Sunday, September 03, 2006

Pork Lau Lau hear my cry

Ever since I can remember, I have planned most of my vacations solely around food. I remember planning an entire itinerary to Japan based on where I wanted to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. Albert has only served to reinforce this obsession. Fortunately for you, we not only love to eat, we love to share the wealth of knowledge we accumulate along the way.

Before we begin, we ought to share with you our rather simple rating system. For those of you who really just want to know if we liked it or not, just look at my face. Any questions? For the nuances, check out our comments.

Here are the highlights and lowlights of our trip to Kauai:

Plantation Gardens
Restaurant Review - Positive
Cuisine: Hawaiian
Hours: Daily 5:30-10pm dinner (open at 4pm for pupu, pizza, and cocktails)
Address: 2253 Poipu Road across the road from the Kiahuna Shopping Center in Poipu
Telephone: 808.742.2121

What we ate:
Dungeness Crab Rangoon
Garden Isle Bouillabaisse with Mahi Mahi, Prawns, Bay Scallops, Mussels, Potatoes, and a Kamuela Tomato-Saffron Broth
Kiawe Grilled New York Strip Steak with Goat Cheese Potato Gratin, Broccolini, Caramelized Maui Onion and Shiitake Mushroom Jus
Virgin Lava Flows

Second Meal:
Kiawe Grilled Tiger Prawns with Coconut Infused Thai Black Sticky Rice, Baby Bok Choy, Mango Salsa and Thai Red Bird Chili-Garlic Beurre Blanc
Seafood Lau Lau with Mahi Mahi, Shrimp, Jumbo Scallops wrapped in a Ti Leaf
Local Lilikoi Cheesecake
Iced Tea
Mango Smoothie

Originally uploaded by amiura.

Our friend Geoff gave us this recommendation and a good one it was. We liked it so much we went back again - a hallmark of a good restaurant we find while on vacation. My personal favorite was the Bouillabaisse and the Seafood Lau Lau. If you're a dessert person, the Lilikoi Cheeseke was divine. The food was so good, Albert couldn't wait for the first photo and insisted on taking a bite of his steak.

Koloa Fish Market

Restaurant Review - Positive
Cuisine: Fresh Fish, Plate Lunches
Address: 5482 Koloa Rd., Koloa, Kauai, HI 96756
Average Price: $7-9
Telephone: 808.742.6199

What we ate:
Kalua Pig and Pork Lau Lau Deluxe Plate Lunch
Ahi Poke

I love Pork Lau Lau and this place knows how to do Pork Lau Lau. It's crowded with locals around lunch time which means it's not only good, it's cheap. I think it's a close call between thi place and Fish Express but if you're staying in Poipu, Koloa Fish Market is really close by.

At the risk of obliterating any credibility we have built up to this point, we need to point out one of our Hawaii favorites:
Restaurant Review - Positive
Believe us when we tell you that you need to try their pies. They deep fry them the way they should be served on the mainland. They also have creative fillings. In Oahu in January we had Taro Pie which was unbelievably delicious. We went to almost every McDonald's in Kauai to inquire about this elusive Taro Pie with no success but did discover the Red Bean Pie which is a close second to its Taro Pie cousin.

Hanalei Gourmet
Restaurant Review - Positive
Cuisine: Sandwiches, Burgers, Salads
Address:5-5161 Kuhio Hwy
Location: In downtown Hanalei close to the Bubba's Burgers
Hours: Open Daily 8a.m. - 10p.m.
Average Price: $7-10

What we ate:
Fish and Chips (Mahi Mahi)
Chicken Salad Sandwich
Oregon Bay Shrimp Sandwich

We came back here twice because we liked the food so much. Prices are reasonable expecially for lunch and you can have something other than a burger. Albert liked my Chicken Salad Sandwich so much that the second time around he got it. Then he woefully looked at my delicious Oregon Bay Shrim Sandwich which I quickly scarfed down - just to guard my territory.

Smith Family Luau
Restaurant Review - Negative
Address: Wailua Marina State Park
Location: Near the Wailua River outlet in Kapaa
Telephone: 808.821.6895
Hours: Imu ceremony starts at 6. You can tour the gardens before hand (only 20 minutes required)
Price Range: $60

The more we think about this luau, the more we hate it. They lost all credibility when they decided to add "dances" from "our beautiful and humble Japanese friends" - mostly 5 girls walking around stage in cheap fake kimonos opening and closing fans. If you want to talk food, we had to wait for probably half an hour before we even got to the buffet line. This place attracts tour buses which means that it's way too crowded, lacks any semblance of intimacy, and is totally cheesed out. If you want cheesy in a good way, go to the Princeville Luau. We were there for our honeymoon and I got to see Albert on stage shaking his thang...

1 comment:

Cheilita said...

Great Blog. Very amusing food ratings and good luck with your baby. It's great to be a mom.