Kalypso puts out heavenly pupu

There are times when I want to eat somewhere new; a restaurant that can make me feel I am somewhere else. A restaurant with classy homemade dishes that reinvents itself and takes the normal dishes to another higher level. A place where the normal drink special is dressed up in style and class.

But I want to be able to wear jeans and remain in casual attire and attitude. I don’t want to travel to the next island; I just want to get away for awhile. Did I find a place that met my checklist? Yes, I did. From the Westside to the North Shore, I searched high and low, and was greeted with fusion-style grinds at Kalypso Island Bar & Grill in Hanalei.

As you get there, you can sit at a booth inside to watch one of the five flat TV screens that play different sports channels, outside in the lanai area or by the bar where the drinks are made on point. My friend and I decided to eat inside to enjoy the atmosphere and experience. The first thing I ordered was my usual margarita. But this was no ordinary margarita; it was my very first guava margarita. I was excited to try a Hawai‘i-known juice with blended ice and salt around the rim.

Then we ordered our pupu: sesame seed-crusted ahi sashimi. It was heavenly and  made to perfection. I am not kidding. The ahi was rolled in sesame seeds that were toasted around the ahi, then sliced and served with a yummy ponzu dipping sauce. We destroyed that platter, and the fact that it was so simple but came with a great sauce had us wanting more. Next time I have a Sunday football game, I am going straight to Kalypso and ordering the sesame seed-crusted ahi sashimi to watch the game so I can get my sashimi on!

If you ever watch the local Kaua‘i TV channel, you will see an advertisement for Kalypso and see the chef cook up a seafood dish that will have you craving for it. How do I know? Well, my friend ordered it because she saw it and wanted to try it. It’s the on the dinner entrée menu, and it’s called the Kalypso’s seafood pasta. It’s linguini pasta served with ono, mussels, clam & shrimp, then tossed with homemade tomato & basil sauce. You will not be disappointed and may even find yourself licking the spoon and bowl clean. No shame; with a dish like that, you won’t want to waste an ounce.

“The crowd favorite would be a tie between the fish and chips and the Kalypso seafood pasta,” said Avalon Rodgers, one of Kalypso’s best waitresses. As I continued to ask Avalon questions, she told me that Kalypso has been open for six years, and before that it was known as Zelo’s. I personally am grateful for its existence, because sometimes you just want a tasty meal with a unique drink to take you away from your daily stresses. But what really sealed the deal for me was the coffee ice-cream mud pie with a bottom crust made of crushed Oreos.

Kalypso also has nightly specials like tequila Tuesday, where you can get $5 margaritas and great Mexican specials. On Wednesday, it’s happy hour all night and on Thursday you get half off all bottles of wine. But on aloha Friday, come in to enjoy live music and the chef’s specialty: Hawaiian dishes. So what are you waiting for? Make your way over to Kalypso in Hanalei. If you need directions and hours of operation call them at 826-9700.

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