An essential, if not fundamental part of Hawaii’s local cuisine, poke (pronounced poh-keh), or seasoned raw fish salad, was all we thought about 24/7 on Kauai. Oh yes, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, it didn’t matter what time of day, we got our fill of seafood and then some if you factor in the sushi and sashimi that we picked up at every opportunity.
Now I know this post will sound like I’m playing favorites but the best poke on the westside of Kauai is at Ishihara Market in Waimea. Both raw and cooked, made with ahi tuna, octopus, sea snails, crab, shrimp, mussels, hamachi and baby octopus. And not only poke, but they’re also a one stop shop for ready-to-go, prepackaged meals, fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and fish, a great assortment of single beers and 6-packs, snacks, freshly brewed coffee, and at the time of our visit, a great assortment of Talenti gelato.
Thanksgiving Day: breakfast on the last day. Lomi tako, hokkigai poke, cone sushi, coffee.
Lunch plate: kalua cabbage, 2 scoops rice, mac salad and ahi poke, $15.
Dinner pupus: ahi, tako, and wasabi poke. Repeat the following day.
Last but not least, there’s also the option of poke bowls (poke over rice). Just gotta love this Gorilla Poke Bowl ($16) from Makai Sushi in Kukui’ula Market, Koloa. It has ahi, ono, salmon, avocado, cucumber, sweet Maui onion on rice with wasabi aioli, unagi sauce and tobiko.