It's been a couple of months since I last had Greek food, and although I enjoy it, there aren't very many places here that do it well. So after I had posted about my visits to The Greek Corner, a reader of this blog sent me an e-mail and asked me to visit Greek Marina. So after a recent visit to Costco in Hawaii Kai, I decided to stop by Greek Marina for some lunch.
Greek Marina is located in a small strip mall where you'll find a 24 Hour Fitness and a Yummy's Korean BBQ. There may be other food places in the general vicinity, but there wasn't anything else that really stood out. The Greek Marina offers both indoor and outdoor seating and since it was really hot out, I decided to eat in air conditioned comfort. Since it was 1:00 pm, I thought more people would want to eat indoors, but I guess I was wrong -- I was the only one eating inside.
The white walls were trimmed with bright blue waves, and the furnishings consisted of light wood tables and chairs. After reviewing the menu, I decided on the gyros plate (US$10.95).
When the plate arrived, I noticed that half of it was covered with salad. On the other half of the plate, there was a huge pile of gyros and a stack of pita bread (one pita cut into 4 wedges). The well seasoned and slightly spicy gyros was fork tender, but just a little dry. The salad was refreshing and covered with just the slightest amount of tangy dressing. The pitas, while warm and a little crispy around the edges, were just a little too brittle.
About two weeks after the initial visit, I decided to stop by Greek Marina again after running a few errands. Again it was lunchtime and the restaurant was surprisingly empty. This time, I was considering either the souvlaki or the Greek steak (if there is such a thing), but instead, I decided to go "healthier" and opted for the chicken gyros (US$10.95).
When the plate arrived, I was really shocked by the presentation. On the plate where the gyros was last time, was a mangled mess. The chicken was chopped and shredded, and it looked completely unappetizing. After the first bite, I declared this a failure. The chicken was extremely dry and flavorless. The salad was drowning in dressing and the pita bread was cold.
While I was deciding what I was going to do, out came the side order of falafel (US$5.95) that I had ordered.
Here's a closeup of the falafel.
Garnished with lettuce and sliced tomatoes, the deep fried falafel arrived overdone. When I tried to bite into the first one, I could have sworn my teeth cracked on the hard exterior. The inside was moist and tender, but what little flavor was here was obscured by the bitter and burnt tasting "crust".
After the second visit, I left in utter disappointment. The food here was inconsistently prepared, and expensive -- the quality of the food certainly did not justifying the price I paid. And although the service was good, it isn't enough to warrant a repeat visit.
Koko Marina Center
7192 Kalanianaole Highway Unit E-126