808 Hawaii Mixed Plate
Korean Wings – Hot Style
Mixed Plate with Kalua Pork & Cabbage, Ono Chicken, Steamed Rice and Mac
Deep Fried Musubi with Unagi Sauce and Spicy Mayo
Blueberry Butter Mochi
Ube Butter Mochi
Hailing from the Midwest it would be an understatement to say that Hawaiian food was locally underrepresented, and even to this day a search of restaurants close to Northwest Ohio indicates zero serving anything ‘Hawaiian’ save for the “Flaming Hawaiian Volcano Roll” at a particularly sad looking Sushi joint, thus when a patient from the Big Island suggested that the most authentic taste of home she’d found since living in Las Vegas was at 808 Hawaii Mixed Plate on West Craig Road the decision was made to stop in, though a drive of nearly thirty minutes from home made such a thing somewhat laborious.
In reality located in North Las Vegas, a completely different entity from Las Vegas proper to those unfamiliar, and operated by the same family for seven years in a shopping plaza next to Ella Em’s Soul Food, 808 Hawaii Mixed Plate is presented as a counter-service concept in which diners are invited to approach a menu hanging at the far end of a lengthy space over a wide window looking into the kitchen, the owner’s wife serving as the sole front-of-house staff-member as she pulls triple duty as cashier, server and story-teller, an early arrival before the crowds allowing for plenty of the latter.
Truly a wealth of knowledge as relates to her homeland’s history, the ‘plantation era’ briefly described when explaining Saimin Noodles to the uninitiated, it was with several questions asked and answered that decisions were made from a board that at first seems brief before one really digs into the various offerings for Meats and toppings, the decision to try one mixed plate plus Noodles, an Appetizer, two sweets and a side easily enough food for four, all at the total cost of just under thirty dollars.
Taking a seat in the minimally decorated space, The Food Network displayed on televisions as diners are left to peruse a flip-card indicating daily specials plus a Brunch menu offered on Sundays, it was after perhaps five minutes that plates one and two were delivered from the kitchen, the aforementioned Egg Noodles pan fried in a slick sauce with Ham and a mix of Cabbage, Radishes and Green Onions, the flavor largely that of light Sesame plus a bit of Ginger while the half-dozen Chicken Wings were twice-fried crisp and medium-hot, the meat on the inside plump with a good seasoning of its own and tender but not greasy.
Offering Chicken in no less than ten styles, a sample of the Garlic version topped in yellow Aioli a bit too pungent while the “Ono Chicken” takes the Katsu-style Thigh meat and lightly tosses it in a pan of Garlic, Onions and Oil with outstanding results, the $11.50 “Mixed Plate” was completed with a small bowl of shredded Pork and Cabbage next to two big mounds of Rice and a rather flavorless Macaroni Salad, the deep-fried Musubi marrying Hawaii’s love of Spam with Spicy Mayonnaise, Unagi Sauce and Furikake in an unexpectedly compelling manner that could change the opinion of many mainlanders as relates to canned Meat.
Told that 808’s Pastry Chef, actually the owner’s son, was vacationing back home currently, thus leaving only two types of Butter Mochi available for Dessert, it was with one of each that the meal came to an end, the version topped in Blueberries unfortunately quite disappointing with a gummy texture and not much sweetness while the block of sticky Purple Yam proved somewhat better, though certainly not on par with the pies and cakes featured in Social Media, nor the Macadamia Nut Pancakes or Bread Pudding French Toast offered at Brunch.
THREE AND A HALF STARS: Thriving as a family run eatery in North Las Vegas for almost eight years thanks to a dedicated following of Hawaiians searching for the real thing, 808 Hawaii Mixed Plate is a worthy destination for those seeking something a little different from the big-box Poke stops springing up across the Valley, the prices a genuine bargain for both the quality and the portion sizes even when accounting for the gallon or so of gas it will take most Las Vegans to get there.
RECOMMENDED: Fried Saimin, Korean Wings, Ono Chicken, Fried Musubi.
AVOID: Blueberry Butter Mochi, Macaroni Salad.
TIP: Gift Certificates for $15 off $30 available on Restaurant.com.
BONUS TIP: The family recently opened a second location called Young’s Hawaiian Style Kitchen at 3231 North Decatur Blvd Ste 11.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.