I should have realized that my first trip to Cinnamon's would end in tears. Or, at least, in an uncomfortably long wait. This newly opened transplant from Kailua, Hawaii, is on the bucket list of every OL (office lady) in the Kanto area, and its location near Yokohama's waterfront guarantees heavy walk-in traffic. I also made the mistake of visiting during Golden Week, when Japan's second city is thronged with tens of thousands of tourists — most of whom seemed to be queuing outside the restaurant when I arrived.

In the end, hunger got the best of me and I gave up my spot in line, walking past the front windows to see young women and families tucking into sandwiches, guava pancakes and eggs Benedict.

I myself had come for a different dish: the Hawaiian plate, Cinnamon's version of the down-home,one-tray combos that are a mainstay of takeout shacks in Oahu and beyond. This meal-in-a-box traditionally includes a scoop or two of white rice; macaroni or potato salad; and a main item, which might be anything from fresh fish to chicken cutlets. When I finally tried one at the restaurant's Tokyo branch last week, I was bemused to see that my fellow diners had all chosen breakfast food instead.