Kama’aina Grindz

Originally from Seattle, I don’t venture into Everett too often. However, now that this is my first year as a junior at Washington State University North Puget Sound, I spend quite a bit of time in and around the Everett campus. Being new to any area can be tough- no matter how near or far from home you may be. You not only have to learn the highways and byways but we also have to get acquainted with our new community to simulate the comforts to home. For me, one of the things that makes me feel at home is, food.

Kama’ aina Grindz, located in downtown Everett, was a recommendation by a friend from school. I thought I’d give it a shot because I like the name. Kama’aina Grindz, which literally translate to “Child of the Land” Food or Local Food for another translation. The Hawaiian meaning of ‘Kama’, means ‘Child’ and ‘Aina’ means ‘land’. Grindz is a local slang that means food. I knew this was just what I was craving for and this was my lunch destination for the day.

As soon as I open the door, the sounds of mixed lunch-time conversations spilled out of the room. Inside sat people from all walks of life: businessmen dressed in suits and ties, police officers in their uniforms and students representing their respective colleges. I liked this place already. This tells me that the food must be objectively great because everyone likes it.

You can expected to be greeted and seated quickly no matter how busy it may be. The staff was very attentive and professional. As I looked over the menu, I began to think about my last trip to Hawaii and all the great food I had. The menu seemed authentic, unlike commercialized restaurants, I was tempted to order everything but luckily rationalization kicked in and I refrained.

Shortly after, a nice lady came out to greet me with a shy smile as she began to take my order. It must have been my lucky day because she was actually the owners’ sister, Carrie. Unable to decide what to order, Carrie helped me navigate through my indecisiveness. Patiently and always with a smile, Carrie recommends the Chicken Katsu Curry as her favorite for today, and the Maui Style Bibimbap (a signature Korean dish).

I went for the Bibimbap. Served in a bowl, starting with rice at the bottom, sliced flank steak, Portuguese sausage, vegetable medley and Gochujang (Korean hot sauce), then topped with fried wonton crisp and garnished with what my guess to be, seaweed. It was absolutely delicious and prepared to perfection. To top that off, a complimentary scoop of their home-made sorbet. The flavor rotates and changes monthly. For September, it was passionfruit peach.

Kama’aina is definitely my home away from home when it comes to Hawaiian local eats. The food was wonderful, the price was moderate and the staff was outstanding. I would highly recommend Kama’aina to anyone who craves a taste of “Where da locals dine”.

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