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Loco moco is a traditional meal in Hawaiian cuisine. There are many variations, but the essential loco moco consists of white rice, topped with a hamburger patty, a fried egg, and brown gravy. Variations may include chili, bacon, ham, Spam, kalua pork, linguiça, teriyaki beef, teriyaki chicken, mahi-mahi, shrimp, oysters, and other meats. Loco Moco is also the name of a Hawaiian-based restaurant chain that serves Hawaiian rice bowl dishes.
The dish is rumored to have been created at either the Lincoln Grill or May's Fountain, two restaurants in Hilo, Hawaii, in the 1940s. The most probable origin of the name is that "loco" is a variation of "local", while "moco" was added simply because it rhymed.
The dish is widely popular in Hawaii and now on the menu at many Hawaiian restaurants in the mainland. In keeping with the standards of Japanese cuisine, rice is used as a staple starch, finished off with the hamburger, gravy, and fried eggs to create a dish that does not require the preparation time of bento. Loco moco can be found in various forms on many Pacific islands from Hawaii to Samoa to Guam and Saipan, and is also popular in Japan.
This dish was featured on the "Taste of Hawai'i" episode of Girl Meets Hawai'i, a Travel Channel show hosted by Samantha Brown. The episode features the dish being served at the popular restaurant, Hawaiian Style Cafe, in Waimea together with the plate lunch, another Hawaiian specialty dish.
The loco moco was also featured on a Honolulu-based episode of the Travel Channel show Man v. Food (this episode aired in the show's second season). The host, Adam Richman, tried this dish at the Hukilau Café, located in nearby Laie.
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