One tapa, two tapas, three tapas, four…There’s nothing better than grabbing your fave group of foodies for a night of sampling sharable plates. I for one, love combining a variety of small portions to make a satisfying meal full of dynamic flavor. And, the tapas selection in Hawaii is absolutely International. In the mood to play taste tester? Check out the Top 5 Tapa Spots in Hawaii here:
1 Vino Italian Tapas & Wine Bar
Vino is an Italian tapas and wine bar owned and operated by notable Master Sommelier, Chuck Furuya. Reminiscent of an authentic Italian Enoteca, Vino is a colorful, upscale casual, and rustic wine bar that’s ideal for a group outing or an intimate date. Most of their menu is meant for sharing by two, three or more with selection highlights including the Braised Branzino, Marinated Hau’ula Tomato Caprese and the Truffle Mac & Cheese. And be sure to ask one of their knowledgeable in-house wine experts to recommend wine pairings. Choose from 2-oz or 6-oz pours of unique varietals such as Mediterranean reds and whites, California Chardonnays, Pinots, Syrahs, Zinfandels and much more.
2 Hiroshi Eurasian Tapas
Hiroshi Eurasion Tapas serves up innovative small plates with a modern Asian twist. Chef Hiroshi Fukuo and Master Sommelier, Chuck Furuya teamed up for this tapa eatery and have created a contemporary Japanese dining experience infused with Furuya’s wine expertise. Featured dishes include Portuguese Sausage Potstickers, Panko-Crusted Ahi, Miso Yaki Butterfish, Foie Gras Sushi and Bacon Wrapped Jumbo Shrimp. In addition to a stellar wine list, Hiroshi’s signature is a specialty foam drink. And, desserts don’t disappoint. In fact, artful presentations are almost too pretty to indulge in. Be sure to sample the Haupia Lemongrass Crème Brulee, Bananas Foster Ice Cream Puff, Chocolate Ooze or the Symphony of Sorbets.
3 Bar Acuda
Located on the North Shore of Kauai, Bar Acuda is a real gem. It’s undeniably one of the hautest spots in Hanalei to meet with friends, share tapas and sip Spanish wines. Bar Acuda’s menu is filled with sharable fare focusing on regional, traditional and seasonal ingredients. Choose from popular items like the Crock of Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese, Bacalao Stuffed Squid, the House Smoked Trout Salad, the Local North Shore Honey comb with Humboldt Fog, Lamb Riblettes, and Slow Braised Pork Shoulder. And, don’t forget to end on a sweet note with the Chocolate Pot de Crème, Pumpkin Spice Cake, Mexican Chocolate ice cream or house-made Limoncello paired with a Grappa, Muscat or Vintage Port.
4 Josselin’s Tapas Bar & Grill
Dine on the South Shore of Kauai at Josselin's Tapas Bar & Grill, a (you guessed it!) tapa bar that was brought to the Garden Isle by award-winning chef, Jean Marie Josselin. Actually, his former restaurant, A Pacific Cafe was chosen as of of Bon Appetit's "50 Choice Restaurants in the Country" so you can expect great things here. In this incarnation of Josselin's culinary genius, he delivers small, seasonal plates that are inspired by flavors from all over the world. Selections include Scallop Pillows with Drunken Grapes in Caradamom Coconut Broth, Coffee Smoked Pork Tonkatsu with Banana Crispy Bao and Buttermilk BBQ Dressing and Poached Oxtail Ravioli in a Vietnamese Pho Broth. You can also sample raw and barely cooked tapas like the Hamachi Tartare, Wasabi Cured Salmon Roll and Bay Scallop Salad. Their tasty menu is also chock full of signature cocktails like the Plantation Porch Tea, Yin & Ylang Margarita and Lemon-Thyme Sparkler. Or, opt for some sangria from their exotic selection: Lychee, Pomegranate, Berry-Acai, Lilikoi and Classic Red that are all served tableside.
5 Pupu Lounge Seafood & Grill
In Hawaii we refer to appetizers, mezze, or tapas as pupu and locals love to eat pupu style! There’s no better place to indulge your small plate fix then Pupu Lounge Seafood & Grill in Kihei, Maui. All dishes are infused tropical flavor and flair. Order up basic good ole bites like Egg Rolls, Fried Calamari, Crab Tostada, Crabcakes, assortments of Satays and Steamers (aka dumplings). The Pupu Platter provides a perfect assortment of sharable bites to wash down with classic Tiki cocktails like a Lava Flow or Mai Tai. Located directly across a beach park in a casual, fun setting makes The Pupu Lounge an ideal post-beach or laid-back evening out selection.