Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hula Hands

Hula Hands, which has been an established restaurant in the Mountain View area, recently moved or opened a branch on Fireweed in midtown. ( Have not seen any definitive informtion on this, and my mouth was full of deliciousness almost the whole time I was there, so did not get to ask.) Mr EA and I have an interest in South Pacificiana, so we knew we needed to try it out.
Housed in a stand-alone building, the restaurant's look is cement block overlaid with a veneer of Pacificness, but in a charming sort of way. The staff is very friendly and welcoming, and were willing to explain things to us, which is really nice in a less-mainstream place. They boast a really varied menu, with something for everyone's tastes. I have been informed by sources who are in a position to know that the food is authentic to the Pacific islands, especially Hawaii and Samoa. There is a surprisingly large contingent of islanders here in Anchorage, and Hula Hands is one of the many benefits they bring to the city. The cuisine is a mixture of asian flavors and specifically island foods, such as taro products, and a very slight infusion of American food. Every section of the menu demonstrates this no-fuss fusion attitude. For example, under Burger and Sandwiches (which are served with fries or 1 scoop of macaroni salade), your options are Hamburger, Cheeseburger, Bacon Cheeseburger, Patty melt, Teriyaki Beef sandwich, Pulehu Chicken sandwich, Kalua Pig sandwich, or Grilled cheese. Pupus include Teriyaki sticks, crispy wonton, kimchee and a variety of Pokes, which I was not brave enough to try yet. Next time! We did, however, split a Spam musabi, due to Mr EA's love of Spam. It was very good, with a sort of ocean-y accent to the Spam flavor. I will say that that thing was enormous - small eaters will want to split with someone if they want to try it!
For our actual lunch, we each ordered a different combo plate, so we could try as many different things as possible. Mr EA got Lomi Salmon, Chicken Long Rice and Kalua Pig combo plate. I got Teriyaki Beef and Pulehu Chicken. As usual, we swapped bites back and forth, and really enjoyed all the entrees. Each selection had a distinct flavor, and each was delicious. Our big favorites were the Kalua Pig and the Teriyaki Beef. I like the salmon, but Mr EA was not a fan of the taro leaves wrapped around it. I thought they tasted like spinach and finished them off for him.;) Each combo plate comes with scoops of steamed rice, which we mostly ignored in favor of the deliciousness on the rest of the place, and a scoop of macaroni salad, which I loved and finished off as well. Their drinks include tropical juices, which I tried and found nicely complemented the experience.
Some things we haven't gotten to try yet include a variety of intriguing stir-fries, loco moco, and several taro-based items. Also, still working up the nerve to try a poke, but I'll get there, and then I'll let you know! The menu does include a few more mainstream burger and sandwich options, so if you have a friend of family member who is a little less adventurous, there will be something for them to eat, too. Go there and eat - you'll be glad you did!

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