|Address:||1700 Portola Dr, Santa Cruz, CA 95062, USA|
|Working:||11AM–9PM 11AM–9PM 11AM–9PM 11AM–9PM 11AM–9PM 11AM–9PM 11AM–9PM|
Im not in Santa Cruz all that much. Thats the conundrum about living in Vallejo: so extremely far from all the great NorCal beaches. Stinson, Pacifica, and Santa Cruz: none of them a mere hop, skip, and jump away. Anyhow, I digress, as Im veering away from the point of this review. My friends and I had just finished up a boogie board session and we were crazy hungry. We had planned to hit up Pono after the beach, so we headed there... and were gracefully turned away. That, my friends, sucked. No one likes feeling turned away. So I hit up the ol trusty Yelp app and found the Aloha Island Grill. Mad and hungry (mad hungry, son?), we headed there in hopes of some good grub. Upon arriving, I see the line is out the door. Reasonably, I was a bit on the aggravated side as I was getting hungrier by the minute and the prospect of waiting in a line was slightly daunting. Still, the reviews for this place spoke highly of it, so I decided to wait it out. Also, it was very near closing time, so I wasnt sure if theyd still take our order. Fortunately, the long line moved quite briskly upon our arrival. We were able to get our order in. Very friendly servers as well, so very nice and chill. Cute to boot! So here on out, I just had to be patient for a few more minutes to get some food in my now insane stomach. The decor of this place is really nice. You get the total island/surfer town feel upon entering. The walls are chock-full of surf stickers, logos, related signage, and even some boards. Theres even TVs overhead that are playing some surf DVDs. Very nice touches in those areas. I was joyous upon the arrival of my food to the table, a mere few minutes after ordering. I had ordered the loco moco and an ala carte order of the teriyaki chicken. The food was nice and hot. First thing I tried was the loco moco. It was good. Well, better than good. It was definitely better than anything youd get at L&L. Next was the teriyaki. Oh my goodness. This was the best chicken teriyaki Ive ever had at a restaurant. Besides being juicy, it was tender and oh so very flavorful. I LOVE that it wasnt just some chicken that was slathered with tons of teriyaki and then flat-top grilled. No no, this was seasoned/marinaded just right and then it was cooked on an actual charcoal grill (YES, I am able to taste the difference, being a master home BBQer of sorts.) That teriyaki was, hands down, the best Ive ever had. Any joint, Japanese, Hawaiian, or otherwise, will be hard pressed to make something that tastes better. All in all, I like this place a lot and it absolutely sucks to have to live so far from such a cool joint. Next time Im in town for some boogie boarding, Ill definitely hit this place up again. A place with great grub that seems to appreciate my business.
+ Good Hawaiian fare, + laidback atmosphere, + inexpensive If you love Hawaii and its food like I do you shouldn’t miss the Aloha Island Grille in Live Oak/Santa Cruz. Their menu contains all the local favorites like fresh poke, teriyaki lunch plates, Hawaiian sodas and beer from Kona Brewing Co. On average you pay $8 for an entrée, $5 for a beer and $1.25 for the sodas. You can order everything as take away or enjoy the food in the shack or on the patio. Driving down Portola Drive you cannot miss the green shack with the yellow roof. Just be aware that they close at 8pm.
A Private User
We just moved to the area and received many suggestions to try this restaurant. We were disappointed in all areas, and it was not nearly as good we were told. Initial service was not friendly, but not unkind. The swordfish was just ok, the only part of the dish I liked was probably the macaroni salad. The soup with ramen noodles and your choice of meat left us feeling pretty gross. Would I like to give this restaurant a 2nd chance? No thanks.
First time trying Hawaiian crusine, cant say I really liked it. I got their signiture dish, ahi poke, which was basically pulled pork soaked in a very salt broth that reminded me of spam. To be fair, spam is a huge part of Hawaiian food, but it felt like it cheapened the pork compared to other preparations such as southern BBQ or carnitas. Since its too hard to drive out of Santa Cruz, i might come back and give it a second chance.
The grille has pretty good food, some of it is hit and miss, but their Chicken Katsu (fried chicken sprinkled with Japanese bread crumbs) is a home run. Ive never had a katsu I did not like. Be sure to order with sweet chili sauce, and if youre feeling bold, dunk it in some sriracha (Huy Fung Foods). Dont forget you can sub any side at no extra cost.
This place is a staple of my high school life. (Graduated from Cypress) The chicken katsu plate is always my goto dish. So tasty and always worth the treat. The staff who work here are all very kind, quick to help, and offer tasty food at a reasonable price.
If youre looking for a Hawaiian plate lunch, skip the chains and head over to Aloha Island Grille. Teriyaki, two scoops of rice, and a scoop of macaroni salad...just like youre back on the Big Island. That and a POG and youre golden!
Ahi poke was delicious, beef teriyaki sandwich lived up to reputation and the service was lovely as well. also very reasonably priced for under $20 with a pint of draft. will certainly return to enjoy the patio again
Ive been going to this place for years, and its always excellent. I can bring my mom, kids, surfer friends, international visitors, people from hawaii or people from Eastside Santa Cruz, and everyone always loves it.
Awesome little local spot. If you are in walking distance, walk, because parking is a pain in the ass. The food is really good, the loco moco is one of my favorites. And they have POG juice!!
Amazing place to grab lunch! The food is always really good and well priced! Its my favorite Hawaiian food place in town! Great place to have lunch before the beach.
Today must be an off day. Having chicken cutlets, feel like eating cartilage. Mac an rice not up to par. Wife has mahi mahi :-( . The Kona longboard was good.
Spam on rice with teriyaki sauce whatever that is called, is to die for. So good. Also just a block away from the ocean. Good for a walk after the meal
The terriyaki chicken was delicious and the service was pretty good. The only bad thing is the parking, but otherwise this is a nice little food shack.
Great place!! Food was wonderful, staff was awesome, and place was welcoming. Parking lot was a bit tight, but well worth it!! Will definitely be back!
Mahi mahi was below average, fruit bowl consist of mainly cantaloupe, and canned pineapple! Only thing they got right was the fries...
Really bad service. And all the tables were dirty. The cashier was distracted using her phone while customers are waiting to order...
Gut und günstig. Leckeres Essen mal was anderes.
Pretty good Hawaiian food if thats your thing. i always get the Teriyaki Chicken here. Nice location close to Sunny Cove Beach.