Here -- unlike its neighbor island Maui where traffic jams and shopping malls have become the norm and from where we had just spent a hustle-bustled week – we found the Hawaii we’d been seeking.
Take the Plantation Store for example. It is the only place selling gasoline on the island. The island’s only car rental agency is located at the back of the store.
On this island an afternoon stroll could lead to the horse stables and corrals; a place where the island’s paniolos (cowboys) hone their calf roping skills.
But the real flavor of old Hawaii was strongest when it came time to dining.
Because that’s when we’d join locals at some of the many restaurants, housed in the small wooden buildings built during yesteryear’s pineapple heydays.
They are the kind of places you must remember to hold the screen door or it will slap shut announcing to all that you’ve arrived.
One of our favorite eateries, 565, (pictured to the left and below), exemplifies that old time charm.
Why, 565? Well, because the name is easy to remember. It is the prefix for telephones on the island! We learned that the day we stopped in for lunch, lured in by the banner reading: Korean Katsu Chicken.
Served as a traditional ‘ plate lunch’, it came with two scoops of rice, and that Hawaiian trademark, macaroni salad. We’ve eaten a lot of Katsu chicken in our day but this was by far the best ever! Moist white meat in a crunchy honey and sesame crust. . .oh my mouth waters just writing those words. . .
So good was lunch that we asked about dinner. Yes, it was served. No, they didn’t serve alcohol but that was no problem, said the owner, just go to the store and buy a bottle and bring it with you.
So it was off to Richard’s Market that evening where the chilled wine was kept in the back – all four bottles of it. Joel chose our bottle, paid for it and then. . . .
. . .served it as any good wine steward would do!
We had the outside seating to ourselves as we sipped the wine waiting for our blackened mahi-mahi with fresh pineapple salsa to be served.
If You Go:
* We had several restaurant choices in Lana’i City – far more than could be visited during our four-night visit here.
* The win-win in Maui County, of which Lana’i is a part, is that if a place doesn’t have its own liquor license you are free to bring a bottle with you – which you must open and serve yourself. And at $19 for the bottle, compared to the $14 a glass and more, at the Four Seasons Resort where we stayed, it also kept the travel budget in the black.
*The meals pictured were less than $20 and one serving was plenty for two people.
Thanks for the time you spent with us today and we hope you’ll come along as we continue our Tales from the Pacific.
Linking up today:
Foodie Tuesday at Inside Journeys
Sweet Shot Tuesday