Monday, May 5, 2008

Jawaiian Irie Jerk Jamaican BBQ in the parking lot along Kapiolani Blvd at Kalakaua Ave

On the days when I really wanna take a chance, I'll drive down Kapiolani Blvd from McCully toward Kalakaua Ave. Right before the light is a parking lot near Century Center. If I'm lucky, Jawaiian Irie Jerk is open. It's hard to tell sometimes 'cause he's been real busy catering events, there'll be days when he's open a little later than usual. Just listen for the reggae blastin' upp the parking lot, and the busy looking guy in the window or on the phone. The menu's a little different every day, but the usually reliable entrees are Jerk Chicken or Jerk Pork. I don't know how a kitchen in a car works, but no matter what time of the afternoon I've been lucky enough to eat there, the meat is always tender and juicy, without tasting drowned in anything to keep it thusly.

Whatever he uses to BBQ his meats in, it has this perfect balance of flavour and spice. I honestly don't know where Jamaica is on the map, but I would say the taste reminds me of like a tropical desert fusion. There's like a familiar foreign tang with a light peppery nibble on the tongue.The sumptuous sides include a fluffy long grain rice with mixes of bean and a subtle hint of coconut; paired with (and sometimes I mix 'em) a fragrant yellow "Ital" stew of carrots, onion, and cabbage, sometimes eggplant in a light liquidy stock. In the middle, or just off to the side of your plate, there's a soft crispy fried thing. A "fritter" it's called. But it doesn't feel greasy, more like marinated, with a meshy mish mash hash of Jamaican rice, scattered with chunks of colour to vary the texture without altering it's character, which it has a lot of.
Actually, everything included in a plate has it's own distinct vibe that harmonizes with it's counterparts, to create a well-blended mix, an exotic and accessible medley for your mouth. And if the Hawaiian music DJ is in the middle of a good set, or there's reggae on KTUH, I'll take my plate to the water and jam that jerk thru my jaws.
So try your luck and you'll be rewarded. Or just call, to be sure of your fortune. Either way, just one plate of Jawaiian Irie Jerk's uncommon recipes with savoury combinations, will have you achin' for Jamaican food and makin' the drive to Waikiki for your new favourite lunchtime plate option.

Jawaiian Irie Jerk Jamaican BBQ @ Kapiolani Blvd & Kalakaua Ave in the parking lot on the corner across from Diamond Head Video, the Convention Center and Hard Rock Cafe. Serving lunch Tuesday thru Sunday, starting sometime around 1130am till he runs out of food. Saturday nights (and eventually Fridays too) he stays open for dinner till about 9pm. Call Chef Cassie to see if he's open (808) 388-2917 or you can even email him if you're interested in catering for your next party or BBQ:

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