Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hawaiian Time (Salem)

I had reviewed Hawaiian Time's Beaverton location a few months back, and I was pleasantly surprised to see a Salem location open in mid-August 2011. Since it's fairly close to where I live, I decided to check this location out.

Menu (as of August 2011)
I arrived at Hawaiian Time during the lunch rush, and, to my delight, the place was packed with people. I'd rather see a bustling restaurant at peak lunch hour than no one at all. The large glass windows allow massive amounts of sunlight into the dining area, and the place is also well-lit. The decor was very bright and inviting, a great place to bring your friends and family.

I requested a take-out order for one mixed plate: Mauna Loa chicken (chicken pieces in sweet-spicy sauce) and kalua pig with fresh grilled vegetables and mac salad ($8.95 + $2 for veggie substitute).

Huli-Huli chicken (not Mauna Loa chicken) and Kalua pig
with veggies and mac salad
Before I even tried any food, the employees messed up my order twice. They initially forgot the mac salad, so I had to drive back just to get that taken care of. Then I tried the chicken and immediately realized they had put in the Huli-Huli teriyaki chicken (not the Mauna Loa chicken) by mistake. Instead of going back a second time, I just settled for what I had in front of me.

The food was OK. I did like the chicken...very flavorful there. The crunchy, vibrant grilled veggies were a welcome break from the monotonous chewing of teriyaki chicken. The kalua pig was respectable, but could have used a bit more salt. After all the hubbub to get my mac salad, it was just average at best. The mac salad could have used a bit more salt and pepper, and perhaps some shredded carrot for flavor, color, and texture contrast. Perhaps it's because I didn't get rice, but I thought $10.95 was pushing the pricey side for the amount of food I got.

It's the same menu as the Beaverton location, so again, they are missing a bunch of my favorites, such as a Loco Moco and shoyu chicken. The two ladies taking care of orders were very friendly and apologized for any inconveniences.

The food is basically the same as the Beaverton location, but this place gets a lower rating for now due to the slip-ups on my order. To be fair, they just opened the Salem location and are still training new employees, so I may consider going back at least one more time to see if things get better. 5/10

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