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hawaiian in pdx?

any comments about noho's hawaiian cafe on SE clinton? what about the surf's up bbq place on SW 2nd between yamhill & taylor? (kind of a to-go lunch spot)

i just got back from hawaii and am having a hankering...

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  1. Having spent much of my youth over there and having Hawaiians in my family, I will say that Noho's is a very good at making and serving quality, traditional Hawaiian Food. True to Hawaiian style, most of the entrees are huge portions, even in Menehune size. All the favorites: Kalua Pig, Teri Short Ribs, Salmon and Ahi Pokes, Spam Masubi (yea!) and a HUGE platter of Yakisoba.

    My personal favorite is the Loco Moco: Two seasoned and grilled hamburger patties over white rice, covered in brown gravy with two eggs over easy on top and a scoop of [very good] mac salad on the side.

    They even have the Hawaiian Sun (Orange-Passion, etc) drinks in house, as well as a full bar and decent draft tap.

    Bamboo Grove over on the other side of the river (Macadam, south of John's Landing) is pretty much equivalent to Noho's (same menu?). I think I heard they are or *were* affiliated at one time but no longer are.

    Aiea Grill in Beaverton has just opened if you want "fast food-ish" Hawaiian on a paper plate. Limited menu (I hope that changes) but good food none the less.

    Have tried a couple of other lunch spot types (strip malls in Tualatin and around the west side, but none that I can remember having good enough food let alone thier names).

    Good Luck!

    2 Replies
    1. re: pdxlizard

      I just realized we posted conflicting information. It's been a few months since I've been there, but Noho's has never had a liquor license in the past. Has this changed recently?

      1. re: jeff_pdx

        you're right. i was thinking of the Bamboo Grove's bar...

    2. Bamboo Grove used to be one of Noho's locations when they expanded to 4 stores. Thankfully, IMHO, they contracted back down to just the Clinton location (in metro PDX, anyway) because I think the quality started to suffer when they had so many locations. If Bamboo Grove has one area that it beats Noho's, it's that they have a liquor license.

      I have to put a plug in for the Number 7 special at Noho's, which is the Spicy Pan Fried Korean Chicken <drool>.

      There is also Ohana Grill on NE Sandy. They do nice combo plates and have kaluha pig on the regular menu (Noho's only does it on Fridays).

      2 Replies
      1. re: jeff_pdx

        do you have any other comments about Bamboo Grove? do you know if the quality still suffers there?

        1. re: cobblegal

          Not really. I went there once about 3 years ago, and since I live on the east side of town and Noho's is generally better, I wasn't compelled to go back.

          I thought the food quality was OK, the only negative that stands out is the beef short ribs were sliced so thinly that they just sort of dried out when grilled.

      2. Nohos is very good I would def make a stop there. Kalua pig as far as I know is only served on Fridays...FYI.

        1. thanks for the feedback! i had the kahlua pig at Noho's and it was delectable. i also tried the hawaiian style poki and the ahi was divine. quite good stuff.

          1. I was at Patrick's Hawaiian Cafe in Vancouver recently for saimin. It was quite good, even if it was a little different from the type I'm used to in Honolulu. I was told by friends that the quality there was better than Noho's? (I have never been to Noho's).

            1 Reply
            1. re: daawgon

              I haven't been to many Hawaiian places other than Noho's and Patrick's. When I first started going to Patrick's, I thought it was a step up from Noho's. But both have varied over time. I think Patrick's has fallen off a bit and Noho's has improved a bit. I don't go to either enough to really feel confident in a head to head comparison. I don't think either would be among the best plate lunch places I've been to on any of the islands, but they'd be among the better ones. I still won't eat mahi mahi outside of Hawaii, though. I stick with things like teri beef, loco moco, and the like. My wife like's Patrick's coconut shrimp.