Kona Kitchen
8501 Fifth Ave NE, 517-5662
Mon-Fri 10 am-10 pm, Sat 8 am-10 pm, Sun 8 am-9 pm.a

You'd think that in the gleaming, perfect 21st century, somebody somewhere would have perfected hangover food. I mean, my god, in parts of Germany bleary-eyed drunks reportedly scarf down marinated fish the morning after (rest in peace, you poor misguided bastards). Fortunately for the drinking world, though, a Maple Leaf restaurant, Kona Kitchen, is unintentionally pushing the hangover-food envelope, offering hope through a bizarre Hawaiian concoction called the Loco Moco.

The key to the efficacy of the Loco Moco ($5.95) is its simplicity--and gravy, lots of gravy. It's a humble hamburger patty with a fried egg on top, plunked down on a couple scoops of white rice, and buried under enough brown gravy to take away the hurt. Hot, filling, and with a perfect gravy-to-rice ratio, it's served in a big white bowl that makes you feel like a 3-year-old (perhaps deservedly so). And while it may not completely cure a hangover, it definitely blunts the urge to throw oneself under a moving bus.

For the Moco-phobic, Kona Kitchen offers other comfort foods that can take the edge off, including breakfasts (available until 4:00 p.m.), "classics" like the Broke Da Mouth Beef Stew ($6.50, lunch), and sides like rice, macaroni salad, and Spam Musubi ($1.95; okay, maybe an acquired taste, but still, it's good--sort of a fried-Spam sushi without the wasabi).

More a Hawaiian-flavored family pancake house than anything else, Kona Kitchen probably didn't intend to be an alcoholic hot spot (puking is no doubt frowned upon there--er, unless you're a kid, maybe), but its Loco Moco has the potential to catapult the Drinking Arts into the modern age. And perhaps save a few German drunks in the bargain.

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