Tasty Tuesday: Lani Moku Grill

More than 13,000 people packed the Valley River Center parking lot Saturday and waited in line for the best meals Eugene food trucks have to offer. The event featured 28 food trucks and several stopped serving before the event ended at 3 p.m. because they ran out of food. Kun FusionGrill won "Eugene's Favorite Food Truck" and Lani Moku Grill won "People's Choice Award." (Photo by Amanda Butt)

Right in the beergarden on 6th Avenue in Eugene is a little piece of the Hawaiian island of Oahu. But to most people, it's known as Lani Moku Grill. For Chelsy Navarro, that's exactly what she dreamed of when she opened Lani Moku. A place for other Hawaiian "transplants" like her to feel welcomed and at home.

"I get told from local people who come here a lot, they thank me, this is like their taste of home, you know, and that's a good feeling for me because that's what I was looking for,
Navarro said.

Lani Moku Grill serves Hawaiian-style dishes. Navarro says she describes them as Hawaiin-style because some of the traditional ingredients are hard to find. Lani Moku serves favorites like garlic chicken, spam musubi, and the dish that I tried, the crazy good Loco Moco.

"A loco moco is a bed of rice, handbreaded hamburger patty, over easy egg covered in brown gravy, with your mac salad," Navarro said.

The Loco Moco is. So. Good. Combined with their delicious Mac Salad, it's heaven. It's the kind of food that you want after a bad day- filled with carbs, protein and comfort. Navarro calls it their specialty.

Navarro also stays true to her Hawaiian roots by being incredibly thankful for her family. At the end of every Facebook post for Lani Moku, she always writes, "mahalo"- meaning "thank you" in Hawaii.

"I'm always thanking them, always thanking our fans, our customers, because without all of them, this wouldn't be possible, you know?" Navarro said.

And karma paid her back when Lani Moku won People's Choice Award at the Eugene Food Truck Fest.

"So to earn that award, I mean it meant everything to me, I'm still really excited about it, and I was still really proud to take that home to my son and my wife," Navarro said. "Big shout to my crew, I'm always giving them props because without them, this wouldn't be possible."

Lani Moku Grill

777 W 6th Avenue (Inside the Beergarden Patio)

Monday-Thursday; Sunday 11am-9pm

Friday-Saturday 11am-11pm

(541) 653-6352

KVAL's Tasty Tuesday brings you what to eat and where to eat it around Lane County and beyond. Tasty Tuesday is hosted by KVAL reporter Ellen Meny. Want to suggest Ellen a restaurant? Contact her at emeny@kval.com or find Tasty Tuesday on Facebook and Twitter.

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