Still very much in a Hawaii state of mind after our big trip to Maui, we decided to check out Ate-Oh-Ate (a play on words, inspired by Hawaii's area code, 808) in East Portland. Hearing many good things about this place, including their happy hour deal, Dan and I ventured over in search of familiar eats and drinks that we so recently enjoyed on our vacation.
Casual, communal and friendly, the vibe immediately appealed to us - especially when we saw that it's an order at the counter type of place. On a Friday evening right before happy hour ended, it was quite busy and buzzing needless to say, so we found a comfy seat by the bar right after ordering. This allowed for a good view of the open kitchen, and while I thought this would be a great thing, I'm not sure I'd go for it again.
On the walls, you'll notice festive, colorful local Hawaiian inspired art as well as lots of color on the walls and the furniture. The overall effect is uplifting and fun and while I wasn't overly impressed with the food experience, I can't knock the chill atmosphere.
Happy to see there was a lot to choose from on the happy hour menu, Dan and I went for a double order of the wings, a sampling of their sliders and a little green on the side with edamame. Although everything sounded great, in reality I was disappointed by the way it actually tasted and I'm not sure I'll be rushing to go back. Here's how I break it down:
Korean Chicken Wings - Being a huge fan of chicken wings, this was a no brainer for both Dan and me. Ate-Oh-Ate's version promised a spicy, Korean-style wing, which appealed to both of us and upon first glance, they looked great. However, when we bit into them, the texture was a little slimy on the inside and the outside a tad too oily. They could've gone more aggressive on the spice too, in my opinion.
Shoyu Chicken Slider - Opposite from the wings, the chicken slider delivered. Slathered with a slightly sweet sauce and cooked to a perfectly tender consistency, it was delicious to bite into and the eggy Hawaiian bun held all its components perfectly. Dan's pork slider was tasty too and if coming here again, we'd opt for more of these in place of the wings.
Spicy Edamame - For just $2 there was no reason not to get these and while they were tasty, I wish they were served warm or at room temperature instead of downright cold. Spruced up with a few things such as garlic, chili flakes and once again that sweet spicy sauce, they definitely had a Hawaiian flair.
Drinks - Dan ordered the bright Mai Tai cocktail you see above and I got the sweet guava nectar. I know it sounds strange but I'm almost inclined to say this was our favorite part of our experience, as the drinks were vibrant, refreshing and did a great job of transporting us back to Hawaii.
Service and Cost:
I have only good things to say in this department, as the staff is lovely and welcoming and reminds me of the infectious hospitality you experience in Hawaii. They were gracious in that they let us still take advantage of the happy hour menu even though we were a few minutes late.
Costs are inexpensive and included $5 for 5 wings, $2.50 for each slider and just $2 for the edamame. The portions are generous too, so if you're hungry you won't be disappointed.
Ate-Oh-Ate - 2454 East Burnside Street, Portland OR 97214
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