Thursday, October 18, 2007

Waikiki Hawaiian Grill

I first went to Waikiki Hawaiian Grill based on Elmomonster's post and have now been back several times.

Waikiki Hawaiian Grill is located in an unassuming shopping center called Tustin Plaza. I visit this shopping center for the Office Depot, Souplantation, and Wahoo's Fish Taco, but I never even noticed Waikiki Hawaiian Grill until I read Elmomonster's post.

The interior of Waikiki Hawaiian Grill is small, with only about six tables inside, but it is spotlessly clean. Really, the interior shines, probably due to the highly lacquered tables. As you can see in the above photo, pictures accompany many of the menu items, so if it's your first time trying Hawaiian food like it was for me the first time I visited Waikiki, then you'll be comforted by seeing exactly what you're ordering before it's brought out to you.

I was reprimanded for taking pictures after the above photo, so the next pictures may be blurry, as I took them in the most stealth manner that I could.

All the Plate Lunches and Mini Meals come with a scoop of white rice and a scoop of macaroni salad. The macaroni salad here is amazingly creamy, with a few shreds of carrot, and tuna! I was surprised to find little bits of tuna in the macaroni salad and it really makes for a delicious macaroni salad.

On this visit, I ordered the Crispy Shrimp Mini Meal. Although it's called a "Mini Meal", this portion of four crisp and golden shrimp was the perfect size. With the addition of the Crab Rangoon that I also ordered, I had to save half of my meal for dinner that night!

I'm definitely a "Dipper", using ketchup with my french fries, ranch or honey mustard dressing with my pizza, and olive oil and balsamic vinegar with bread, and whenever I visit Waikiki, it's no different. Because pairing fried shrimp and white rice is a little dry for my palate, I dipped my Crispy Shrimp into the Katsu sauce that came with Devin's order of Chicken Katsu .

Crab Rangoon are wonton shells filled with a mixture of cream cheese, green onions, and crab and then deep fried to a gooey consistency on the inside while staying crispy on the outside. On a previous occasion, the Crab Rangoon that I ordered from Waikiki were room temperature and the wonton skins were chewy with staleness. The Crab Rangoon on this visit were piping hot and deliciously creamy.

Devin always orders the Chicken Katsu from Waikiki and has begun to order two scoops of macaroni salad in place of the white rice, because the macaroni salad really is that amazing! Although I can't tell you my personal experience with the Chicken Katsu, Devin describes it as perfectly fried to a crisp without being greasy. He really enjoys the accompanying katsu sauce, so we usually ask for two containers of the sauce. The Chicken Katsu is only available as a Plate Lunch, so the portion lasts him at least two meals. There are just layers upon layers of Chicken Katsu in this Plate Lunch.

Since we dined in for this review, I chose a Hawaiian Sun Green Tea with Lychee and Ginseng. I really love lychee-flavored anything (remember those little jello's with the piece of lychee floating in the middle?), but I think this drink was a little too sweet for my taste. The sweetness of the lychee was the only thing I could really taste.

Dining-in, we received our meal in styrofoam containers with plastic utensils. So while Waikiki does have a clean dining room with music piped in through speakers, it's really the kind of place to order your food and go.

When I'm feeling especially hungry, I order the Mahi-Mahi, which is available only as a Plate Lunch portion. The Mahi-Mahi comes with tartar sauce, but I usually end up stealing a container of Devin's katsu sauce to dip the fish into. The four squares of mahi mahi that come in the Plate Lunch are large and, just like the Chicken Katsu and Crispy Shrimp, fried to a golden perfection without being greasy. It's really an amazing cooking process because you're not left feeling the heavy, greasy guilt after eating a plate of fried food. The Crispy Shrimp, Chicken Katsu, and Mahi-Mahi are all breaded in panko crumbs, which may account for the light, greaseless frying process.

Waikiki Hawaiian Grill
13771 Newport Ave.
Suite 10
Tustin, CA 92780

1 comment:

Devin said...

Awesome. I am totally going to eat there.