Teamwork is usually associated with team sports, but that is one of the things that most impressed me about Bouchons Hanalei Grill and Susi Bar. Everyone seems to be on the same page: making your dining experience fun and delicious from first drink to the last bite of dessert. Located in the town of Hanalei on the north shore of Kauai, it rests in the heart of Hanalei Bay, one of the most picturesque and photographed spots on earth.
The location and atmosphere are perfect as my wife and I both love fresh seafood and views that include Mt Waialeale, which channels water down its long mountain streams to Hanalei Valley below. I already knew from previous visits that we would enjoy a night out at the grill. The second story restaurant is open to mountain views and fresh sea breezes. One has to be on the beach in Hanalei Bay to get a better perspective of what it’s like to be in this timeless place on Kauai’s North Shore.
Tyler, Chris and Jeffrey run the sushi bar and serve up some of the best raw seafood I’ve ever had. In fact, I seldom go for the sashimi and stick with the less challenging sushi; even when I’m in the islands. Not any more, when I can have Hamachi belly that melts in the mouth and salmon that makes me wonder why I always cook it. The coconut prawn in sauce were divine, and this was after I’d already had their calamari and crab cakes.
The sashimi and prawn were complimentary and much appreciated as our plan to have appetizers and a drink before making dinner turned into a full dining experience. Besides we were having too much fun to leave early. Bouchons has that affect on folks.
Special cocktails, a good if brief wine list and premium sake choices provide all the accompaniment needed to make it work. After a Chopin martini we settled on glasses of Erath Pinot Gris. Oregon has a way with Pinot Gris, also known as Pinot Grigio that few can rival. Is it really fair that Oregon excels at Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris?
We finished up with a grasshopper pie, a big wedge with fudge dripping down the sides. I felt I was reliving my childhood when Country Club mint chocolate chip was my favorite ice cream. Only this was way better.
Mike at the bar and Mike the waiter sharing their enthusiasm for the place plus our waitresses taking our picture or making recommendations all reinforce what makes this place so special. Teamwork and a love of what they do. This is the number one place to go for great food, atmosphere, and fun. Be part of the team at Bouchons, I guarantee you’ll wish you’d joined sooner. Aloha!