Island Discovery

The things I enjoyed most turned out to go best with that red rice I mentioned. A plate of spicy Portuguese sausage, served with two eggs, tasted great with forkfuls of rice, and so did the kadun huang, a savory stew of shrimp, tender tomato chunks, onions, and green bell pepper in a creamy coconut milk sauce. Just the sauce alone, spooned over some red rice, was delicious.

The kitchen at Island Roots was very generous with portions, and by the end of the meal, I was fantasizing about a nap. But several kinds of cake made the dessert menu too tempting to ignore. Moist, bright pink guava cake, topped with creamy vanilla icing and a layer of sweet guava jelly, was a big hit — and big enough for the whole table to sample. Meanwhile, I was content to work on my own piece of latiza, a traditional Guamanian dessert with thick, creamy vanilla custard blanketing a thin layer of white cake. With a dash of cinnamon on top, its luscious flavors reminded me of rice pudding.

Say "hafa adai" (hello) to the cuisine of Guam: Island Roots' chef-owner Frank Castro.
Jackie Mercandetti
Say "hafa adai" (hello) to the cuisine of Guam: Island Roots' chef-owner Frank Castro.


Lumpia: $2.99
Chicken kelaguin: $3.79
Kalua pig: $10.99
Kadun huang: $15.99
480-940-1887, »web link.
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Island Roots Guam Cuisine, 1285 West Elliot Road, Tempe

Like most everything else at Island Roots, it was a little bit foreign, a little bit familiar, and entirely worthy of further exploration.

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I assume this means you're not friends with the owner (or his wife) least not anymore.

Just wanted to mention that they've got a "Closed for Renovations" sign up as of 20 November.


I've known the owner for years now. And I visited IslandRoots on several occasions. Each time the food looks and tastes different. The chicken has been mainly too dry - or over salted. During one visit in the HOT summer day, the A/C was not working, and NOT one person offered a apology or water! And expensive, for what they offer. I think the owners wife is the main "host" in which she's extremely rude, and unfriendly. Makes it be known she's over whelm with 4 customers. I hope they can survive - and get their act together.