Welcome back to Burgerology: Today we’re checking out Island’sFine Burgers in Ala Moana Center.
We often leave the house with the best of intentions, but we usually end up eating something we shouldn’t before we can make it back home. When Mai Tai bar is full, it’s just too tempting to walk twenty yards to Islands Burgers. Before you know it, what was supposed to be a quick drink after work turns into a huge burger and fries.
This place is in a mall, so it’s not the hippest, but it’s located on the upper level, and they have an open air lanai. The bar across the “hall” has live music on the weekends, so you can get a table and still watch the band while you eat your dinner. The staff has always been quite friendly, and the food comes out on time; not exceptionally fast, but not slow either. Just baby bear.
They have a nice cocktail selection, and they’re pretty expensive, but not the most expensive I’ve seen. There’s a good choice of drinks for under $8. This time I had the mangorita. It was delicious, and huge. There was no need to order a second round. The sweet and slightly tart mango puree complimented the Suaza tequila perfectly. It’s one of the nicest margaritas I’ve ever had. And when our bill came, it was magically a dollar cheaper then what was listed in the menu. I don’t know why, and I didn’t ask. Just in case.
I ordered the Bluenami burger, which had blue cheese dressing and crumbles. My burger was cooked precisely to my specifications and still nice and juicy. It was a bit skimpy on the blue cheese, and I thought the wheat bun was perhaps a bit too heavy. Maybe I’ll try a white bun next time. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t make me sing. I give it a B. I did love that I could order macaroni salad instead of French fries. For some strange reason, I absolutely love mac salad, and even though I wasn’t really hungry anymore, I couldn’t stop myself from eating it.
Geoff ordered the Kilauea burger, which was loaded with black pepper. He reports that he thought the black pepper was perhaps overkill, as that’s all he could really taste. He really liked his fries, which had a hint of garlic and still had the skin on.
This is definitely a date night, visit occasionally sort of place. The burgers are in the $12-$15 range, and the drinks start at around $6 for beer and $8 for cocktails. If you get there after 3:00 try and get a seat in the bar area. It’s happy hour from 3:00 ’til close in that section, and you can get drinks and appetizers on special for around $5. This makes the restaurant much easier on the wallet.
I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to eat here again, but if it was convenient, and I was hungry, I’d definitely stop in. It’s good, but not great.