It's not often I get invited to try a Hawaiian restaurant in Kent. So I happily obliged on Tuesday when chef Lisa Nakamura and blogger
Denise Sakaki (both whom grew up in Hilo) invited me out to Saimin Says. Saimin is a noodle soup, which Jay Friedman wrote about on Tuesday. But while the girls were slurping their salty broth, I opted for what sounded like an equally healthy lunch. The Lau Lau Plate ($8.35) is a hearty portion of pork, butterfish, and taro leaf wrapped in ti leaves and steamed. All dishes come with a side of tuna-mac salad and rice, which according to Denise is standard culinary procedure on the Isle. "Can you believe people have a side of rice with their spaghetti? It's like an addiction. Makes me think of the scene from Scarface with Al Pacino face-bulldozing a mountain of coke, except that in Hawaii, it's sticky white rice."
Don't be fooled by the lau lau's appearance. Hidden under all that seaweed-looking stuff are tender chunks of protein intertwined with greens that together taste like turkey and stuffing. And from Thanksgiving to Christmas, check-out the post-lunch gift Ms. Sakaki brought for us to enjoy . . .
Mele Kalikimaka! And happy Aloha Friday, everyone!