Obama's Not-So-Secret Hawaiian Burger Joint

Photograph of avocado burger from Kua 'Aina from skyseeker on Flickr.

After reading Pico Iyer's feature on Barack Obama in Time, Amy Wolf of Sunset Magazine tried to figure out what unnamed Hawaiian burger joint Iyer and Obama had eaten at on Oahu's North Shore in 2006. She came up with two possibilities—Teddy's Bigger Burgers and The Shack Hawaii Kai—the only problem with them being that neither of them is on the North Shore.

My search for burger joints on the North Shore resulted in one prominent answer: Kua 'Aina. I ran this past Serious Eats' Hawaiian contributor, Kathy YL Chan, who responded (through IM), "OMG I LOVE!!! THAT'S MY HOME BURGER SHOP!! THE AVOCADO BURGER!"

Avocado burger? Like the avocado burger Obama had picked up from the unnamed burger joint? According to author Paul Theroux, who was with Iyer, yes; Obama "was squirting ketchup onto seven hamburgers." Here's a more recent photo of Obama at Kua 'Aina. Judging from the photo above, I can see why Kathy responded so excitedly—that's like an avocado sandwich with a burger patty inside.

Kua 'Aina

66-160 Kamehameha Hwy # C, Haleiwa HI 96712 (map) 808-637-6067