Send me to … Island Flavor

Fried Poke Salad at Island Flavor
Photo: Beverly Poppe

Vegas may very well be the Ninth Island, but having a huge Hawaiian population hasn't translated into a diverse selection of island cuisine. Whether you hit a big chain like L&L Barbecue or our very own Aloha Kitchen, heaping lunch plates of fried shrimp, salty roasted pork and twin piles of macaroni salad and steamed white rice dominate these menus.


Island Flavor
8090 S. Durango Drive, 876-2024
Tuesday-Friday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m.

So if it's all the same, how can you tell who does it best? I'm going with Gary's pick: Island Flavor. Gary is a native Hawaiian, a traditional singer and musician, and he's involved in just about every Hawaiian event or festival around town. He sent me to a little storefront off the southwest 215, a casual restaurant that looks like it used to be a sushi bar, with reggae music and super-friendly service. Island Flavor has a nice fresh poke, raw ahi tuna mingling with shoyu and sesame; you can also get it on a fried poke salad. Portuguese bean soup is savory and satisfying, and there's also oxtail soup and saimin noodles topped with teriyaki beef, scrambled eggs and a pork won ton.

If you're still hungry, these plate lunches put others to shame: Tender opakapaka, Korean fried chicken, barbecued ribs or chicken katsu done loco moco-style pack much more flavor. The mac and rice are still here, but you won't have room for them. Refined? Not really. Tasty and satisfying? Beyond. Give it a shot. I'll tell Gary mahalo for you.

Las Vegas Weekly’s Brock Radke will eat wherever you tell him to eat. Send him on his next mission at foodcritic@lasvegasweekly.com.
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Brock Radke has been writing about Las Vegas for more than 15 years. He currently covers entertainment, music, nightlife, food ...

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