A longtime South Shore favorite of both residents and visitors, the Beach House once perched on a sea wall only inches from the waves, a great spot to watch the sun set into the ocean and enjoy dinner in a relaxed and casual setting. In fact, the tables were so close to the waves that when Hurricane Iwa struck Kauai in 1982, the entire restaurant was swept out to seačleaving only the concrete slab to mark the spot where so many evenings had passed so pleasantly.
Even though rebuilt at a more respectful distance from the waves, Beach House was again destroyed ten years later by Hurricane Iniki, and then re-opened once more in the same location, clearly in hopes that the third time is the charm!
For the past few years, Jean Marie Josselin, owner of the popular Pacific Cafe in Kapaa, has operated Beach House very successfully. However, just before the new millennium, the building was bought, the lease was lost, and this changeable restaurant changed hands yet again, this time to experienced Maui restauranteurs who wanted a toehold on Kauais sands.
Many of the staff are staying on, including executive chef Linda Yamada who helped to develop the elegant Pacific Rim cuisine which became the restaurants signature. In actuality, Jean Marie spent very little time here, and so his departure may have very little effect.
The dining room has certainly benefitted from a facelift! The two tiered room with sweeping ocean views is now more elegantly detailed, with lovely art and table dressings.
Dinner begins with a basket of oven-fresh breads, and on the appetizer menu, you ll find intriguing choices. Beach House crab cake is delicious, attractively presented with tomato compote and curry oil ($7.25). Grilled artichoke is served with potato corn fritters ($7.95) perfect in texture. Best, in our opinion, is Hoisin beef wontons, served with a delicious Asian guacamole and tasty sweet and sour glaze ($8.95).
A salad of greens from nearby Omao appears with a light sesame and orange vinaigrette ($5.50) Entrees, particularly fresh island fish, are delicious, like grilled fresh ono, both flaky and tender, served with mushroom linguini ($24.95). The menu also features steak, salmon, and rack of lamb, as well as chicken and seafood, with entree prices more than $20, although two could make a light meal of several appetizers.
The setting is truly lovely. Tables are well-separated, and sliding glass doors open to the evening air and to spectacular views of surfers catching waves as the sun sets into the shimmering sea. It s lovely even after dark, as the last light of sunset fades, and you can linger over coffee and watch the waves begin to glisten with moonlight. At Beach House, romance is clearly on the menu!
For more restaurant reviews, consult your Kauai Underground Guide.