This humble little cafeteria—order at the counter and then plant yourself—is part of Ben Dyer’s burgeoning Simpatica/Laurelhurst Market empire which automatically gives it the local foodie seal of approval. The decor is subtle: there are surf-shack knickknacks scattered hither and yon, and the walls are painted sea-of-tranquility blue. And that’s about it. But the dough they didn’t spend on ambiance is passed along to you, the hungry customer. There’s nothing on the menu over $10.95 and the portions are tsunami-sized.
Happy Hour is from 4-6 daily and includes a half-dozen delightful plates ($2-5) that can be passed around luau style. Five dollars gets you five ample Korean chicken drumsticks that require an acre or two of napkins to keep your kisser clean. The smoldering chili marinade is augmented with pepper and a gentle brush-stroke of teriyaki sweetness that ensures leisurely finger-licking with each bite. The spam musubi tempura ($2) is an island version of sushi, with a tempura batter-fried shell of rice protecting a core of egg and spam. It comes with thousand-island dipping sauce—apply liberally. There are two varieties of sliders (three for $5), namely kalua pork and shoyu chicken. They were out of the chicken during my second visit (sad face emoticon) but the succulent and generously piled pig was a worthy consolation prize.