Eating vegetables is important and all, but sometimes you just need a big ol' plate of calories to fill up or cure a hangover.
Enter the Hawaiian dish, loco moco. The dish features four simple components: white rice, a hamburger patty, brown gravy, and a fried egg or two. It sounds almost overbearingly rich, but the combination is greater than the sum of its parts.
At Island Plate Lunch, the loco moco ($9.99) isn't any fancier and it doesn't need to be. A mountain of slightly sticky Calrose rice sits under a seared beef patty seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic. The house brown gravy is comprised of pork lard roux and beef broth for a comforting richness and savory depth clearly not from a can.
Although you get a choice on how you order your eggs, anything aside from over-easy or sunny side up is blasphemy. The egg yolk melds with the rest of the dish and is absorbed by the rice for a rustic but luxurious-feeling bite.
Macaroni salad ($1) is the traditional side, but it's another layer of richness that requires quite the appetite to handle. For some acidity instead, order the seaweed salad ($3.25) or kim chee ($1).
The restaurant also recently updated their Hawaiian goodies on stock, so grab some salted plums or a box of Lilikoi (passion fruit) shortbread cookies.
Island Plate Lunch is located in the Whole Foods Shopping Center at 5755 E. River Rd. Keep up with Island Plate Lunch on Facebook. For more information, call (520) 989-0001 or visit islandplatelunch.com.
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...