The Fish Express: Almost too ono for words. Almost.

It happens every time I walk into the break room with a take-out box from The Fish Express: All eyes are on me. My co-workers watch in jealousy as I peel back the thin layer of paper covering my freshly grilled Ahi Katsu in Wasabi Cream sauce.

“Ooh! I get that one, too! It’s soo good,” one co-worker says.

I like to call it the “Fish Express effect.” Symptoms typically include salivation, overeating and jealous friends and co-workers — and for me, a giant smile of satisfaction for the rest of the day.

The Fish Express, located just off Kuhio Highway in Lihu‘e, has been a favorite of locals and visitors for more than 20 years. Whether you’re on lunch break at work or on your way to sightsee on the Garden Isle, its freshly prepared plates and pupus are made with expert hands, cooked as freshly as possible and sure to please.

There isn’t much parking outside the place and no seating, which makes it ideal for those wanting top quality food while staying in line with budgetary and time constraints.

So, as I was saying, I ordered the Ahi Katsu in Wasabi Cream sauce. It’s composed of two freshly grilled, furikake panko encrusted ahi fillets slathered in a signature “teriyaki wasabi infusion.”

The sauce is so rich and creamy I could eat that all by itself. Well, if I wanted to gain 10 pounds I could. Also, all plates come with a side of fresh steamed rice and your choice of Kilauea greens or its “famous potato salad.” It’s a whopping deal for only $9.95.

Other popular choices include an array of fresh pupus and prepared bento boxes. As you walk in, the glass display case is filled daily with fresh, award-winning poke, sashimi, shrimp and various salads.

Above, the menu lists three sections: Items from “Da Grill,” “Da Regulars” and daily chef specials. The restaurant also has a short selection of sandwiches and wraps, all utilizing fresh catch selections.

The fish used for each menu item often changes depending on its availability.

To top if off, most plates and dishes are under $10, which is a great deal by Kaua‘i standards, and for the quality and quantity of food you get.

To the left of the register there is also a large soft drink selection, as well as a small rack with some sweets and other local treats — such as taro chips — for purchase. It’s a great addition to any of its main dishes.

The Fish Express is located at 3343 Kuhio Hwy. It is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and can be reached at (808) 245-9918.

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