Patrick’s Hawaiian cafe offers variety of fare, excellent service

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Why: Patrick’s Hawaiian Cafe is a casual dining restaurant that has been serving home-cooked style Hawaiian cuisine since 1998. The menu reflects an Asian and Polynesian blend of influence within its wide selection of items. That makes it easy to find flavor and portions to suit most appetites.

What I tried: I settled on the kalua pork with yakisoba noodles and vegetables. I also sampled the lomi-lomi salmon, which is salted salmon bits mixed with tomatoes and onions. My dining companion tried the char-grilled, teriyaki chicken and coconut prawns with rice and macaroni salad. We also had the haupia, which is a coconut-flavored concoction with a consistency of firm pudding. It was interesting and fun to try, but it was extremely sweet.

The kalua pork was deliciously tender, moist and smoky. Grilled zucchini slices accompanied the pork and noodles. The very generous portion of food on my plate was more than I could finish. I took the remainder home and added sautéed green bell peppers to it and made wraps the next day.

The lomi-lomi salmon resembled a pico de gallo and tasted very similar (absent cilantro, which often is present in pico de gallo), and the salmon brought seafood character to it.

My dining companion enjoyed all the elements of her entrée and found the macaroni salad exceptional compared to others she has tried. She also liked the degree of char from the grill on the chicken.

Menu highlights beyond what I tried: Fish and chips are made with mahi-mahi. The sommo chicken is marinated in a secret sauce overnight before being char-grilled. The surf-and-turf lunch plate combines beef teriyaki, chicken and golden-fried mahi-mahi with rice and macaroni salad (or vegetables). The pineapple sweet and sour meatballs in a homemade sauce sounded tasty. And of course there is a Spam burger and Spam and eggs. Patrick’s also has a selection of beers, tropical drinks and Kona Brewing Company beers on tap.

Atmosphere: The café is at the end of a strip mall and fronted by large windows that allow a lot of natural light into the space. Island-inspired orange, blue and gold were used on the walls, booths and chairs. Tables were dressed with white linens and topped with a protective surface that displays a variety of things to read and look at just underneath. The walls were decorated with colorful fish sculptures and framed island-related items. A TV is mounted in a corner for entertainment. Overall, the restaurant does a fine job creating an island vibe in the midst of Clark County.

Other observations: The table service was excellent. Our waitress was professional, friendly and knowledgable about menu items, and attentive with tea refills. The atmosphere was relaxing on our lunch visit, and our food quickly arrived at the table.

Patrick’s also caters.

Cost: Specials cost $6.99 to $12.49. There are two-for-$20 and two-for-$24 deals on specific items. Appetizers are $5.99 to $7.99. Sides cost 95 cents to $7.99. Soup and salads cost $2.79 to $9.49. Burgers and sandwiches are $7.95 to $9.99. Lunch plates cost $12.49 to $13.99. Char-grilled chicken and other chicken dishes are $12.49 and $12.99. Beef and ribs cost $10.79 to $14.59. Seafood dishes are $12.99 to $15.49. Desserts cost $1.79 and $5.99.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Sunday

Where: 316 S.E. 123rd Ave., Suite D1, Vancouver.

Contact: 360-885-0881 or www.hawaiiancafe.com

Health score: Patrick’s Hawaiian Cafe received a score of 15 on Feb. 25. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants with a score of 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.