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The Islands - American Food with A Healthy Twist

By Pete Allman

Tom Hallick and Jin Jiang with Pete Allman - The IslandsTony DeGrazier, the founder of Islands knew his surfing experience and lifestyle in Hawaii would one day be brought into his visions of a fun place to have American food with a healthy twist. Today, there are 60 locations throughout California.

My guest, Tom Hallick formerly of the Young and Restless and Gangster Squad and his wife Jin Jiang, who is a violinist with Andre Bochelli joined me for dinner. We were greeted by Bradley Beery the General manager of the Marina Del Rey store and Mellisa Taniguchi, also a manager and an exceptional one at that.

The Islands is a great setting with LCD screens throughout the restaurant, showcasing some great surf videos and a good selection of Craft Beers. Tom Hallick ordered a Hefeweizen and I ordered a Wild-berry Banana and Yin Jiang ordered a cool breeze, prepared with Coconut cream, banana and strawberries.

We then ordered the famous Tortilla Soup, consisting of chicken and fresh vegetables, topped with jack cheese, avocado and tortilla strips. The soup in itself is a meal, when you order the Endless Bowl, a mere $7.79 for all the soup you can eat.

Time to fill add a little more excitement with Buffalo Wings, served in Islands traditional spicy sauce, seved with carrots and celery with ranch dressing. This appetizer also can be ordered with teriyaki or bbq sauce. Just for the big eaters there's also the Spinach and Artichoke Dip, sever with chopped spinach and artichoke hearts mixed with sautéed onion and garlic in a creamy Alfredo sauce with fresh chips and salsa.

By now, one would think we would be stuffed. That's not the case. The most famous food item on the menu is the Hamburgers. We ordered the Point Break, consisting with Gruyere and bleu cheeses, caramelized bacon and onion relish, with lettuce, tomato and mayo, along with the Kilauea, consisting of Jalapeño and black pepper-crusted burger with black pepper jack cheese, with Island reds, chipolte silo, lettuce and tomato. Since I enjoy Turkey and Veggie Burgers, my choice was the Hula Burger, prepared with applesauce, seasonings, bell peppers, celery and scallions. Just marvelous. Why not, it's all cooked on an open grill with the very finest lean ground beef and lean Turkey.

Now if you're looking for a quick meal, let me also recommend the Beach Bowl. Wow, this dish is prepared with fresh grilled pineapple, red bell peppers, snow peas, water chestnuts, red onions, broccoli and diced scallions with hoisin sauce, served over brown rice. This is dish is also available with chicken or Mahi Mahi for only $12.95.

So, whether you're inclined to eat a lot of food like us, or something quick, Islands is your place in the sun for a fun evening. American food with a healthy twist. But, if you have a sweet tooth, then enjoy there Kona Pie with Mocha almond fudge ice cream and cookie crust topped with chocolate fudge, whipped cream, roasted almonds and a cherry.

The Islands is located on 404 Washington Blvd. in Marina Del Rey. Call (310) 822-3939 for reservations.

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Pete Allman
2595 Fremont Street, Las Vegas, Nevada 89104
578 Washington Boulevard #679, Marina Del Ray, CA 90292