Tuesday, July 22, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Garden Island also an island of gastronomy

By
From page B5 | November 02, 2013 |

KAPAA, Kauai, Hawaii — There’s a good reason why almost no one pays much attention to the food here on the Garden Island of Kauai.

From the wild cliffs of the jagged Na Pali Coast to the wide beaches of Poipu, Polihale, Kalihiwai and Kealia, to the lush green slopes of Mt. Waialeale (wettest spot on Earth) and myriad waterfalls that pour from it all year ’round, the sights here grab your attention almost all the time.

But this is also a first-rate island of gastronomy with perhaps the most gourmet restaurants per capita anywhere, and a full complement of other fun eateries to fit any budget.

Some of these are free-standing, others in hotels or time-share developments, but there’s something here for every taste bud.

You might start with the Hukilau Lanai, quartered in the Kauai Coast Resort at the Beachboy, a Shell Vacation Club timeshare facility once known as the Kauai Beachboy hotel, but now remodeled into one- and two-bedroom units.

This restaurant may feature the most creative menus on the island and gets consistently top reviews on websites such as Yelp and Trip Adviser. In the past, it has featured locally grown free-range veal (a slightly gamier taste than other veal) and a wide variety of preparations of island fish like opah and opakapaka. On one recent evening, all entrees (priced from $18 to $32) included either a salad or a choice of soups, one a unique gaspacho of spicy tomato and pineapple with a dollop of rum sherbet plopped in the middle.

Find the Hukilau Lanai about a half-mile south of Kapaa Town on the east side of the island, within the Coconut Plantation development.

On the other end of the edible and financial spectrum is the Kauai Kountry Kitchen, on the inland side of the round-the island Kuhio Highway near the north end of Kapaa. This old-fashioned eatery, with classic high wooden booths, features omelets starting at $8 and three-quarter-inch-thick pancakes lapping over the edge of dinner plates, with bananas, strawberries, coconut flakes or macademia nuts mixed right into the batter, for $7.75.

Even the menus here are interesting: their covers are copies of front pages from the local newspaper, the Garden Island, in the days just after Pearl Harbor. Count on a line to get into this place almost every day until about 10 a.m.

A few miles south, adjacent to the cruise ship port on Nawiliwili Bay and side by side on a wooden veranda overlooking the Kalapaki Beach where Elvis Presley once surfed are two more foodie meccas.

Directly adjacent to the Kauai Marriott hotel is Duke’s Canoe Club, part of a chain, but unlike almost any franchise you’re likely to see. Eating at a table on the rail of Duke’s at sunset is surely as romantic an experience as the boat ride and walk to the Fern Grotto that is part of the island’s standard honeymooner itinerary.

The fare is fine, too. Featuring five presentations of a constantly changing variety of South Pacific fish, Duke’s tosses in Kauai’s most sumptuous salad bar, featuring everything from macademia nut muffins to Caesar salad and island-grown pineapple. The tab starts at about $22 for the Huli Huli chicken.

Just west is Cafe Portofino, which may serve the best cannelloni in the Pacific, an Italian delicacy of crepes wrapped about ground chicken, spinach and ricotta cheese, for $22. Fresh fish entrees run up to $36, and there is often a harpist to make the mood even more romantic. Best evening to come here may be Wednesday, when “Mr. Kauai,” the 83-year-old Larry Rivera, sings classically mellow tunes in his “Love and Aloha” show from 7 to 9 p.m., mixing his own compositions paying tribute to the island with old standards he has sung with Hawaiian legend Don Ho and others like Presley, with whom he appeared in “Blue Hawaii.”

In a completely different category is the simple Cantonese cuisine at Wong’s, on the Kuhio Highway 22 miles west in the old plantation town (now artist colony) of Hanapepe. If you don’t feel like Chinese, try the unique lilikoi (passion fruit) chiffon pie at $3.75 per slice or $15.50 for the whole pie, a flavor unique to this Kauai eatery.

For burger lovers, there’s Bubba’s, a Hawaii-wide chain with stands in Hanalei on the North Coast, Poipu in the south and on the main road in Kapaa. Don’t miss the double burger drowned in chili for $9.50. If you like onion rings, this place also is not to be missed.

There are also superb hotel-based restaurants on the north and south shores of the island. Both the St. Regis Princeville and the Grand Hyatt at Poipu feature fine (and pricey) restaurants with remarkable views.

Put it all together, add several other fine restaurants that space doesn’t permit here, and wherever you stay on the gorgeous Garden Island, you could be in for almost as many treats for the taste buds as for the eyes.

Thomas D. Elias writes about California public affairs for 93 newspapers. Email Elias at tdelias@aol.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Weather for Tuesday, July 22, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
Library friends set spring book sale

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5

 
 
Carpenters training center set to expand in Fairfield

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

Man, woman, comic and dance contest primed for box office

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

 
Polk first to file for Fairfield council

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5

Rockville Trails hike on August calendar

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5

 
Groups plan Zombie Run to raise college scholarship cash

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

Governor signs 2 bills by Frazier into law

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5

 
Video chair exercise class returns to senior center

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

2 Vacaville homes hit by gunfire

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
.

US / World

Detroit retirees vote in favor of pension cuts

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Clinton: US, Europe should get tough on Russia

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

Gaza death toll rises as truce effort intensifies

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Israeli aircraft hit more than 70 targets in Gaza

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Rebels release train with bodies from downed jet

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Afghan vet who fought wounded gets Medal of Honor

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Hopkins pays $190M in pelvis exam pix settlement

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Ex-teacher convicted of pushing wife off cliff

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Full-contact youth football practices restricted

By The Associated Press | From Page:

BART police enforce stretching ban at stations

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Obama back to California for Democratic campaigns

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Report: Retaliation by supervisors common at VA

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Law blocks some brown lawn fees during droughts

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
California won’t send troops to Mexican border

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Murder charges filed in California bank robbery

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Cause of deaths in FedEx truck-bus crash released

By The Associated Press | From Page:

California reduces deportations for minor crimes

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Official: State can send inmates to medical site

By The Associated Press | From Page:

.

Opinion

 
Walmart donation benefits Meals on Wheels

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

Batson’s column on Mideast peace is wrong

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: July 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page:

 
.

Entertainment

Love and Manson guest on ‘Sons of Anarchy’

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
‘Fargo’ gets 2nd season on FX with new cast, crime

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Box office top 20: ‘Apes’ holds reign with $36.3M

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
TVGrid July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

.

Sports

Hugo Perez Elite Training Camp to be held in Vallejo

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
Duvall, Kontos help Giants beat Phillies

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Lady Vols coach wants a stronger finishing touch

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Gail Goestenkors quits WNBA job, enters hoops hall

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Chamberlain’s arm and beard fitting in with Tigers

By The Associated Press | From Page:

This date in sports history for Tuesday, July 22, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Big 12 commish’s dire warning about pending change

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Big Papi passes Yaz with 453rd career home run

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Chargers bolt into camp with high hopes

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Broncos primed for another super run

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Seattle says what happened last season is history

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Tony Stewart riding high from sprint car victory

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Head of 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics resigns

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
6 South Americans refuse to return to Donetsk club

By The Associated Press | From Page:

BMC, Team-Garmin Sharp back for USA Pro Challenge

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Tour leader Nibali: A ‘flag-bearer’ against doping

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Witness: Sterling needs Clippers sale to pay debts

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Jeter turns small part of attention to business

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Raiders enter camp with ‘chip’ on shoulders

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

49ers start fresh after forgettable offseason

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Cain heads to DL with elbow injury

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
.

Business

Microsoft makes design central to its future

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Allergan to cut 1,500 employees in restructuring

By The Associated Press | From Page:

.

Obituaries

Shirley T. ‘Mac’ McFadden

By Nancy Green | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
.

Comics

Zits july 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Bridge July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Beetle Bailey July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Cryptoquote July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Wizard of Id July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

B.C. July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Crossword July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baldo July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sudoku July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Dilbert July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Word Sleuth July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5