We've been hearing about Spokane's love affair with Aloha Island Grill for quite a while now, and... Well... I guess we don't really get it, if there indeed is anything to get. It's not that this is a downright bad spot, it's just very average, an ever so small step up from fast food.
The volcano bites, for example, are basically spicy chicken pieces, with a hot-ish sauce, and little more depth to the flavor outside of that. My guess is the sauce was made up with a mix of Frank's and soy sauce, and sesame seeds thrown in for good measure. It has a bit of a kick to it, but little more, and I doubt the actual chicken will blow anyone out of the water in all its stringiness.
On a more positive note both the accompanying white rice and pea salad are both good. The rice is glutinous with a bit of flavor to it -- butter, I assume -- and the pea salad isn't drenched in mayo. You can actually taste the peas in there, which, hey... Always a good thing.
The fried rice, meanwhile, is a bit flavorless but is helped by an above average accompanying macaroni salad. Again they don't go overboard on the mayo, and the pasta is actually fairly properly cooked with a bit of bite to it. Small chunks of carrots also adds to the texture.
Really, I suppose the lesson is to eat the salads should you stop by Aloha Island Grill.
Should you stop by, though? I mean, sure, why not? We wouldn't travel through a snow storm to get there, but we'd probably choose Aloha Island if anyone held a gun to our heads, forcing us to choose between it and Panda Express. The salads aren't too bad here at all.
Vote for Aloha Island Grill: It’s your civic duty!