Back to Archives

Gone with the tropical breeze

My favorite Hawaiian food haunts didn’t impress this trip

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

I am on my way home after nine days of tropical sun, food and fruity drinks. This was our (the husband and my) second trip to Kauai, Hawaii, and it was everything it was before and more — almost.  We visited prior haunts and new digs. Many places have stayed the same, and others have changed, but when you are in paradise, all is wonderful.

For the first five days we traveled with friends Ruby and George and stayed in Poipu, which is on the south side of the island. It also happens to be home to a lovely restaurant called The Beach House. This place has an incredible view of the sunset and a menu that rivals any of our waterfront restaurants around here. I couldn’t wait to introduce our friends to what I was sure would be a memorable dinner.

The last time we were here, the husband and I stopped in after a long day of body surfing and swimming at a nearby beach. We couldn’t wait to get big, tall fruity drinks with lots of fruit, paper umbrellas and loads of booze. We all know how the husband likes his fruity drinks by now. (Love you…)

You know how it is when on vacation? You’re excited and everything is fabulous? Well, many times the second time around, much of what you anticipate unfortunately does not live up to expectation. I don’t know if it is because I am older, more experienced and possibly crankier, but dinner this evening was not that great. Nothing like I remembered. Our fish came out on scalding plates, and with a delicate fish like Ahi, this can be a big no-no. Especially when you want it RARE!

The wine, however, was lovely. Since we all had fish, I chose a Pouilly-Fuissé, a delicate French chardonnay, lightly oaked with little to no malolactic fermentation. This is a great choice for fish and other delicate dishes. I almost chose a Sancerre, but that would have been a disaster. The acidity would have clashed with the cream sauce they buried it in, which should have been unnecessary if it had been a good cut of fish, but it wasn’t so they had to hide it. (Man, I am a food bitch.)

Our next outing for a meal was in Hanalei, which is on the north side of the island. Again, the last time we were there we had lunch several times at this little hole-in-the-wall, authentic Hawaiian place where you could choose three menu items for eight bucks, and it was awesome! This time, after we ate, we discovered it had been sold to a Chinese family, and the focus was now of course Chinese, not Hawaiian. It was good, but not the same.

We wanted to do it up “Hawaiian style, yo”, so on our last evening we paid a visit to the local fish market and bought some Opah, which is a dense, tropical fish that is pretty strange looking, but, oh it is yummy, especially with the fresh pineapple salsa I whipped up. If you have the means, I highly recommend you pick up some Opah.

Well, I best wrap this up. I have a word limit, and I could go on and on about how the husband and our friend Paul almost got washed out to sea because they were standing too close to the edge of the cliff, or how we were bored because it was raining and the husband and I got matching tattoos at a shop in Hanalei while burly tattoo artists watched “Gone with the Wind,” but I won’t.

You know that old saying, “You can’t go home again?” Well it can be true with vacations too. Don’t get me wrong. We had a blast and would go back again in a heartbeat. We just need to lose the pre-conceived agenda and just ride the wave, dude.

Eat out Tacoma. We need your love.

Sandee Glib has worked in the restaurant and hospitality industry for more than 12 years as a server, bartender, cook and owner. Her opinions are expressly her own and she is always right.

comments powered by Disqus