Sometimes when I’m traveling, I take note of some restaurants that were recommended in guidebooks, by friends (and bloggers!) and on sites like Yelp. Sometimes I don’t and have to rely on what I spot while I’m driving around. My visit to Island Taco in Waimea, Kauai was the result of the latter approach. I saw the sign, I saw a couple of other diners and I pulled in. Plus, I have a soft spot for tacos of any kind.
Island Taco immediately appealed to me. It had a great menu, nice open seating area and – even better – a very enthusiastic staff that was more than happy to tell me all about their food. They have ahi, mahi mahi, ono, pork, chicken and tofu, all in tacos, burritos, quesadillas and salads. They have both vegetarian and vegan options. There are even fat free options if you’re really health conscious. That said, I think that super-fresh ahi is a great choice if you’re looking for a healthy lunch. Everything is made in-house, including the flour tortillas that they serve their tacos and burritos with.
On to the food – the portions here are huge and the tacos are great. The tacos are filled with rice, shredded red cabbage, cheese and fresh salsa, as well as a very generous serving of meat. Three tacos was enough to feed two people! My favorite was the Seared Wasabi Ahi Tacos, which had a wasabi-spiked aioli sauce splashed all over the huge chunks of tender fish. The sauce wasn’t spicy, despite having wasabi in the name, but it was very flavorful and really made these tacos unique. The chicken and pork tacos were good – especially with that fresh salsa on top – but if you’re a fish fan at all go for the ahi if your travels in Kauai bring you to the neighborhood.
And don’t forget to stop by Jo Jo’s shave ice just down the street when you’re done eating lunch – if you have room, that is!
9643 Kaumualii Hwy
Waimea, HI 96796
Mon-Sun 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.