We are wrapping up a week in Kauai. It was our first trip to Hawaii, and I used this board to research restaurants prior to our trip. Thanks to everyone's suggestions, overall our dining was a success. Some of the highs (and one very low low):
In the South:
Josselin's: This one gets a lot of positive reviews on this site, and the food was outstanding. My complaint is that the food came out WAY too fast. When we ordered, we asked our server if we should order all at once or as we went along. She said we should order all at once, but to let them know how quickly we would like the food. We specified SLOWLY, but 3 of our 6 dishes came out together within about 5 minutes of our ordering. Unfortunately these were not brought out by the server, and it was difficult to find her to let them know to slow things down. We could have been out of there in half an hour if we hadn't ordered dessert. The table next to us seemed to have the same issue. Very rushed pace, and the restaurant wasn't full, so I don't think they needed the table. So, if I were to go again, I would insist on ordering as we went or at the very least ask to bring dishes out one at a time.
Red Salt: We had a fantastic meal here. Very delicious food and drinks and great service. It has a more traditional fine dining feel, but great for a special occasion.
Beach House: Maybe my expectations were low, as it seemed like a touristy spot, but the food was better than expected and it is a beautiful location. Service was good too. Incidentally, the weather didn't cooperate with a good sunset, and I was still happy with our meal.
Puka Dog: This hit the spot after a long morning hike.
Ishihara Market: We picked up poke and ate outside at the picnic tables. Yum.
In the North:
Mediterranean Gourmet: An interesting mix of Arabic and Hawaiian. Very good food and service. Pretty ocean views.
Dolphin fish market in Hanalei. We got sushi and poke carry out. Not a bargain, but very good, and less expensive than going out to eat.
We tried both Pat's taqueria at the pier and Red Hot Mama's for burritos. We preferred Red Hot Mama's. Took burritos to the beach.
Tahiti Nui was by far the WORST food we had anywhere on the island. The ono I ordered was way overcooked and dry. Sauce was terrible. It's a shame a fish died to prepare this meal. STAY AWAY!