John Brandi 9 p.m., Sept. 17
Ocean Beach Hawaiian bar doesn't deliver on the island food, but the vibe's still cool.
I was feeling mighty mainland the other night, freezing in the cold and darkness, so I thought to myself, hey, I’ll check out Tiny’s Tavern in OB and see if they got da kine make me feel more better. I liked the look of the bar right away. It was a little seedy, a bit drafty, but altogether neighborly inside. Plus, the bar takes credit cards and the kitchen stays open until midnight!
“Shit or get off the pot, what do you want?” asked the girl behind the bar, not overly occupied with the half-dozen regulars who were the only other patrons. I had been looking at the menu forever, searching in vain for Spam musubi where there was none, so I guess a little friendly ribbing was due. It sure beats condescension!
Speaking of ribs, I ordered some. Hawaiian-style plate lunch with BBQ ribs, two scoops of rice, and mac salad. I was, more or less, let down. The mac salad was non-delicious and the chewy, hard-to-eat ribs drowned in a sea of sweet, salty sauce, a little of which would have gone a long way. The rice was the most well-executed part of the dish, truth be told.
“Da original Tiny’s sliders” were a bit better, if only because the tiny burgers came on King’s Sweet Hawaiian rolls. Even wack food tastes pretty good when it’s stuffed inside a King’s roll. Nothing adorned the sliders: neither veg nor sauce nor condiment, but a handy bottle of Sriracha (bless you, Rooster Sauce) proved more than adequate to the task of dressing them up. Really, their biggest advantage was sheer numbers. The full order of sliders had six sandwiches on it for under ten bucks. The same could really be said of the ribs. At least there was plenty of food.
I love Hawaiian food, but Tiny’s didn’t have what I was looking for. The bar was cool and I’d go there to throw back a couple beers, maybe even watch a little college basketball, but I just can’t say “yes” to the food.
4745 Voltaire Street
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