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Help with casual but good/unique restaurants in/near Kona area?

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We're spending 5 nights at the Four Seasons Hualalai next week and I've had some trouble figuring out places to eat in the Kona area that aren't expensive resort restaurants. I've read good things about Beach Tree at the Four Seasons and we'll eat there at least once, but I want to try some other places as well (focusing on local/unique foods as much as possible). So far my list includes:
1) Da Poke Shack
2) Huggo's (I've seen mediocre reviews....not sure it is worth our time).
3) Monstera (is this really worth visiting, or is it just a typical Japanese restaurant? We're going to some great Japanese places in Honolulu so only want to try this if it is a must-do.)
4) Ultimate Burger (we want to try at least one burger place that uses local beef). Is Annie's Island Fresh Burgers a better choice?
5) Kona Brewing Co - probably only for the tour/beer.
6) Bite Me Fish Market - I would really like to try a place similar to this, but the reviews don't sound all that appealing .... worth it for the fresh fish?

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  1. monstera was good, but skip it if you're going to have sushi on oahu. there are other places to eat at mauna lani that are cheaper.

    i haven' been to any of the others, but lots of places on oahu also use local beef in their burgers.

    you may want to check out volcano island honey. i did the tour and loved it. even if you don't tour, stop by to get some honey. when you actually visit, you can get a lot of honey in a plastic tub for much much less $ than the website. after you have this honey, you will never be happy with clover honey from a little bear again. the honey is raw and pearly white, thicker than molasses, made from kiawe blooms. whole foods sells it, but at much marked up prices. they're in honokaa (north of you).

    non explicity food related, we visited a seahorse farm minutes away from the kona airport and ahualoa alpacas, in honokaa again. both places were so fun, and we were able to find decent eating on the way orcoming back.

    maybe a little off topic, but those three places really stick out for me.

    i also suggest manago hotel for pork chops, but that's in captain cook area (south from kona).

    i had also wanted to hit the hilo farmer's market (east) and patz pies (near captain cook) but couldn't fit em in. i think bite me is in hilo.

    anyway, tmi