Co. — finished in third place at the battle.
“The secret to good Spam musubi is strawberry guava jam,” said Robin Fisher of Kauai Nectar Co. “Just remember that — strawberry guava jam for Spam musubi.”
Hundreds of patrons dropped in on the Kauai Veterans Center parking lot to take advantage of the food truck offerings by participating food trucks using the special ingredient.
Proceeds went to benefit the Hawaii Foodbank Kauai Branch and the Kauai Veterans Museum, that had a contingent of MASH-clad volunteers running around filling in supplies and other needs under the curtain of entertainment from Frank Cruz and Cruz Control.
“I’m on my way to the Koloa Jodo Mission toro nagashi, so I’m just picking up something on the way,” a guest said, hurriedly packing her selection before driving off without giving Augie “T” Talbo an opportunity to chat.
Patrons continued to stream into the gate despite the rumor wave that saw Dim ‘N’ Den Sum run out of its offering a little more than two hours into the event. Dim ‘N’ Den Sum copped the largest number of votes from diners to take top honors in the event that capitalized on the popularity of food trucks while raising funds for a Kauai nonprofit organization.
Charlmaine and Adams Bulosan, parents of Dr. Addison Bulosan, one of the event organizers, were enjoying some Dim ‘N’ Den Sum pork belly, but only after standing in line at the Molokoa Food Company (owned and operated by another son, Adrian Bulosan) truck for a lobster roll.
Molokoa Food Company finished the night in the runner-up position over D. Green’s BBQ truck. Chipwrecked finished fourth followed by Rafael’s Aloha Taco and the Full-fill Crepes.
The event also featured vendors including Krystl Apeles rolling out her Airstream trailer containing designer beach wear.
“It’s my debut,” Apeles said. “Outside of the problems with the inverter, this Airstream is totally solar. My fiance did a lot of the inside work, including creating the fixtures out of wood from a Hanalei water tower. The floors were all milled from trees that were grown here.”
“This turnout is really good,” said Aida Cruz, manager of the Kauai Veterans Center. “It’s a lot more than just having a show. We need to make sure to do this again next year.”
Future events planned by the Parking Lot Paina include a Battle of the Sides, where food trucks from each shore will be challenging each other for the title of “Best Food Truck on Each Shore,” using a special ingredient. And there is a Battle of the Islands brewing when Kauai’s best food truck can battle trucks from other islands.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.