mmm-yoso!!! is a food blog. Kirk usually writes here, but he isn't here right now. He is in an exotic land far, far away. Well. The land may not be exotic, but is far away for some of you and the food he is eating is exotic. In the interim, Cathy is talking about her foray into exotic.
Hi. The other day, The Mister and I were driving along Mission Gorge Road and saw the two end buildings at the NorthEast corner at Zion had changed ownership last year and we kept forgetting to stop. At this point in time, we were both hungry. We remembered to stop.
I was not interested in the Hula part, but the "Island Barbeque" sign caught my eye. Basically, Chamorro means Guamanian food. The Mister had spent quite a bit of time in Guam and said Guam had the best food, and he thought it was the first place he had had poke. I figured I could get poke if nothing on the menu seemed interesting.
Well. No poke on the menu. Different island food here. But interesting looking items. Decor was Philippines, Guam and Hawwaii... We went inside.
We placed our order, paid, sat down and waited. The good thing about Chamorro Grill is that your food is made to order. The only bad thing about Chamorro Grill is that your food is made to order. Many people came in to pick up phoned in/to go orders. There had been 5 tables with people eating when we came in. We watched the television, read a copy of The Reader and pondered a lot about that door to the right. The one with the red sign "Employees Only". The door which cannot possibly open fully. See the wall behind it, the wall with the clock, the 12 inch wide wall employees walk around to get to the kitchen? The wall with a door. We pondered that little sort of storage area a long time.
It was worth the wait. The lumpia ($3.25), which we ordered as an afterthought, were home made, filled with ground beef and peas and a nice spice. We got 5 and not 4, as the menu stated. Perhaps because we were waiting. These were prepared last and were very hot. We could not eat them for a while. But they were fried properly-crispy, not greasy. Again: made here, not the frozen ones you can buy at the Asian Market.
I wanted to try the Kadun Pika ($6.50). Chicken in a spicy coconut sauce. Boneless, skinless thighs, at least two thighs, possibly three. The menu says braised chicken...in any case, moist and flavorful meat. The sauce did not have any hints of coconut, but was thick (not from cornstarch), tasty and had some very nice heat to it. This was served with Calrose rice- with a hint of achoete (achiote?). Menu says the rice is cooked with garlic, onions and other spices, but it wasn't. I think if it had been, that would have contrasted with the pika sauce.
Next to the cash register there was a board listing 'specials'. The garlic shrimp cooked in crab fat ($7.95) caught my eye. Crab fat, sometimes called crab paste, is sold in jars, not refrigerated. I have seen it at most of the Asian markets around here. I never bought it. I should have. I will. The flavor of crab fat is ...crab. Buttery, concentrated crab.
The very large, plump, fresh shrimp(7) in this dish still had the fresh shrimp flavor, sauteed in garlic. The sauce had the most wonderful butter-garlic-crab flavor and lots of canned mushrooms. We spoke to the cook-chef, who was very happy we had ordered and really liked this dish.
This is a very nice place, the people working here are very friendly and the food is excellent.
Chamorro Grill 6628 Mission Gorge Road (at Zion-kitty corner from the Wendy's) 92120 (619) 280-2000 Website