Ate-Oh-Ate is a Hawaiian BBQ joint on East Burnside St. in Portland, Oregon.
Vintage Hawaii license plates!
More vintage Hawaii license plates (current design on the bottom)
The decor of the place was a bit off-putting. It felt a bit cramped in there and needed more lighting. However, I must give mad props to the Hawaii license plates at the ordering counter. That's just absolutely cool stuff. For a guy like me who grew up on the Islands, it's always nice to see some historical Hawaiian items. License plates...a new one on me! As for the food, I ordered a kalua pig/shoyu chicken combination plate with mac salad ($9.95). It appeared that the shoyu chicken was cooked to order.
Shoyu chicken and kalua pig combo plate w/mac salad
The kalua pig was a good attempt, but not quite there for me. I loved that Ate-Oh-Ate put some cooked cabbage in there, but the cabbage really became more of a browned, stewed cabbage by this point, as opposed to a cooked, stir-fried-style cabbage that would at least retain its vibrant green color (trust me, in terms of taste and appearance, I prefer the latter). The kalua pig would benefit from a bit longer slow-cooking and a bit more salt to get even more tender.
The shoyu chicken was a bone-in variety, with the skin still on the chicken thigh. It had good flavor, but could have benefited from cooking a little longer, low and slow-style, so that the chicken could fall off the bone better. The chopped scallions on the top of the chicken was good for presentation, but really nothing more than that for me.
They almost forgot to put my mac salad in the plate lunch -- and had I not pulled the to-go box out of the package to snap a photo, I wouldn't have gotten the mac salad at all. I'm glad I got that mac salad...I'm a fan of Ate-Oh-Ate's version. Very authentic in taste and look. A little too much mayo for my liking, and perhaps a bit more pepper would have made it a better side dish for me.
I enjoyed the shoyu chicken and kalua pig juices/sauces getting on the two scoops of rice and the mac salad so that I could enjoy the rice and mac salad in the true "Hawaiian style," so to speak. I like that Ate-Oh-Ate also offers chicken katsu and saimin. A family ordered those two dishes and, from what I saw, the food looked pretty authentic.
Average service here, nothing over-the-top or bad. Overall, a respectable attempt at two authentic Hawaiian BBQ creations, but the overall meal could have been better and the decor needs major work. In my book, Ate-Oh-Ate gets an average score. 5.5/10