Low-key diner brings island comfort food to gritty northern Georgetown.
This humble but busy breakfast, lunch and dinner spot for area workers and intrepid visitors is tucked in a low-rise business plaza in the hinterlands of northern Georgetown. Opened by Native Hawaiian Peter Buza in 1993 and now run with his daughter Randi Buza, Kauai offers up a taste of what the restaurant calls “local” Hawaiian food. That means home cooking that blends flavors from the various groups that have influenced that state’s cuisine throughout history, from Portuguese and Spanish settlers from Europe to Japanese, Chinese, Filipino and other immigrants from Asia.
The menu: Kauai is known for its filling breakfasts, which include the Blahla Special ($14), a combo of noodle soup called saimin, Spam (which is a favorite snack food in Hawaii), both Portuguese and vienna sausage and rice. Kauai also serves a breakfast dish called loco moco ($6.35), a plate of rice topped with a meat patty, fried egg and gravy. For lunch and dinner, the options range from oxtail soup ($9) and curry tripe stew ($8.75) to Hawaiian-style platters of pork, beef, chicken or seafood that come with rice and either the restaurant’s popular macaroni salad or a tossed salad ($7.50-$16.50). On Saturdays only, Kauai serves up malasadas, Portuguese-style doughnuts ($5 per bag).
What to write home about: The combo platter ($16.50) comes with pungent lau lau, fish and tender chunks of pork cooked in a taro leaf; succulent, slow-cooked kalua pig; lomi salmon salad; rice; and macaroni salad. It’s big enough to share and perfectly demonstrates what makes Hawaiian comfort food so comforting.
Kauai Family Restaurant
6324 Sixth Ave. S., Seattle206-762-3469kauaifamilyrestaurant.com
Hours: 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday; 9:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday; closed Sunday and Monday
Etc: credit cards accepted but cash is requested; no alcohol served; wheelchair accessible; parking in the lot or on the street
The setting: The Buzas keep things low-key and homey, with a smattering of tables and breezy, Hawaiian pop songs playing.
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Summing up: Spam musubi ($3.25), a half-size appetizer of Peter’s special smoked pork ($6.25) and a lau lau/kalua pig/lomi salmon combo plate ($16.50) came to $28.50 with tax and tip, and was enough to easily feed two.