Kauai Dining | Tortilla Republic Best Mexican Restaurant

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.

The best Mexican restaurant is Tortilla Republic

The Margarita Bar at Tortilla Republic

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.

A Kauai restaurant with the best Mexican food

Salsa and Guacamole Starter at Tortilla Republic

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.

Tortilla Republic is the best mexican restaurant

Nachos Chile Verde With Pork at Tortilla Republic

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.

Best mexican restaurants in Kauai.

Hotstesses Alana and Cristy at Tortilla Republic

Leave a comment and please tell us what you think of the food at Tortilla Republic Grill and Margarita Bar.

About Joe Sylvester

Aloha! I have lived on Kauai for 33 years where I have worked as an Agronomist for 17 years, owned an art gallery for 11 years and own a vacation rental for 17 years in the town of Poipu. I am a former Peace Corps volunteer and have been married since 1985.
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  1. Mahalo Joe,

    We read your post and had to go. We loved it and can not wait for the upstairs to open. Great drinks and wonderful food. We knew it was nearly open, but your post made us want to go right then. Mahalo

    • Aloha Marck, We were hits tonight with your Papalani Gelato, the gelati were wolfed down by 21 hungry people. I particularly enjoyed the chili pepper chocolate gelato which will be served at Tortilla Republic and will be a great hit with their patrons. Mahalo again for your time today and all the great samples. Tante grazie !

      • Aloha Joe,

        Mahalo for letting us know your friends enjoyed our product. We love hearing that of course. You are correct, the chocolate flavor is going to be available at this great new restaurant along with a special Mexican Vanilla, our Salt Ponds (same flavor as the chocolate I gave you to try) and some special Margarita sorbetto flavors. Enjoyed meeting you and look forward to seeing more of you!

  2. paul derocle says:

    Aloha all,

    Have not tried tortilla republic grill & margaratia bar’s food. My comment is on pricing for the dishes.

    An enchalida dish starting for $14.00 is crazy. I am making real, New Mexican enchiladas tonight, using real green NM chile, and not costing that much. With torts, cheese, green & red chile sauce, also known as X-mas, beans, might cost me about $5.00.

    Want real Mexican food, Paco’s Taco in Hanapepe, about 8 miles from Poipu, real Mex food and cheap.

    On the East side, Monaco’s, no doubt, and want NM food, try Verde.

    • Aloha Paul,

      Thank you for your comments and the tips for great food. Yes Verdes and Paco Tacos are good too, I have eaten at both. Tortilla Republic is an entirely different dining experience more of a gourmet upscale destination to be tried. However, isn’t it great we have a lot more choices on the island. I would be interested in reading your comments if you do try a meal at Tortilla Republic. Enjoy your dinner tonight.

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