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Merrimans or Red Salt?

United States
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83 posts
15 reviews
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Merrimans or Red Salt?

Which would you choose? Family of 4 celebrating my husband's birthday. We are more concerned with quality of food vs. atmosphere.

Venice, Florida
Destination Expert
for Kauai
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3,108 posts
98 reviews
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1. Re: Merrimans or Red Salt?

You'll probably get a lot of different answers. I would choose Red Salt

White Plains, New...
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for White Plains, Aruba
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2. Re: Merrimans or Red Salt?

Never been to Red Salt and do plan to try it on our next visit.

Merrimens is farm to table. We have been there 4 times. Each time has been great. Delicious. I always have Fish. Service is great! To me Merrimen's is so Kauai.

Enjoy your trip. Look for a rainbow

California
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9,299 posts
8 reviews
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3. Re: Merrimans or Red Salt?

I'd choose Red Salt. I wasn't crazy about my dinner at Merriman's this year, and the service was lacking. Actually, Tidepools was my favorite on the South Shore.

Edited: 09 August 2014, 23:37
California
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35,525 posts
118 reviews
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4. Re: Merrimans or Red Salt?

I was thinking the same thing, 22Kauai. Tidepools even though I haven't eaten at Red Salt but I've seen the restaurant. No view and to me its a bit stark. I think atmosphere is important. I bet the food is good if 22K likes it, but for good food and good atmosphere etc look at Tidepools and ask for the table over the lagoon. Tell them its a special birthday.

Big Island, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Island of Hawaii
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24,930 posts
75 reviews
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5. Re: Merrimans or Red Salt?

I honestly have never had a really good meal at Tidepools. Expensive and mediocre IMO. While I think the food is a little better at Red Salt than at Merriman's, service is much better at Merriman's and overall when you combine ambiance, local sourcing and consistency I'd go with Merriman's. I prefer Josselin's to all of them but not for ambiance.

Edited: 10 August 2014, 02:38
California
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9,299 posts
8 reviews
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6. Re: Merrimans or Red Salt?

I hadn't been to Tidepools for several years--not because I had a bad experience. Guess I just wanted to try some of the newer restaurants. Our dinner was wonderful--much better than Merriman's or Josselin's. Truthfully, we only had breakfast at Red Salt this year, and it was excellent--everything from the food to the service. I decided to go with Merriman's this year for dinner instead of Red Salt, and as I already said it wasn't my best experience. My very favorite restaurant on Kauai is BarAcuda--got lucky and ate there three times. The best food and servers on the island IMO : ))

palm springs
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1,058 posts
21 reviews
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7. Re: Merrimans or Red Salt?

Both restaurants offer good food. One of the main differences is atmosphere. If you enjoy a more contemporary, hip atmosphere...I'd choose Red Salt. For a bit more traditional feel, and maybe more of a traditional menu....I'd go with Merrimans.

California
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35,525 posts
118 reviews
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8. Re: Merrimans or Red Salt?

<< My very favorite restaurant on Kauai is BarAcuda--got lucky and ate there three times. The best food and servers on the island IMO : ))>>

I always ask for Jenna!

Austin, Texas
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81 posts
2 reviews
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9. Re: Merrimans or Red Salt?

We prefer Red Salt. Just returned from Kauai and spent more time on the North Shore this trip so had to limit our South Shore dining options -- our 'musts' this trip were Red Salt, Tidepools and Roy's. I know everyone has different preferences and the experience at most restaurants can actually vary from time to time. We've always had excellent service, food, and atmosphere at Red Salt, and there is a tiny sliver of ocean view if you arrive before sunset and are seated in the right place -- love their bread, too - dangerous with the butter and red salt. Tidepools is always good (sometimes more drawn out if you like a lengthier dining experience) and the atmosphere is very islandy (know you didn't ask). Merriman's has been hit and miss for us so it doesn't make the 'must' list but have had several good meals there. You really won't go wrong with either place.

Edited: 10 August 2014, 05:47
Kauai, Hawaii
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8,506 posts
9 reviews
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10. Re: Merrimans or Red Salt?

We have been to all three......our experiences may have been different from others, and the OP was not so interested in atmosphere.....What can occur, is that there is a management , chef, or owner change, and what we experienced can be totally different that what might be occuring presently.

It has been some time, but our experience at Merrimans upstairs was outstanding, and we used to go there when they had their kamaaina specials, with a substantial discount for those of us who live on island. However, we were treated with aloha, not manufactured, and talked story and laughed and had good times with our servers, food was excellent, and we sat outside, and also inside with island friends. Everything was outstanding. After they did away with their kamaaina specials we did not return.

Red Salt: The atmosphere for us was kind of a welcome change from the tropical polynesian that we are inundated with at most of the resorts. Now, don't ge me wrong, we love tropical ambiance, but also welcome a change. We were greeted, lead to a view table, the servers were grand fun and professional, and the meal was excellent. We will be back on one of our date nights or a special occasion.

Tide Pools: We have ben to tide pools, once, and have no desired to return...service was sterille politeness, meals were about a 5 out of 10. We were with island friends who we get together for dinner here on island every month. They are business owners here on kauai, and had previously been in the restaurant business.

There are loads of other places that we have dined, actually have not missed many, and my subconcious selections always relate back to places that we continue to return. In other words, the places that we have repeated, are good for us. One time shots.....lets us know that we just did not care to return.

Too tell someone which place that they should defineity make reservations for celebrating a birthday with a group greatly depends on that persons likes and dislikes.

Personally, were it us, with a large family occassion, we would select Plantation Gardens at Kiahuna Platation in poipu. But , again, that is our opinion, and certainly do not expect others to feel the same..