A table with a view

  • Jessica Else / TGIFR!DAY

    The fresh island fish sandwich at Sam’s Ocean View restaurant is served with french fries and pickles.

  • Jessica Else / TGIFR!DAY

    Kauai shrimp al ajilo at Sam’s Ocean View is local Kauai shrimp served with the head on in garlic, olive oil and butter.

  • Jessica Else / TGIFR!DAY

    The Sam’s Ocean View restaurant’s arugula salad comes with grilled shrimp, shaved parmesan, tomatoes and a balsamic reduction.

Sea breezes and eggs benedict draw patrons to Sam’s Ocean View, but it’s not just the drinks that are flowing through the second-story dining room.

The ocean air drifts through open bay windows that overlook the east side’s Royal Coconut Coast and if you sit long enough at the bar, you might catch a couple stories as well.

Situated next to the Kauai Hostel and overlooking the Ke Ala Hele Makalae bike and walking path, Sam’s is a place for fine food and views.

Balcony tables cater to a romantic, outside feeling and corners further inside the bistro lend to a friendly brunch atmosphere. The bar sits in the middle of Sam’s, with enough for about six people to belly up and plenty of casual seating.

Popular for its breakfasts, Sam’s serves Sunday brunch mimosas for $5 each with a brunch that runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

That brunch serves up four different benedict choices ($14 to $17) as well as breakfast plates with eggs and things like banana macadamia nut pancakes ($14) or more lunch-style options like the fish and chips in a basket ($17) and a local romaine Caesar salad ($12). Brunch also offers burgers and sandwiches.

Dinner offers two categories at Sam’s — small plates ($12-$18) and entrees ($19-$36), with fresh fish and crisp veggies that make the prices palatable.

During a recent dinner at Sam’s Ocean View, sitting in on a quiet balcony with soft lighting and a steady breeze, our table ordered an arugula salad (local, organic arugula, grilled shrimp, shaved parmesan, tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil and a balsamic reduction for $18) and the wagyu beef slider Trio (Vermont cheddar, bacon, crispy onions and siracha aioli for $18).

The arugula was spicy and crisp, the seafood was fresh and the three tiny hamburgers that make up the wagyu beef slider Trio were bite-sized and still satisfying.

For those with food allergies, Sam’s Ocean View has a menu marked for vegans and those with gluten allergies, and the servers offered gluten free bread as an appetizer the moment they suspected there was a need.

With cocktails running from $10 to $15 each, an extensive list of wine selections, and beer on tap, Sam’s Ocean View is an upscale pau hana dive with a low-key feel that’s perfect if you want to splurge while keeping a bit of cash in your wallet.

It’s located next to Kauai Beach Hostel, across from Tamba Surf Company in Kappa.

Happy hour is from 4 to 6 p.m. and Sam’s is open Wednesday through Monday from 4 to 9 p.m. and Sunday for brunch.

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Jessica Else, staff writer, can be reached at 245-0452 or jelse@thegardenisland.com.

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