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March 7th, 2011 BEN WATERHOUSE | Food Reviews & Stories
 

Cheap Eats 2011: Ate-Oh-Ate

This Hawaiian fast-food joint is an homage to co-owner Benjamin Dyer’s childhood in Kona, and also something of a parody. The name is a pun (Hawaii’s area code is 808), the website is intentionally awful, the ’50s exotica illustrations pinned under the glass tabletops ridiculous, and there is no attempt to make the mounds of white rice and sloppy side-salads that accompany every entree more glamorous than the islands’ average. Foodies who balk at the mundane sides and presence of Spam on the menu are missing the point; Dyer is not after Hawaiian fine dining so much as well-made nostalgia. Plate lunches like the sweet, crisp Korean-style chicken wings and chicken thighs simmered in shoyu (each $8.95) are tasty, filling and completely unexciting, and this is as it should be. Who needs fireworks when you’ve got a volcano?

 
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