Restaurants & Bars 5

Aloha Island Grille (Santa Cruz)

Carb Lover | May 9, 200505:36 PM

I posted a general query about Hawaiian plate lunch on General Topics and thought I'd do a quick write up on the place that inspired it. Second time at Aloha Island Grille for us and it was damn ONO (just learned that ono means very good, da bomb, etc). See link for their website w/ all info and menu (w/ some pics!).

Our take-out order is pictured below. If you look carefully, Y's legs are in the top left of the pic, as he's impatiently waiting to pounce on the food. I picked up the food and it smelled so friggin' good that I could barely wait to get home. We ordered:

Spam musubi ($1.75): Hunk of spam grilled, pressed against white rice, wrapped in nori. A wonderful little treat. My pic doesn't do it justice. If you cut into it, looks just like their pic on their website (sans sesame).

Kal-bi ribs plate ($6.75): Korean-style beef short ribs marinated in Asian soy sauce mixture and then grilled. Delish. Flavorful and tender w/ some nice chew here and there. Y devoured it like a wild hyena.

Chicken katsu plate ($5.75): panko-breaded, deep-fried chicken breast. Well-fried, not greasy at all. Chicken fresh. Not pictured, but came w/ an amazing brown vinegary dipping sauce. Best chicken nuggets ever!

Sides that come w/ plates:
Macaroni salad: Some of the best I've ever had. Pasta is plump, not overly drenched in mayo. Fresh shards of carrots and scallions add sweetness and bite.
Rice: Generous portion of white rice. I'm picky about my rice and their version is great. Just the right texture.
Kimchee (not pictured): Tangy, spicy but not blow your head off (which I don't like anyway). Free but need to request this.
Canned pineapple ring: kind of for garnish, but actually, the perfect way to end the meal IMO.
Noteworthy: even the cabbage under the meat was delicious. Sweet, tender, had to be organic or something.

Take-out was very convenient, ready in 10 min. Food is def. in my occasional indulgence category b/c it's rather salty and stick-to-your-ribs. Want to try the ramen, coconut prawns, and coconut pudding. Perfect picnic food if you wanted to take it down to the beach. Nice outdoor patio if you want to eat in. Major downside is the tiny parking lot and limited street parking. CASH ONLY w/ ATM inside.

Link: http://www.alohaislandgrille.com/

Image: http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y45/...

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