Of the few upscale restaurants on Moloka'i, this one may be the most popular. Located at Hotel Moloka'i, it is also the best spot in Kaunakakai for a ... More
Hotel Molokai Oceanfront Restaurant
Of the few upscale restaurants on Moloka'i, this one may be the most popular. Located at Hotel Moloka'i, it is also the best spot in Kaunakakai for a date or a leisurely cocktail hour. The entire ocean side is open, allowing the scent and sound of the nearby ocean to float in. The dining area is simple yet attractive, as well as a bit rustic. Live music is presented every afternoon between 4pm-6pm. Full breakfasts are served, and the lunch menu is fairly standard, consisting of sandwiches, burgers and salads. Dinner items include Coconut Shrimp, Kapakahi Stirfry and steaks.
Auwe! Maybe I make like manini makule wen say dis, but wot dis place lack in onolicious grinds (dey NO broke da mout, brahs!), make up foh shoh as deelux place get all buss, lissening to da kine hula!
Actually, the Hotel Molokai bar has been a focal place for locals for decades, Sitting there (or nearby, at a table), you can enjoy the visual spectacle of the different groups and separate them easily into "haole malehini", "kanaka maoli", "kama'aina", "FOBs", and just plain "pupule brahs" (crazy li'dat, you know?).
There's live music of some sort every night of the week, right outdoors there by the bar, and while most of it's passably good, some of it (like the "Paniolo" C&W stuff) is usually just loud. The really great group to hear is the 'Na Kupuna', a group of Hawiian 'Aunties' who render authentic traditional Hawaiian hula and aloha music every Friday evening from 4 to 6PM. Live bands play from about 6PM through 10:30 and it's all outside, under the stars (or the palm thatch, if it's raining).
As for the accommodations at Hotel Molokai, the place has been around for decades and for the most part consists of rather nice, local-style two story Lanai bungalows. They are not fancy, but attractively blend in with the scenery and are quite comfortable and airy. One word of caution: if you value your serenity, need tranquil quietude in order to sleep peacefully, and tend to turn in early (before 10PM), book a room as far from the oceanside pool/bar patio as possible, since the music does tend to be rather loud and they use great BIG amps that carve into the lovely Hawaiian night like a hot knife through jello. Either that or bring good ear-plugs. You've never been irritated until you've been kept wide awake by painfully loud Molokaiian country & western style music at 10PM.
Dinner fare is very ordinary in terms of taste, and although you can get everything from "loco moco" (a scoop of rice, hamburger patty, egg sunny side up, and gravy) to locally caught seafood and home-grown (Molokai Ranch) sirloins, all too often the vegetables are uninspiring and lukewarm by the time they reach the table. What makes the 'Hula Shores Restaurant' at Hotel Molokai special are the spectacular sunsets that occur almost daily and which are especially evocative when viewed at the tables that line the water's edge. That alone makes up for everything else!
Still and despite all of these small admittedly niggling complaints, the Hotel Molokai is one of the 'real' Molokai experiences you need to try upon first encountering the island..
Personally, I wouldn't trade Molokai for all the hoity-toity tourist hangouts found anywhere else on the islands, since the Molokai experience--quirky and relaxed as it insists on being--is one of the last legitimate, authentic, and absolutely REAL expressions of what all of Hawaii used to be like before Walt Disney moved in and transformed everything into a sexed-up Polynesian version of Las Vegas.
As the Hawaiians are fond of saying, "Aloha Kakou!" ("Aloha to us all!"). Mahalo nui loa...
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