Authentic Hawaiian Catering

"We specialize in contemporary Hawaiian BBQ and traditional luau dishes. Authenticity is our strength. Utilizing My Grandmothers Recipes. Sharing our culture through our local dishes. Hawaiians cooking traditional hawaiian food, what we learned as children growing up back home with our mothers and grandmothers. We take a tremendous amount of pride in carrying on these traditions and doing it the right way." Char - Owner
Popular Dishes

Popular Dishes

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Testimonials

Testimonials

We love our customers and they love us

Carissa U.

I started my search for Hawaiian food caterers on Yelp because I had a few events coming up this year. Since I never tried Char's food before, I messaged her on Yelp and we scheduled a tasting for $100 for 4 people. She comes to you and brings a variety of food. We even had leftovers for later. It was so so good that we put a deposit down right on the spot.

So far we had her cater two events I was hosting - a baby shower for about 30 guests and my kid's 1st birthday for about 130 guests. And let me tell you, Char definitely delivers some of the best service and reasonable price for the quality and quantity of food. You can tell she really cares - both about customer and the food. When someone is passionate about it, they won't let you down. Char is all that and more.

So of course on to the food...
Our family faves (so far):
Kimchi - I can seriously just eat all the time. Just enough spice and goes perfect with all the proteins.
Crab potato salad - So good. Another great side to get.
BBQ chicken - Her family recipe and I can see why. So moist and delicious.
Kalbi - Cooked perfectly and oh-so tender.
Kalua pork - My husband was never really a fan of kalua pork, but this changed him. We love it.
Garlic shrimp - I LOVE garlic. So with garlic shrimp, you can't go wrong. Not overcooked either.
Brookies - Brownie and cookies TOGETHER. YES.
Mango tarts - I'll be honest, I don't care for mango that much. But the mango tarts with the mango custard is a nice light bite to round off the meal.

Let me finish by saying this is a 4.5 star rating rounded up to a huge 5 stars. I only minus .5 of a star because Auntie Char gave me a heart attack when I didn't get any response via text before 2 of my events I hosted. But once I heard from her, she's so calming and funny. Couple of hiccups for our big party. I noticed that a dessert I really wanted at our party wasn't there (ube and mango tarts). There was more than enough desserts so it was kinda okay. The other but kinda biggie for me was they were late (almost an hour) for setup for our big party. In the end it was great and everyone was happy with the food.

With that all said it just shows you how much I appreciate her and LOVE the food that even after that I will continue to use her catering service and recommend her highly to everyone. Auntie Char is such a great person to work with. She makes you feel like family. So if you're looking for a caterer for your future events, look no further. Auntie Char will take care of you. We are definitely her clients for life.

tl;dr
Just call up Auntie Char. You're welcome. :)
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Thyra A.

Char the owner of IWALANIS HAWAIIAN CATERING and her entire staff catered a very special and memorable event for me, THE ALII'S REUNION CONCERT at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Long Beach.  She came highly recommended from several people who have used her catering services.   She returned every phone call in a timely manner and even met with me at the venue for a meeting with the entire planning committee.  

Char pays extreme and meticulous  attention to every detail from the way the food is presented, beautiful flower arrangements, and professional service from her staff.  The food was incredible with generous servings and everything was delicious!!!!!  She arrived before schedule to make sure everything was in place and that I was satisfied.  

I highly recommend IWALANIS HAWAIIAN CATERING for all of your events.  You will be amazed at the numerous selections to choose from and she will work with you no matter what your budget is.  Her personality and warmth will capture you.

With fondest Aloha and gratitude,
Thyra Abraham
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Sue O.

The Best Hawaiian food ever!! Char and her husband are the most amazing people.  I have a lot of family members from Hawaii, the food is so good it's almost like being back in  Hawaii. We just had our son wedding catered. They set up everything so nicely and not to mention delicious home made deserts. Everything looks and taste amazingly delicious.
if you want the most authentic Hawaiian call them.  They deserve more then 5stars.
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Stefanie S.

100% recommend Iwalanis Hawaiian Catering if you're looking for authentic Local Hawaii food for any event! I haven't had such legit Hawaiian grindz anywhere else in LA. The food was sooooo Ono...made the way only a local aunty knows how! Aunty Char and her team were amazing--got to talk story and it really felt like I was back on the islands. From the beautiful dessert display to the roast pork and everything in between, cannot beat Iwalanis! Winnaz!
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Karen Y.

Our school used Char and her catering company, Iwalanis Hawaiian Catering, for a school fundraising function. The food was so wonderful at that event that I decided to use her for a family reunion. It was amazing! She was so easy to work with and generous with her knowledge and flexibility of service. She came and setup the food beautifully in our home and our family served themselves. Our family loved the food and generous portions. We had family members going back for seconds and thirds and still had yummy packages to send home with them. It continued to be the talk at family gatherings throughout the rest of the year. I NEVER hesitate to recommend Char to friends, family, and business associates. Char, her team, and company embody true Hawaiian aloha.
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Janelle L.

Aunty Char brought the spirit of Aloha and  Hawaiian Grindz to California! She catered at my cousins wedding reception tonight and the food was so good and DELICIOUS. I am from Hawaii and the food  made me miss home so much. If you want real authentic Hawaiian food, Aunty Char and her team will deliver! They did such an amazing job. You won't be disappointed, I promise! Cheeeeeeeehoooo!
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Joemm B.

Auntie and the crew know how to cook! Attended my Aunt's funeral reception yesterday, and I was not expecting a spread quite like this.

Apparently, the funeral ended a bit ahead of schedule, so guests showed up to the reception earlier then expected. However, the Iwalanis team easily adapted and set up in great time to feed the 100 guests in attendance. Set up was beautiful and efficient.

I regret not taking photos, which I usually do, but obvious proof that I was more concerned on devouring the delicious grinds.

I was transported back to the islands, and I'm pretty picky with Hawaiian food. Hot white rice, delicious mac salad, 2 other salads, kalua pig, bbq chicken, Kalbi ribs, and an entire roasted pig. The food was authentic and delicious. Literally better than a lot of places I've visited in the islands to be absolutely honest. Their recipes should be protected!

The dessert table was also not something to be overlooked. Beautiful selection of cupcakes and pastries, wonderfully presented.

Everything truly broke da mout! I could've chee hoo'd in the middle of the meal. Would definitely recommend their catering service!
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Mrs. M.

Char and her team recently catered our baby shower. Her team did a fantastic job! The food, customer service, and decorations was exactly what we were looking for. I would 100% recommend their services.
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Cindy N.

Where should I start? Char and her Iwalanis team are amazing from the beginning right to the very end!

I first contacted Char a little over a year before our reception because we were getting married in Kauai and to wanted to bring some Hawaiian flavor to our reception here on the mainland. From the first phone call I could tell there was something special about Char and her personality and before we had even tasted the food, we booked with her.

We discussed the menu over the phone several times and set a day for the tasting. Char and her brother came over to our apt and brought SO much food. We sat around, talked, ate her delicious food, and kicked it like we were family. Our conversation ranged from the actual catering to places we've vacationed, her brother, what her favorite foods were, and swapping stories. Char felt like family by the time the tasting was over.

A year goes by and our reception was finally happening! Char called me a week or two in advanced to go over the menu again, to let us know what we needed to do, and this is when I asked if we could do a pupus (appetizers) and she made amazing suggestions. The pupus were a HIT. The comment that I kept hearing over and over was how amazing the food was - especially the Poke and Salmon. People couldn't get enough. My brother-in-law was actually upset when they put the Poke away for dinner!

Char surprised us with cupcakes for desserts and people were raving about them. Not going to lie, one of our guests thought the cupcakes were so good he even ate the flower on top of one because he thought it was part of the cupcake.

There were some hiccups with the venue (like the venue not providing the light for the buffet like they were supposed to) but Char breezed through it all like a professional. She was ready to have her crew whip out cell phones to light up the food. Thank goodness she didn't have to - but she was willing!

I made sure to grab a photo with Char because she's just so special to me. She made my guests feel welcomed by talking to them, welcoming them, and just being very pleasant. Her food was amazing (we took the rest home and ate again that night) and so is her presentation.

I can't wait to have Char and her Iwalanis crew cater my next event!
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Daniel I.

I just want to give you a HUGE thank you to Char and her staff for catering our party! Everything was absolutely fantastic!
All of our guests thoroughly enjoyed your food and services. We were getting compliments about it throughout the night.
Thanks for going above and beyond (and dealing with the whole paypal issue).  It was much more than I had expected.
Our party was SO much more successful because of you and all your staff!
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Dianna R.

I do not enjoy giving bad reviews to places that have stellar reviews on Yelp. It's truly disappointing. Unfortunately, this is one of those times.

I found Iwalanis on Yelp as I was looking for dessert caterers for my engagement party. I saw the work and detail she put into all of her desserts and was quite impressed and excited to call and book her for my party. After some phone tag, I got Char on the phone and she quoted me $2.75/per dessert. She had said "that is the price I have for all my desserts just to make things easy for me." Mind you, I'm getting quotes with fondant work and without. So I was surprised to receive an agreement 2 days later with a higher price. It wasn't much higher but it's not what she said over the phone. So I emailed her back questioning why this was and her reason was because of the fondant work.

It just didn't sit well with me that she did that without discussing with me first so I emailed her that I didn't think that was fair for her to do so & that I wasn't going to move forward. Her response? That it was "her plan to throw in free desserts as a surprise." That's fine and all, but that just proved to me that it was a sneaky way for me to disregard that she still upped the price on me. Not cool.

I'm truly disappointed that I won't have her desserts at my party but that's not how I do business nor do I appreciate it being done to me.

Hope everyone else's experience is much better than mine.
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Alicia P.

I contracted Iwalanis for my wedding appetizers and they did not disappoint.  My guests and I loved the food.  The pricing was inexpensive, and they delivered without a hitch.  I will most definitely keep Iwalanis in mind for future events.
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Stephanie N.

We want to send an incredibly heartfelt THANK YOU to Iwalanis Hawaiian Catering!  We have used Iwalanis the last two years to cater our small non-profit organization's Annual Picnic and we are so happy that we did!

The food is amazingly delicious - Hawaiian Chicken, Macadamia Nut Crusted Salmon and the Kakua Pork are ridiculously good!  We also had the Kale Salad as well as the Macaroni Salad, so good!  Desserts are always a hit, not only are they delicious but truly beautiful works of art.

Iwalanis shows up on time, sets up beautifully and took amazing care in working with us.  They even threw in some additional items!!

Our employees LOVE the food and we plan on using them again next year!  

Call them the next time you need a Hawaiian caterer, you will not be disappointed!
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Michelle S.

"THE BEST CATERING I'VE EVER HIRED" And I've  hired plenty. Authentic, Delicious Food, Presentation Awesome, No Shortcuts Here, Desert Table Absolutely Beautiful, Scrumptious and wiped out before Dinner. they ate em up! Our guests from Hi. And some who just went to a Luau in Hi. Said Char's food was better. My husband is from Hi. Trust me this is Da Kine. Char is beyond amazing, so considerate and professional, Goes above and beyond to making your event Special. Everything went perfect. Thank you Char, Dano for making our sad Day, a memorable, Delicious, perfect one, "Uncle Butch  would've loved Iwalani's Catering. Mahalo
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Kathy K.

She out did herself again!!! Thank you Char for another successful event. Everybody loved the food.
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Gerald H.

Had an event last Sunday and I can't say enough what a fantastic job Char did for us.  My mother was born in Hawaii so I grew up eating Hawaiian food at home and in Hawaii.  I have to admit after eating Char's food that it is better than any place I've had in Hawaii.  Once you have tasted her food, every "Hawaiian" eatery on the mainland is junk.  Her kalua pork is made in a traditional "imu" without adding any salt.  The smoky flavor is to die for.

Her hospitality and generosity is in the true spirit of ALOHA.

Would highly recommend her for any catering event.  Our guests raved about her food and she is the best.  She is like having your favorite auntie do all the cooking.
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J J.

Mahalo for the wonderful service and delicious food  we had for our  end of summer birthday party !
Iwalanis was a great choice! Auntie Char was very helpful in figuring out  our menu, and also gave us some important reminders of what we should be preparing for  to make our event a successful one.
Our guests were truly delighted with our spread that afternoon and some of them already asked who did our catering that day.
Mahalo to the Iwalanis team and more power to you all!
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Reggie A.

Auntie Char catered a reception for us last minute. She really didn't have the time, but she accommodated us with the true spirit of aloha. The food is soooo authentic and everyone loved the kalua pig straight from Hawaii!  All the sides were amazing.  Made myself a bomb mixed plate!!!
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Monica B.

We are very happy with our catering! Everyone love it and had great complement.  So good I only had one bite of it when I turned around it was gone!
Thank you for showing my son how to cut it !
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Abegail B.

So I was looking for a catering for my event and found her service in yelp, she's very accommodating at first but the 2nd call to confirm my arrangement to her she said she'll call me back but she didn't,I even e mail her but she didn't respond so I decided to go to another catering service. Her food might be great but she should at least reach out to her future customer.
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