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Sunday, May 7, 2017

Just in time for summer: Pineapple pairing and guilt-free dishes at Islands Restaurants

After visiting the ohana in Hawaii, I felt very homesick after returning to the mainland. Aromas and tastes have been vivid memories for me ever since I was little. The aroma of a fresh, ripe pineapple is amazing. As a dogsitter, I sometimes receive gifts or omiyage from my clients when they return from trips while their pups stay with us. A couple of days ago, we received a fresh, ripe pineapple from Maui. I awoke the next morning to the sweet scent of pineapple perfuming the house. Islands Restaurants is making me a little less homesick with their new Pineapple Pairing Menu, running through May 31st.

  • Fun Fact: Islands Restaurants use nearly 182,000 fresh pineapples per year.

Mahi Mahi Hoisin Bowl ($13.85) + Mai Tai ($8.99): Mahi Mahi Hoisin Bowl is made with fresh grilled mahi mahi, fresh grilled pineapple, red bell peppers, snow peas, water chestnuts, red onions, broccoli, diced scallions, and hoisin sauce over brown rice. Mai Tai is made with dark rum, pineapple & orange juices, sweet & sour, orgeat syrup, grenadine, and a float of Myer’s Rum. The bowl had a good mix of flavors of the succulent mahi mahi and savory vegetables balancing with the sweetness of the pineapple. The mahi mahi was able to hold up to the sweetness to shine through. This would pair better with the Big Island Iced Tea as the sour flavor works better with the fish and hoisin sauce. Rating: 4.5/5

Yaki Tacos ($10.69) + Pina Colada ($8.99): Yaki Tacos are flour tortillas stuffed with grilled chicken, teriyaki sauce, cheddar & jack cheeses, fresh pineapple salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, and served with a side of ranchero beans. Pina Colada is made with Don Q Rum, pineapple, and coconut cream. The tacos were a lighter entree and the combination of pineapple and teriyaki sauce make this a much sweeter dish. I would probably change out the flour tortillas for corn tortillas to tame some of the sweetness. Pina Colada pairs perfectly with the tacos. The coconut flavor tames the sweetness from the tacos. Rating: 4.7/5

Hawaiian Burger ($12.45) + Big Island Iced Tea ($8.99): Hawaiian Burger is made with fresh pineapple, teriyaki sauce, lettuce, tomato, onion, swiss, and mayo. Big Island Iced Tea is made with vodka, gin, tequila, rum, triple sec, pineapple juice, and strawberry puree. The burger was juicy and slightly sweet from the teriyaki and pineapple. It had lots of sauce so it was not dry, but it was messy (have the napkins handy). The wheat bun held up nicely. The Big Island Iced Tea was a little too sour for the burger. A better pairing would be the Mai Tai. Rating: 4.3/5

Want to stick to your New Year’s resolution and have your figure ready for summer? Paradise’s Bikini Beach Menu will keep your calories in check while eating tasty food.

Margarita Lite ($10.79) is served on the rocks with Patron Silver Tequila, organic agave nectar, freshly squeezed lime juice, and triple sec. It was a little less sweet than a traditional margarita, but had all the flavor of a margarita that you know and love. It will definitely give you a little pucker! Rating: 4.5/5

Turkey Burger Lite ($10.79) is served on a whole-wheat bun with tomato, sliced red onion, lettuce, and mustard with a side of steamed broccoli and carrots (640 calories). This burger had a huge, flavorful turkey patty! The patty was a little dry, but that often happens with ground turkey due to the low-fat content. The veggies were a good substitute for fries. Rating: 3.9/5

Northshore Tacos, Limited ($10.29) are corn tortillas stuffed with spicy chicken, cheddar, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, and ranchero beans on the side (590 calories). The tortillas were nice and thick. The chicken was tender and slightly spicy. They were packed with veggies for a refreshing texture. Despite its size, this dish was deceptively filling. I love the ranchero beans. They were so flavorful and made me want more! Rating: 4.5/5

Sleek Greek Salad ($10.55) is made with grilled and chilled chicken breast, hearts of romaine, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions tossed with a low fat balsamic vinaigrette (380 calories). I love this salad!!! It had all the Greek flavors – briny Kalamata olives, creamy tangy feta, sweet tomatoes, refreshing cucumber, and zingy onion. Rating: 4.5/5

No-Blame Grilled Veggie Tacos ($9.75) are corn tortillas stuffed with a variety of grilled vegetables and cheddar, topped with roasted corn black beans, pico de gallo, avocado, and served with a side of Island slaw (480 calories). This is a great option for the vegetarian in your party. The veggies provided a variety of different textures and flavors – firm zucchini, sweet peppers, sweet and smoky roasted corn, smooth black beans, and creamy avocado. The slaw was a little too vinegary and needed a refreshing flavor like cilantro to brighten it up. Rating: 3.5/5

Whether you love pineapple or are watching your weight, onolicious food awaits you at Islands Restaurant!


  • 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
Décor: 5 out of 5 stars
Service: 5 out of 5 stars
Food: 4 out of 5 stars

For more information:
Islands Restaurant
250 S. State College Blvd.
Brea, CA 92821
Hours: Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Islands Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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