Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Kona 2011 for the Foodies!

OK, here it is.... The Foodie Post lol! I only wish I had taken more pictures of all the food haha!

I had used Tripadvisor and Yelp to research local restaurants, and had already fallen in love with The Lotus Cafe. From their pan asian menu to their solar panels to their emphasis on organic ingredients, what's not to love?! I was fully prepared not to make it in time the first night between getting our luggage and rental car, but we did! I was going to get one of the more unusual dishes, but when I started chatting with the gal, and she said they could make Pad Kee Mao, I decided to go for it. And Ron got his usual Pad Thai. But there was nothing usual about these dishes! I can definitely say I had never had either dish taste like these! The flavors mostly came from fresh ingredients, like galangal and lemon grass, instead of sauces. They were like the fresca version of Thai noodles lol! Really yummy, and if this place had been closer to town, we probably would have eaten there again.

The next day we decided on U Top It for breakfast (or more like brunch really :) ). It also had great reviews and wow, we were impressed! Their specialty is crepes made with taro! The amazing thing was that it was so casual and yet the food came out so beautifully presented! I had the Veggie Omelet and Ron had the Breakfast Club pancrepe. Another win! We came back here!

I don't think we went out to dinner that night as we were too late coming down from the observatory. I think I got a salad at Wendy's lol.

The next morning we had breakfast at the condo before heading out to Waipio valley and just had some snacks on the road until we came back to town for dinner. I was really looking forward to checking out Jackie Rey's, and I am SO glad we did. I think this was my favorite meal in Kona, and we would have never known about it as it was off the beaten path. They had me at an amazing and creative menu next to paper covered tables with crayons lol. But add to that staff that seems to genuinely enjoy children and comes to your table to play with them, a great wine list, and artistically prepared food - this place just ROCKED. Almost everything we has was from the specials for that night, made with their fresh catch, which was ono (and which we got to SEE because they like to take kids back into the freezer to see the big fish!)

I did get a couple pics with my phone, so they aren't great but here they are.... These were the crab cakes:
This was my dish:
It basically had all of my favorite things! Capers, sundried tomatoes, a cilantro pesto, feta cheese.... yum. We also had an appetizer that included like an ono sushi salad that was amazing, and Ron's entree was kindof an upscale fish and chips lol. There were round pieces of lightly breaded and fried ono over a purple sweet potato mash (which you can also see at the bottom of my dish). I would have come back here for sure if we wanted to have another expensive meal lol.

No exciting food to report the next day as our main activity was the night snorkel, so we just ate at the condo before heading over there.

The next day we went to Volcanoes NP and had a great Thai lunch in the little town of Volcano. We got back into town fairly late, so we decided to give the Kona Brew Pub a try, since a friend of a friend works there, and we heard the food was pretty good too! I had intended to stay somewhat low carb on this trip, but oh well, I pretty much failed with so much amazing food! I mean, how could I say no to a pizza named after Pele? The pizza here truly was amazing and lived up to its rep!

After our long snorkeling day, we wanted to go back to U Top It for dinner. We were there like an hour before their posted closing time, but they were closed lol. A true locally owned business, where hours are "approximate" haha. So we ended up at a place called Lava Java. We had heard it was really good for breakfast and planned on that the next day, and Orion liked the name and wanted to go there lol, but we found out they had dinner, so we just flopped and decided to do our second U Top It visit for another breakfast. Well, it turned out to be a great decision with great food, and once again, artistically presented as well. AND they had Wiki Stix for the kids to play with. This is a dang kid friendly town it seems! I had the macadamia crusted fish and Ron had the brie stuffed chicken - both were great!

So the one place I was dying about not getting to yet was Da Poke Shack. First of all, Poke is one of THE authentic Hawaiian things to try. Second of all, how often do you find a place that is nothing but 5 star ratings on like EVERY site? We were planning on a sushi place for date night, so I wasn't so sure I wanted raw fish for lunch as well, but I decided to dash in while I was out getting some caches and.... OH.MY.GOD. It was heavenly, and there were so many types! I tasted several and got small containers of two. Imagine the most delicious melt in your mouth chunks of raw fish, with a creamy dressing and some onions and other small veggies - it was kindof like the sashimi version of potato salad lol. The other one I got was seasoned with shoyu and something sweet. Yum!

And this brings me to our final out to eat meal.... We had wanted some good sushi and asked around, but it just so happened our waitress at Jackie Rey's new somebody who worked at a local place and gave us a friends and family 50% off coupon!!! I was worried it wasn't going to be a great place, but I read the reviews and it looked good. So Kenichi it was! It actually turned out to be perfect because they had much more than just sushi, so I ended up getting the duck comfit - yum! Ron was happy with a bunch of sushi. :) And the best part was that I had read about a ukelele jam (lol) happening at this shopping center the same night, and it turned out to be right in the plaza next to the restaurant, and we got an outdoor table so we could hear it! The place was really high end, with a great wine list, but still this was the look on our table:

LOL gotta love a wine glass on a beer coaster! And here is the beautiful dessert we got:
Ah Kona, your food was good to us, and this was a great farewell meal!

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