The thing about JJ’s Broiler overlooking Kalapaki Bay is that you tend to see the same people, from island power brokers to the neighbors, coming back again and again for lunch.
That’s a solid testimonial for any restaurant, and JJ’s has been a local favorite since the Jasper family — JJ is for Jim Jasper, the original owner with his wife Mary — opened the doors in 1967.
JJ’s remains a family-owned enterprise with an enviable view — even on an island where breathtaking scenery is the norm.
Indoor dining areas spill out into outdoor seating, but there’s a view from almost every seat in this friendly, casual place.
It’s a welcome getaway for lunch.
Nothing too elaborate is the usual rule for a workday lunch.
The first meal I ate on Kaua‘i for lunch was a simple dish with a simple name: Grilled Salmon. I have since learned it’s a favorite of many locals. It’s a well-seasoned dish featuring a hearty portion of grilled salmon atop cheesy potato cakes with a creamy sauce featuring sun-dried tomatoes.
The serving sizes are generous enough that even a bowl of soup like the popular Hawaiian Ocean Chowder — thick and creamy with plenty of seafood in the bowl — is a meal.
The salads are big enough for two, especially if you’re just thinking lunch.
That was the case with a recent serving of Cobb Salad with thick chunks of avocado, turkey, onion, egg, tomato, bacon and those almost mandatory blue cheese crumbles. But what makes this standard salad stand out is when you order it with the papaya seed dressing.
What else is for lunch? The restaurant features sandwiches ranging from a mahi mahi sandwich with provolone cheese to a Kalapaki “Yacht” Club. A keiki menu is available, and some folks always find a way to make room for JJ’s Ice Cream Pie.
Steaks and seafood are favorites for dinner. A wonderfully diverse array of wines are available, including Napa Valley standouts like Stag’s Leap.
JJ’s is in the Anchor Cove Shopping Center at 3416 Rice St. in Lihu‘e.
For more information, call 246-4422.