We just came back from a glorious trip to Princeville. The north shore is truly authentic HI!
Our only disappointment was the dining options in the area. We did not want to drive down to Kapaa, Lihue or Poipu just for dinner and even what is touted as the best in Hanalei was disappointing as compared to the options in Maui. Even the Foodland was not as good as the one we like in Lahaina which has multiple, wonderful fresh Poke options. The Princeville store only had prepackaged. Produce, meat and fish looked unexciting.
There are 2 small organic markets.......... one in Kilauea and one in Hanalei.
There is a fish market and a deli in Kilauea that sell local, grass fed beef and better quality fish. The bakery in Kilauea is also quite good for fresh baked bread, muffins and pizza. There is also a fish market that is attached to the Hanalei Dolphin restaurant which I cannot personally vouch for. I also hear that the the ice cream sold at the video rental store in that town is out of this world. Cute town to visit.
Lastly, strange as it may seem, the Chevron station in Princeville gets a shipment of vacuum sealed, free range, local organic meat every Thurs. They sold out by Fri. on 4th of July weekend, unfortunately.
We had app.'s at the Westin's restaurant and after having paid $15 for a 1/2 an ahi maki roll, we decided not to return. We went to the Prince Golf Resort for one of two local's sushi nights and had reasonably priced, OK sushi in a room that looked like it was designed for wedding receptions. Our other night out was to BarAcuda, considered one of the best in town. The atmosphere, service and concept were right on but the execution missed the mark. Beef was overcooked, flavors often had one ingredient that overpowered the rest. We were going to try to Postcards but read a few reviews about average preparations and that a server revealed that they sometimes serve a different fish than is on the menu and most tourists have no idea.........a deal breaker for me. All other reviews for nicer resto's were mixed so we just ate in.
We went to Duke's at the Marriott on the evening of our departure since it was close to the airport. Location was great but food was barely average. Whole wheat rolls were tasteless as was the salad bar even with interesting ingredients. Ribs were the right texture, with a good sauce but the meat was flavorless too.
We had better luck with local, inexpensive lunches. We grabbed a yummy teryaki ONO burger at the shack in Anahola and Red Hot Mama's fish tacos to go. Both we grabbed and then ate on the beach. Hanalei Gourmet was good but not worth the $15 for an average chic sand. Pizza slices at the bakery in Kiluea were fresh and handmade.
Our trip was wonderful but not a true chowish destination. Why so??