Hawaii seemingly has cornered the local market on island food, but the owners of True Island BBQ, 9550 S. Eastern Ave., want diners to know there’s more than one island in the Pacific.
While you will find Spam on the menu at True Island, the cuisine is mainly Guamanian and incorporates ingredients that differentiate Guam’s island food from Hawaiian or other Polynesian cuisine, say owners and brothers, Jordan and Darrell Manibusan.
Jordan runs the kitchen while Darrell operates the front of the house.
Spam is on the menu primarily because people familiar with island food expect it, Jordan Manibusan says, but it’s served as a side dish and not as entrees.
“We’re not from Hawaii and the use of Spam is typically Hawaiian,” he says. “We want to be known for our barbecue.”
Manibusan uses his own recipes and cooks meat over an open grill. Entrees are served with small house salads topped with homemade dressing and a choice of white rice or red rice, a Guamanian dish. It’s simply plain rice cooked with herbs and spices and gets its name from the red tint imparted by annatto, or achiote, seed.
True Island BBQ is a self-service restaurant, but the brothers stress that they don’t use plastic foam plates or plastic forks for dine-in customers. The dining room seats 40. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays, and closed Sundays.
Specialties: Mongolian chicken, a chef’s special not on the menu, $10.25; Atlantic salmon, blackened or grilled with teriyaki sauce, $12.99; mahi mahi, blackened or teriyaki, $10.99.
Appetizers: Lumpia, Filipino-style egg roll with a Guamanian spin, $5.25; coconut shrimp with a sweet chili sauce, $7.50; gyoza, Japanese dumplings, $5.25.
Salads: house cabbage salad with carrots and house dressing, $3.50
Entrees: Barbecue chicken thighs with salad and choice of rice, $8; beef shish kebab with rice and salad, $8.75; Mongolian beef, $10.25
Desserts: Pancake a la mode, a pancake with ice cream, whipped cream and chocolate sauce, $6.95; monkey brownie, brownie with ice cream, chopped nuts and cherries, $6.75
By SONYA PADGETT