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ROY’S POIPU BAR & GRILL
2360 Kiahuna Plantation Dr., Koloa
The Roy’s in Koloa manages to channel the big-city cool of its sister locations on the mainland (as evidenced by its well-considered wine list and evolving art installations) without losing any of its local charm. Celebrated chef Roy Yamaguchi’s signature brand of Hawaiian fusion cuisine continues to pack a punch with its adventurous flavor combinations and fresh ingredients; diners looking for a fail-safe meal would do well to order one of "Roy’s Classics."
5-5075 Kuhio Hwy., Hanalei
Postcards Café’s seafood, vegetarian, and vegan gourmet meals are substantial enough to satisfy your hungry man’s appetites. Plus, the food is mostly organic and the chef uses no refined sugar or any ingredients with chemical additives. Try the taro fritters to start.
What is more romantic than a sunset dinner à deux with all the fancy trimmings (including a personal waiter!) on your favorite Kauai beach? Heavenly Creations is a catering and concierge-style service that will arrange for your very own moveable feast in some of the island’s most dazzling locales. A selection of Hawaiian-inflected dishes like mahi with coconut-lime sauce and guava cream cake only ups the once-in-a-lifetime quality of this experience.
Mile Marker 23, Kaumualii Hwy. (Hwy. 50), Waimea
Shave ice (not "shaved") is a local treat that consists of fluffy ice drizzled with syrups in flavors like lychee, pineapple, and tamarind. We like it over macadamia ice cream; locals enjoy it with red adzuki beans, which tastes much better than it sounds. Jo-Jo’s, an unassuming colorful roadside shack, is known to have the best shave ice on Kauai, but we suggest you try them all and decide for yourself.
BRENNECKE’S BEACH BROILER
2100 Hoone Rd, Poipu Beach, Koloa
Right across from the popular Poipu Beach Park, Brennecke’s has a great setup for enjoying fresh fish dinners and tropical cocktails as you watch the sunset. They grill over kiawe charcoal, which gives a nice, smoky flavor, sort of like mesquite.
SMITH’S GARDEN LUAU
174 Wailua Rd., Wailuna Marina State Park, Kapa'a
We know the word "luau" probably conjures up images of cheesy hula and hordes of clamoring tourists, so you’ll have to trust us when we tell you that this one is different on several scores. First, the main culinary event is the unearthing of the tasty kalua pig from an underground oven called an imu. Second, it takes place on a 30-acre tropical paradise. Finally, the show after the feast is one of the island’s best.