Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Aloha Food Factory

Before all those Hawaiian BBQ places began popping up left and right, there was Aloha Food Factory, a hidden gem located on the outskirts of Alhambra, CA where the 710 Fwy ends. The restaurant has been open since 1994--light years in restaurant age, and Wesley has been stuffing his face at Aloha since the 6th grade when he would ride his tricycle bicycle to the joint.

The restaurant is family-owned by Betty, Ernie, and some other family members who opened Aloha in dedication to their Hawaiian relatives. This place truly serves "Homestyle Hawaiian."

Every time we patronize Aloha, we are warmly welcomed and seated by Ernie while Betty is in the back cooking up some deliciousness. They are usually the only people working the restaurant plus one other person who helps Betty in the kitchen. You can easily start a conversation with Ernie while you're waiting for the food.

Yes, the place is very friendly. Okay, on to the food!

We decided to start off our meals with some refreshing Hawaiian Suns ($1.99) while Betty prepared our food.

For our appetizer, we ordered spam musubi ($3.95), which is basically spam sushi. A rectangular piece of spam is wrapped in sticky rice that is kept together by a layer of seaweed. Before rolling up the spam musubi, Betty adds a sweet soy sauce to the rice. Though Evelina thinks that there is too much rice, which takes away from the saltiness of the spam, overall, all the flavors, sweet and salty, blend well together.

So, Evelina wasn't feeling up to having lunch, so she ordered breakfast in the mid-afternoon. These macadamia nut pancakes ($7.79), a new item on the menu, are TO DIE FOR. Crazy Wesley asked for the large order of the pancakes, which includes three pancakes. Upon receiving her order, Evelina was horrified by the small chunks of macadamia nuts on top of the thick, creamy, warm syrup that amassed the pancakes. She expected the pancakes to be too sweet, but after taking her first bite, she was proven wrong. The syrup was sweet, but just the right type of sweet that sent endorphins straight to her brain. So happy and satisfied, Evelina munched on the pancakes, which stayed firmed despite all the syrup, until she was full. Two pancakes were left over and taken home. (If you have leftovers, refrigerate them and eat the pancakes cold. SO GOOD!)

And don't bother asking Betty how the syrup is made. It's her special and secret recipe. Also, if our review doesn't convince you that it is heavenly goodness, then ask Betty for sample. She'll probably offer it to you first, but if she doesn't, then just ask her.

Wesley had the Kalua pig island plate ($8.75), which includes the shredded pieces of Kalua pig, white rice, stir fried vegetables, and a side of macaroni potato salad. The pork is tender and seasoned with just the right amount of the salt; the natural flavors of the Kalua pig shines through. The macaroni potato salad is Wesley's absolute favorite (he often buys a pound of it to take home) because it does not have a strong relish taste, which is something he prefers.

Our dining experience at Aloha was very different this time around. What has kept us coming back are the large, juicy burgers and the Hawaiian shaved ice, which we also recommend. After trying the newest item, though, the macadamia nut pancakes, there may be a chance that we might go there just when the sweet tooth kicks in. The menus above show the many different items Aloha Food Factory has to offer--and at very affordable prices!

Aloha is open for lunch and dinner. Highly popular among surrounding businesses, the restaurant receives many take out orders. You may have to wait a little longer for your food during lunch hour because of this. The wait is worth it!

Aloha Food Factory
2990 West Valley Blvd.
Alhambra, CA 91803

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1 comment:

  1. Great meeting you today, Wesley. And Aloha Food Factory is one of my fave local Hawaiian joints -- only wish it wasn't so out of the way. I adore their sesame chicken and spam noodle dish (and of course, the musubi too)