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Big Island, Kona side--north or south?

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DW and I are meeting a friend and his wife on the leeward side of the Big Island in February. He has to make occasional appearances at an academic conference at the Waikoloa Beach Hilton, so we definitely have to be relatively close to Kailua-Kona, but we're hoping to get away from snowbirds, golfers, and the whole tourist scene. One question that has to be answered when we're deciding where to stay is whether there's good food nearby.

Options we're looking at are Kawaihae and Puako up the coast, and as far down as Honaunau. Most meals will be cooked at home, so high-quality ingredients are paramount. I know KTA has a pretty good selection of locally produced food, and there are a couple of farmer's markets in Kailua town, but are there any places out of the main population centers to pick up fresh local meat, seafood, and produce?

We'll eat out a few times, too. The fine dining establishments get plenty of ink here and elsewhere, and we may hit one or two of them, but what about well-prepared inexpensive local food? A year or so ago ML8000 mentioned a couple of places in Kealakekua and Captain Cook (Sandy's, Teshima's, Managa Hotel); are there places like this on the Kohala coast?

TIA for any info.

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