One of the best things about West Hawaii, Kealakekua to Kawaihae, is the cuisine available by innovative chefs and restaurateurs using the bounty of locally produced meat, fruits, vegetables, and fish available on Hawaii Island. If you enjoy blending the food with entertainment, or deep knowledge, you will be interested in learning more about three new businesses who have recently opened their doors in Kona:
- Kona Butcher Shop
- Gertrudes Jazz Bar
- Kalikala Cuisine
Kona Butcher Shop
The Kona Butcher Shop has recently opened its doors to offer a culinary bonanza in the old Domino’s Pizza location at Kopiko Plaza at 75-5660 Kopiko St. Owners Connor Butler and Frank Kramm carried the dream of opening the shop for four years and laboriously spent a year getting the space ready to welcome culinarians and foodies, which they joyfully accomplished at their opening in late March. The shop, Butler said, has a clear vision: being honest and authentic with their consumers, showing respect for the animals and land, as well as being an epicurean resource for chefs, both commercial and private.
Butler said that given his and Kramm’s experience as chefs, he believes they have a responsibility to share their culinary knowledge with the customers coming through the door. Butler also says he’s proud that Kona Butcher Shop is the ONLY place on the Big Island offering dry aged beef. He said most of the beef people get on the Big Island has been wet aged 18-21 days, while he can offer dry aged beef that has been drying for 45 days in Himalayan salt. Of course, this whets the appetite of private chefs on the Kohala Coast who cater to a clientele who enjoy an amazing aged rib eye for their guests!
For home chefs who are looking for a culinary treat, Kona Butcher Shop is offering a subscription box that includes meat, sauces, spices and accent vegetables for $150 a box. You can order weekly and pick the boxes up from the shop on Fridays.
Check out their Facebook page for specials and information about signing up for the subscription box.
Gertrude’s Jazz Bar
Gertrude’s Jazz Bar, located at 75-5699 Alli Drive in the middle of Kona Town overlooking Kailua Bay, is getting plenty of attention for the food and fun they serve up daily. Open since September, the inspiration for Gertrude’s Jazz Bar is Gertrude Stein who is famous for her appreciation of art and conversation in her legendary salon in Paris, circa 1930. The owners, on their website, say they are happy to “present to you a collaborative atmosphere when we can all come together for conversation and culture: music, dance, and art.” If you have friends looking for some fun entertainment, which includes “Paint and Sip” events and community events, take in the atmosphere at Gertrudes. The reviews the restaurant are receiving rave about their Tapas and Libations. Here is their website: https://www.gertrudesjazzbar.com/
Kalikala Cuisine is located downtown between the Fish Hopper and the Kona Banyan Court on Alii Drive with a great view overlooking Kailua Bay from a ground floor patio. The restaurant touts itself as a “globally inspired cafe and restaurant in the heart of Kailua-Kona serving breakfast, lunch, desserts and espresso bar”. Co-owner and chef, Crystal Butori has been in the local food scene for years and their family friend was James Beard whom she tutored under. Crystal was previously in charge of whipping up all the delectable cuisine at the exclusive Holualoa Inn. The bamboo tables and chairs on the open air patio will be quite a draw when the restaurant gets its liquor license. In the meantime, the proprietor, Richard, allows his customers to bring their own beverages to enjoy. Photos from the restaurant’s Facebook page, and the raving reviews from the guests who have enjoyed meals there since Kalikal’s opening in early April, make you want to enjoy their pastries and omelettes, and then..the rest of the menu!
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