With the goal of fusing cuisines from multiple island cultures together, owner Tami Kaauamo opened Leander-based food truck Pacific Flame Island Grill in December 2021.

Kaauamo’s background includes 22 years in the food industry. Her entrepreneurial spirit led her to open the family-operated food truck—named to keep its options open in regards to different island cuisines.

“We’re Pacific Flame, so if we decided we wanted to bust out a Samoan meal, we can do that,” Kaauamo said. “It kind of left us open to diversity.”

Pacific Flame offers island barbecue grilled over lava rocks, which sets the restaurant apart, Kaauamo said. Plates are made up of rice or mixed greens, customers’ choice of meat and veggies or fruit. Meat options include shoyu chicken—made with a Japanese-style soy sauce—teriyaki beef, adobo-seasoned salmon or grilled shrimp.

Customer favorites at Pacific Flame include a plate with two meats—known as Plate No. 2; the Saturday Spam brunch; and the twisted pineapple slam. Family Operator Jacqulin Quitugua said the food truck’s finadene sauce, which is native to Guam, is also really popular.

Because Kaauamo’s father was in the military, she traveled between Okinawa, Guam and Hawaii her entire life. Pacific Flame’s food is inspired by these cultures.

“All these foods are a combination of [the islands'] grandmas’ and grandpas’, dads’, and uncles’ and aunties’ foods,” Kaauamo said. “We wanted to put them on the map, because their food is so good, it should be shared with the locals.”

Kaauamo wants to continue growing the business and in the future obtain another food truck for events and travel. Down the line, she hopes to open a brick-and-mortar location.

“We want our food to bring families together like it brought our family together, because that was our source of happiness,” Kaauamo said.

Customer favorites

Plate No. 2 comes with a choice of two meats, one vegetable and one side, as well as mac salad, a Hawaiian roll and finadene sauce ($16). A few possible Plate No. 2 options include the following:
  • grilled garlic butter shrimp and adobo-seasoned salmon; mixed greens salad; fresh pineapple with li hing mui and chamoy
  • shoyu chicken and teriyaki beef sirloin skewer; grilled zucchini; white rice
What is finadene?

Finadene, a soy sauce recipe that originated in Guam, is a family staple, Kaauamo said. It complements meats, rice, salads and many other foods, and customers at Pacific Flame love it. Though the exact recipe cannot be given, the tangy island condiment is made up of:
  • freshly diced onions
  • tomatoes
  • spicy marinated peppers
Pacific Flame Island Grill

203 W. Broade St., Leander


Hours: Thu.-Sun. 11 a.m.-7 p.m., closed Mon.-Wed.