Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Aloha Cafe

It was a happy, happy day when I discovered Aloha Cafe. Located in the Honda Plaza in Little Tokyo, Aloha Cafe has a great selection of local (i.e. Hawaiian) breakfast, lunch and dinner.

In terms of well-priced Hawaiian food in LA, it doesn't get much better than this place (L&L isn't that good in Hawaii, and it certainly won't be any better in California!). Some dishes taste more authentic than others, but I've yet to be disappointed with anything I've ordered, and service is always wonderful. It's a great place to visit when I need a little taste of home.

On this trip, J ordered the kalua pig weekend special. "Kalua" refers to food cooked in a traditional underground oven, which steams and slow cooks the meat and makes it very tender. Kalua pig can be very salty sometimes, but Aloha Cafe's had the perrrrfect amount of salt. I sampled some and was in heaven!

Kalua Pig @ Aloha Cafe

The kalua pig plate comes with chicken long rice, and J was a big fan. I, on the other hand, have traumatic memories of being forced to eat chicken long rice in elementary school and have avoided the stuff ever since.

Chicken Long Rice @ Aloha Cafe

J, a sushi and sashimi lover, was thrilled to discover poke on his first trip to Hawaii--which instantly made my Japanese surfer/fisherman/kayaker Dad love my little haole (a.k.a. white dude). J ordered a side of Aloha Cafe's ahi poke (one of the specials of the day) and really enjoyed it.

Aki Poke @ Aloha Cafe

For my lunch, I ordered the kal-bi plate. Aloha Cafe's kal-bi is an example of one of their dishes that differs a bit from standard plate lunch fare. Aloha Cafe marinates its shortribs in something other than just the standard shoyu and sugar combo. Their kal-bi is a little heartier and a little sweeter, and the meat's a little more tender.

Kal-bi @ Aloha Cafe

I also ordered a side of kimchi. This was crunchy and had great flavor and was not too spicy--just right for a wimp like me!

Kimchi @ Aloha Cafe

When it comes to Aloha Cafe, try anything and everything. Even if it's not what you're used to, it'll still be tasty, just different. If you know nothing about Hawaiian food, you're sure to love everything. Oh and be sure to pair your meal with a can of guava juice. Yum!

Follow Aloha Cafe on Twitter (www.twitter.com/alohacafe) for updates on their daily specials and *squeal* freebies.

Aloha Cafewww.alohacafelosangeles.com
410 E. 2nd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 346-9930
Aloha Café on Urbanspoon