Lunch: Hawaiian Barbecue In the Most Unexpected of Places (and Cheap!)

photoBBQ Chicken: $6.25. Huh? Never eaten here, but I could of sworn from the window display of a table set with a plate of plastic sushi that Osaka was a Japanese restaurant. (Plus, there’s usually something in a name.)

Turns out, the barbecue is Hawaiian-style, which means the chicken (there’s also spare ribs, for a few dollars more) is tenderized and marinated in a sweet, hybrid teriyaki-barbecue sauce, grilled, and served on a bed of rice with some salad greens.

photo(3)Yeah, it’s really good chicken. Big flavor, a lot of tenderness, succulence retained: This chicken absolutely destroys the parched, bland, “grill-charred” chicken breasts you find added to salads and pasta dishes, and lurking at delis, waiting to be tucked into sandwiches.

Next time, I’m going to ask for some extra sauce on the side. I found myself wishing I had some to pour all over the chicken and mash into the rice. It’d make it that much better. (As you can see, I had no issue finishing off the plate without sauce.)

photo(4)photo(5)About those spare ribs … The $6.25 barbecue chicken special is part of Osaka’s walk-in, off-the-regular-menu specials, and ends up being pretty basic. The Hawaiian meal listed on the menu ($8.99) opens up a whole new world: You get your choice of chicken or spare ribs, served with rice, soup, shumai, a California roll and salad. Hell yeah.

TIP: The walk-in, off-the-regular-menu menu has a number of lunch specials that hit the sweet spot, wallet-wise. Something to consider if you can ever move past the barbecue. (Photo of menu after the jump.)

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