Kalaheo Steak and Ribs revitalizes an old taste into an upscale experience

Kalaheo Steak and Ribs is one of the few places in Kalaheo that houses fine, upscale and remarkable dining.

As soon as you walk in, you are greeted with friendly faces and warm embraces. The inside of the restaurant is painted with nostalgic photos of old Kalaheo and themed with country-style ambiance — you can’t help but be drawn to the beautiful photos, music and country-themed memorabilia. It is part of an atmosphere that makes the experience of dining superb.

In 2010, owners Caroline Frederiksen and Ernie Kanekoa revitalized the old Kalaheo steakhouse and turned it into the gem we see today by using their extensive knowledge and experience of the food and beverage industry.

“We wanted to make sure that we had a restaurant that was local, clean, had a good atmosphere and great food,” Kanekoa said. “Over the past two years, we achieved that and we’re looking forward to hitting bigger heights.”

 Co-owner Frederiksen said the restaurant belongs to the people of Kalaheo and Kaua‘i.

“The people of Kalaheo are very dedicated to this restaurant,” Frederiksen said. “Everyone who enters these doors is considered family, whether they’re employees, regulars or first-time visitors.”

The night started with two of the restaurant’s most popular wines: The Jam, 2008, priced at $10 a glass and $42 a bottle, and the Leese-Fitch, 2009, priced at $8 a glass and $42 a bottle. Our waiter, Wayne, gave detailed information on the wines. His knowledge for wine was impressive and very professional.

Next, Frederiksen and Kanekoa spoiled me with mouth-watering appetizers. The Papalina poke and the pan-fried calamari steak, both priced at $13, “broke da mouth.”

Seriously, these two appetizers could be entrees of their own. Put a scoop of rice next to these two ono pupus and you can call it a night!

After being served a tossed salad with vinaigrette dressing, the main entrees caught the corner of my eye. I was caught in a mesmerizing trance of onolicious bliss — my eyes were glued to the roast prime rib, $30, and sautéed ahi, $27. Chef Rufino Ramos of Kekaha masterfully prepared both works of art. The prime rib and the sautéed ‘ahi were, like the motto suggests, “all good!”

Words alone cannot express the wonderful experience of KS&R. The atmosphere, employees, food and wine all add up to an unbelievable experience that locals and visitors should experience over and over again.

Aside from the restaurant, KS&R also has a saloon. Every Friday to Sunday, the saloon is filled with wonderful activities, including live and contemporary Hawaiian music.

There is karaoke from 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Fridays, the band “The Goats” rock from 7 to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and Hawaiian contemporary musicians Wailoa jam non-stop from 5:30 p.m. until they get tired — which rarely ever happens — on Sundays.

The saloon is also a great spot for parties and occasions, comfortably filling 60 people at a time.

Kalaheo Steak and Ribs is located at 4444 Papalina Rd. in Kalaheo. It is open Tuesday through Sunday. Happy Hour is from 4 to 6 p.m., and dinner is served from 5 to 9:30 p.m.

Allow 30 minutes for take-out orders.

For reservations and more information call (808) 332-4444, fax (808) 332-5445 or visit its website at KalaheoSteakandRibs.com.

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