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Pac Island Grill

A taste of the Pacific islands in Federal Way

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A bright orange wall meets a tropical green wall. Large framed pictures of surfing, sea creatures, and island sunsets grace the entry. The Taste of Tacoma Best Entrée winner for 2006 and 2007 enjoys plenty of sun and light streaming through cream colored, curtain-draped windows trimmed in lush teal paint. Wicker chairs cozy up to tan wooden tables. Flickering flames seep from glass candleholders. Recorded island music plays at a medium level.

Heavenly scents float from the kitchen at the back of the restaurant. Metal leaf-shaped fan blades circulate air in a lazy fashion. Don’t let the description fool you; Pac Island Grill is not a fancy, pretentious restaurant and doesn’t strive to be. 

A visit here is like dropping by your favorite Auntie’s house ’round dinner time and sharing a meal and light conversation with a couple of neighbors, a cousin you don’t know that well but are fond of, and your kid brother.

The menu is plenty authentic with the prevailing theme being one of protein- sweet glazed barbeque chicken, ultra soft pork, tender beef, flakey fish and seafood. Anyone that’s ever stepped off a plane onto a Hawaiian island knows that plate lunch does not specify your lunch presentation. Pac Grill serves up plate lunch ($7.95) the authentic way: a big scoop of rice, a heaping portion of meat, a scoop of macaroni salad or Cole slaw. This is no ordinary slaw, mind you, but very thinly sliced white and purple cabbage swimming in a tangy sweet sauce.  

A special treat is Lau Lau, a self-contained package of goodness consisting of taro leaves wrapped around butterfish, pork or chicken ($9.25). Baseball sized packets steam slowly keeping meat moist. Unwinding the leaves, juice slides into mounds of firm white rice.

Refillable house-made green tea infused with delicate mint flavor, sugary mango and passionfruit ($1.35) is the perfect way to wash down every bite. 

Service is familiar and casual.

Live island music some Fridays and most Saturdays starting at 5:30 p.m.

[Pac Island Grill, 2012 S. 320th Street, Suite H, Federal Way, 253.529.8667,]

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