Just got back from 2 weeks in Kauai, first trip there, and thoroughly enjoyed our time, and most of the recs from here. With a few exceptions we didn't repeat restaurants, but did eat many evening meals in our condo. Mainly due to age and health issues.
The good: Brick Oven Pizza, the one at Kalaheo was really good, great service and pizza. The one at Kapaa wasn't as good but we'll give them the benefit of the doubt because it was the tail end of lunch hour on a Saturday. Still, no excuse for empty towel dispenser in restroom which is a pet gripe of mine and indicative of poor management.
Monico's Mexican: Kapaa when I saw the seafood fajitas I almost ordered it, even knowing that it would kill me with my shellfish allergy. The steak ones were great and this place really means it (more than any other place I've been) about how HOT THE SKILLETS are. On the second trip, mid-afternoon of departure day, we each had the quesadillas. Again I had the steak and she had chicken. Their quesadilla is a meal as it comes with rice, beans and avocado. Wife said it was the BEST QUESADILLA she's ever had. And we lived in Texas for 30 years and I make them at home!
Beach House: Last of the two visit places. We were staying in Poipu so we could have walked there. Both times we had the appetizer Calamari, split and then she had the hummus plate and I had the chicken wrap. Unique hummus plate, but the chicken wrap was so-so. Not much you can do with that. Needed a to-go box.
On the subsequent trip we just went with the Calamari and a chicken sandwich. Still had a to-go box but not as full. I thought the prices were reasonable for a resort area. I tend to compare destination meals with what I pay at ski resorts and I found Kauai to be reasonable overall.
LaSpezia: I wish we had gone for a breakfast but we were making good breakfasts in our condo and had everything for smoothies, thanks Costco, so always ate breakfast in. I have recommended this place to all of my family and friends (non chowhound members) to try this place on their next trip because NONE of them had ever eaten there.
Bobbies in Hanapepe: Got the recommendation here and it did not disappoint. We went back to Hanapepe for the Friday art walk one week and there was a line to get in. Also there were a lot of food trucks and the pie lady (from Kalaheo) was there but we were headed to LaSpezia when we left there.
Also in Hanapepe is the Hanapepe Café. Only open on Friday evening and recommended by two friends who go to Kauai every year or two. We didn't eat there but another couple in our condo building went on my recommendation, after trying LaSpezia, and pronounce it excellent.
The Dolphin up in Hanalei was really good. Unrushed service. We waited a bit to get seated because we didn't want to sit outside. As much for the backless stools as the concrete bases on the stools. Didn't eat at the one in Poipu.
We tried Pizzeta once. It was just OK.
We went to Casa DiAmici once and I was underwhelmed. My wife's meal was excellent but my pork dish was (possibly) made with old (and definitely not loin) pork. Our waiter may have been high and they tried to charge us for wine instead of iced tea. That may have been because one person took our order and brought our tea and bread, another brought our salads a third (claimed to be the chef and couldn't answer the question about the drinks charge) refilled our water and a fourth brought the check and took another 10 minutes to straighten out the error.
My wife says next time she'll skip it in favor of another trip to LaSpezia or a Friday at Hanapepe.
The Mexican food truck behind the shops in Koloa was good as was the ice cream place there in the strip mall part. We thought it was better than the big chain ice cream place or the sorbet place in Poipu.
Island Taco up by the Russian Fort was OK, nothing special.
Three other, non food, things I recommend. The Kuki O Lono golf course in Kalaheo. A muni 9 hole course for $9 green fee and $9 club rental. Unfortunately I didn't play because of recent surgery but if you want to say you played golf on Kauai my friends recommended a cheap morning of golf. Also great views.
Limahuli Garden: Not everyone's cup of tea but I'm a history nut and this is one of the places that people settled 700 plus years ago. It's at the end of the road of route 560 where you run into Haena State Park. I have almost zero interest in plants and stuff but you can see where the ancient ones created terraced farm areas and had fresh water running down through a stream. Not quite as cool as Mesa Verde here in Colorado but worth spending the time to drive up there and the money and hour and a half to walk through and learn some stuff.
The Talk Story book store in Hanapepe. "The Westernmost Book Store in the US". We are both readers so we spent some time here and even bought a few used books that I wanted but have never found in a library.
We will definitely go back to Kauai.