For almost a year I passed by this little hole in the wall type shop called Matiki Hawaiian BBQ, it’s easily missed and stuck into a corner against a wall in a little strip mall on Lincoln Blvd. Finally we decided to stop by this small restaurant and give it a try. Most Hawaiian food places around here, aside from L & L BBQ, don’t have too much longevity and the quality is never up to par, but since it was still there, there might be something about their food.
So walking into the place gave me that old, back home, feel of the mom & pop shop type grindz. The menu is simple with only a handful of items, a true BBQ joint with short ribs, chicken and beef as their main featured items. They also have a specials menu with Lau Lau, manapua, and kalua pig & cabbage (but only on Fri & Sat).
The prices are up there for a plate, averaging $9.50 a plate, but the portion size is huge, enough to serve 2 people or one VERY hungry person. I let my kids share and my husband can finish one plate in one shot. They do have a kid’s plate with smaller versions of their chicken & beef dishes as well as a small list if bowls, including veggie bowls as well as chicken salads. You’re bound to fine something to eat there. But be sure to stop by an ATM before visiting this place because it’s a cash only place.
The ambiance there is cozy to say. It’s a lunch plate place, so you can’t expect fine dining. The dining area is filled with beautiful Hawaiian print wall deco and table coverings as well as tiki statues and ceramic dolphins. The staff is small but extremely friendly. Seeing we were new and have never been there before, they greeted us with a warm smile and offered suggestions for ordering. We even got suggestions from a family finishing up their meal who had raving reviews for their chicken & beef. It was great to see a nice the true Aloha spirit when walking in.
We ordered the manapua, kalbi plate and chicken & beef combo plate. I was amazed at the amount of meat that was there in the plate, 2 scoops of white rice split on the plate and of course the Mac salad to side it. The cuts of beef are nice and thick and the kalbi had the right amount of fat that my husband likes in his cuts. The flavor is good not too salty or sweet and the meat was nicely grilled without being dry. The mac salad tasted different from most places, they did a combination of Mac and potato salad making is smooth and thick. I noticed that my husband didn’t add his coating of black pepper to this one so it must’ve been good.
The manapua was nice and soft, although wrapped bao style with the closing at the top, the dough was nice and soft, a texture I keep trying to replicate. The chair sui filling was nice and moist, not dry like I’ve had before. But for me, $3 each is a little much to pay when I can go a little further to find 8 for $6 at 99 Ranch. It’s like paying $3 for SPAM musibi when I can make it better myself. We pay for convenience so I just had to try it once.
Overall, the experience was good, the food was filling and I’m willing to go back, granted we have the cash to do so. I hope these guys stay open and it seems they have a great returning customer base. I might not be there once a week, but now that we know there is someplace close with good kalbi & beef, I’m sure we’ll be there again. So if you find yourself in Anaheim and want some good plate lunches, stop by Matiki Island BBQ on Lincoln in Anaheim.
Check out the location and Yelp Reviews Here!