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Saturday, July 2, 2016

Islands Fine Burgers & Drinks says aloha with new handcrafted beer and new summer menu



Islands Fine Burgers & Drinks was once a dream back in the 1960s. After a day of surfing in Oahu, founder Tony DeGrazier and his Navy buddies were in need of some “kau kau”. They were craving a juicy burger, a hot basket of fries, and a cold drink. In 1982, this dream came to fruition when Tony took the feeling of aloha along with the satisfaction of that juicy burger, fries, and drink that once satiated him years ago. It was ahead of its time in terms of the gourmet burger. This was one of the first places I had ever seen bleu cheese on top of a burger and fell in love with it instantly back in the early 1990s on a date with my (now) husband at this very location in Brea. Although, it’s not just about the burgers and fries. They also have a wide variety of menu items from appetizers, salads, entrees, tacos, and more. Almost twenty years later, we are back to try some new summer menu items. 

Hula Bay IPA ($6.50 - regular, $8.35 – large, limited time only) is handcrafted exclusively for Islands by Left Coast Brewing Co. This classic West Coast IPA (6.0% ABV) has aromas of citrus, grapefruit, tangerine, and pine from the generous use of Amarillo hops. Hula Bay IPA is a light bodied, dry brew which pairs perfectly with the Heat Wave Burger. Tasting notes: Light IPA; Fruity aroma; Grapefruit and pine experienced on the palate; Bitter bite on the front end that lingers for a bit; Good summer offering and would also pair well with salads, fish tacos, and chicken sandwiches. Rating: 4/5

Lava Flow ($8.75) is made with Don Q Rum, pineapple juice, strawberry, and coconut cream. It is a creamy, frosty drink. It is a combination of pina colada and strawberry daiquiri. Great for summer to cool the core. Rating: 5/5

Mai Tai ($4.69) is made with dark rum, pineapple & orange juices, sweet & sour, orgeat syrup, grenadine, and a float of Myer’s Rum. This is one of the best Mai Tais you’ll have outside of Hawaii. It is strong and has a tropical flavor. It has the perfect balance of sweet, sour, and rummy flavor. You can just imagine yourself poolside or beachside with a fan in one hand and this Mai Tai in the other. Rating: 5/5

Big Island Iced Tea ($5.89) is made with vodka, gin, tequila, rum, triple sec, pineapple juice, and strawberry puree. It is a little on the tart side versus sweet with a tropical flavor profile. If you like Long Island Iced Teas, you’ll love this one! Rating: 4.5/5

Island Nachos ($10.19, add $2.15 for chicken, add $2.19 for chili) are topped with melted cheddar and jack cheeses, jalapenos, tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole, and served with a side of salsa. This sharable munchable has good flavor. The chips probably need to be a little thicker to hold up to the toppings, especially when chili is added to overpower the soggy factor. Chili also needs a more chili powder and salt to make it flavor forward. Rating: 3.9/5

Buffalo Wings ($12.95) are tossed in traditional spicy sauce and served with carrots, celery, and ranch dressing. You can also order then with teriyaki or BBQ sauce instead of the spicy buffalo sauce. These are some of the best buffalo wings I’ve ever had! The spicy level is just right. The sauce consistency sticks to the wings but is not so thick that it’s dripping down your fingers and hands. The wings are perfectly cooked with a crispy exterior and tender, juicy interior. Rating: 4.9/5

Kaanapali Kobb ($10.99) is grilled and chilled chicken breast, crumbled Applewood smoked bacon, fresh avocado, bleu cheese crumbles, chopped hard cooked egg, tomatoes, and scallions atop lettuce tossed with kobb dressing (creamy vinaigrette). I love cobb salads! And this one is a good portion with lots of ingredients. This is a refreshing option for summer with all of the flavor profiles you crave – salty, smoky bacon, tender chicken, sweet tomatoes, creamy avocado, tangy bleu cheese, and zingy scallions. Rating: 4.3/5

Heat Wave Burger ($12.19, add a fried egg for $.99, limited time only) brings the heat with grilled serrano & green chiles, pepper jack cheese, tomato, red onion, lettuce, spicy mayo and served with fresh cut Island Fries. As we would say in Hawaii, “Dis buggah is hot, brah!” It’s a spicy number but it is full of flavor. The beef patty is juicy. Even though the chiles are spicy, they give the burger a nice green chile flavor, like in New Mexico. The yolk from the fried egg helps cut the heat and adds an extra richness to the burger. Rating: 4.5/5

Kona Pie ($6.75) is perfect for sharing. It is a mocha almond fudge ice cream in a cookie crust topped with chocolate fudge, whipped cream, roasted almonds, and a cherry. It is basically a mud pie for you haoles out there. The mocha almond ice cream is creamy and packed full of mocha flavor. The chocolate fudge is rich and decadent. What would be nice is to have macadamia nuts sprinkled on top to give it that island flare. Rating: 4.5/5

With locations in Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada, Islands Fine Burgers and Drinks will hopefully be on the top of your list of dining this summer. Mahalo!


  • Special: Happy Hour – Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday through Thursday from 9 p.m. to close


Atmosphere: 5 out of 5 stars
D├ęcor: 5 out of 5 stars
Service: 5 out of 5 stars
Food: 5 out of 5 stars

For more information:
Islands Fine Burgers & Drinks
250 S. State College Blvd.
Brea, CA 92821
+1.714.256.1666
Hours: Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Parking: Free lot parking
Islands Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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