Yesterday I enjoyed some delicious Hawaiian food at the Ohana Grill in Springville. This stuff is the real deal--chicken, ribs, pork, and of course the classic Hawaiian macaroni salad to go along with it. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
I got to sit down with Masa, the Grill's owner, and she shared with me her story about her journey from the north shore of Oahu to our beloved Utah Valley. Sitting down with Masa was just like sitting down with a family member, and she said that is the atmosphere she tries to create at her restaurant. Ohana means "Family" in Hawaiian, and it's easy to feel at home in the cozy restaurant, surrounded by the friendly Hawaiian workers who are all part of Masa's literal family.
While Masa welcomes everyone to her restaurant, she said she tries to cater specifically to the Polynesian community because she knows that if they love her food, then everyone else will love it too. I think it speaks to both the authenticity and quality of any cultural restaurant if people from that culture love to eat there. Needless to say, I was happy to see Polynesians coming in and ordering food as I sat down to eat my Kalbi Shortribs.
Speaking of Shortribs, let's get to the food. I tried a lot of the different entrees at Ohana Grill, and they were ALL delicious--you can't go wrong! The Kalbi Shortribs were my personal favorite, and the Katsu Chicken and Garlic Chicken were both divine as well. Masa told me that the Garlic Chicken is their best-seller, so you know it's good. As with any good Polynesian restaurant, each entree is served with rice and macaroni salad. They offer a green salad as well, but most people choose to get the macaroni salad because, let's face it, you can't eat Hawaiian meats without it. To me, eating Katsu Chicken without macaroni salad would be like eating a burger without fries...you can't do it! The two go hand in hand!
Aside from the delicious food, Ohana Grill offers a great Hawaiian atmosphere. Every friday night they have live music, and it's usually Polynesian groups that come to perform. In addition to the live performances, Ohana Grill offers a different tropical cake every friday for FREE! That's right, you can stop by and sample delicious Hawaiian desserts at no charge, and enjoy some great music too.
In keeping with the theme of family, Masa told me that on Mother's Day weekend they offer a free breakfast buffet for mothers! So if you're a mom, you have to stop by here on the Saturday before Mother's Day (they are closed on Sundays).
Ohana Grill is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 11 AM-7 PM Tuesday-Thursday and until 8 PM on Fridays. On Saturday they are open from 9 AM-5 PM. You definitely get a lot of bang for your buck at this place, as most plates range between $8-$11, and if you know anything about Polynesian restaurants, you know they don't mess around when it comes to portion sizes! I felt like Stanley from "The Office" while I ate my meal: "Just keep the ribs comin!"
One thing is for sure: you won't be dissapointed when you visit Ohana Grill. They are located on State Street on the border of Provo and Springville, across from the the McDonalds and Chevron at 1445 North. For you old-timers, it's the old location of "Brand X" Hamburgers. Make sure to stop by and pay Masa a visit, and make sure to tell her "Aloha" and "Mahalo."