Home Eat Local Waves of flavor at Big Aloha’s Ali’i Cove

Waves of flavor at Big Aloha’s Ali’i Cove


UNIVERSAL CITY — Hawaiian natives Kalani and Imelda “Mel” Young have been cooking up authentic island dishes served from their catering business and then a food truck.

Now, the couple have a brick-and-mortar restaurant — Big Aloha’s Ali’i Cove, 1210 Pat Booker Road, Suite H. Dec. 15 marked its grand opening.


1210 Pat Booker Road,
Suite H
in Universal City.
For more, call 210-507-2042
or visit facebook.com/hawaiianfoodtruck

“Literally, from the very first day that we opened the food truck it was successful. It actually ended up being same thing with this restaurant. We’re very fortunate … and we haven’t even done the full menu yet,” Kalani Young said.

Big Aloha’s Ali’i Cove serves several dishes from the Hawaiian islands including a special of the day, fried rice with Spam. Photo by Collette Orquiz

In 2007, the Youngs moved to the San Antonio area to be near family. They launched Big Aloha Hawaiian Food Services in 2012 and the truck, Big Aloha, in 2016.

At the restaurant, they’re still making Hawaiian food, plain and simple, Young said.

“If (customers) have been to Hawaii, or if they’re curious about Hawaii, we do our very best to represent some of the actual authentic type of food that you’d be getting,” Young said.

Hawaiian food is drawn from various cultures including Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese and American. A main ingredient is meat — chicken, pork and beef, with Spam and seafood options, too.

Offerings include Loco Moco, two burger patties on rice, under a fried egg and gravy; and Huli Huli, grilled chicken in a sweet sauce. Teri or teriyaki dishes are the most popular.

Plates come with macaroni salad and rice or a garden salad.

“We want it to be fresh. That’s why our orders might take a longer period of time than average,” Young said.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch and 5-8 p.m. for dinner Wednesday through Saturday.


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