Monday, April 18, 2022

Kona Brewing Company (Hawaii Kai)

Kona Brewing Company has two pubs in Hawaii. This blog post covers the spot on Kalanianaole Hwy in Hawaii Kai on Oahu.

After a long day, my friend and I treated ourselves to some good food on the east side of the island. Typical for a Saturday, the place was busy. Some employees wore masks, but others didn't. Aside from that, people have largely moved on from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The menu includes pizzas, sandwiches, and burgers. There are separate menus for available beers and cocktails.

I started with Kona Brewing's Kua Bay IPA. Just as the menu states, this copper-colored brew has good pine/hop qualities and a subtle caramel malt. It drinks pretty easy for 7.3%. Delicious and dangerous. A pint will be about $6.

I ordered the Cubano ($14.50): Imu pork, Canadian bacon, provolone, pickles, and cumin mustard on local, freshly baked bread. Served with a side of kettle chips.

Outstanding Cubano, one that I would call a "destination dish". Lots of smoky pulled pork, and I loved the crunchy pickles and tangy mustard. The bread was some of the best I've had in a long time, a slight crunch on the outside and soft on the inside. It does just enough to hold the sandwich together. Kettle chips were also good, nice and crunchy.

My friend got the 10" Pahoehoe Spicy Chicken ($16.75): house-made ranch, mozzarella, herb chicken, sweet onions, topped with gorgonzola and a swirl of house-made Buffalo sauce. I'm not a fan of gorgonzola or ranch, but this one was good. Powerful flavors all around, and I loved the tangy Buffalo sauce swirl.

Very good service, and having a seat indoors - yet next to the marina - was an added bonus.

The other pub, of course, is on the Kona side of the Big Island. If you're ever in either area (Hawaii Island or Oahu), give Kona Brewing a shot! 9/10

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