Da Bomb BBQ Brings Texas-Style Grub to Big Island

July 26, 2019, 10:11 AM HST (Updated July 26, 2019, 10:11 AM)
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If summer had a scent, it would be the smell of barbecue. Since it’s always summer in Hawai‘i, the delicious smoky smell of summer can be enjoyed all year long thanks to Da Bomb BBQ and its owner, Jason Lofland.

Raised in Alaska, Lofland studied culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu, Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon. He moved to Hawai‘i in 2000 and interned at the Westin Maui. Today, he likes to say he’s a “Le Cordon Bleu chef with a smoking problem.”

“I started my career in Maui, where I did a six-week internship at the Westin,” said Lofland. “In 2001, after the internship ended, I moved to the Big Island.”

Lofland worked in various kitchens when he first moved to Hawai‘i Island and eventually found his calling when an idea came to him in a dream.

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“I’ve liked barbecue ever since I was a kid, and one night I actually had a dream about it,” he said. “I had a dream I owned a restaurant on Aliʻi Drive called Smoke on the Water. It was located in the old-style Asher location where Chillin’ on the Bay is located now. It was a very vivid dream.”

When he awoke from the dream, he was inspired to start a barbecue business. He realized the first thing he needed to do was build a smoker—and that is what he did. It’s been seven years since Lofland had the dream and built his smoker, and today, he boasts one of the most successful barbecue businesses in town—Da Bomb BBQ Food Truck.

“I’m at Lowe’s on Wednesdays and Fridays and I work various events on the weekend,” said Lofland. “From the Soul Fest to the rodeos in Waimea and Hilo, I set up my truck and feed people great food.”

Lofland specializes in Texas-style brisket, which he slow-smokes for 12 hours, then serves with barbecue sauce and a chimichurri sauce. He also serves up ribs, pulled pork, barbecue chicken and a daily special. His most recent special is a brisket Loco Moco.

“Everyone is going crazy over the Loco Moco,” said Lofland. “It’s basically a Loco Moco with a half-pound of brisket, two scoops of rice, an egg and brown gravy topped with caramelized onions.”

In addition to the Loco Moco, barbecue lovers can choose between the delicious pulled pork mac and cheese, BBQ ribs, brisket or one of the daily specials. One favorite daily special is the smoky bacon grilled cheese served with fire-roasted tomato soup.

Islanders don’t need to go to Texas to get great barbecue. Look for Da Bomb Food Truck at Lowe’s in Kailua-Kona and community events. Da Bomb BBQ is also available for private parties. Call (808) 238-2240 for more information.

BBQ beans at Da Bomb BBQ Food Truck. PC: Karen Rose

Brisket with barbecue and chimichurri sauce and beans at Da Bomb BBQ Food Truck. PC: Karen Rose

Jalapeno cornbread at Da Bomb BBQ Food Truck. PC: Karen Rose

Owner Jason Lofland in Da Bomb BBQ Food Truck. PC: Karen Rose

Pulled pork mac and cheese at Da Bomb BBQ Food Truck. PC: Karen Rose

Smoky bacon grilled cheese with fire-roasted tomato soup at Da Bomb BBQ Food Truck. PC: Karen Rose

Karen Rose
Karen Rose is a writer and journalist living on the Big Island of Hawai‘i. Her writing focuses on food, wine, travel, arts and entertainment. She never met a food she didn't like—except black licorice.
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