HANALEI — Following a Sunday of hiking and swimming on the North Shore, my wife and I had an hour and a half to get to the Princeville St. Regis Regis Resort for Kauai Choral’s Sunday night concert, “Fill the Night with Music.”
In somewhat of a hurry, we pulled into Hanalei, parked and wandered into Kalypsos Island Bar and Grill. I was a bit worried we would have to wait for a seat outside, where I prefer to sit, and that the food would take too long or we would have grumpy servers.
Turns out we had nothing to worry about.
A friendly hostess quickly led us to a table for two, outside as we requested. Within minutes, a smiling waiter checked in with us, delivered glasses of water, and took our order for two pints of their Kona beer on tap, Wailua Wheat and Longboard, both $3.50 since it was happy hour. And yes, that made me happy.
Sitting outside not only provides some mountain views, it provides a bit of entertainment and suspense. We watched a toddler chase a chicken into the brush, saw two cars nearly collide at the intersection and saw an impatient driver come too close to a family in the crosswalk.
The waiter returned quickly with the beer and took our order. My wife went with the chicken pesto sandwich, while I opted for the kalua pork sandwich and added fries.
It was perhaps the fastest turnaround for food ever. Within about five minutes or so, the waiter was carrying two plates across the restaurant headed our way. Couldn’t be, I thought. That quick? It was.
My wife, notorious for eating about half her meal and leaving it for me, actually finished every bite of the chicken sandwich, which she described as excellent.
I devoured the fries first, then turned my attention on the thick sandwich in front of me, piled high with kalua. In surprise, it turned out I couldn’t finish it and took half in a biodegradable to-go box.
I hate it when I have to wait for the bill. I didn’t. The waiter delivered it after checking to see if either of us wanted another beer. I would have, but the Kauai Chorale concert called.
A tip. If you live here, let the folks at Kalypsos know. They give kamaaina rate of 10 percent off food to local residents. All told, our lunch tab came to $31, a great deal to go along with the outstanding service and food. The environment, by the way, is clean, bright and inviting. It’s a fun place to visit. It does get busy during the main lunch and dinner hours so you might have to wait, but it’s worth it.
Kalypsos serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
If you get a chance, sit at bar and watch a game on one of the big screen TVs. Unless you’re anti-social, you’ll end up chatting with the person sitting next to you. The time I ran the Kalalau Trail out and back, 22 miles, I stopped at Kalypsos for a cold beer when I finished to recover. I got to talking to the couple from Chicago next to me, and eventually told them of my long run that day that nearly killed me. They thought I was insane, but they paid for my beer.
By the way, we left Kalypsos about 40 minutes or so after we arrived and easily made it to the Kauai Chorale show at 5. It was pretty much a perfect lunch stop. We left happy — and I ate the other half of that sandwich while driving to the concert.