Archive for 'Hawaiian Island Grill'

Hawaiian Island Grill Adds Steam Table Craziness

It was practically a year ago this week that I first wrote about Hawaiian Island Grill, the plate lunch arm of a three headed take out spot that also includes Chinese (Gordon Chen’s Kitchen) and Japanese (Hakata Grill) food (on 53rd btw. 2+3rd).  Seeing as I knew nothing about Hawaiian food, I roped in native Kathy YL Chan to join me- and we sampled practically the entire menu.  The Verdict:  It wasn’t going to replace any of Kathy’s favorite hometown spots, but with good menu management you could end up with a decent lunch.

Well it’s a year later, and Gordon’s Hawaiian Hakata has added a fourth option to their repertoire… the steam table lunch special!  $6.50 gets you pretty much whatever you want. (No joke!) And ironically enough the options are mostly Korean food.

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A Few Things I Forgot To Mention About Hawaiian Island Grill

In my gravy covered hamburger steak induced coma I completely forgot to mention two semi-important things in the write-up of Hawaiian Island Grill (on 53rd btw. 2+3rd) earlier in the week. 1) You get a choice of white or brown rice with all the entrees… and that is brown rice in a few of the photos (take that, people who say I never eat healthy!)  2)  There is no seating, you have to take your food to go.  Easy fix for this?  The food court in the Crystal Pavillion (on 3rd Ave. btw. 49+50th) that houses Pampano Taqueria & Sophie’s Cuban is a good place to take your food if you don’t want to go back to the office.

Hawaiian Island Grill Won’t Remind You of Oahu, But This Fat Guy Didn’t Mind

Photos by Kathy YL Chan

The out of bounds block of 53rd street btw. 2nd and 3rd Avenue is quickly becoming a mini-restaurant row for east side Midtown Lunch’ers.  A while back I wrote about Spoons (which was replaced by Good Health Burger) and Uncle Marky’s Organics (which is still there.)  There is also LTK (Little Thai Kitchen) and , where you can get under $10 Thai and Indian lunch specials, as well as the recently opened second branch of the East Village’s Brick Lane Curry House

But I think the cheapest option on the block is the Hawaiian Island Grill, a take out only place that is also home to the overpriced ”Gordon Chen’s Kitchen.” Both are owned by the same company that owns the Hakata Grill, and while I didn’t necessarily have high hopes, a tipster suggested I check it out. Seeing how it was supposed to be Hawaiian food, and I’ve never been to Hawaii, I enlisted my friend Kathy YL Chan (from the blog A Passion for Food & Serious Eats: New York) to accompany me.

Between the two of us, we ordered most of the lunch specials… and our thoughts (plus food porn) are after the jump. Mine, from the perspective of a fat guy- her, from the perspective of a Hawaiian.

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