Sunday, May 20, 2012

An edible 5-year annivesary in Kauai

It was so tempting to post all of the photos of the food we ate in Kaui on my Facebook page, but if I'm sick of looking at other people's food on Facebook, I'm probably not the only one. Instead, I will torture you with the deliciousness we devoured during our return to Kauai for our five-year anniversary.

Our first night, after an entire day of travel and three flights (two that were first class so I can't complain!), we crossed the street from our home for the week at the Wailua Bayview Condos and headed to the Korean Bar-B-Q. It was late, and I wasn't really hungry after all of those Mai Tais on the plane, but both Bryan and I couldn't resist the Dinner Special.

Clockwise from the top: bean sprout salad, green salad, potato salad, shrimp tempura, Meat Jun (which was a beef coated with egg batter then lightly fried) and Kalbi. What a wonderful welcome to the island!

Being a sucker for a good deal, we also grabbed a few steaks from Costco, which carries a dizzying supply of Asian snacks, including pork-filled humbao, seaweed salad and my favorite king oyster mushrooms, shown at right. (Which showcases the beginning of my no-veggie week. Yes, I gained back the 5 pounds I lost before the trip, but it doesn't matter anymore!)

By now, we were ready for some Hawaiian food, and I had found quite a few places in "The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook" that I thought would do the trick. But as tourists our timing was way off the islander schedule and we kept missing lunch, and instead had to settle for some takeout poke from the Pono Market that was so delicious, it just made us hungry for more!

We got lucky during another stop at Costco and found a generous sashimi tray for two for a steal at $20 — a friend on the island says it's the best deal available, so bravo to us!

But my favorite night on the island was at Caffe Coco, an outdoor BYOB eatery that also was right across the street from our condo. We were quickly won over by the live music by Ken Solin and Co., and tempted to come back again because the cafe offers up live music nightly. And then our dinner arrived.

By the time I was served this spectacular seared ahi with a wasabi-coconut milk-mushroom sauce (and the only salad I had all week), the tears were flowing with joy at the perfection of the evening.

Bryan liked his Charmoula plate so much, he gave me one just itty-bitty bite of the sweet-potato pastry on the right. Of course we wanted to come back, who wouldn't? But we also knew that a night that perfect just can't be repeated ... at least not until our next visit to the island!

Despite the perfect ambiance at Caffe Coco, it did lack a view, which we made up for at Scotty's Beachside BBQ. Eh, I could give a rip about American barbecue, but on the night of our anniversary, I wanted to be able to gaze out at the ocean with dreamy eyes.

Service was unbelievably fast, Mai Tai was the best on the island, barbecue was forgettable, but the view was unbeatable.

So, you ask, did I ever get my Hawaiian food? Indeed, on our last day, as we were wandering around Koloa trying to find the restaurant we ate at before our wedding, we figured out it was Tomkats Grill.

Of course, I had to get the same Kalua Pig I got five years earlier, and yes, I was satisfied.

Bryan also had been wanting Kalua Pig all week, but he hates getting the same thing as me so he got these beautiful ahi tacos instead.

And to top it all off, I finished my visit in Kauai with Spam Musubi from the airport, which was the exact same place I had my very first Spam Musubi, also at the end of our first visit to the island five years ago.

Kauai, I missed you before we even got off the ground, and I hope to be back before another five years have passed!

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