Cuisine and cocktails are on fire at Tiki Iniki at Princeville Shopping Center.
Sometimes, quite literally. That’s the case with the flaming zombie, a mixture of five rums, fresh grapefruit and lime that’s set ablaze tableside. Double up with some friends and order a cocktail party bowl that’ll serve two to six people for $36.
Rum is one of the staples at Tiki Iniki, with shards of barrels decorating the walls and a major selection across the bar. It’s a home for mai tais made with aged plantation Jamaican rum, cold drafts and margaritas with fresh lime — many served in tiki-themed glasses.
It’s part-cantina, part-diner, with a vibe reminiscent of being shipwrecked in the tropics and varying prices. Sides of fries or mac salad are around $5, pupu run at around $11, flatbreads in the range of $15 and salads from around $11.
Burgers run from $16. In addition to classics like the teriyaki burger or a steak sandwich, there are twists like the Iniki burger — beef and Spam topped with onion, pickled jalapeno, provolone, cabbage slaw and shoyu mayo.
Dinner and entrée plates feature fresh catch Thai curry and pan-seared Hawaiian ahi priced at market value. Grilled ribeye steak comes with garlic mashed potatoes and fire-roasted vegetables for $32.
There’s a happy hour from 3 to 5 p.m. with $3 Corona, $5 drafts and $8 cocktails, and a late-night menu served through 11 p.m. These menus knock a couple bucks off some of the main menu items and throw a twist on others.
On the happy hour menu, you’ll find shrimp rangoons made with Kauai Shrimp for $10, that come stuffed with cream cheese, ginger and water chestnuts. After 9:30 p.m., you can score hot wingss for $8 or sticky sweet ribs in a guava-shoyu glaze for $11.
The barstools are tiki statues, surfboards hang from a thatched ceiling, and patrons eat on the shaded lanai. A wicker throne-like chair is tucked away in the low lighting and, on the other side of the restaurant, low couches surround tables in the breeze.
Owned by singer/songwriter Todd Rundgren and his wife Michele, the idea for Tiki Iniki was born after Todd and Michele moved to Kauai just after Hurricane Iniki in 1992.
It embodies the pau-hana feel of gathering friends and family after a long day of salt, sand and surf. Island music, locally-sourced ingredients and cocktails made with fresh juices make this spot a go-to for residents and visitors alike.
The service is fast and friendly, the bartenders knowledgeable and creative, and Tiki Iniki offers a few dairy-free and gluten-free options on the menu.
It holds down a corner next to Federico’s and a few other restaurants behind Ace Hardware.
Jessica Else, staff writer, can be reached at 245-0452 or firstname.lastname@example.org.