When I imagine eating dinner in Hawaii there’s flickering torches and a whole-roasted pig dressed with pineapple. I’ve never been to Hawaii so what do I know? I found that out at LocoGrinz.In Hawaii, loco stands for local. Grinz is Hawaiian slang for food. Local food in Hawaii is a fusion of global influences, from Chinese and Japanese, to Korean, Polynesian, and American. The restaurant’s owner, Gayne Nitta, is part native Hawaiian, born in Moscow and raised on the islands, according to the casual eatery’s website.
All plates come with rice or corn and a choice of Hawaiian macaroni salad, noodles, sauteed vegetables or fries. Entrees include Katsu, a Japanese-style fried chicken served with a “zesty” sauce ($7.75); and Kalbi, Korean sweet-marinated beef short ribs ($8.75). Barbecued chicken, beef and pork ($7.25-$8.25) are similar to teriyaki. Traditional Loco Moco is on the menu — a plate of rice with a beef patty, gravy and a fried egg ($7.75).
For an additional cost one can order a mixed plate with two entrees. I tried the Mahi Mahi, panko breaded fish with tarter sauce; and the coconut battered shrimp with Thai peanut sauce ($14). The fried shrimp left the sweet taste of coconut in their wake. It was exotic fast-food, a combination that on any given day draws throngs of foreign students searching for a taste of home.
113 N. Main St., Moscow, (208) 833-4463
231 E. Main St., Pullman, (509) 332-4463