Thursday, July 30, 2015

Aloha and Mai `ai

As we wandered past a little strip mall just up the boulevard from our stately pleasure dome by the sea, I could have sworn I heard "hello, come eat" emanating from an unpretentious store front. The Belle of the Boulevard and I ventured closer and discovered Aloha to Go at 19711 Gulf Boulevard, Indian Shores.

It was a rather serendipitous discovery since we had just read about Aloha in a Tampa Bay Times article on bay area food trucks that had expanded to brick and mortar establishments. The article stated that Aloha To Go food truck owner, Jennifer Byrd, had opened this new venue and we had to give this neighborhood establishment a try. 

As we walked in we were immediately greeted by the effervescent Jennifer. She handed us menus and suggested we could eat there or take our vittles to go. Aloha is essentially a take-out or delivery venue with seating for around twenty. My bride and I opted to grab our grub and run ... back to our domicile before the skies unloaded with another rainy season deluge.

Upon arrival back home, I quickly set up the take home boxes for a Piglet Parade photo shoot. The first tasting and photo featured the savory and delicious Lomi Lomi Salmon.

The lomi lomi salmon is a side dish in Hawaiian cuisine. It is a fresh tomato and salmon salad, and was introduced to Hawaiians by early western sailors. This lomi lomi reminded me of a ceviche, but not as citrusy. I enjoyed it as an appetizer along with an unbelievably good Spam Musubi.

Yes, dear readers, that is a slice of Spam on top of the rice. Spam musubi is a popular snack and lunch food in Hawaii composed of a slice of grilled Spam on top of a block of rice, wrapped together with nori dried seaweed. If you ever thought that the lowly Spam was not your cup of tea then you really have to give this musubi a try.

For a main dish, my bride chose the Huli Huli Chicken with rice and a macaroni salad.

Huli-huli chicken is a grilled chicken dish that sizzles with the flavors of brown sugar, ginger and soy sauce. Huli means "turn" in Hawaiian. While this juicy and flavorful chicken was superb, the macaroni salad was a bit bland. We livened it up with a sprinky dink of salt and pepper.

I could not resist the Miso Butterfish, a heavenly, buttery gift from the gods of gastronomy. Or, as they say in Hawaii, "... this fish is crazy ono!" For us mainlanders, that means crazy scrumdiliumcious.

There are many fishes around the world called butterfish, but in Hawaii, butterfish is a preparation not a species of fish. I neglected to ask, but this probably is miso-marinated black cod and not the  humuhumunukunukuapua‘a — the Hawaiian state fish. Whatever the species, it was moist, tender, and dare I say again, buttery.
The Belle and I just scratched the surface of the Aloha menu. This will have to be a new addition to our must dine places on the beach.

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Aloha Dude 


  1. Okay, this has my name all over it!

    1. Well, they do have a menu item labeled Wild Tina Tacos. Ooops, it's actually Wild Wahine Tacos -- what the hell, close enough.