Tommy O’s at the Camas Hotel.
When we found out the much-respected, consistently delicious, and community-oriented brand was returning to Camas we were ecstatic! Tommy Owens, his son, Josh, and team went right to work modifying the small space into a workable restaurant to fit the local ambiance and carry on the tradition we all know and love.
Now, two months plus into their new location, Tommy O’s at the Camas Hotel has mastered the tiny space by modifying — with great success — their fine offerings.
During our review session, we happily sampled the Thai Garlic Chicken Drumsticks (the biggest surprise of the day), Lobster Pot Stickers, Ahi Sashimi — all three are small plates — as well as the Miso Sake Butterfish (see featured photo), Kalbi Salmon, Teriyaki Chicken, Steam Coconut Forbidden Rice, and the Spicy Wok Green Beans.
Tommy O’s at the Camas Hotel serves many of their signature dishes, but due to space limitations, they’ve streamlined the menu. The interior matches its menu with a Hawaiian flair.
“We tried to adapt the menu to take the best flavors from the downtown Vancouver restaurant and make them work in this location,” said Josh Owens. “This restaurant has some unique characteristics as far as the footprint, which is a third the size and then the kitchen layout has a big, beautiful brick oven, but we don’t have a grill so that changes what we can do. Most of what you see here, the teriyaki chicken, the butterfish, the cedar plank salmon, those things all come out of our above ground brick imu. It runs at 600 degrees and allows us to get a nice crispy skin on that chicken, food sears really quickly, so it’s a great tool to serve a great number of people very quickly in a small footprint.”
Head Chef Jonathon Betts makes it all happen.
“I feel that the smaller kitchen is easier to work around because you’re not turning as much,” said Betts. “The public response has been very positive. They love the things that are different about this new space. We don’t have the Kalbi Ribs because we don’t have the grill. Some things just don’t work here, but we’re always looking for ways to bring those flavors here.”
“Just about everything you see here on the table,” said Betts. “The way we do things is much different. The butterfish is seared in the cast iron pan, and you get a different range of flavors. We do a half chicken here, and at Vancouver we just do the breast. I want things to be as good here as downtown if not better.”
The Kalbi Salmon! Why is it so good?
“The oven! Plus we soak the cedar planks,” said Betts. “We have the Kalbi marinade (same as the Kalbi ribs) with soy and sugar, and it’s in there for 24 hours, then while it cooks in the 600 degree oven it becomes caramelized.
A customer favorite, a lot of time and research went into perfecting their Teriyaki Chicken, which is locally sourced.
“We wanted an opportunity to set us apart and offer great flavors,” said Owens. “We wanted to find a high quality chicken we could bring to the customers in Camas. We found this free range chicken that is both high quality and makes for a nice presentation. It makes a good meal. Our goal is always to put the challenge out there to have the best teriyaki chicken in town.”
The Tommy O’s Brand
“We’ve been in Vancouver for nearly 26 years,” said Owens. “We went from a lunch place to what it is now. For me, our success is all about focusing on a great customer experience. It’s about consistency and a focus on quality. Your dining dollar is stretched farther than it has ever been, so it’s making sure the experience is a good one. We make so much of our food from scratch, and it takes days and days to make that happen, but the end result is something you can’t replicate anywhere else. For us it’s about finding the sweet spot of going the extra mile and making sure we source the best ingredients we can find at the right price point.”
“We invite you to dine with us.”
Tommy O’s at The Camas Hotel is located at 405 NE 4th Avenue in historic downtown Camas. And, if you want to learn more, visit https://www.tommyosaloha.com
Lunch 11a – 3p (Tues -Sun)
Aloha Hour Daily 3p – 5p
Dinner 3p – 9p (Fr-Sa 3p – 9:30p)
Closed – Monday