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Going to Kauai for 11 days in November

Hi Chowhounds,

You all have always helped me in the past and I'm hoping for some of your always reliable picks. I've never been anywhere in Hawaii and usually have alot more time to do tons of research. We are staying at the Marriott's Kauai Lagoons 3325 Holokawelu Way, Lihue - I'm completely unfamilar with Hawaii (this vacation was a surprise from my sweetie) and local specialties I need to try. That said, I love both high end restaurants and hole in the wall and lunch truck fare - we also are staying at a place with a kitchentte and I'm hoping to make some meals myself (I love the references so far in my reading to stopping at Costco - I'm a huge fan - anyrecommendedations for local specific items available welcomed).
We have a car for the entire stay and are willing to drive anywhere for great food - I'd like to limit our really high end meals to about 4 or so and really want to experience great Hawaiin ciusine! Thanks in advance. Also, love seafood, good steak (but can get at home), sushi, anything ethnic (Chinese is not my favorite, but love Thai, Korean, Vietnamese and especially Peruvian cuisine and Mexican - anything with cilantro). Hopefully I've given good details for recommendations. Thanks again!!!!

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  1. for nicer places to eat, my family thoroughly enjoyed Roy's (we all went with the tasting menu which was great!), Josselins Tapas, Keoki's Paradise, and the Beach House resto.

    for slightly faster options, we liked merrimans downstairs cafe and living foods market

    for cheaper eats, shrimp station was a win for us. Wish we would have gotten to explore the cheaper eats more, but there was so much food and so little time!!

    oh, also, anytime you can eat pineapple, do it. but beware: it may ruin all other pineapple for you forever.

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    Beach House Restaurant
    5022 Lawai Rd, Koloa, HI 96756

    Keoki's Paradise
    Poipu Shopping Vlg, Koloa, HI 96756

    1. Kauai is a beautiful place. It is also a place to go to get away from the world, to relax, and to slow down your body clock. Others can tell you far more about the best places to shop and eat, I know for sure Hamamura's saimin will be on everyone's list. In so many ways it typifies what Kauai is all about.

      1. Hamura's Saimin on Kress St is a definite must stop for a taste of local flavor. Order a large "special" and 2 BBq chicken stick, piece of lilikoi pie and their homemade"pretzel" cookies to go.
        For fresh fish ...check-out Fish Express in Lihue across from Wilcox Memorial hospital and the Walmart.
        Try and catch the fresh Malasadas offered by the lady just outside of KMart . She is there fleetingly and you will be lucky to catch her.
        Sueoka's snack shop in Koloa town on the side of their grocery store has insanely cheap tasty food. Good hamburgers.
        Pass on the BeachHouse...total Zoo. Hostesses with Mega attitude...a real turn-off. Mediocre food. Everyone pops up at Sunset and races outside..like they have never before seen a sun set. Totally disruptive and a definitive mood breaker.If the food was passable ..some might be able to look past the disruption...but sadly not the case.
        For a lovely romantic setting...splurge meal Tidepools at the Grand Hyatt in Poipu is the place. Lovely setting....Terrific food.

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        Fish Express
        3-3343 Kuhio Hwy, Lihue, HI 96766

        4 Replies
        1. re: easily amused

          I cannot agree on The Beach House, though several on this board are less impressed, than we were. Last visit found them at the top of their form, from a culinary, vinous and service standpoint. Possibly, the only negative was the number of folk, who gathered outside of the restaurant at sunset, but then we were there for the food, the wine and the service.

          Hunt

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          Beach House Restaurant
          5022 Lawai Rd, Koloa, HI 96756

          1. re: easily amused

            agreed, hamura's saimin is pretty darn good. their lilikoi pie is ok, but a lot of people rave about it.

            1. re: indelibledotink

              Is it me or is Hamuras lilikoi pie not as lilikoish as it used to be? Everything else seems quite stable and tasty...

              1. re: DDD

                It really is a subtle lilikoi taste. I agree with you that it seems to be lighter than it was before. I was just on Maui and tried the lilikoi chiffon pie at Stillwell's Bakery. That was a very strong lilikoi taste unlike Hamura's. My mom said she preferred Hamura's version to the one I brought back from Stillwell's though. She said it was too much lilikoi taste. To each their own.

          2. I highly recommend the Beach House, and since it's your first time in Hawaii, the Macadamia nut mahi. And the view is fantastic. Make reservations, or get there early.

            Mark's Place is in a business park area south of the Costco. Very good plate lunches, but take out only. Lihue BBQ Inn is also an option with places to sit.

            Shave Ice is a must. JoJo's in Waimea is great. I hear there are good Shave Ice trucks in Hanalei as well, such as Wishing Well and Shave Ice Paradise.

            Try a Kauai Krunch at Lapperts Ice Cream (various locations around Kauai.

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            Mark's Place
            1610 Haleukana St Ste A, Lihue, HI 96766

            Beach House Restaurant
            5022 Lawai Rd, Koloa, HI 96756

            Shave Ice Paradise
            Hanalei Ctr, Princeville, HI 96722

            1. For higher end meals, we love Josselin's in Poipu and Kauai Grill at the resort in Princeville.

              Keoki's Paradise in Poipu is a fun place with a great atmosphere and moderately priced food.

              Shrimp Station in Waimea is delicious and cheap. Loved the spicy selections, forget which ones we ordered exactly. Jo Jo's Shave Ice in that neck of the woods is delicious as well.

              Koloa Fish Market had the best ahi poke we sampled on the island. Kiluahea Fish Market had a great ahi wrap and fresh seafood to take home and grill. Loved Kiluahea Ice Cream and Candy/Video Store for ice cream...soft serve and regular!

              Even the Costco in Lihue has pretty stellar poke.

              Have a wonderful time! Kauai is my favorite place I've ever visited...