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Kapaa Trip Report Sept.4-11th part 5

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Hayward, CA
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Kapaa Trip Report Sept.4-11th part 5

Friday: Once again, we ate breakfast in our unit at the Pono Kai. We wanted to just "chill out" on our last full day in Kauai. Then enjoy our last night at the Oasis Restaurant where I had made reservations through Open Table. I liked one of the beaches on the north shore that we had visited as part of the photo tour on Wednesday. So we returned there on our own, now that I knew how to get there. The beach is called Lumahai Beach or sometimes Nurse's Beach (from the movie South Pacific). It is located one and a half miles past Hanalei Elementary School traveling north. There is a small dirt parking area on the right side of the road. You then must walk down a slightly steep dirt trail surrounded by nice trees which provide shade. It is about 400 yards from the top (parking area) down to the beach. We walked to the western (left) side of the beach as there was no one in that area. But I found that the waves there were very strong even though they did not appear that big. The sand slope under the water was also steep. If you plan to get in the water at Lumahai, the only safe area is to the right as you face the ocean. On that side, there is a natural outcropping of lava rocks that extend into the ocean providing some shelter from these strong waves. In fact, there were a few snorkelers at this end. Unless you are an excellent swimmer, limit yourself to wading close to shore as we did. I later learned that this is considered one of the most dangerous beaches on Kauai. Some of the locals refer to Lumahai Beach as "Luma Die" Beach. I can now understand why. After a few hours of fun in the sun we headed back, stopping at another remote location that we learned from our photo tour that overlooks the taro fields and valley. Here we picked some strawberry guavas. It's an interesting walnut-sized red fruit that tastes like a passion fruit mixed with strawberry. You do not buy these at any store since they grow like weeds on the island. Just pick some up if you should see them...tasty and just spit out the seeds. After returning to the condo, I walked over to the Pono Market to buy some fresh ahi tuna poke to take back to our unit for lunch. The Pono Market is a place I have been coming to since my first trip to Kauai back in 2001. I decided to take a stroll my very first morning in Kapaa and stumbled across this small market. Back then, I saw a lot of locals drop in to buy food on their way to work. This is a popular place for locals. But now I find that there are a lot of tourists that drop in as well thanks I suppose to the power of the internet. It is a simple family owned market...think of it as a Hawaiian version of a small deli. They have fresh seafood and good local style food. Too many to mention all here but they include spam musubi, chicken musubi, chicken karaage, lomi salmon, octopus poke, squid poke, several makis, roast pork plate, beef stew plate and much more. It's a great place to pick up coffee and the morning paper as well. That night, we headed to the Oasis Restaurant located in the Waipouli Resort. I would recommend that you park near the front of the complex and walk through their beautiful lobby to the restaurant situated towards the rear (beach).I did not. Instead I followed the restaurant sign directing me to the right as we entered the complex in our car and ended up parking at the very rear. Directly across a canal, we could see the Bull Shed Restaurant. From there we followed a small path that runs parallel to the coast line over to the restaurant. This was actually nice. There was still day light when we arrived. The problem became evident after our dinner. It was night time now and the same path is now bordered by small dimly lit lights. When we followed the path back to the parking lot, we found that this area to be poorly lit with just our car and another with 2 young men inside nearby. Nothing happened but I would have felt more comfortable had I parked in an area with more lighting and less isolation. The restaurant itself is in a nice location situated close to the beach in an open air setting. They had a live band playing 60s and 70s tunes. They have live entertainment performed by different artists every night. I would have preferred no music and simply listened to the sounds provided by the surf. The restaurant takes great pride in the fact that 85% of their food is prepared from ingredients grown on Kauai. How they arrive at this figure I do not know. But those were the first words out of our waiter's mouth after he greeted and introduced himself. I overheard a waitress give the same "speech" to a couple at a table nearby. This fact is also printed on their menu. I did notice that on their wine list were 2 wines from the Nani Moon Mead Company, including our favorite, Pineapple Guava Sunset. I ordered a ginger lime mojito which was quite good. My wife had a Kahlua coffee which she said was, "just right". I was taken aback by the limited number of selections on the menu. There were 4 "small plates" (appetizers), 3 salads and 4 "large plates". The "large plates" were the "Catch of the Minute" which is fresh fish prepared pan seared or with a butter/miso glaze, a breadfruit red curry to which shrimp can be added as an option, braised pork and lastly, rib eye from locally raised cattle. Feeling like true carnivores that evening, my wife ordered the pork and I had the rib eye. The presentation of our food was nice and portions just right. We both agreed that it was the best prepared food that we had experienced on this trip to the island. That made up for the limited choices. I wish I could write about their desserts but once again we were too stuffed. I know that they have "home cookies". But what other dessert items they have if any, I do not know.That evening, we watched the 12th and final episode of Dexter. Saturday: We walked over to Ono Restaurant for breakfast. We had portuguese sausage and eggs. We each tried one banana pancake as well. If you like pancakes, we both recommend the banana pancakes at Eggbert's. They are lighter and fluffier than either Kountry Kitchen or Ono. All 3 add bananas to their batter. But you could barely taste them at Ono. Perhaps that is the reason they also top theirs with fresh bananas. By the way, you can always get a 10% discount at Ono Restaurant if you let them know that you are a guest at the Pono Kai. Just show them your room card if they ask. We then checked out and I dropped my wife off at the airport for her flight home on Hawaiian. I had 2 hours before my direct flight on United so I drove to Walmart and bought 3 bags of the Cinnamon Toast Sweet Bread made by the Kauai Kookie Kompany (not a misspelling). Susan loves these. Unfortunately, they were all sold out when I stopped by Walmart earlier in the week. I refueled the rental car and headed back to the airport. We both had smooth flights. In fact thanks to a nice tailwind, we both arrived in SFO 45 minutes ahead of schedule. Once again, I landed first. So I picked up our car from the Park and Fly lot. I got a call from Susan just as I was paying the cashier (good timing) and then headed straight for the airport to pick her up. And so our vacation and this report FINALLY comes to its conclusion. As much fun as I've had during previous trips to Kauai, simply spending most of our time around Kapaa and appreciating the relaxing time together on this beautiful island was most fun and rewarding. We did not miss the luaus, canoeing, boat rides or any of the other activities that we'd experienced in the past. Sometimes it's better to keep your plans to a minimum and simply do what you feel like in the moment even if this means doing "nothing" to have a memorable vacation!

Dallas, Texas
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1. Re: Kapaa Trip Report Sept.4-11th part 5

Excellent reports!!!! I have really enjoyed reading them. I must admit I have never heard of the Oasis Restaurant and I have not tried the mead wine..Next time....only 7 1/2 months!!!

Hayward, CA
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2. Re: Kapaa Trip Report Sept.4-11th part 5

Cindy,

You may not have heard of the Oasis Restaurant because they just opened in February of this year. I had read one good review and took a chance that it would work out well for our last dinner on the island. They did NOT disappoint!

Milwaukie, Oregon
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3. Re: Kapaa Trip Report Sept.4-11th part 5

Yours sounds like a perfect vacation...very relaxing. Thanks for your commentary on the restaurants and for answering my questions about Pono Kai.

California
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4. Re: Kapaa Trip Report Sept.4-11th part 5

Really great detailed reports and thanks so much.

Did you know you can also get a marriage license at Pono Market? Poke and marriage all in the same place!

Kingman, Arizona
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5. Re: Kapaa Trip Report Sept.4-11th part 5

Wow great info, will arrive in 6 days another beach to check as well as a great restaurant.

Hayward, CA
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6. Re: Kapaa Trip Report Sept.4-11th part 5

Jebett,

I had read that somewhere but it sounded too crazy. But I guess it's true. Not only can you get poke and married at the same time, but "lei-ed" there as well. I forgot to mention that they sell leis at reasonable prices.

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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for Kauai, Kapaa
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7. Re: Kapaa Trip Report Sept.4-11th part 5

And Roselani ice cream. Don't forget the Roselani ice cream.

Hayward, CA
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8. Re: Kapaa Trip Report Sept.4-11th part 5

pzp,

Absolutely!! And together with the Kauai Times Coffee blended just for the Pono Market makes Uncle Ken Kubota's specialty, "The Roselani Express":

A shot of expresso poured over Roselani french vanilla ice cream from Maui.

Edited: 27 September 2010, 06:07
Wailua
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9. Re: Kapaa Trip Report Sept.4-11th part 5

The Pono Kai give marriage licenses, not certificates. So, they start the paperwork for the state, but they not have an officiant to sign it right there and make it official. BTW, I got my license at Pono Kai--got married the next day at Kalihiwai Beach.

hawaii.gov/health/…index.html

Princeville, Hawaii
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10. Re: Kapaa Trip Report Sept.4-11th part 5

Thanks for the reports. I have a Pono Market t-shirt. It's a must stop for us.