Hawaii is my second favorite place in the world (my favorite is Salt Lake City, of course), and one of the things I really enjoy about visiting Hawaii is the cuisine, which is a blend of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Polynesian and Portugese influences and reflects the islands' cultural diversity. Hawaiian diner food often consists of a "plate lunch," which includes an Asian or Polynesian-style main dish, rice and macaroni salad. Several restaurants in the Salt Lake area serve this type of Hawaiian cuisine, but my favorite is Lanikai Grill Hawaiian Barbecue in South Jordan.
Lanikai Grill serves Hawaiian staples like barbecue chicken, kalua pork, barbecue beef, mahi mahi and shoyu chicken, in a plate lunch, rice bowl or salad. They also serve Hawaiian fry bread and musubi, a sushi-like snack sometimes made with Spam.
My favorite dish at Lanikai Grill is the Hawaiian barbecue chicken, chicken thighs marinated in a light teriyaki sauce. The barbecue beef and kalua pork are also good, although the kalua pork is cooked indoors and doesn't taste as smoky as the pork you would get at a luau. I'm not a fan of Hawaiian style macaroni salad, which is just elbow macaroni with mayonnaise, so if I order the plate lunch, I usually ask for green salad instead.
Lanikai Grill is a fast casual restaurant with a pleasant environment evoking the islands. The staff are friendly and usually quick.
Lanikai Grill is owned by Phil and Jenine Felipe, longtime Utah residents who are originally from Tonga.
1072 W. South Jordan Parkway
South Jordan, Utah