Hawaiian Plate Lunches

Good eating in the Valley of the Sun
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exit2lef
Posts: 390
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa
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4 months ago

I went to the grand opening of Paradise Hawaiian BBQ's new location on Adams Street in Downtown Phoenix today. The restaurant recently moved from its former location on College Avenue in Tempe. Paradise is a place that specializes in plate lunches with Japanese and Korean influences via Hawaii. With the move, there have been some tradeoffs. I miss the draft beer and the Korean banchan sides from the old Tempe location. Those did not make it to the new site. On the other hand, I found the service much friendlier than at the old location.

I had the Paradise Fire chicken plate lunch. This was fiery plate of chicken with two scoops of rice, one of creamy macaroni salad, and a token amount of green salad. It was quite good, and I had a complimentary piece of guava cake for dessert. The cake was a special treat for the grand opening and not a regular menu offering. I look forward to returning for the teriyaki, the mandoo (dumplings), and kalbi.

My other favorite place for plate lunches is Grilled Ave, which is located just a block or two from Paradise's former location in Downtown Tempe. Of course, the Arizona Aloha Festival, held every March at Tempe Beach Park, is the ultimate in plate lunches. Questions for those who care:

1) Where else do you like to go for plate lunches?
2) Who are your favorite vendors at the Aloha Festival? I'm always at a loss to choose.

Paradise Hawaiian BBQ
18 W Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85003

Grilled Ave Teriyaki House
705 S Forest Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281

Arizona Aloha Festival
http://www.azalohafest.org/
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LaPan
Posts: 269
Joined: 6 years ago
Location: Chandler, AZ
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4 months ago

I used to like Aloha Kitchen on Alma School (near Nello's). I haven't been in awhile though.
HrHamada
Posts: 11
Joined: 3 years ago

3 months ago

Aloha Kitchen especially on a Saturday after all the halau's let off practice,
User avatar
exit2lef
Posts: 390
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa
Contact:

2 months ago

This past weekend was the annual Arizona Aloha Festival at Tempe Beach Park. As we do almost every year, we spent a day at Tempe Beach Park enjoying the food, shopping, and music, along with a quick walk down to the Tempe Arts Center to see all the excess water from recent rains and snow melt spilling over the dam at the west end of Tempe Town Lake.

Each year, I like to try new vendors. Last year, I focused on a vendor selling foods of New Zealand and the Cook Islands. This year, it was back to Hawaiian plate lunches. Specifically, we tried Maile's Kaukau Corner. This vendor is usually at the Aloha Festival. To the best of my knowledge, there is no bricks-and-mortar operation under that name.

Some of us had the teriyaki chicken plate. The teriyaki was quite good with a nicely defined balance among sweet, salty, and smoky notes. The meat was slightly crisp on the exterior but not at all dry on the inside. The teri plates came with a scoop each of rice and macaroni salad. I always find the latter somewhat pointless and prefer to go for double rice instead. On other hand, some people really like the mac salad as a creamy counterpart to spicier foods on their plates.

I ordered the Hawaiian plate, which came with a generous portion of kalua pork, a scoop of rice, and a bowl of lomi salmon. The last item was new to me, but it seemed sort of like a salmon ceviche. The actual salmon in it was sparse. The dish was mostly a mix of diced tomato and onion with some seasoning. Still, it was a nice side dish to go with the pork. Its tart flavors contrasted well with the tender, smoky meat.

I'd definitely visit this vendor again, but there are always so many to try. By the time I've sampled all of them, there will probably be a whole new crop to keep life interesting.
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Hawaiian plate
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lines getting longer as more people arrive at the event
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teriyaki chicken plate
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