The Wailua Golf Course has not had much luck with those opening a bar/restaurant there. Usually, it’s followed by closing.
Different operations have come and gone over the years. There are reasons to consider for this. Not a great location. Only golfers will stop there as it’s just off the busy highway and can be difficult to access. There are restaurants in Kapaa or Lihue closer to home. Too hot.
But with the recent opening of the Bamboo Grill and Snack Shack, there is good reason for optimism the golf course finally has a restaurant that will do well. This is a winning combination based on the success of Bamboo Grill and Sushi in Lihue. Both are owned by Ritchie Ogata and both have what you’re after when dining out.
Start with the atmosphere of Bamboo Grill and Snack Shack. It’s comfortable, pleasant and relaxing. You feel welcome when you walk inside the entrance door. Three large screen TV are on the wall behind the main bar, which makes it a terrific spot to sit, have a beer, watch sports and talk story. Air conditioning keeps things cool, which is a must for golfers just coming in after nine or 18 holes on hot day. The tables filling the dining room and lining the walls have plenty of space so you don’t feel like you’re speaking to the folks seated nearby.
There are nice views, too, of the golf course, the driving range and in the distance, you can see the ocean. The perfect place, after a round of golf, to relax, cool off, and recount how you could have shot a 64 but for all those double and triple bogies.
The service is fast and friendly. Despite stopping in right when the doors opened at 10 a.m., the waitress was ready with a pleasant greeting, smile and a glass of water at the table.
Food came quickly, too. The BLT Hoagie, for $10, is a good deal. It comes with mayo, bacon, lettuce and tomato, and with your choice of french fries or tater tots. The fries were hot and crispy. The sandwich was about perfect, enough to send you on your way full, but not so much you’ll be letting your belt out.
Other offerings include several types of burgers, from the Paniolo Burger to the Blue Cheese Butter Burger to “Do Local Boy” burger. They run from $10 to$16.
Sandwiches like the Turkey Club, Cuban and Pastrami and Swiss, are in the same price range.
Plates that come with rice and mac or tossed salad featured varieties chicken or steak and run $12 to $18. Saimin, loco moco and chili spaghetti are on the menu, too. The pupu menu features chicken wings, fried rice, deep fried pickles, gizzards and nachos.
Stop in during happy hour from 3 to 5 p.m. for specials.
Kitchen hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A creative touch, the dividers can be pushed away to open up the space to the other side, where four dart machines wait for some bull’s-eyes. And karaoke comes out later, too, for some singing and looking and sounding foolish.
Bamboo Grill isn’t just for golfer. It’s for locals. And visitors. And pretty much anyone who simply likes great food, friendly service and perhaps a chance to work your golf game before and after you eat.