Even though we'd eaten and done the coffee tour thing, it was still pretty early. So I decided to head over to what I'd recommend for a quick first stop in Kona....it's close to the airport, you can stock up on water if you're staying for more than 3-4 days....Costco....yep, Costco. My friends know how much I dread going to Costco, the crowds, the insanity....but here I was going of my own accord. This being the Big Island, meant that Costco might have some interesting items.....
Or even Hamakua Mushrooms......
And what other Costco has its own Guard-Rooster??? Pretty aggressive little fella'. Make sure you don't take his "reserved space"!
We then headed off back to Kona and was able to check in at the King Kamehameha....which was a good choice for us. Nothing fancy but the location, at the top of Ali'i Drive worked for us. The interior of the hotel is much nicer than the exterior which looked a bit dated. The staff was also very nice, especially the parking lot ladies who always smiled and waved us and in and out.
That taken care of.....means it was time for lunch, right? We headed up Palani Drive to Kuakini Highway, then back down to Ali'i Drive and a small shop called Da' Poke Shack.
The little shop with a couple of parking spots and tables outside has about a dozen varieties of poke...which you can get a la carte as a bowl or as a plate (with two sides).....though the plate seemed a bit steep at $20, we decided that it was something we could share as a rather light lunch.
I ordered the "Shack Special" which was a mildly sweet furikake poke and the "Wet Hawaiian" which was some kind of award winning version of poke....brown rice with kimchi and seaweed salad as our sides.
The portion sizes of the fish seemed to hover around 4-5 ounces. They told me, this was ahi......it seemed like tombo ahi - albacore, or even A'u as the fish seemed a bit mushy. Regardless, it was fresh, the flavors not too bad, maybe a bit on the salty side.
We shared our table with this momona (chubby) dove, who has obviously been eating well.
Not the best poke I've had, kind of pricey, but probably the best in the area.
Da Poke Shack
76-6246 Alii Dr
Kailua, HI 96740
Open Daily: 10am - 6pm
We then attended to the next task at hand.....trying to figure out what was for dinner! Since the room had a decent mini-fridge, we decided to check out KTA in Keauhou, which we recalled as being pretty decent. We did make a couple of purchases and headed back to our room with a self-catered meal on hand.
After freshening up, we took a nice stroll up Ali'i Drive a bit....which basically looked the same, except for the lack of tourists. We watched the sunset from the back of the Kona Inn.......which never, ever, gets old.
We then walked up a bit further, cut over to Kuakini Highway and made our way back to our room........and dinner, which was pretty simple. The Missus loves boiled peanuts.
And smoked ahi.......
I really enjoyed the local grass fed pipikaula poke, which I thought was really tasty....didn't like the look of the poke on sale, and frankly, if you don't have a fish counter, I ain't going to buy it.
The pipikaula had a nice chew and the flavor was nice and beefy; this wasn't too salty and was really enjoyable. Totally dinner on the hotel lanai food....and just like old times.......
We enjoyed the pupus with some Mehana Beer, which even the Missus enjoyed. We had decided to boycott Kona Brewing Company. The brewery and restaurant were mere yards from our hotel. However, when we walked over just to find out about the tours, the Hostess/Server was really very rude and condescending......so was another Server I asked. So no more Kona Brewing Company for us......
We got to sleep early....we'd be heading out to Hilo side in the morning.