OMG, just – YUM!
After last night, I can say I’ve tasted Hawaiian cuisine, and that I am now probably a life-long fan.
Last night, after seeing “Scott Pilgrim vs the World” (which was GREAT) a group of ten of us descended upon Aloha Eats, which is a Hawaiian Grill located just south of Wrightwood on Clark in Chicago – which bills itself as “Chicago’s FIRST Hawaiian Mix Plate!” Promptly, we found ourselves in carb-tastic foodie heaven on earth.
(First, however, we faced a mini-drama, as we didn’t realize how tiny the place really was. I’d envisioned a sit-down place, but it’s a tiny storefront place with a few tables. Our group was about to order our food and take it back to our apartment to eat when – happily – a large family got up and we managed to steal their seats.)
First and foremost, Eric and I shared a plate of Loco Moco. If you’re not aware, Loco Moco is a bed of white rice, topped with two hamburger patties, gravy, and two fried eggs. (Pictured above.) It’s a heart attack on a plate, but sweet jesus it’s a delight. On the Hawaii episode of Man vs Food, Adam Richman marvels over the dish, and in real life it truly is a marvelous thing.
Next, I had a spectacular bowl of Saimin (essentially ramen soup) with Spam. Yes, Spam. It’s a Hawaii thing. Though my husband despises it, I don’t personally find it to be all that bad – especially fried. The Loco Moco was seriously tasty, but it’s the Saimin I will go back for. I adored it. We also shared a seafood plate, which had fried shrimp, mahi mahi, and scallops, which were also fantastic. It was a lot of fried food, and a heck of a lot of carbs, but it was all really good and I can’t wait to go back. (Anthony Bourdain featured Spam Saimin on the Honolulu episode of No Reservations, which is where I first knew I wanted to try it.)
It’s not a fancy place., and it also won’t break the bank. The food is served in styrofoam containers with plastic silverware, and … it’s perfect. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. The restaurant is BYOB, but they have fountain pop and a variety of canned juices. (Hayley and Scott noted a slight disapointment that the fruit punch on the fountain pop machine wasn’t Hawaiian Punch, which seems like an easy cash in – but alas.)
Loved it. Absolutely loved it. I even “liked” them on facebook.
(Side Note: Aloha Eats is located next to the positively luscious Molly’s Cupcakes. We partook of cupcakes post-dinner, and it was a total win of a dining experience. The Cookie Monster cupcake was grand – with a ball of cookie dough in the center. No wonder they won the Food Network cupcake challenge.)
I write this with a happy heart and memories of a full-to-the-brim stomach.