out and about in kauai: hukilau lanai

Before I get into Thanksgiving recaps, I figured I should post the final Hawaii vacation post – only a little over a week since we’ve been back ;).  Our last night on Kauai we were trying to decide on a restaurant to go to, and we kept coming back to Hukilau Lanai because they feature an entire gluten free menu as well as a gluten free tasting menu if you’re seated between 5 and 6 pm.

We didn’t have reservations but got there around 5:15 and were seated right out on the Lanai with this gorgeous view!

Right away we asked about their gluten free menu and were brought those, the tasting menus and their gluten free bread basket.  It was so nice to be able to enjoy a bread basket again!  The bread was a herby focaccia and it was delectable.  Nice and airy, not dry and gritty.  Served with balsamic vinegar + oil.

I also started out the meal with my first Pina Colada of the trip – these are by far my favorite blended fruity drink!

Sister, my mom and I decided on the gluten free tasting.  My mom eats gluten, but she liked the sounds of this one rather than the normal tasting!  Our meal started with Candied Ahi… coffee spiced ahi, chipotle coconut sauce.

Second course was an Arugula Salad… arugula, fresh beets, corn off the cob, cherry tomatoes, basil vinaigrette.

The third course and first entree was the Fresh Catch… grilled fresh island fish, thai chili coconut sauce, white rice.

Time for another cocktail!  This time I got a Lava Flow – basically just a Pina Colada with a fruit swirl.  Yum!

Fourth course was by far Kinley’s favorite, and was incredibly delicious even though it sounds so simple!  Pork Tenderloin… Local mushroom marsala sauce, crispy polenta.  I usually don’t eat mushrooms, but these were delicious I ate every last one of them!

The next course was supposed to be the final dessert course.  But the manager thought our meals were taking longer than appropriate so sent out a pre-dessert dessert.  Starfruit sorbet.

The final, sixth course of the night was the Big Island Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee… local vanilla bean custard, caramelized sugar.  The perfect sweet ending to the best meal I have ever had.

The meal took about 2 1/2 hours from start to finish, but probably should take around 2 hours.  We were by no means in a hurry and didn’t even notice it was taking longer than it should have been.  Dad got a regular meal off the menu and they timed the courses perfectly to make sure his entree came around the time ours did.  And they even brought him a scoop of Starfruit Sorbet as well!  I didn’t think it was possible to top the Guava BBQ Ribs from Lemongrass Grill, but as an entire meal this definitely does.  And for only $28?  Are you kidding me?  I would go here each and every week if I lived here, and will definitely be returning when I am fortunate enough to make it back to Kauai!  It was sad that we visited this on our last night so we couldn’t revisit it, but it was a perfect ending to our week!  I don’t think I will ever forget this meal and am hungry just thinking about it!

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