Restaurant Reviews + Wikiwiki Hawaiian


Even though I’ve been eating out quite a bit lately, I’ve been very remiss about writing about the restaurants I’ve visited. Of course, you could argue that there is absolutely no reason why I should be writing about the restaurants in the first place, but as long as I do it, I figure I should be comprehensive. I’m particularly interested on being comprehensive about San Leandro restaurants, as there aren’t really good resources out there on the San Leandro restaurant scene (and given how poor it is, no wonder). The problem comes when I go to a restaurant I don’t particularly like and then I forget to write the review. After a while, i feel compell to go back and write it, and yet I don’t want to go back and waste money in subpar food. But if I don’t, my guide will never be comprehensive. This has happened with Buffet Fortuna – a horrible Chinese buffet located near the downtown Safeway, with Bancheros, an institution serving Chef-Boyardee tasting Italian food in Hayward and with a couple of burger joints. It also happened with Wikiwiki Hawaiian BBQ on East 14th, near Bayfair mall, which I visited last June.
Wikiwiki is one of the many Hawaiian BBQ joints that have sprouted in San Leandro in the last year. As I’ve written before, I’ve found most of them to be underwhelming, and while Wikiwiki wasn’t the worst, it certainly does not merit another visit. As in the other restaurants, I found the chicken to have a strange consistency, very dense, almost canned-like. I can only speculate as to what gives chicken that horrible consistency at Hawaiian BBQ places. One theory is that the high salt & sugar content of the marinade dries out the meat making it denser. Anothe perhaps more likely one, is that the places use “chicken filets”, scraps of chicken that are manually pressed and glued together into the desired shape. The taste was OK, nothing special but certainly edible.
I also ordered the lau lau pork, pork wrapped in taro leaves and steamed. The pork was covered with a shredded green substance that might have been the taro leaves, but more likely was seaweed. It certainly imparted a very fishy taste to the pork, which I found quite unpleasant, but others might like.
I can’t imagine going there again.
Wikiwiki Hawaiian BBQ
15696 E 14th St
San Leandro, CA
(510) 276-0777


4 Comments on “Restaurant Reviews + Wikiwiki Hawaiian”

  1. Sarah says:

    I have lived in southern california for quite a while and there are tons of L&Ls in my area. I visited Wikiwiki and thought that the food was same if not better than the other ones that i have eaten at. And about the Lau Lau, i believe that it consists of pork, butterfish, and taro leaves. I loved it, so i think that only local/or people who knows what it is able to judge and enjoy this hawaiian dish. Thanks..just my thoughts.

  2. anonymous says:

    We drive 600 miles from Portland to go to Bancheros; perhaps it’s what you’re ordering; my wife eats the traditional Italian-type food and I get the Double Order New York Steak which is cooked perfectly to order and is every bit as good as Ruth’s Chris. Morton’s, Gaucho’s, etc. But we especially come to Banchero’s for the Soup; and family has us bring it home by the gallon–literally.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am looking for a recipe like the soup at Bancheros. Thank you.

  4. Marga says:

    Wikiwiki is now closed. A Chinese restaurant has opened in its place.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.