Mark’s Place – 1610 Haleukana St, Lihue, HI 96766
If you’re looking for an ono (delicious) Hawaiian plate lunch, this is the spot for you. A little hole in the wall, mostly for takeout, but there are some picnic tables outside. Jeff went for the combo of chicken katsu and beef stew which came with rice and a salad.
I nabbed a piece of that crunchy katsu, it was excellent. I wasn’t going to try the beef stew because I don’t eat red meat, but Jeff insisted I at least try a veggie. It was phenomenal! So tender and flavorful. Lucky guy picked an awesome combo! I went for a healthy choice when I heard this place whips up a mean salad. The special of the day sounded right on: kalabi chicken over fresh mixed greens, topped with kim chee and a creamy honey sesame dressing.
I’ll tell you I’m not the biggest salad fan, but this one could create a convert. The chicken was great, veggies were fresh and abundant, and the kim chee + dressing really jazzed up the whole deal. We dug the free entertainment, birds and lizards, who also seem to love Mark’s Place.
Anahola Café – Kuhio Hwy Mile 12.5 Anahola, HI 96703
Right off the highway, don’t go too fast or you might miss it, and that would be a shame. Walking in I felt like I had stumbled into a local backyard party. Open air, cozy couch-like booths, and a captivating soccer game on TV – this felt like it could be home.
What to order? You can pick from Hawaiian style plates or saimin, which is traditionally a Chinese noodle, but it was cultivated by immigrant groups in Hawaiians and quickly became a favorite local food. Jeff went for the dry rubbed baby-back ribs plate – he loved how tender they were and the excellent sweet and spicy seasoning.
Meal came complete with scoops of rice and potato-mac salad. I was in the mood for a comforting hot bowl of the special saimin.
Something to write home about, this noodle soup has got it all. The juicy stringy saimin, homemade wontons, kai choy, kamaboko, egg, and green onion. So much variety, so much deliciousness, so much food! We definitely didn’t go hungry and we sure left happy. Great food, service, and relaxing atmosphere created a memorable meal.
Kauai Family Café – 4-361 Kuhio Hwy Kapaa, Hawaii
Whenever there is an opportunity to have Filipino cuisine, I’m always game. The Filipino dishes I have tried are always delicious, comforting, and filling – things were no different at KFC. A generic little store front and interior, but we’re not docking points for style when the food is this good.
The chicken adobo was oozing with flavor, the garlic, ginger, soy, and vinegar ingredients really stood out.
The dish came out hot and had copious amounts of gravy which soaked right into the rice. Carrots and potatoes were tender to the bite, and it is always good to put some greens on the plate. You can’t skip on dessert, this spot is known for its banana lumpia.
Thinly sliced bananas in spring roll wrappers, deep fried and dusted with powdered sugar and caramel sauce. The crackling texture of the fried wrappers, the soft bite of the banana, and the drizzle of that caramel sauce – what an experience!