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Food Advice

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Boston, MA
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Food Advice

My wife and I are coming back to the Big Island this summer, after a decade. We're planning 4 days, staying in Kona, and I've already found 12 places I want to eat, so I need your help to cut the list down. We're mostly looking for casual, fun, local places. We'll be hitting higher end restaurants on Oahu and Maui, earlier and later in the trip. We're staying at the Outrigger Keahou (you guys talked me out of the Hilton Waikoloa), in Kona. Here's my list so far:

1. Kona - Da Poke Shack

2. Kona - Kona Brewing Co

3. Kona - Kanaka Kava

4. Ka'aloa's Super J's Authentic Hawaiian - going for the Lau Lau

5. Kona - Ono Seafood and Poke Korean BBQ

6. Kona - Basik Acai

7. Kona - Teshima Restaurant

8. Kona - Seiji Brew Garden & Sushi

9. Kona - Peaberry & Galette - Crepes right near hotel

10. Kimagure Cafe - “plate lunch style”

11. Okolemaluna Tiki Lounge - I'm definitely planning a Tiki trip this year, including La Mariana on Oahu and the tiki lounge in Kehei, on Maui

12. Hayama Japanese

The first 4 are definites. The rest you can talk me into/out of

Thanks in advance, for your help!

Big Island, Hawaii
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1. Re: Food Advice

I wouldn't make a special trip to Kona Brewing Company. The beer's good, but you can get it lots of places, and the food is entirely mediocre. Da Poke Shack yes, Super J's lau lau is OK, Hayama is good, Teshima's is an institution. The rest I can do without.

I think your list is a little one-note. A lot of the same kind of stuff. Consider Rapanui in Kailua-Kona and/or maybe a Thai place. I like Orchid Thai and Lemongrass Bistro.

Are you not spending any time on the Kohala Coast or around Waimea? There's some really good food up there. Sushi at Monstera or Red Water cafe, local beef burgers with house cured bacon at Allen's Table or the veal burger at Village Burger, green chile stew and local beer at Big Island Brewhaus....

Island of Hawaii...
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2. Re: Food Advice

1. Kona - Da Poke Shack

Best Poke

2. Kona - Kona Brewing Co

Better pizza at Big Island Pizza, Bianelli's and Mahina Pizza. Their beers are available at most places in town.

3. Kona - Kanaka Kava

If you like kava than that's the only place to go to. Don't eat there.

4. Ka'aloa's Super J's Authentic Hawaiian - going for the Lau Lau

Good choice.

5. Kona - Ono Seafood and Poke Korean BBQ

NO COMMENT

6. Kona - Basik Acai

NO COMMENT

7. Kona - Teshima Restaurant

Since Hayama is on your list drop Teshima's. Hayama is way better.

8. Kona - Seiji Brew Garden & Sushi

Better sushi at other places. Dragon Roll across of the library would be my #1 choice.

9. Kona - Peaberry & Galette - Crepes right near hotel

NO COMMENT

10. Kimagure Cafe - “plate lunch style”

It's not a lunch plate place, it's Japanese. Good and inexpensive, though the portions got smaller lately.

11. Okolemaluna Tiki Lounge - I'm definitely planning a Tiki trip this year, including La Mariana on Oahu and the tiki lounge in Kehei, on Maui

NO COMMENT

12. Hayama Japanese

The best Japanese restaurant on the island, don't miss it!

Boston, MA
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3. Re: Food Advice

Shea and TT, thank you for the feedback.

I have KBC on my list, specifically to try their season beers on tap at the brew pub. If those are also available at various bars/restaurants around the island, I'm happy to write it off.

I'll add Rapanui to my list, and I will also remove Teshima and Seiji. Additionally, I'll move Hayama up to the "do not miss" section.

Thanks again!

Big Island, Hawaii
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4. Re: Food Advice

That makes sense for KBC, just sit at the bar, have a seasonal brew, and get some pupus. Their chipotle chicken dip, hummus, nachos, and fire wings are all pretty good.

I really hope you're going to make it out of Kona town to drive around, if so I recommend Allen's Table in Waimea, their local burger or fish sandwich is awesome and it's a cute place. Sushi at Red Water Cafe also in Waimea.

Denver, Colorado
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5. Re: Food Advice

If you want a particular beer at KBC then head there for a few before dinner. Alrernately allot of their beers are available at the grocery stores as well.

For some reason their beers are really popular even in Denver on tap.

I had a good meal there last time out. The Greek style pizza w/ a great big Caesar salad was more than I could eat at one sitting and very tasty. My biggest complaint if the weather is really hot the patio dining at KBC is better after sundown for that reason.

If you are hankering for a Kona beer and burger and in Captain Cook, Annies Island is a good place to do that as well. They typically have beer specials before 4pm I'm thinking.

Island of Hawaii...
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6. Re: Food Advice

I just keep thinking, Kona in summer? Why oh Why? It's changed a lot in the last ten years. Captain Cook area should be thick with vog and rainy.

I would put some places on your list in case you decide to head north and get out of the vog.

Boston, MA
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7. Re: Food Advice

KamaainaK, summer is when we can travel. My wife is a teacher, so we can't take a long break other than summer.

But, vog is an issue I had not thought about. My wife also suffers from asthma. I had not considered vog....hmmm. This may change our plans. Thanks for raising it.

Island of Hawaii...
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8. Re: Food Advice

I definitely can relate to vacations built around school breaks. Actually, I wasn't questioning the timing overall, but the Kona location. It is the worst weather for Kona in summer. Thirty minutes north the weather is completely different.

I know I will get flack for this, but Kailua town in summer reminds me of the weather Tolkien ascribed to Mordor. Murk, volcanic haze. Hope you are staying oceanfront, but still will not be out of it.

Asthma should be OK, for me it is not attacks, but I cough and get headaches. Always take inhaler ... should be fine. Anyhow, it is only 4 days, but you will be seeing the worst weather of the Big Island if you stick to the places you mentioned.

Edited: 20 February 2012, 23:48
Big Island, Hawaii
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9. Re: Food Advice

I agree with everything KK says. The vog has been very bad and Kailua Kona in summer is oppressive, IMO. I wouldn't stay at the Hilton, either, but look at the Marriot Waikoloa for a similar price range. Or even the Fairmont which some people have found for around $225 lately.

Boston, MA
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10. Re: Food Advice

I really appreciate the advice. Luckily we still have time to make adjustments if needed.