There are no tables at Island Hut, just seven stools at the bar and three more along the window. There isn’t any decor, really — I didn’t think you could get less bare-bones than previous 2408 University tenant Irene’s Pupusas, but the Hut has done it. And it would be nice to sip a Red Stripe with my meal, but a beer license is probably a year or so away.
Those may be drawbacks, but no matter: the food is good, and the jerk chicken in particular ought to have people lining up all day every day. Not everything is fabulous: beef patties look like mass-market, not made in-house (though I could be wrong); the beef is an unusual creamy-pate consistency. The pastry is flaky enough, and they taste okay. Goat curry is better, fork-tender meat with a hint of fire in the flavorful dark green-brown sauce with chunks of ginger and carrot. Curries (several options besides goat) are served with white rice or rice’n’beans, average thick-cut slaw, and plantains; a nice little lunch or dinner plate.
But never mind all that. The jerk chicken is the real deal: moist, tender, charred on the outside, and with a sneaky spicy kick. You know it is good when you can’t stop gnawing the bones. It comes with sauce that is allegedly hot but isn’t any hotter than the chicken itself — still, the sauce is good, I used mine for dipping the meat patty. The chicken needs no sauce. You can get a quarter, half, or whole chicken, prices are comparable with most local Peruvian chicken spots.
Island Hut is really just a takeout joint for now, though that may change if they serve beer at some point. The menu also includes some seafood that takes longer to prepare, and a few other items, like ribs, are listed but are not yet actually available. They have been open a few weeks and are still ramping up. A local family owns and runs the place; very friendly, efficient service. I also like the little window and saloon doors between kitchen and counter.
Bottom line: the curry is good, and the jerk chicken is excellent. I expect to see a line next time I’m there, which may be soon.