Kaua'i 2010 - New Places and Familiar Places
Last day on island until next year, so posting a quick report.
New places (at least to us):
Tavern at Princeville by Roy Yamaguchi – open to the public on 9/24, we sampled five dishes over two visits during the soft opening period: escargot and lamb rib starters, and fried chicken, short rib, and salt n pepper sparerib entrees. At this point I would say that the food just doesn’t meet expectations. The mashed potatoes that accompanied the fried chicken were very good, and the short rib was pretty good when reheated the next day. But, it’s only been open a couple of weeks. Service was first rate.
Killah Steaks – this trailer is in the Bobby V’s parking lot at the Foodland/McDonald’s traffic light in Waipouli. Founded by two twentysomething UH business grads, they opened in mid-August and offer a salt n pepa steak or steak w. mushroom and onion gravy plate for only $6.50! An unbelievable bargain. They marinate and grill tri-tip to between medium rare and medium on a gas grill outside the trailer, then slice and lightly sauté the steak to order inside with 2 scoops rice and a green salad. The diner can add various sauces to the steak and rice from squeeze bottles and dressing for the salad. Steak plates are killah! They also offer a chopped steak moco which is the steak and gravy plate with two eggs over easy on top for $7.50. Also killah! Didn’t try the grilled shrimp plate, which is $10. Ate here 5 times and never had a bad meal. Gonna miss this place. Open daily from 11am to 5pm or earlier if the food runs out.
Josselin’s Tapas Bar and Grill – posts on this thread:
East Village Chinese – this restaurant is in the old L&L Barbecue across from the fire station in Waipouli. They turned a grungy, greasy spoon into an attractive restaurant that does good, reasonably priced Chinese American. This is definitely Chinese American, but it’s well prepared and tastes good. We had roast duck, orange chicken, moo shu pork, tomato beef, and wonton soup over the course of 3 takeout orders. The tomato beef was the least successful, with a watery sauce and a small amount of beef. However, the other 4 were very good, and, again, very reasonably priced. The wonton soup was surprisingly good, with noticeable overtones of dried shiitakes in the filling and the broth. One of their blackboard specials one day was steamed seabass with black bean sauce. Sounded good, but we didn’t try it. I’d say this is better than Garden Island to satisfy a Chinese American jones, and they take credit cards.
Merriman’s – first rate service, overpriced and unexceptional food. We went on a lobster special night. We started with watermelon and goat cheese salad and beet salad. Both were good, but not great. The lobster was a Maine quarter served with a nice herb butter, but with only a half ear of corn as a side. We also ordered the lamb porterhouse, but they ran out and substituted a beef short rib instead. The short rib had a large vein of fat, although it was tender and flavorful. The sweet potato puree and sautéed vegetables were pretty ordinary. But what was galling was that they charged the same price for the short rib as for the lamb they ran out of ($38). Again, service was first rate, and the hostess made sure we got a lanai table we had requested even though we were 45 min. late for our reservation because of a traffic backup caused by two accidents in Lihu’e.
22 North – we visited the rebirth of Gaylord’s once and wish we could have gone back one more time. Starters were olive oil poached ahi and local greens salad. The ahi could have been a good canned tuna, nothing special. However, the salad was delicious. Asked for the red veal osso buco as an entrée, but there was none in the kitchen, so our entrees were the grilled Kaneshiro Farm pork chop with farro and squash puree, and fresh papperdelle with lamb shoulder, arugula, and fried okra. The pasta was perfectly al dente in a rich brown sauce, the lamb shoulder meltingly tender, the arugula bright green and tender, and the okra good, but out of place. The pork chop was amazingly good, with a rich pork taste and an intense char grilled flavor throughout. The squash puree and farro sides were also very good. The pork chop, squash, and farro were just as good when reheated two days later. Service was very good.
Mark’s Place – always reliable. The best loco moco, good cheeseburger, great chicken katsu. Korean chicken was a little soggy, though. Didn’t order any daily specials, but the sparerib special one day was really tempting.
Hukilau Lanai – gotta go for the meatloaf every year. Also tried the bbq pork ribs appetizer this year, four meaty back ribs with a hoisin-based glaze. Liked ‘em better than the ribs at Tavern at Princeville.
Fish Express – pork lau lau was excellent, ahi poke okay. Fried chicken on another visit was also very good.
Sueoka – thumbs up for the fried chicken wing (6 wing pieces) plate lunch.
Pau Hana Bar & Grill – had a cheeseburger for late lunch. Pricey at $8.45, but it’s 1/3 lb, cooked on a gas grill so has a nice grilled flavor, and comes with great waffle fries. Also had fish n chips once, 3 good size pieces of batter fried mahi with the same waffle fries, pretty good at $10.95.
Duke’s Barefoot Bar Taco Tuesday – the price of the fish taco has gone up to $3 each, and I’m not crazy about the flour tortillas, but I love the sambal chili sauce and staring at Kalapaki Bay on a beautiful afternoon.
Island Palms – ate here for the first time (breakfast). French toast was good, and the 2 eggs, rice, and ham combo was good and a really good deal.
Brick Oven Pizza Wailua – stopped in during the UH/USC football game and had the buffet (which is new since our last visit), which wasn’t great (too many soggy crusts). Got a small takeout super pizza on a different night, and this was much better, the crust being just like the Brick Oven in Kalaheo. Funny, though, the buffet is cheaper than a small super pizza.
Lihu’e Barbecue Inn – Oxtail soup was a daily special, so had to have it. Really good, lots of oxtail, expensive at $14.95.
Favorites on this trip: Killah Steaks and our second visit to Josselin’s.
, Kapaa, HI 96746
3-3343 Kuhio Hwy, Lihue, HI 96766