Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Crouching Lion Inn

51-666 Kamehameha Highway
KaaawaHI 96730
(808) 237-8981

These photo's are not mine, I linked to a YELP.com review of the place. Almost all reviews I read had the same experience as we did. 

The Crouching Lion Inn was a great family memory for me and a pleasure to write a review for! I recently found a video on the history of The Crouching Lion and the myth surrounding the rock formation seen above the restaurant which is pretty interesting;  Click HERE to see it. 

The CLI was a great stop for us, overlooking the water, sitting in the breeze and feasting on local seafood. The main courses we tried, Coconut Shrimp, Sweet Chili Shrimp, Kahlua Pork Sandwich and Crab Cakes were all delightful. The sweet Chili Shrimp was probably my favorite. All dishes were fresh, well prepared and of large proportions.  The sides were a little less memorable, but still fresh and well done. The beverages, a Mai Tai, and Mango smoothie were excellent.

The service was great but we were practically the only people there, which is a shame. I hope they do well.

Prices were average to slightly above for casual dining in  Hawaii, the four of us ate for about $92 not including tip. They could charge more just for the view. I give it a 3.95 stars, pulling it down only were the sides that could have packed more punch (and I am being really picky), but the ambiance, and the main courses more than made up the difference. I will go back without hesitation.

One other important item, the gift shop. They sell Donkey Balls!  Yep a local favorite which has nothing to do with  equine reproductive organs. It is a Macadamia nut, wrapped in Chocolate. The Chocolate is infused with Coconut shavings.......yup they are good. They also sell locally grown hand roasted coffee there. We will go back just for the balls!

Overall this is one of the highest marks I"ve given any restaurant, but the location, the food, the service, and the family atmosphere (they have birds in cages and a dog hanging out) all contributed to the score. They have a huge bar which was empty during the day, but I bet gets a bit noisy at night!

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