Side of Aloha

Draper, UT

Hawaiian Food – $ – Casual Dining

Warm and inviting staff with authentic Hawaiian fare, straight from the Big Island of Hawaii

Nicole O. - Author & SifterNov 7, 2018
Sifter Critique

4.8

Food

4.2

Ambience

5

Service

Overview

The owners from this restaurant are homegrown from the Kona side of the Big Island of Hawaii and are serving up traditional family recipes, passed down from generation to generation. If your looking for a taste of Hawaiian BBQ and the Aloha spirit but don’t have the time to take the trip, this is the spot!

Value

The portion sizes were quite large. My wife and I could have easily shared a plate. They give two large scoops of rice and a bacon macadamia nut macaroni salad with whatever meat you order. They also have a salad as a side option.

3 most popular dishes

According to the hostess I spoke with, the Furikake Chicken, Lilikoi Pulehu Pork, and Poke in general are the most popular items on the menu.

What I ordered

Lilikoi Pulehu Pork

Food quality

I was actually quite amazed at the quality of the food, given the price. I lived on Oahu’s north shore for around four years and have tried many Hawaiian and Polynesian dishes. For me, their food most closely resembled traditional Hawaiian BBQ (not luau) that I enjoyed with Kamaaina (locals) and Kanakas (native Hawaiians) on the islands.

My island friends would always take me to their favorite spot called Papa Ole’s. They offer similar foods, but Side of Aloha is actually much better! Not to mention, tastier than all of the Hawaiian restaurants that I’ve tried on Maui, Kauai, Oahu, and Big Island. They used quality cut meat and fresh herbs. The meat was well grilled, not too dry, and you could really taste their homemade marinade, which complemented their specialty sauces.

Ambiance

The restaurant was very clean with a lot of natural light coming in. It had a very casual feel to it with light Hawaiian and Reggae music playing in the background (not too noisy), which was really inviting.

What I liked most

The flavor of the pork was fantastic and there were no chewy fatty bites in the meat. Most Hawaiian restaurants that I’ve eaten at give you a ton of food but sacrifice on quality. Not at Side of Aloha. They also marinated the pork with a blend of spices and Lilikoi (also known as passion fruit) which was amazing!

I’m not sure if it was meant for my dish or not, but I also got a side of Lilikoi sauce. Sweet, but not too sweet. It was unique and unlike any other sauce I’ve tasted. The citrus wasn’t overpowering and paired extremely well with the pork and rice.

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