25 January 2009
Tommy O's Kalua Pork
I still have pork on my mind. Over the past week or so I have cooked a Maple Glazed Pork Loin roast and shared how I like to use the leftovers as Pulled Pork, mixed with spices and served over rice or on sandwiches. It makes a delicious dinner.
But now suppose you don’t have any leftovers and you would still like to have some delightfully seasoned pulled pork for dinner. If that is the case, and you live in the North Portland/ Vancouver, WA area I suggest making a visit to Tommy O’s Pacific Rim Grill.
Tommy O's has a new location which recently opened on the east side of town. I met a friend there for lunch the other day and was charmed by the easy going elegance of the décor and the early afternoon sunlight streaming through the wide windows on the restaurant’s south side. The sunlight shone on light wood and the comfortably exotic Pacific Rim décor. It was a nice day and the atmosphere was unobtrusively pleasant.
Though I had heard of Tommy O's for years I didn't know much about it and I had never been there before. So last week when I sat down and looked at the menu I felt it was quite coincidental, after writing about pork twice the week before, that Tommy O’s Kalua Pork was highlighted and even recommended. I ordered a half sized lunch serving and my friend ordered Teriyaki Chicken.
As we waited, owner Tommy Owens recognized my friend and stopped by our table. He told me that his pulled pork is crafted simply from succulent pork lightly seasoned with Hawaiian sea salt and a light drizzle of kalua sauce. He asked about the pulled pork I had recently made and suggested it had more of a Mexican flair where his recipe was based on traditional Hawaiian flavors.
Our food came quickly. My half sized portion was actually quite substantial. It came with a side of Soy Ginger Noodles and a brightly fresh Sunomono Cucumber Salad. The noodles were simply dressed and flavorful and the pulled pork was juicy and delicious.
The Teriyaki Chicken was charbroiled and marinated in a soy, ginger, teriyaki sauce. My friend rated it as moist and obviously enjoyed her choice of entree as much as I enjoyed my pork since no more than a few bites were left on either of our plates. The chicken was served with a Curry Macaroni Salad that was unique, delightfully spiced and dotted with bits of crunchy celery as well as green and red peppers.
When the bill came I was quite surprised that, with tax, my lunch cost under $8. With its casual yet elegant ambiance Tommy O’s would be a great place for a working lunch or for meeting a friend for conversation and catching up. Laid back, yet attentive, the staff and Tommy O himself were upbeat and helpful as well as welcoming.