Restaurants & Bars

good eats in Kauai

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good eats in Kauai

swong | Jun 13, 2003 06:50 PM

We just spent 8 days in Kauai and I would like to share with you some of our dining experiences there. We ate at mostly establishments frequented by the local residents. The food generally are quite reasonable and good and the portions are generous. The big disappointment was interestingly a very popular place with locals and tourists alike, namely, Hamura Saimin Stand. It is true their teriyaki beef on a skewer and their lilikoi chiffon pie are great but their special saimin with everything leaves a lot to be desired. The pork in it was not fresh. It had a rancid smell. We had a great dinner at Hanamaulu Restaurant but be sure to cover yourself with mosquito repellent if you are allergic to mosquite bites. The Fish Express across from Wal-Mart is a very nice takeout place. Their fish dishes are as good as or better than what one would find in restaurants costing 3 or 4 times more. The only drawback is that they have no place to sit so we had our meal in a nearby beach park. The breakfast places in Lihue including the TipTop Motel, Ma's and Dani's were all excellent and offer great values. My only complaint was with an order of Kauai sausage at Ma's because it was cold and fatty. Incidentally the prices these places charge make the $40 a day meals on the food channel seem expensive. We had the best Halohalo (a sort of shaved ice with pieces of fruits and sweet purple yam) at the Kawayan. Unfortunately the only pancit left (we got there pretty close to their closing time a 3PM) was not very good but their lumpia was delicious. We also enjoyed "the King and I" Thai restaurant and House of Noodles in Kapaa. Kiibo Japanes restaurant and the Barbeque Inn in Lihue were only fair. KimChee #9 in the Kukui Grove shopping center has good cold noodles but don't order their Korean dumplings in soup because you'd get very thirsty afterwards probably because of MSG. Their free soup and picked cabbage were not good either. We also went to the Friday evening seafood buffet at the Princeville hotel. The setting, scenery and sunset were magnificent but the food was only so so. In fact as an oyster connosieur I only had 2 oysters because they smelled a little fishy. Lastly we ordered a takeout lunch at the Ishihara Market in wailea while visiting the west side of the Island and it was surprisingly excellent especially considering how reasonable they charged for it.

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