Palace Saimin

Kame Ige, founder

A Local Tradition Since 1946

The Palace Saimin Story

Palace Saimin was the vision of Kame Ige, who immigrated from Okinawa in 1924.  Mrs. Ige named the restaurant “Palace Saimin” after the Palace Theater on Beretania street.  The shop was opened in 1946 near the theater and the Palace Saimin experience began.


In 1950 Palace Saimin moved next to Tamashiro Market on N King Street and again in 1960 to the existing location.  In 1975 Mrs. Ige decided to offer the stand to one of her trusted waitresses, Setsuko Arakaki (“Mama”). Every morning you can find Mrs. Arakaki supporting the team, preparing for and serving our loyal customers and keeping the tradition alive.  In 2011, Mrs. Arakaki’s daughter, Susan Nakagawa, decided to retire from her teaching career and join her mother in serving. 

We were also blessed to have learned from Yoshiko Takahashi, a waitress and mentor for over 40 years. Mrs. Takahashi passed away in 2017 but will never be forgotten. Her legacy will be honored in perpetuality within our guiding principles.


Recently, many of the favorite local eateries have served their last customers. Our team is determined to have Palace Saimin survive and, in 2017, Domenic Defiesta committed to support the team and take on a management role with support from the other team members. You will usually see him prepping in the early morning and faithfully running operations in the evenings. 

Our Mission: To sustain the key elements that have made dining at Palace Saimin a tradition that generations of the past have enjoyed, and future generations can experience.


Thank you for all of you who support our humble business and the families it touches.