When I was a little girl (between ages 6-8), my family took a trip to Maui, Hawaii. What I remember was about Hawaii was that everything was so much more expensive than at home, the palm trees and beaches were beautiful, grass skirts and the luau experience which included the shredded pork, leis, pineapples, and the Loco Moco dish! To put things into perspective, my fondest memory of Hawaii is the Loco Moco dish that my mother and I ate every day while we were on vacation. If you have not tried it, you are sincerely missing out on an amazing meal! The traditional local moco is considered a working man’s meal that consist of white rice, topped with a hamburger patty, a fried egg, and brown gravy. There are many variations that include Spam, pork, fish, chicken, seafood, etc. but that is what we ate everything together for breakfast. So, when I am on the hunt for a Hawaiian restaurant, if this dish is not included on the menu, I do not take them seriously.
I had a taste for something different and decided to search for Hawaiian restaurants in Maryland. To my surprise, there was one located just 10 minutes from my home. Taste of Aloha is located at 1405 Sulphur Spring Road, Arbutus, MD 21227. Their mission is to serve the best Polynesian comfort food in an enjoyable atmosphere. The appearance of the restaurant does not look like much from the outside but inside there is definitely a Hawaiian theme that is not overly cheesy. I happened to visit on an extremely hot day so, the kitchen door was open and I accidently entered behind the counter. The kitchen door and the entrance door are right next to each other. No one noticed so it was fine but I was a little embarrassed. Once I began waiting in the short line, I began to get really hot because of the temperature of the restaurant.
The cashier was not immediately at the counter to take orders so we were standing there for a brief period of time until she came back and starting taking orders. I ordered the jumbo wings plain ($8.45) with pineapple bbq sauce on the side. Since I am cutting back on my red meat, I ordered the Grilled Mahi Moco ($11.50) cooked to a medium temperature smothered with vegetable gravy. It was a seriously hard decision not to get the traditional but there is always next time.
After about a 10-12 minute wait, my order was ready. I decided to start my meal there and finish at home. While I waited, I walked back to my car to get a water bottle. I was literally baking in there. It did not help that they had two beverage refrigerators that were emitting heat in an already hot restaurant. I took a seat in the middle of the restaurant under and fan and opened the wings first. It was an order of eight jumbo wings that were fried perfectly without breading. Usually, people can undercook jumbo wings which is dangerous but these were perfectly cooked. The pineapple BBQ was tasty but was served cold in the wings container which was weird. I was not sure how I would feel about the sauce so I ordered them on the side but I am curious if the wings are tossed in a cold sauce. I’m not sure I would order this again but this was overall a pretty tasty dish.
On to the Mahi Moco!! The seasoning on the Mahi Mahi was quite delicious. The char from the grilled added extra flavors that I thoroughly enjoyed. The egg was ok but was not seasoned so it was just there on top with the gravy and scallions. The rice was good with the gravy but overall, the vegetable gravy did not have the savory sweet kick that I was expecting. However, I took that home, and put the fish on top of fresh greens for a salad and really enjoyed this dish with a homemade vinaigrette.
Overall, I enjoyed my meal and I am curious for another visit. My total came to $21.15 which is not bad for the quality of the food ordered. I am convinced that I need to go back and try the traditional loco moco before I completely decide how I feel about this place. However, nothing was so amazing that I feel like I need to rush back and try again. Plus, there is a place in Los Angeles called the Local Place that has a pretty good loco moco dish and amazing desserts and Pineapple Whip, the same served near the Tiki Room in Disneyland, that I enjoy visiting during my trips back home. But you may see a check-in one day at this spot. The following is my Seven Mac Score for the restaurant:
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Please look out for my next post as I review another one of Baltimore’s Best and make my way around the DMV area! Also, you can find me on Instagram @finediningdiva and twitter @moderndaybeauty. Also, if you would like to follow my blog to receive notification when a new blog is posted, please send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And remember: It’s a BIG world and we are going to eat our way through it!