Sherman's Food Adventures: Aloha Hawaiian Grill

Aloha Hawaiian Grill

Oh how I miss Hawaii!  Totally love the weather there, the beaches and of course, the food!  Such an eclectic fusion of cuisines due to the many different cultures intermixing on the islands.  Although we have Hawaiian eats available on the mainland, there isn't much of a selection locally unless you are looking for poke.  Even with that, you get a mish mash of what is supposed to be poke, but sometimes you end up with fish salad.  So when Nora tipped me off a Aloha Hawaiian Grill in Steveston, I just knew I had to meet up with her to try it out!

We were lucky to get there at opening since it was pretty busy by the time it hit Noon. So we had to get some classics including the Hawaiian Garlic Shrimp on rice with a side of mac salad and corn.  This was not bad with plenty of garlickiness and butter.  I would've liked to see a bit more salt, but it was enough to season the shrimp.  About that shrimp, they were of a decent size and plump.  Good buttery snap and natural briny aroma.  Rice underneath was chewy and dry (in a good way).

We also got the Luau Pork Ribs with the same sides.  These slow-cooked ribs were fall-off-the-bone tender but at the same time, they didn't exactly fall-off-the-bone upon contact.  Hence, this was the perfect balance between being tender while not being mushy.  These were sweet and a bit smoky from char off the grill.  I found the mac salad to be decent with al dente noodles and not too much mayo.  It could've used a bit more seasoning though.

Our last big plate was the Loco Moco featuring the usual beef patty with brown gravy and a fried egg on rice.  I quite liked this as the beef patty was large and thick.  It was moist with tender beef and benefited from the sweetness of the onions.  It had been seared nicely and exhibited good caramelization.  The gravy was flavourful but not salty.  The mushrooms added some body and umaminess.  Once again, the dry rice was perfect for accepting the gravy.

Of course couldn't forget about the ever popular Spam Musubi right?  We got a couple of these and right off the bat, I liked how the spam-to-rice ratio was almost 50:50.  Furthermore, the rice was mixed with furikake which meant extra umaminess.  Like it should be, the spam was teriyaki-sauce glazed  which helped also flavour the rice.  I would've liked to see a more aggressive sear on the spam though.  Otherwise, this was a solid version.

We ended off with a small bowl of Shaved Ice in Mango, Cherry and Passionfruit topped with some condensed milk.  I found the shaved ice to be rather snowy and light.  Hence it was easy to eat and not "icy" if that makes any sense.  The flavours could've been anything because it all just tasted sweet to me.  Just enough condensed milk so that the whole thing wasn't sickingly sweet.  Overall, I thought the food at Aloha was pretty good for the mainland.  I still miss the stuff in Hawaii though, but flying there will cost me, so not really fair to compare.

The Good:
- Generally good eats
- Nice people
- Wonderful location

The Bad:
- Garlic shrimp could be more flavourful
- Parking in the village sucks


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