Category Archives: Food

Wet Your Whistle: Kona Brewing Company

Remember how I said I would tell you about some more spot along the southeast coast going towards Makapu’u? (Blog: Rise and Shine: Makapu’u) Well this place might distract you from hiking, but don’t let it! Wait. Wait till later in the afternoon, go for happy hour even.

Love Beer? Love Pizza? Love eating on a Marina? Love getting a beautiful sun over the ocean view? If you said yes to anyone of these than Kona Brewing Company will make you very happy and content. Located between Honolulu and Makapu’u in Hawaii Kai in the Koko Marine Center. (sorry that sounded like a contrived info commercial lol)

Entrance to restaurant is kind of in a corner
Entrance to restaurant is kind of in a corner
backside view of restaurant
backside view of restaurant

So a brief history; Started up in the early ’90s by a father and son team on the big island Hawai’i (yes: the state of Hawaii has an island called Hawaii, its fun!). They wanted to introduce a locally based brewery to reflect their image and love of Hawaii. And fun fact, the water mineral levels they use are set to match the water used in Hawaii. The Hawaii Kai location is its second restaurant running after the original in Kona. Oh, just remembered something else; for their bottled beer they give you Hawaiian words with translation on the bottom of the beer caps. They’re not big words, but fun all the same.

There is a beer for every taste bud (I’m between Longboard and Big Wave) and they offer the choice of a sampler (4-5 types) for only $9 I believe. They’re selection is varied from a pale ale to porter to red ale, plus seasonal brews. If you make it for happy hour you can easily be satisfied by their appy and beer prices ($3-$5 approx.). Even if you don’t make it for happy hour prices you’ll still get a good bang for your buck. The pizzas are filling and portion sizes aren’t small (3-4 people for 1 medium pizza will work). If that doesn’t make you loiter around long enough, there’s live music on weekends generally held 6-9. Oh my god!! Close your eyes…. imagine being in Hawaii… on the marine… gentle ocean breeze….sun is setting…. got a nice cold beer…. and there’s live music!

The Originator
The Originator
Logo for Big Wave beer
Logo for Big Wave beer
Like Power Rangers, except Beer
Like Power Rangers, except Beer

Has anyone ever watched the movie musical South Pacific circa 1958? The song called Bali Ha’i? There’s a verse in that song that feels so much what I’m thinking right now;

South Pacific Poster 1958
South Pacific Poster 1958

Bali Ha’i may call you,
Any night, any day,
In your heart, you’ll hear it call you:
“Come away…Come away.”

Bali Ha’i will whisper
On the wind of the sea:
“Here am I, your special island!
Come to me, come to me!”

They felt the Bali Ha'i
They felt the Bali Ha’i

except it’s Hawaii instead.

I’ll link below both the website for Kona Brewery Company and the Bali Ha’i song.

http://konabrewingco.com/

 (Bali Ha’i)

Mountain side view included
Mountain side view included

disclaimer: Again, these pictures I just web searched them so I could help with the visual imagery.

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My Watering Hole

Back when I was living in Honolulu, Hawaii I would regularly check online for the best happy hours available in Waikiki. I was a student on a budget that still wanted to enjoy myself to the fullest with great company and drinks. I can’t quiet recollect what made me click on “Cha Cha Cha 2 Waikiki,” maybe I was feeling up to tequila for the night or just a Mexican themed place. It was off the main road parallel to Waikiki beach, right across from Ross, attached to a hotel. Wasn’t the biggest place, but enough space for a few outdoor patio tables to enjoy the evening breeze that everyone sings for by the end of a hot day on the beach, best of all? $12 pitchers!! beer, margarita, or sangria. Take your pick or get more than one or $4 just for an individual which was just as amazing. My first trip there was with my roommate and one of the best people you can ask for for a day of exploring doing everything and nothing as the same time, I’ll call her Sasha* in case she doesn’t want her name known.

Back to the story!

We approached the place unsure because of the umbrella’s covering the restaurant’s name plaque. When we saw that it was indeed our destination, we grabbed the best patio seats available (which isn’t much of a brag considering location wise) and were promptly served by our soon to be regular server Nicole*. We did start with individual drinks as we weren’t sure right away of what the drinks were going to taste like or the size of the glasses, which were a normal size not undersized. I got sangria, fruit pieces included (that was a big deal for us) and Sasha ordered a margarita. We were in heaven! We felt like such sophisticated well-traveled women for finding such a lovely place snacking on nachos and salsa, sipping on our drinks…our next drink came in a pitcher and I’ll proceed with that wonderful  cliché “the rest was history.” I felt so pleased to have found this establishment that would meet the needs for me and my friends. That year I’m pretty sure we went as least once a month and Nicole noticed as well because they’re would be those nights where you know she put a good word in to the bartender to make our drinks stronger than usual. We were sedated with complete consent! Did I mention Taco Tuesday had $1 beef tacos?? And a ridiculous list of 30+ type of tequilas?

These were the good times. Life was good. However I finished school, moved back to my hometown and Cha Cha Cha stayed in Hawaii. In the spring I returned to Hawaii to visit friends and enjoy a relaxing vacation on the beach and return to my watering hole… wait…. where’s Cha Cha Cha?!?! Where’s my delicious sangria?!? Closed? This can’t be happening?!?!….

Turns out their lease on the space was coming to an end and negotiations ended when a new lease contract couldn’t be agreed upon. I’m sorry such a great place had to go. I’ll treasure those nights and memories at Cha Cha Cha. I ❤ U

p.s. I do have a new watering hole, want to know?

Cheers!
Yummy Drinks!
My usual kinda meal at Cha Cha Cha 2 Waikiki
My usual kinda meal at Cha Cha Cha 2 Waikiki
Not enough Tequila?
Not enough Tequila?
Cheers!
Cheers!
not the most noticeable, but once you knew...
not the most noticeable, but once you knew…

I should make a disclaimer: Apart from the first photo, the others I just searched online as I never did well to remember to bring a camera. Just wanted to help give a nice visual of what I was talking about. Link of their fb page https://www.facebook.com/ChaChaChaWaikiki