Kauai dining has just gotten a bit brighter lately with the addition of another great restaurant in Poipu Beach. Tortilla Republic Grill and Margarita Bar, has opened its doors with little fanfare as just the ground floor casual dining section has opened. The venue for the only Mexican restaurant in Poipu is the new Kukuiula Village which continues to attract some of the best restaurants in Kauai.
Good things come to those who wait…, as the quote begins, and has held its truth ever since President Lincoln wrote the words over one hundred years ago. Tortilla Republic was expected to open months earlier but logistics with putting the latest Kauai dining experience together took time to get everything right. Owners’ John Halter, Morton and Jordan wouldn’t have it any other way. All have rich histories in the restaurant business here on Kauai’s south shore and their attention to detail in the decor and food is clearly evident.
For our guests it is another great restaurant in Poipu that is within walking distance to our Kauai vacation rentals. Offering casual lunchtime fare on the ground floor in a breezy atmosphere that matches our tropical trade winds. The ground floor Margarita Bar becomes the center of activity in the late afternoon as visitors and locals alike return from the beach for drinks and dinner.
We arrived last night about 5 pm just before the crowds started to arrive. It was fun to talk with our waitress Jane who knew the menu, the ingredients and what the chef was striving for in his food pairings. The hostesses, Alana and Cristy were friendly and efficient and kept a friendly eye on us since we chose a table closest to their station, so that we could observe all that arrived.
We started off with the Guacamole and Chips and the Salsa Sampler. The sampler consisted of salsa de tomatillo cruda, a green salsa made with roasted tomatillos, chili peppers, cilantro, lime, and onion its tartness reminded me of green plum. Their salsa de Mesa is the house salsa, and was perfect, true to the traditional recipe of a thin salsa consisting of roasted tomatoes and chili peppers it had just the right zing for the homemade tortilla chips. The salsa de oaxaca was tasty with slightly more zing than the others, it had a deep red hue that complimented well the tortillas canvas.
I ordered the Quesadilla de Pollo with Monterey Jack cheese, flour tortillas, and pulled chicken surrounded with roasted tomato chipotle sauce, roasted corn, guacamole, applewood smoked bacon, cilantro , lime and chili oil, and cilantro crema. I would have presented a photo above this paragraph but I wailed into my plate only to realize that the first rule of food photography is to shoot first and eat second. Fortunately my wife eats a great deal slower, and I was able to present you with a photo of her Nachos chile verde with pork. They were delicious too.
Presently only the ground floor is being used for dining, but the upstairs decor is in place and beautiful. Dining upstairs will offer greater expanded menu of grilled meats and fish in a quieter atmosphere. The setting with their deep brown carved doors sets the tone as you enter for a sumptuous Mexican feast with an island twist. I expect they will open upstairs soon, everything is in place for a quieter and just as relaxed venue as the ground floor. The Wednesday, August 24, 2011 opening to begin serving lunch seven days a week, has been delayed. Tortilla Republic Grill and Margarita Bar is located at 2829 Ala Kalanikaumaka in Kukuiula Village, 808.742.8884.
Leave a comment and please tell us what you think of the food at Tortilla Republic Grill and Margarita Bar.