Friday, May 13, 2011

Mini Hawaiian Food Safari in Las Vegas: Malasadas Hunting & Local Kine Grinds

My last full day in Las Vegas started with an idea that I could find malasadas in town. Fougoo posted about Leonard's malasadas when she went to Hawaii a few years ago, and I could not forget how much she and Redneckhunter loved these sweet treats. I knew that there were a lot of Hawaiians in the Vegas area, and by doing a quick survey online, I found several places mentioned that made malasadas.
The first place was a bakery on the northeast side of town, but I discovered they had shut down.
I had another lead, a branch of the chain L&L Hawaiian Barbeque was also noted to have malasadas. They certainly did. I ordered one of both kinds- plain and custard filled. They were made to order and came out piping hot. I would agree with Redneckhunter's preference for the custard filled malasadas. They were amazing: creamy, eggy, sweet and warm goodness.
I also tried some the the Hawaiian food at L&L. First I got the Loco Moco. It was not so good. I was told that L&L are more of a fast food chain, and this showed in their Loco Moco. The hamburger patty reminded me of a McDonald's hamburger patty.
At least their Spam musubi was decent. After all, you can't have a filler substitute when it's already Spam.

After a disappointing Loco Moco, I decided to go the downtown Vegas to Aloha Specialties for supper to make up for it. As I arrived, I saw that they were having a "Lei Day" festival, and I saw a big banner advertising "Malasadas".
I headed directly to the stand, and ordered just the custard filled variety. These were better than the ones at L&L. I watched them deep frying them and piping in the custard while I enjoyed a couple more malasadas.
After dessert, I walked over to the California Casino to the their mezzanine level to grab a bite at Aloha Specialties. This restaurant has been in Vegas for years, and they might make some of the best Hawaiian food in town. I decided on the Hawaiian tripe stew with a side of mac salad.
The tripe was tender and the flavor of the tomato and onion sauce was pleasant and mild. Their mac salad was delicious. The Hawaiian version of macaroni salad is usually less watery than mainland mac salad. When you scoop it up, it retains it's shape.

L&L Hawaiian Barbeque
7891 W Tropical Pkwy # 120
Las Vegas, NV

Aloha Specialties (inside California Casino)
12 East Ogden Avenue
Las Vegas, NV


fougoo said...

Interesting... I've been to the L&L in New York City, and I'm not sure if they had malasadas. Of course I think when I went there, I had not yet had them at Leonard's so I may not have looked for them. Would be worth going back to see...

Little Paper Hen said...

ahhh . . . malasadas and L&L. don't kill me for hardly ever going there when they are down the street from me. i always wish i could eat all the other stuff you guys are eating that i can never find in hawaii