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KOLO ATE: Aloha Shack

Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 9:42 AM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - It’s been quite the success story for Aloha Shack, which started out as a vendor at street fairs, and has now grown into a popular restaurant north of Reno.

“We built everything just like a pyramid,” said owner and chef Chris Luke. “Start with a good foundation and build it up.”

That included a few years as a mobile restaurant, where it was named the Best Food Truck by in both the “Best of Reno” and “Best of Northern Nevada” competitions.

“I’m Filipino and Chinese, as well as Hawaiian. My wife is Vietnamese and American. So we kind of incorporate that into all of our dishes,” added Luke.

The result is Hawaiian-Asian fusion, which makes for some unique dishes. Including their seven specialty sauces, which have won accolades and awards at local competitions.

“My Island BBQ sauce, I’ve been working on since I was probably 15 years old. And that took our first trophy at one of the wing cookoffs,” explained Luke. “So we just kept it going and it built up from there.”

Their most popular is the Ono sauce, which means “delicious” in Hawaiian. It also tops their signature Shack Chicken.

“It’s something different that nobody else has,” explained Luke. “It’s dark-meat chicken that we chop into pieces, and we fry it up with a little bit of a coat on it and top it with our Ono sauce, which is a honey sriracha sesame sauce. And garnish it with green onions and sesame seeds.”

It comes with a scoop of rice and their homemade Mac Salad: a side they go through between six to eight pounds of per day. Their Hawaiian Fried Rice is also a favorite, made of bacon, linguisa and Teriyaki chicken. And for cold days, their Wonton soup is a hit.

“My wife came up with the wonton broth, and we have cilantro-lime wontons going in there,” added Luke. “It’s a really good dish, and it’s become very popular in the community.”

Their business has taken a hit during this pandemic, forcing them to close down the dining room and offer take-out only.

“We do still get a steady stream, but we are down probably about 40 percent,” admitted Luke.

But they are surviving when a lot of other local restaurants are not.

“If your customers don’t stick with you, then you’re almost doomed for failure,” said Luke. “So you’ve got to make sure your customers you take care of. They’re number one all the time.”

Aloha Shack is located at 8798 N. Red Rock Road #201. You can find out more about it by clicking on the link below.

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