Island Plate Lunch, located at 5575 E. River Rd., Suite 141, is bringing solid, classic, Hawaiian food - along with a variety of original Hawaiian fusion items - to northeast Tucson. Currently in "soft-open" phase, the restaurant is open to the public with a grand opening scheduled for December 10.
"I want to cook what I'd eat at home," said Renee Eder, owner and chef of Island Plate Lunch.
Eder spent the past two years as pastry chef at The Parish, but also has an extensive French background with positions including executive pastry chef at Central Bistro by Michel Richard at Caesars Palace Las Vegas.
Instead of emphasizing her background in fancy French kitchens, Eder is sharing the cuisine she was raised on from her native home of Honolulu, Hawaii. Having lived in Tucson a few years, Eder said she understands that people can't eat fancy French on a daily basis.
Although Eder experiments with fusion cooking, she incorporates authentic Hawaiian ingredients such as Aloha Shoyu. Parks Brand Hawaiian Chili Water is also available for diners looking to spice up their dishes.
Island Plate Lunch entrees range from $8.25 to $13.95 and portions are quite generous. Most classic Hawaiian dishes are available, such as Loco Moco, Chicken Katsu, and Kalua Pork.
The Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Plate ($9.99) includes three boneless chicken thighs with a sweet Hawaiian barbecue sauce, sesame seeds, scallions, rice, and macaroni salad.
Choose between salmon, ahi, or unagi for the Poke Bowl ($11.95), which also includes crab salad, seaweed salad, nori, avocado, tobiko, edamame, and special sauce. See below for a full list of menu items.
A wide range of side dishes are also offered. Hawaiian choices include the traditional Polynesian side, Poi ($2.75), which is a purplish mash of taro; Lomilomi ($1.75), which is like a pico de gallo with cubes of cured salmon. Kim Chee ($1) and Portuguese Sausage ($3.50) are also available.
Island Plate Lunch is located in the Whole Foods Shopping Center at 5755 E. River Road. Hours during the soft opening are 9:30 a.m. - 7 p.m, Monday through Saturday. Regular hours, beginning December 10 will be 7 a.m. - 7 p.m, Monday through Saturday. Keep up with Island Plate Lunch on Facebook.
Jackie Tran is a Tucson-based food writer, photographer, culinary educator, and owner-chef of the food truck Tran's Fats. Although he is best known locally for his work for Tucson Foodie, his work has also appeared in publications such as Bon...