I was having lunch with a gigantic lawyer who likes sex the other day, and we had happened to stumble in to Ate-Oh-Ate, the Hawaiian joint on East Burnside at 24th, next to where Alder used to be. I'd been aware of the place for a while, but always thought I'd save it for when I was good and starving, as Hawaiian food has that reputation. I figured he could handle the portions, and that I'd take the starchy sides home for playing with later.
This was silly. Ate-Oh-Ate isn't a plate lunch dump: it's delicious, refined, beautifully-done Hawaiian classics as designed by Laurelhurst Market/Simpatica's Benjamin Dyer. The beef in the Teriyaki Beef is actually tender, flavorful, and recognizable as beef, instead of the usual handful of boiled comedy most teriyaki shacks serve. The crispy saimin with roast pork belly has an excellent balance of aromatic vegetables and noodles, and just enough pork to feel like a value but not so much that an oleaginous film lines your innards for an hour afterwards. The real stand-out here was the burger, though, which I'd put on any top-ten list in town. Look at that photo; this isn't some fussed-up geek stack, this is an America Burger With God Dammit Sauce [figuratively]. Char, juice, perfect bun, the balls to have shredded iceberg outside of a cafeteria...it's smart stuff and only $7.95.
More photos after the jump.