Kelly Kakalia, co-owner of The Musubi Truck, said they wanted to open the food truck because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We thought about it for several years,” said Kakalia, whose husband Alexander is one of the chefs inside the truck. “And then when the pandemic hit, we said ‘we’re going for it. It is a food truck. We’re outdoors.’ And there are lots of people who need to work. We’re supporting local, too.”
The Musubi Truck, open daily from 8 a.m. until everything is sold out, is located in NoKa Market in Kapa‘a.
“The ‘Kinda Cabb?’” said one satisfied customer who was finishing up his lunch in the comfort of his car and returning to discard the paper to-go container. “Wow. It’s the best thing I’ve had. The Musubi Truck is da bomb.”
Kelly Kakalia, an alumnus of Kapa‘a High, said she and her business partner Makua Woodside, a Kamehameha Schools alumnus, both grew up with musubi, specifically the Spam musubi.
“One night, Makua had the ono for something more, and ordered a specialty musubi,” Kelly Kakalia said. “That was the seed for The Musubi Truck. Someone should open a musubi truck with ‘something more.’”
The Kinda Cabb is described as imu-style pulled pork and cabbage with a side of lomi tomato and local poi, and there is Da Bomb, which is kalbi-marinated Wailua beef, kim chi cucumbers, carrots and a side of spicy aioli.
“Everyone can use help right now,” Kelly Kakalia said. “Our poi is from Hanalei Poi, Waipa, and even Ben Kuhaulua. The beef is from local ranchers, and we have to keep going so we can do our part to help.”
At the heart of The Musubi Truck is the Keiki Box that Ku‘ulei Smith described as a Spam musubi, a piece of mochi, and a kid-sized container of drink packed in a to-go box resembling a small saimin box. That could also be called the heart of The Musubi Truck offering of filled musubi.
“They’ve been really busy from when they opened July 3,” said Kalani Long of nearby Garden Isle CBD. “This is the first time I’ve been able to try them out, and the Kinda Cabb the guy was talking about sounds really good.”
Kelly Kakalia said customers are able to order online at themusubitruck.square.site and prepay so their orders are ready when they arrive.
“We’re keeping the menu simple for now,” Kelly Kakalia said. “It’s the basics, and we need to do it good. The community loves this. We opened on July 3 and was so sold out we had to shut Saturday and Sunday. They have so many suggestions on what we can add, but we just need to keep on working so we can keep people working.”
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.