Originally Published: February 28, 2014 6 a.m.
PRESCOTT - Diners at the Aloha Hawaiian BBQ might notice a slight change when they visit the 1042 Willow Creek Road location, due in part to the restaurant's new ownership.
On Feb. 1, Ticha Homlaor stepped in as the restaurant's new owner - along with new operations manager Mike Johnson and Chef Paul Garcia. While the restaurant's lively atmosphere and unique fusion of Hawaiian and Asian dishes remains, their offerings have been upgraded to include homemade sauces and fresh ingredients.
"With Paul's help we're doing more and more in-house cooking," Johnson said. "With the ingredients, we're really improving the quality. Having a good chef is paramount."
Among those changes are new daily specials, which include beef tips marinated in a pineapple wasabi barbecue sauce, coconut shrimp in a pineapple dipping sauce and other items.
Garcia encouraged patrons to call the restaurant at 928-778-1809 to learn more about the daily specials.
"Without specials, we want to highlight Paul's skills as a chef to highlight homemade ingredients that taste really good," Johnson said. "We hardly ever use a can opener. With almost everything we make, we try to come up with how we can make it on our own. It always tastes better when it's homemade. We make just enough for what we need every day and we re-make it the next day."
"I've been getting very creative with the ingredients," Garcia said.
Besides refining the menu with high-quality ingredients, Garcia makes his own stock that is used in the curry served at Aloha Hawaiian BBQ.
"It's the same basic recipe we've always used, but it's homemade and tastes like your grandmother made it," Johnson said. "There are a lot of local people here that are from Hawaii. They visit us pretty regularly. We have conversations about what parts of the menu they like the best. I think we offer something original and different."
Aloha's egg rolls will soon be made entirely from scratch as well, Garcia said. Their Kalua Pork with Cabbage offering, for instance, is now cooked using a roaster.
"I smoke the pork all day with hickory," Garcia said. "Our menu is mostly Hawaiian with Asian aspects to a lot of the dishes. When you go to Hawaii you see a lot of that."
Besides their blend of Asian and Hawaiian fare, burgers, chicken burgers and fish burgers with French fries are also offered at the Aloha Hawaiian BBQ restaurant. A customer favorite at the restaurant is the Loco Moco with Gravy, which features meat marinated in seasoned
teriyaki, topped with eggs.
"It's a classic Hawaiian dish," Garcia said.
Another favorite is the Aloha BBQ Mix, which features beef, short ribs and chicken.
The restaurant's Aloha plates are served with a scoop of homemade macaroni salad and a scoop of rice. All Aloha plates, which include fried shrimp, chicken katsu, an aloha barbecue mix and other choices, are marinated for flavor. Healthier meal options, served with a scoop of brown rice with a green salad, are also available. Diners also receive a fresh Asian-style donut with every order. Party trays can also be purchased, Johnson said. Tray sizes range from a half tray, 20 servings, to a full tray, at 40 servings. Party trays are available for pickup and range from barbecue chicken, to fried or crispy chicken, to barbecue beef and Kalua Pork.