Monday, January 9, 2012

Hawaiian Grill

Hawaiian Grill, located near SW 5th and Stark in downtown Portland, Oregon, serves Hawaiian-style plate lunches and Korean dishes. For those wondering, it is using a cart once occupied by La Jarochita (don't fret, La Jarochita still exists in the pod). This place is just a few months old, and I had bypassed it quite a few times. Finally, I decided to go and try them out.

Menu (late December 2011)
Almost all the dishes have a mini and a regular size. Both mini and regular sizes get one scoop of macaroni salad (or tossed salad, if you wish), but the regular gets an extra scoop of rice. Some of the more popular menu items include the chicken katsu and the teriyaki chicken.

I went with the mini teriyaki chicken this time around ($5). The teriyaki sauce is homemade, coating strips of grilled chicken. That sits on a small handful of chopped cabbage, with the scoops of rice and mac salad right next to it.

Mini Teriyaki Chicken
(Hawaiian Grill)
I thought the teriyaki sauce was excellent. Not only did it have excellent sweet-savory flavor, but the consistency was on point. It was thicker than some unappetizing watery concoction, yet thinner than a stick-to-your-utensil-and-mouth glaze. The chicken was cooked very well, staying rather moist. Very pleasing to the eye and to the taste buds.

The mac salad here is spot on. The peppery bite I always look for, check! Macaroni around al dente, check! Cold mac salad, check! Just a bit of color, such as grated carrot, would have made me go dance in the street and piss people off.

The "mini" teriyaki chicken came in a regular-sized plate lunch container, so it momentarily gave a deceiving appearance, almost a "Where's the real order at?" reaction. But the portion size was about right after re-configuring it all in my head...gah, make me use my brain! *plays dead*

Anyway, Hawaiian Grill gets a thumbs up from me! Since I've sampled maybe 1/16 of the menu so far, I'll have to try some of their other dishes out as well. If I want to go Hawaiian, it may be the kalua pork, shoyu chicken, or the loco moco. But I also can't rule out the bibimbap, since Korean cuisine must also represent! Check out Hawaiian Grill at lunchtime! 7.75/10

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