Ate-Oh-Ate

The first time I visited Hawaii, I was in high school and eager to hit its famed beaches in my (super tacky) tie-dye bikini. After my perspiring, harassed parents finally found the rental villa and my brothers and I had a good scratch and kick-fest over who got the best room (I won, of course), we scrambled out of our shorts, shot across the lawn–ignoring the serene, glittering pool–and sprinted straight into the welcoming North Shore surf, where I was promptly stung by a jellyfish and ran back out bawling as everyone staggered around in various stages of hilarity-induced asphyxiation.

Reminisce about your favorite jellyfish encounter over the Kalbi–juicy grilled Carlton Farms ribs rolling around in sweet Korean-style marinade, tender boneless Teriyaki Chicken thighs, or the Kalua pig plate–a pile of smoky shredded pork mingling with shards of steamed cabbage.

After that, the previously disregarded pool was my best friend, and when I was tired of swimming solo in my private, jellyfish-free pool, I’d bike to the nearest town for plate lunch and a shave ice. I couldn’t get enough of this fantastic treat–a distant, far more refined relative of the grainy, gaudy, faux-flavored snow cones of my youth thus far. I’d watch in wonder as a bored, flawlessly-tanned shack boy/girl smothered coconut ice cream and azuki beans with a crown of feathery ice crystals, then drenched everything in coconut syrup and mango juice. It was the essence of Hawaii in a cup and best of all, it didn’t sting.

Over the years, I’d forgotten all about my bittersweet Hawaiian experience, but when Ate-Oh-Ate came to town, one look at the big green shave ice machine on the front counter, and I could smell the Hawaiian Tropic tanning oil and taste the macaroni salad and mango juice all over again.

Ate-Oh-Ate, the pet project of Simpatica Dining Hall & Laurelhurst Market chef-owner and Kona native Ben Dyer (808 was his Aloha State area code), serves up Hawaiian plate lunches, big ol’ sandwiches and burgers, a Poke of the Day, and a dozen or so savory sides like cucumber kimchi, pickled daikon, sweet potato tempura, and of course–Spam musubi.

Reminisce about your favorite jellyfish encounter over the Kalbi–juicy grilled Carlton Farms ribs rolling around in sweet Korean-style marinade, tender boneless Teriyaki Chicken thighs, or the Kalua pig plate–a pile of smoky shredded pork mingling with shards of steamed cabbage. Or, attempt a crispy pork belly and kimchi relish-topped Aina Burger or massive bowl of Saimin–a Hawaiian noodle soup dish reminiscent of ramen, with saporous slabs of roasted pork belly, fish cake and soft-boiled egg surfing in a mild, noodle-choked chicken and shrimp broth. Next up, an authentic Hawaiian shave ice drowned in housemade coconut, plum, strawberry, vanilla or pineapple syrup, or good old POG juice, over soft coconut ice cream. Heavenly.

Surfing streams on the television next to the open kitchen–order a rummy Mai Thai or Dark n Stormy, Primo lager, or icy Waialua Soda Works pineapple soda and settle into the big wood booth upon which hangs a picture of Mr. Tasty Waves himself, the iconic Spicoli, and have yourself a mini Hawaiian holiday minus the irksome sand in your tie-dye bikini bottoms and tentacle scars.

Details

Cuisine: Hawaiian

Owner: Ben Dyer, David Kreifels, Jason Owens

Atmosphere: Casual, laid-back eatery with a chalkboard wall menu, surfing shows on the television and bus-your-own tables

Outdoor seating: No

Best Seat: The big wooden booth in the front and center of the dining room

Noise Level: Normal to Enthusiastic

Dress Code: Casual, shorts and flip-flops welcome

Bring the Kids: Yes

Bathrooms: Left hand side, all the way in the back past the bus station and around the corner

Parking: Street parking is free and can be tricky to find during peak dining times, so you may have to circle the block a few times

Cocktails: Yes

Beer: Yes

Ideal Meal: Kalbi and Kalua pig combo plate with macaroni salad, kimchi, sweet potato tempura, pineapple & coconut shave ice

Vegetarian Friendly: You can make a meal out of sides

Vegan Friendly: No

Good for the following occasions: Mini Hawaiian Holiday, Tentacle-Free Loco Moco, Family Meal, Casual Date, Just Desserts

Catering: Ate-Oh-Ate can cater any size or type of party, call 503.445.6101 for more info or email ben@ate-oh-ate.com

Reservations: No

Take-Out: Yes

Delivery: No

Catering: Ate-Oh-Ate can cater any size or type of party, call 503.445.6101 for more info or email ben@ate-oh-ate.com

Deals: Don't miss the small print on the Ate-Oh-Ate menu informing you that for $1 more, you can get two protein choices on your plate. If used strategically, a table of four can taste the entire plate menu in one sitting.