The Belltown spot ‘Ohana stands out from more sleek restaurants in the neighborhood with rainbow twinkle lights strung along its umbrella-clad, tiki-themed outdoor patio.
The menu: Lunch offerings feature a variety of sushi and Polynesian fare including pupus — Hawaiian appetizers. Many entrees come with a side of macaroni salad, which is big in Hawaii. Most appetizers cost less than $8, most lunch entrees less than $13. It was still too early for happy hour when we were there, but the drink menu looked promising, full of tropical-sounding cocktails.
What to write home about: Several people recommended the Spam musubi, but instead we tried the chili rice. It’s a winner, and as a plus it’s gluten-free. The spice is just right, slightly smoky and entirely addicting. The first bite was kind of weird, the second bite interesting, and then all of a sudden it was really, really good. And the house salad came with a slightly Thai-inspired peanutty dressing that I really liked.
What to skip: Nothing we tried was bad, but there was nothing special about the sushi. It was just another salmon, cucumber and avocado roll.
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The setting: Polynesian-inspired décor — including Hawaiian prints, gargantuan lava lamps, paper lanterns, floral fans and other tropical decorations — is at once kitschy and comfortable.
At lunchtime on an 80-degree summer day, most people were seated outside, so it’s hard to say whether the inside environment is usually so low-key.
Summing up: Between the two of us, a large order of edamame ($7.95), chili rice ($8.95), Belltown roll ($6.50), ‘Ohana salad ($6.95) and chicken katsu ($8.95) resulted in a full meal’s worth of leftovers. The total rang up at $39.30, plus tip.