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Kim Steutermann Rogers
Article Source: Blog Post
Article Source: Copyright © 2012 by Fodor’s Travel, a division of Random House Inc. All rights reserved.
A large bar area and a porch overlooking an inner courtyard with a nice tropical setting give this grill a casual island vibe. Try the macadamia-nut-crusted "katch of the day" with a passion-fruit butter glaze or the BBQ ribs. Wash it down with a glass of wine or one of 15 ales, stouts, ports, and lagers. Plenty of Tomkats' Nibblers—such as buffalo wings and ahi poke—enliven happy hour from 3 to 6 pm. Restaurant workers love this spot for a pau hana drink, late night pupus, and a fun atmosphere with live music. Credit cards accepted.
This hip restaurant strikes a perfect balance between traditional Japanese and Pacific fusion cuisine. The specialty rolls, prepared with fresh, locally caught fish, have a heavy Hawaiian flair, some with provocative names such as Butter Me Up, Green Dream, and Lollipop. Save room for dessert, especially the Green Scream, tempura rice pudding balls sprinkled with powdered sugar. Tasteful artwork adorns the bright red walls, and there is live music nightly. www.sushibushido.com. No lunch Sat.--Mon.
This funky establishment is the poster child of coffee-shop culture on Kauai. Aside from some the best specialty coffees in the state (the awards prove it), Small Town Coffee is a venue for live music, readings, open mic, tango nights, and the sort. An eclectic clientele, a fishpond, cool merchandise, and an adjacent used bookstore add to the laid-back atmosphere. A selection of excellent bagelwichs and gluten-free pastries nicely accompany their unbeatable coffee. www.smalltowncoffee.com.
RumFire opened in 2012 at the Sheraton Poipu as the last piece of the resort's $16-million renovation. In the upper level, the elegant centerpiece bar has seating for almost three dozen patrons, and features a comprehensive wine list and an array of rums from around the world. While all tables enjoy magnificent ocean views, the lower-level booths that face the glass walls offer the best panorama. The menu uses many ingredients from local farmers and fishermen. Mini tacos filled with ahi poke and pork ribs are your best bets for appetizers. For entrées, try the Hawaiian paella or the sea scallops. And be sure to save room for a yummy flourless sea salt chocolate cake. www.rumfirekauai.com.
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Oahu: Ocean House Restaurant
Kauai: Plantation Gardens