Ninja Plate Lunch



Ninja Plate Lunch

Ninja Plate Lunch

[Update May 2011 – Closed]
SW 3rd and Ash


I was out late the other night and happened upon the newest cart in the SW 3rd and Ash pod – Ninja Plate Lunch. They were celebrating their first late night weekend. I had just munched on a taco from a different late night stand, so was too full to indulge. I’m glad I didn’t eat that night because yesterday, I ventured down and enjoyed a great lunch at Ninja Plate.

The owners, Kahala and Kat, told me their goal is to provide large portions of tasty traditional Hawaiian food for a low price. In looking at the menu, there is nothing there over $5. In this day and age, $5 is a great price for lunch. When they said large portions, I wasn’t sure what that meant until I saw Kat place two scoops of rice and a generous scoop of potato/macaroni salad on a plate then pass it over for the Kahlua pig. I had ordered the pig which turned out to be a large portion of pulled pork shoulder that had been marinated, then cooked and pulled apart before serving. The plate I received could feed two people easy.


Kahlua Pork

Kahlua Pork

When I sat down to enjoy this meal, I first just stared at it. What a generous amount of food. I first picked at the pork which was soft, juicy and very flavorful. Then the rice which was sticky and a perfect match to go with the slightly salty pork. Lastly, I dove into the potato/macaroni salad…and never looked back. I’m used to the type of macaroni salad that after a couple of bites, you realize you have eaten your daily intake of mayo. Not so in this case. Mixed in salad were chucks of potato, carrot, and peas. No excess mayo here. The pork was the highlight of the entire meal. No extra sauce or salt or any type of seasoning was needed. It stood on its own as a perfect presentation of this type of dish. I did my best to finish the meal, and almost did. So good. I only left a little rice. Oh and to top it all off, you get a Dum Dum sucker with every meal.

Ninja Plate Lunch opened just a week ago and are still working out a finalized menu. What I list below is what was offered that day. It may change, but I bet it will only change for the better. Kat and Kahala are a couple of nice friendly cartrepreneuers, so you should go say hi. Oh and check them out late night if you in Old Town for a show or just out causing trouble. Tell them Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Shoyu Chicken – $5
  • Kahlua Pig – $5
  • Hamburger steak – $5
  • Loco Moco – rice with hamburger patty on top covered with egg and brown gravy – $5
  • Chicken Curry – $5
  • Tofu Curry – $5
  • all plates come with 2 scoops of rice and 1 scoop of potato/mac salad
  • Spam Masubi – $2

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11am-3pm; Friday and Saturday nights from 11pm-3am
Twitter: NinjaPlateLunch on Twitter



  1. loco moco downtown? heaven! can’t wait to try it!

  2. This is the best food news I’ve heard in a long time. Local kine grinds!

  3. Yes Dave, you have to try this place. I lack the descriptive words to tell you how tasty the pork was. Do it!

  4. Oh, I know a bunch of hungry for home expat Hawaiians are going to be happy this cart exists.

  5. will definitely check this out! so many people claim hawaiian food but don’t even have kalua pig.

  6. Have been waiting for a Hawaiian food cart and am so happy with the Ninjas! The shoyu chicken was amazing!!

  7. i went with high hopes and was a little disappointed. i hope it’s just one of those off days. i ordered the kahlua pig and man, was it extremely salty? the rice and mac salad were tasty though.

  8. Kalua pig is supposed to be salty. My only complaint is that it was too dry in parts. My friend got the shoyu chicken and had the same complaint.

    Sadly, the rice wasn’t cooked properly. The grains were sticky on the outside and still hard on the inside. This is a common mistake, but should be easy to correct.

    The macaroni salad was passable, but I’m a big fan of fresh ground black pepper in Hawaiian mac salad (mixed into the dressing before it’s added to the macaroni). It doesn’t make it spicy; it just makes it more mouthwatering.

    I’ll try this cart again in a few weeks and see how it’s going.

  9. We hit up Ninja Plate Lunch today for lunch and were — sadly — disappointed.

    The shoyu chicken was nicely seasoned and certainly edible, but the texture was off, a little too mealy, like it’d been sitting in a chafing dish for far too long. The rice was terrible: grainy and crunchy in some places, gummy and clumpy in others. The kahlua pig was overly salty. Macaroni salad is a personal preference, but I found the grated carrots and overall lack of flavor to be unpleasant. A little salt and a lot of pepper would do wonders. The peas are a nice touch, actually.

    The ideas are good, and the flavor of the shoyu chicken tells me that someone here knows what they’re doing. I’m hoping a few process tweaks will improve the flavor and texture of the food. Maybe it’s just the adjustment to serving food out of a cart? Please?

  10. I have love Ninja Plate Lunch!! I have eaten there almost daily for lunch since they’ve been open. I literally crave their shoyu chicken, it is soo yummy. I have yet to be disappointed with anything I’ve gotten so far:-)

  11. i went here last night and ordered the kalua pig. it was ok. not the best, and there were huge hunks of grissly fat in mixed in with the meat so
    you have to be careful when you take a bite or you could be getting a bite of not so delicious jellyfied fat.
    my husband ordered the spam musubi which was ok as well, nothing special. i don’t think they even marinated the spam in anything.
    from reading some of the comments on here i was expecting
    super good food, but wasn’t too impressed.
    maybe that’s b/c i’m spoiled from living in hawaii and getting the
    real deal.

  12. Loco Moco for $5! Food coma here I come.

  13. I have to say my husband and I went to ninja plate and found it delightful. I’ll have to make some sequential visits before I can render an account of consistency, but overall found it to be quite in line with the kahlua pork I’ve had at other hawaiian restaurants here in PDX, with far better pricing and more generous portions. My husband grew up in Oahu and he gave it a thumbs up to. The very nice lady did say there might be saimin soup there this winter. If so, this might turn into a daily stop.

  14. Huge portions! I had the kalua pig and was overwhelmed by the amount of pork. At least two meals worth.
    It was good, but not great. It needs something more. . .like a tangy sauce on top.

  15. It seems that they’ve changed their Saturday hours, or at least, when I stopped by today at 11:15am the cart was closed and apparently empty of people.

  16. Yummy lunch and big portions. I loved it!

  17. I had the loco moco yesterday and it was the best i have had so far in PDX.

    Huge, 2 meals worth.. gravy salty but not too much, eggs excellent, rice was cooked fine (never had a problem with their rice like the other commenters), hamburger flavorful and better cooked than other places.

    for 5$ its insane. coworkers gaggled at the lunch

    aiea grill in beaverton is comparable but its almost 2x the price!

    Also have had the pork a few times and its too salty for some, but i like it since you have all that rice and mac to counter it.

    i need to try the shoyu chicken next time.

  18. I stopped in today, for my 2nd time. Ordered the Kalua pig, which was tender and delicious last time. I got back to my desk, opened up my food — and the meat was dry and overcooked, I’m pretty sure I was given last night’s leftovers. My macaroni salad WAS FROZEN IN THE MIDDLE. ICE.
    I didn’t eat half of it, too dry and old, and the frozen macaroni really helped kill off my appetite. Sorry, Ninja Plate, you just lost a once satisfied customer, I won’t be back. Nobody should have been served that meat.

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