ala wai canal 1920 to 1928



Gloria B. K. Tamashiro, Honolulu
from Honolulu Advertiser, Feb. 20, 2000

'‘'Me, PY Chong!’ he brashly called himself, and so he was known far and wide, the original owner of the world-famous Waikiki Lau Yee Chai restaurant, building in 1929 at the corner of Kuhio and Kalakaua Avenues. … My dad was a waiter at the restaurant. His uniform consisted of a solid blue cheong sam and black satin Chinese cap with a flashy red button on top. There were times when he needed a fresh uniform and would call home for it. Then I would take the parcel of clothing to him, riding the streetcar all the way from downtown, where we lived, to Waikiki. The decor at the entryway was awesome. Past the ornate moon gate doorway was a red, fenced-in fish pond with carps and a rock garden taller than myself. A man-made waterfall greeted me. It was in this restful atmosphere that I would be served a steaming bowl of won ton mein made by my dad. I savored and slurped it slowly, making it last as long as possible. I know he loved me.”