We were not really sure what to expect as the seven of us headed for Aloha Plates, the next stop in the UFC. This would be the first real Hawaiian lunch spot in our tour. Kau Kau has some Hawaiian roots, but is mostly a Chinese BBQ. We are making faster progress than expected through the UFC. We only have three more spots to go after Aloha Plates. Go MSG150!
Luncher: EmmettLunch: Grilled Saba Lunch Combo - $7.60
Man when I think of Hawaiian food, I think of pineapple and poi. And spam. Spam's pretty good, I must admit, but generally I get tired of Chinese food with some pineapple added. So I wasn't really looking forward to Aloha Plates. They have a nice alcove in the food court, and the workers there greeted us cheerfully.
I was in a seafood mood so I went for the Grilled Saba. It took a little longer than the rest of the food, but dang, it was pretty good. There were two large pieces of Saba, a caesar salad, some rice, and a cilantro flavored soup on the side. You don't see cuts of grilled fish on most food court menus, so this was a really nice surprise. It was a nice well rounded meal for the price. Oh and the fried banana, as you might expect, was AWESOME.
To drink I got some Hawaiian Sun Guava Nectar. Nothing special to report, other than guava is tasty.
My pick today from the store was Gummy Choco! These awesome little suckers come in a paper tube, and are fruit flavored with a chocolate coating. They come in Strawberry, Muscat, and Orange flavors. And they're pretty good too.
Luncher: GearyLunch: Kalau Pork w/ Steamed Cabbage - $7.25
Again, another spot with efficient and friendly service. This must be a requirement for all of the non-Chef Kenzo places in here. The young woman taking orders was very helpful and the owner, busy making lunches, teased her playfully when I asked if she was the owner. They seemed to be enjoying themselves in a mutually respectful, owner/employee way, not at all like Client 9 might have teased "Kristen". After sizing up the menu I went with the seven diamond Kalua Pork with Steamed Cabbage. Although the prices here are the high end of the UFC, they are not Emperors Club VIP type prices. I was able to pay for my lunch without setting off any Patriot Act trip lines.
The pork was excellent. It was shredded like pulled pork, but with little added sauce. It was tender and full of flavor and served over a mound of steamed cabbage that complemented the pork well. The macaroni salad wasn't anything special, but didn't detract from the rest of the meal and certainly helped maintain the authenticity of the dish. Nice job Aloha.
So, if you're not getting any (Hawaiian food) at home and have the urge, Aloha is a great option and you don't have to do any sketchy money transfers, break any laws, or cross any state lines to get it.
Luncher: AdamLunch: Huli Huli Chicken Lunch Combo - $6.50
I was turned onto Hawaiian teriyaki and Hawaiian plate lunches by my dad in Spokane. Whenever I make it back to Spokane in time for lunch on a Friday, he always wants to go that place. I'm into this isht.
I went with one of the cheapest things on the menu... because (a) I wasn't too hungry, and (b) I'm cheap. Huli Huli Chicken sounded good and Hawaiian -- perfect.
What is Huli Huli Chicken? Its a chicken quarter, on a bed of cabbage with a nice light sauce poured on top. The chicken was delicious and the sauce on top softened up the cabbage below to make a nice little slaw. A nice simple lunch. I was able to avoid the skin, unlike the last fowl I had.
Good food. Decent prices. I hope you're noticing a pattern about these restaurants.
Luncher: MichaelLunch: K & K Lunch Combo - $8.50
This review is a bit biased: I have a frequent luncher punch card at Aloha Plates. I went into lunch *knowing* how awesome it is. In a land of food court quality Rice/Meat/Veggie combos Aloha Plates brings fresh and exciting new ingredients like Spam, hamburger patties, and fried eggs.
The lunch dollar value here is fantastic. Many of the dishes are easily big enough for two, or if you want to plump up islander style you can chow the whole thing yourself. The K&K Combo plate I order could easily feed 2. Add in the Fried Bananas and you have enough calories to feed four. I've started keeping spare K&Ks in the trunk of my car. It's going to get me through the first 4 days after the quake hits.
Fried Bananas! You get 3 bananas wrapped in a glorious high calorie coconut batter for only three dollars. No where else in the food court are you going to find fried fruit for this price. We got really lucky and ours still had the loving warmth of the deep fat fryer. It simply doesn't get any better than this.
For me Aloha Plates is one of the three gems of the Uwajimaya Food Court.
Luncher: RobLunch: Nori Wrapped Ahi Katsu Lunch Combo - $8.50
The vegetarian menu at Aloha Plates consists of three options, the first of which is Fried Banana. I find that very amusing. I decided to forgo the second option, Curry with Baby Vegetables, and go with a fish dish, ending up with the Nori Wrapped Ahi Katsu. I'm not sure, but it might be their most expensive item, $8.50 -- a full 25 cents more than the Herb-Crusted Mahi Mahi. The ahi takes a while to prepare -- I ordered first and got my food last. The presentation was about as nice as you can get in a styrofoam container, the wasabi ginger sauce was quite tasty, and the mango salsa added a refreshing splash of color. The nori wrapped ahi katsu, though, didn't quite cut it. There was a mystery filling between the tuna and the seaweed that tasted all right, but I tried not to think about its ingredients. The tuna itself was the weakest part -- it just wasn't good enough for a sushi dish. There was one piece, in fact, that I couldn't bite in half because the tuna was too chewy. The wasabi ginger sauce saved the meal, now that I think about it. Maybe I just shouldn't have ordered fish on a Monday. Oh well.
Luncher: JoeyLunch: Loco Moco Lunch Combo - $6.50
The loco moco was actually better than I was expecting. This is the 2nd time I’ve had loco moco. The other time was at Hawaiian BBQ on the Ave, which I found to be much heavier… they gave about twice as much of everything than Aloha Plates. But I liked that Aloha didn’t use such heavy gravy that would make me feel sick afterwards. My other complaint of Aloha is that they didn’t give me much rice to go with the gravy. I wouldn’t go out of my way to go back, but it was still decent.
Luncher: WayneLunch: Nori Wrapped Ahi Katsu Lunch Combo - $8.50
Aloha Plates PhotosAloha Plates
Aloha Plates closer in
Aloha Plates Menu
Hawaiian Sun selection
The owner at work
Huli Huli Chicken Lunch Combo
K & K Lunch Combo
Kalau Pork w/ Steamed Cabbage
Nori Wrapped Ahi Katsu Lunch Combo
Inside of a Fried Banana
Loco Moco Lunch Combo
Grilled Saba Lunch Combo
Hawaiian Sun Guava Nectar
The heart of the food court
Super Lemon - OH!
Aloha Plates from the street
03/25/08 - Fixed Unbanspoon links