When someone tells me a new Hawaiian restaurant has opened in Orange County, I bet them a year's worth of dinners that I can name 90 percent of the menu. See, for a cuisine influenced by multiple cultures—a short list includes Portuguese, Polynesian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino and Hormel—Hawaiian eateries on the mainland can be maddeningly repetitive. And that's one of the reasons I delayed visiting the latest outpost of Aloha Hawaiian Barbecue in Costa Mesa. Their menu is all about the standards: Hawaiian barbecue, chicken katsu, mahi-mahi, burgers, sizzling saimin soups and loco moco, with all entrées served in weighty portions on Styrofoam plates with two scoops of rice and a mound of bittersweet macaroni salad on the side. The drinks are Hawaiian Sun fruit nectars; the music is the gentle ukulele strums of Izzy Kamakawiwo'ole. Nothing... More >>>