KAPAA — There’s a new place in town to for surf and turf grinds.
Coconut’s Fish Café in Kapaa has a polished surfer shack vibe and a menu stacked with coconut shrimp, fish tacos and sandwiches, poke and seafood pasta.
“It’s consistently good food, at a good price, with healthy options,” said owner Carol Wood.
She and LaMont Fisher opened the franchise at the Kauai Village Shopping Center in Kapaa in late October and Saturday was their grand opening, which they celebrated with drawings for gift certificates and food specials.
The pair moved to Kauai from Dallas, Texas after 24 years of visiting the main Hawaiian Islands.
Both hail from the information technology world and they brought a team of experienced restaurateurs with them, in addition to hiring on-island employees.
They’ve been working on the venture for a little more than two years.
“We were both done with the corporate world and wanted something different,” Wood said.
The idea of opening up a Coconut’s Fish Café franchise came from visiting the flagship restaurant on Maui, where Fisher said he had the best fish and chips of his life.
“I have fish and chips at a lot of places. It’s a quick, easy thing to order and I’ve always been disappointed, but these are different,” Fisher said.
Light and fresh — enough food to give you energy for that surf sesh, but not heavy enough to put you to sleep; that’s how the pair describe pretty much everything on the menu.
“The chowder is an exception, and it’s really popular,” Wood said.
The blackened mahi sandwich is Fisher’s second favorite from the menu and that’s listed among other fish sandwiches like grilled ono ($12.99), seared ahi ($14.99), and the faithful hamburger ($11.49).
Tacos are served on two white corn tortillas and the restaurant offers 17 different ingredients as toppings, including coleslaw and mango salsa, for between $12.99 and $14.49.
A keiki menu, vegetarian and gluten free options, poke bowls, salads and pupus fill in the rest of Coconut’s Fish Café’s options.
In 2009, the first Coconut’s Fish Cafe opened in Maui, and Wood and Fisher said founder, Michael Phillips, joined them on Kauai when they were shopping for locations.
“He started the first one just because he wanted a place that had good food that was consistent, at a good price,” Fisher said. “He wasn’t planning on franchising, but it exploded and now we’re the eighth.”
Coconut’s Fish Café is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and is at 4-831 Kuhio Highway.