Spokane 7 - Entertainment

Hawaiian Cuisine At Scab Rock Has Charm And Flavor Of The Islands

It’s got an obscure location, virtually no atmosphere and a rather unappetizing name, but still, Scab Rock Garden has kind of grown on me.

That’s because it reminds me so much of Hawaii, with its island-style food. This isn’t the touristy luau-type chow, either. Scab Rock specializes in plate lunches, just like the kama-aina (the Hawaiian locals) might order. These meals are inexpensive and filling with eclectic choices. But then, Hawaiian cuisine is a real mixed bag, drawing on such divergent cooking styles as Japanese and Portuguese. That means a big steaming heap of exotically spiced Katsu chicken curry will be paired with a side of all-American macaroni-potato salad and a helping of iceberg lettuce salad. All dished up on a Styrofoam plate for $5.

The place is run by the Kobara family from Oahu, who are friendly and accommodating. Because this is a small operation, you can expect a wait if there’s any kind of a crowd. I also discovered they can be out of quite a few things listed on the menu. You can call ahead to hear what’s cooking that day, though.

The menu is split into two sections: light meals, which they call “trying to be skinny” and the more substantial plate lunches with the side dishes.

Plate lunch options include Japanese shrimp curry, chicken or beef teriyaki, hamburger steak smothered with gravy over rice and tonkatsu, which is breaded pork cutlet served with a steak sauce on the side.

On the smaller portion side, choose from vegetarian fried noodles, thick miso soup with tofu and Portuguese sausage with eggs. It’s also the only place I’ve come across in Spokane with Spam on the menu. (Hawaii, by the way, has the largest per capita consumption of Spam in the country.)

Along with the regular menu, Scab Rock features a selection of daily specials. During lunch I tried a tasty mahi-mahi, firm-fleshed fish filets dipped in a light batter and pan-fried. The salmon teriyaki was another treat - bite-size chunks of fish cooked in teriyaki seasoning instead of served with a sweet sauce.

For $6.50, Scab Rock also offers a sampling of traditional Hawaiian dishes including kalua pig (that’s what the menu says), lomi lomi salmon (their version of lox) and laulau, which is pork and fish with taro steamed in a ti leaf they order specially from Honolulu. It’s the Hawaiian version of a tamale.

If it’s a warm day, you can eat your plate lunch out on the picnic tables that face the parking lot. Inside, there are a couple of tables in a small room down the hall from the kitchen. Not much there in the way of decor except a huge vase of fragrant orchids, but Hawaiian music played in the background.

Scab Rock Gardens is located at 1611 S. Geiger Blvd., just off the Sunset Highway. The directions on the menu point out that it’s one mile east of the Waste-to-Energy Plant.

It’s open from 11 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Call 747-5343 for take-out or delivery orders or to hear about the daily specials.

So, why did the Kobaras pick that name anyway? Scab Rock refers to the basalt rock formations that surround the restaurant.

Big wine wing-ding

The state’s most high profile wine will be featured during a classy benefit dinner at 7 p.m. next Friday in the Skyline Ballroom at Cavanaugh’s Inn at the Park.

This special dinner brings together some of Spokane’s most talented chefs, each responsible for a different course of the meal.

During the reception, Paprika will provide tiny French vegetable tarts. The first course will consist of calamari stuffed with goat cheese, golden raisins, pecans and arugula from Luna.

From Fugazzi’s new spring menu, the duck quesadilla will be served as the second course.

For the third course, Windows of the Seasons will cook up a pork loin stuffed with roasted pine nuts, spinach, basil and asiago cheese.

Patsy Clark’s will provide the fourth course, Moroccan lamb kabobs with coconut-curry couscous.

Loosen that belt for the final course. The raspberry-filled pear dessert will be prepared by Ankeny’s.

The dishes are all complemented by an impressive selection of merlot from Chateau Ste. Michelle, Gordon Brothers, L’Ecole and Caterina. The Spokane-based Caterina will also pour its chardonnay at the reception and Kiona’s lush chenin blanc ice wine will flow with dessert.

Between courses, chefs and vintners will fill guests in on the food and drink. The show gets on the road at 5:30 with a reception.

Tickets are $100 apiece, with proceeds benefitting Cancer Patient Care, a non-profit organization that provides assistance for low-income cancer patients.

For ticket information, call 456-0446 no later than Monday.

Dine with Dad at Birky

Birkebeiner Brewery is throwing a Father’s Day brewer’s bash on June 15.

The multi-course meal starts with a curry-spiked mulligatawny soup, followed by wild greens dressed with a raspberry vinaigrette. The appetizer will be a Santa Fe-style calamari that has been marinated in beer. A chicken and artichoke heart sausage tossed with pesto linguine will be the entree followed by a light lemon sorbet with a raspberry coulis for dessert.

Dinner will be $28.95, which includes tax and tip and a specially chosen hand-crafted beer with each course. For reservations, call 458-0854.

Small bites

Dewey’s East has opened a new outdoor patio with seating for 48. Lunch, dinner and cocktails are available daily in the great outdoors, weather permitting. The restaurant is located at 12909 E. Sprague.

A new restaurant has opened in the long-abandoned Pizza Planet, up by Fred Meyer on Francis. Kay’s Teriyaki Plus offers Chinese, Korean and Japanese dishes.

Hangman Valley Golf Course is now serving a brunch buffet from 8:30 until 11:30 a.m. Sundays through September. For $5.25, dine on pancakes, French toast, bacon, biscuits and sausage, fresh fruit and scrambled eggs and juice. Coffee is a buck extra. , DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: HEAVENLY HUEVOS I just love the way huevos rancheros sounds when it rolls off your tongue. Maybe that’s why it has become my favorite breakfast. Or, maybe it’s the tasty twist the dish has been given at a few places in Spokane. At Mizuna, grilled herb-speckled polenta subs for the classic tortillas and the dish is topped with a zippy chipotle-lime salsa. Savory black beans are a standout on The Cannon Street Grill’s version. And that rendition earns points for using poached eggs instead of fried. At The II Moon Cafe, you can order the classic huevos rancheros, but better yet, try the a close cousin that’s call chilaquiles (pronounced chee-la-key-less). That dynamite dish is layers of crispy strips of corn tortillas topped with some enchilada sauce, black beans, shredded cheddar, three eggs, fresh salsa and guacamole. Es comida muy buena.

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN, RESTAURANT REVIEW - Behind the Menu

This sidebar appeared with the story: HEAVENLY HUEVOS I just love the way huevos rancheros sounds when it rolls off your tongue. Maybe that’s why it has become my favorite breakfast. Or, maybe it’s the tasty twist the dish has been given at a few places in Spokane. At Mizuna, grilled herb-speckled polenta subs for the classic tortillas and the dish is topped with a zippy chipotle-lime salsa. Savory black beans are a standout on The Cannon Street Grill’s version. And that rendition earns points for using poached eggs instead of fried. At The II Moon Cafe, you can order the classic huevos rancheros, but better yet, try the a close cousin that’s call chilaquiles (pronounced chee-la-key-less). That dynamite dish is layers of crispy strips of corn tortillas topped with some enchilada sauce, black beans, shredded cheddar, three eggs, fresh salsa and guacamole. Es comida muy buena.

The following fields overflowed: SUPCAT = COLUMN, RESTAURANT REVIEW - Behind the Menu



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