30 Meals Under $30
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$23.48! Top-shelf margarita ($6.50), guacamole and chips ($3.99), short rib enchilada ($12.99).
Tucked in a shopping center in Kapa‘a, you’ll find chef Josh Stevens—who has worked with Alan Wong and at restaurants such as La Mer—creating “New Mexican-Hawaiian Fusion.” The stacked enchilada is the signature dish, layered in a tall tier rather than rolled in a pan. The result is a saucy, artistic presentation and a fresh, updated taste. The housemade chips dusted with dried chilies, and a margarita made with Cazadores tequila, were ideal escorts to this enchilada, which can be made with chicken, pork, fish or veggies. Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 4-1101 Kuhio Hwy., A-3, Kapaa. (808) 821-1400. verdehawaii.com.
Josselin’s Tapas Bar & Grill
$29.50! Lychee sangria ($9.50), hamachi tartare ($12), Thai shrimp bisque ($8).
he highly anticipated venture of award-winning chef Jean-Marie Josselin opened in May, offering a sophisticated atmosphere with a wood-burning oven, cozy booths and an extensive menu. Although you can swing an entrée and drink under $30, the specialty here are tapas, and the sangria, which is carted around in glass jars, loaded with fruit. The velvety hamachi is the perfect contrast to crisp cucumber, and the shrimp dumplings swimming in the spicy bisque is complimented perfectly with the sangria, made with pinot grigio, lychee liqueur and passionfruit rum. Dinner nightly from 5 to 10 p.m. 2829 Ala Kalanikaumaka, Kukuiula
$29.90! Pan-seared crab cakes ($9.95), panini ($11.95) and a glass of Firestone Estate Chardonnay ($8).
Perhaps the most posh place to eat in Lihue, we’ve found that it’s actually better to order the most simple dishes, such as a panini: salty ham meets sweet caramelized onions, accompanied by melted Gruyere cheese, wilted arugula and stone-ground mustard, a hearty medley layered between grilled Italian bread. Plated with it are local baby greens with a light vinaigrette. Start with the restaurant’s surprisingly light crab cakes and a glass of the Firestone Estate Chardonnay for a perfect lunch or dinner. Daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 3-3142 Kuhio Highway, Lihue (808) 245-2227. kauaipastarestaurants.com.
Kilauea Fish Market
$22.98! Fresh whole coconut ($5.99), grilled opakapaka with rice and salad ($16.99).
The best-tasting fish on Kauai comes on a paper plate. Order this tender, perfectly grilled pink snapper topped with a sweet teriyaki glaze and wasabi aioli, next to brown or white rice, and macaroni salad or baby greens. For a different kind of drink, order a fresh whole coconut. It’s a little awkward to hold, but the cool, sweet water inside is refreshing and nutritious. Or bring a bottle of wine; the restaurant has glasses and openers ready for use. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. 4270 Kilauea Road No. C, Kilauea 828-6244.
$23! Chicken Parmigiana ($16), salad and crêpe ($7).
ake our word for it: Bistro Casanova is an excellent lover. The Parmiagiana is the culinary threesome your tastebuds have been longing for. Organic chicken (breaded and fried) plus homemade marinara sauce and fresh mozzarella, layered together and baked to perfection, with an organic salad. Not that there’s much room for dessert, but the Marilyn crêpe—topped with strawberries, cream and light drizzle of chocolate—was too tempting to pass up. Who could refuse Casanova? Monday through Saturday, lunch, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., tapas, from 3 p.m. Dinner, 5 to 9:30 p.m. 33 Lono Ave., Kahului, (808) 873-3650, casanovamaui.com.
$29.50! 16-inch pizza ($20.25), organic house salad ($7.50) with tomato ($1.75).
Freshest of the fresh ingredients, organic-mostly-everything, local suppliers and the experience of watching your pizza bake make Flatbread no ka oi when it comes to Maui pizza. Splitting toppings on the pizza—a homemade sausage on half, fresh mozzarella and a zesty red sauce on the other, means everyone’s happy. The organic house salad, Kula Farms mesclun and organic lettuce tossed with the house ginger, tamari and pineapple vinaigrette comes topped with shredded green papaya, carrots, seaweed and toasted sesame seeds. We added vine-ripened tomato, but you can add pretty much whatever you want, from avocadoes to cucumbers, for an additional $1.75. Sunday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. 89 Hana Hwy., Pāi‘a, (808) 579-8989, flatbreadcompany.com.
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