While Seattle has its fair share of sunshine, it also has (more than) its fair share of what seems to be endless cloudy days. When it seems like the clouds and rain won’t ever go away or when the sunshine is so bright it leaves you longing for a tropical vacation, cozy up to one (or all) of these Hawaiian restaurants and let your mind and your taste buds relax in the comforts of island-inspired cuisine.

Marination Ma Kai – West Seattle

With humble roots, Marination Station started out as a food truck and worked its way up two separate brick-and-mortar locations; one in downtown on Harvard Avenue, and the other in West Seattle on Alki. While you can still catch the Marinaton Station mobile food truck, Big Blue, (find locations here); it would be in your best interest to check out the Marination Ma Kai located on Alki.

This postcard perfect locale is like taking a mini vacation. With the Seattle skyline in the background, your only problem here will be trying not to order one (two or three) of everything on the menu. Many of the items are sized appropriately to order a variety of flavors. For instance, grab a few tacos; one with miso ginger chicken (drool), another with kalbi and yet another with spicy pork. Then, because you’re practically on vacation, you should round it off with some fish tacos and a slider with kalua pork (or Spam).  Don’t miss the hand cut fries and the Pork Katsu Sandwich and be sure not to skip the sauce (yes, you need the sauce). Try the Nunya Sauce or the Kimchi Tarter to add a little extra oomph to your tacos, sliders and fries. And be sure to round off your meal with a bowl of shave ice either with or without Husky Deli vanilla ice cream. Some of our favorite flavors are: guava, strawberry, pineapple and passion fruit.

Order enough for sharing, and head on out to the waterside patio to bask in the sun and enjoy this little slice of heaven. If the patio is full (as it often is once the sun comes out), there is no need to worry. Bring a blanket and head over to the large patch of grass, head out front to one of the picnic tables by the water's edge or go down to the beach for a relaxing seaside picnic.

Good to Know:  There is a small parking lot, with limited short term parking, and usually ample street parking in the area. Additionally, the Seattle Water Taxi has a dock in Seacrest Park, which happens to be adjacent to Marination Ma Kai. If you are looking for a mini-adventure, hop on the Water Taxi (recently featured as one our 75 things to check off your summer bucket list), which leaves from Pier 50 in downtown Seattle, and trek on over for a quick trip to this island inspired favorite. Click here for more information on the Water Taxi.

Marination Ma Kai
1660 Harbor Ave. S.W.
Seattle, Wa 98126

Marination Station
1412 Harvard Ave.
Seattle, Wa 98122

Online: marinationmobile.com

The Truck - Big Blue
locations vary

photo: Kristina Moy

Where do you find your favorite Hawaiian grindz? Let us know in the Comments below.

— Jenifer Castillo