Tapas @ Kukui'ula

4.1
458 Reviews
$31 to $50
Tapas / Small Plates

Appealing small plate dishes define the experience at Tapas @ kukui'ula. This neighborhood culinary outpost is a popular pick for seafood-centric cuisine. Helmed by Chef Kristin, this bustling restaurant offers flavorful tapa alongside refreshing cocktails in spacious surrounds that feature a mix of contemporary and rustic décor. Menu highlights include the Miso butterfish, pork belly French fries, kalbi beef and the corn beef hash.

Tapas @ kukui'ula is a nice pick if you're looking for a fun evening out with friends. The restaurant's laid back vibe lends itself well to birthdays and work parties. Diners rave about the ambiance, friendly priced menu and cocktails. Visit during the happy hour and explore the restaurant's famous Sangria menu. Tapas @ kukui'ula is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Sunday.

What 458 people are sayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.1based on all time ratings
4.3
food
4.2
service
3.8
ambience
3.3
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
OpenTable Diner
Hawaii
7 reviews
Reviewed on August 18, 2016
Overall1foodserviceambience

This restaurant closed quite a while ago. Who is supposed to keep this site current?

J
John
Hawaii
4 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2016
Overall3food3service2ambience2

We had booked this restaurant in advance (not necessary) and arrived only to be told that there was no liquor licencing available so would have to buy our own liquor and bring it in. Was weird that we hadn't been pre-warned as we had a booking.

We felt that the service was a little intense/overbearing and apparent as opposed to streamlined/subtle. I barely had time to finish my main before the waiter had taken my dates plate and asked us if we wanted desert. The service was awkward as I think due to the absence of alcohol service there were a lot of people with nothing to do.

Food was good but I wasn't overly impressed with the restaurant as a whole.

JR
JohnR
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2016
Overall4food4service4ambience4

This was our third time to dine here. Party of 5 foodies very satisfied. Everything was nicely prepared and the staff was very pleasant. We visit each year when in Kauai & look forward to returning.

L
vipLuv2eat
Naples
65 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2016
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Sad note--we ate there two nights in a row May 17-18,2016.
The original owner who holds the lease from A & B has pulled the liquor license and has given notice to current manager and outstanding executive chef.
We are disappointed that this restaurant is on life support and hope the staff finds another location with less rent and overhead. Good luck!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on May 16, 2016
Overall1food1service3ambience2

Terrible food. This place has gone downhill with the new ownership. Good was bland and overpriced. Worst meal of the week.

JE
JustinE
Hawaii
2 reviews
Dined on May 7, 2016
Overall1food2service4ambience3

That atmosphere and servers were nice, but honestly the food just wasn't that good especially for the price you have to pay. The duck tacos were terrible and should be taken off the menu.

M
vipMike
San Francisco
24 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2016
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Excellent selection of dishes, very well prepared. Love the service and the staff.
I like the wine list as well.
I'd love to see this place get remodeled with a more open air design.

d
vipdsobel
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on May 1, 2016
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Place was nearly empty. Food was unremarkable and disappointing.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 29, 2016
Overall4food4service4ambience3

We had a great meal here. The standout dishes for us were the roasted mushrooms and the crusted fish. The mushrooms had a great smoky flavour from the roasting, which was enhanced by the bacon in the dish. The crusted fish of the day for us was a crab-crusted moonfish and it was fantastic.

F
vipFood4all
Sacramento
22 reviews
Dined on April 28, 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Fine selection of Asian Fusion dishes. Everything was fantastic.

OU
vipOU812
San Francisco
24 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Tapas was a very pleasant surprise for dinner - the tapas each one better than the last one - yes we had favorites, but could not deny how good each one was as a "different option" from the last. Over the top was the Sangria cart - blueberry, regular or lichee nut - mixing the regular and lichee was outstanding! Great service, decently priced and a return trip planned!

M
vipMisty
Las Vegas
388 reviews
Dined on April 9, 2016
Overall3food3service3ambience3

We came here wanting a light meal with some variety. The food was creative, but what we ordered just didn't meet expectations. The dressing on the salad was sour and the salad was wilted. The "kalbi" was sweet and was more a braised short rib than the Korean style ribs I was hoping for (but the risotto underneath was good). The chicken wings were lacking in flavor. The cocktail I had was excellent, though.

C
Cathydiner
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on April 7, 2016
Overall1food1service3ambience1

Over priced and small portions

w
vipwgwghw
Denver
78 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2016
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Service was very good. Food portions a bit more than we remember; we ordered 4 items, could have ordered 3.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Hawaii
4 reviews
Dined on April 1, 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything is good. Workers are good. Food is awesome. Great service

OT
OpenTable Diner
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We are Kauai residents and this is our favorite restaurant!

b
vipbear
Denver
30 reviews
Dined on March 24, 2016
Overall4food5service4ambience3

Tapas interior is nice. But don't expect something beach front. Good is exceptional and there is great variety

u
vipusmc178
Palm Springs
61 reviews
Dined on March 24, 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We have sampled the majority of the tapas and have not found one we do not like. The service is outstanding.

BL
vipBobL
Seattle
54 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Liked it so much we will visit again. Their "happy hour" is a great value as it is in the whole restaurant until 6:30 pm with 25% off any menu item along with special drink prices. $7 sangria poured from a roving Sangria cart was wonderful. Two of us shared the arugula salad, nan bread with burrata, arugula and roasted tomatoes and the lamb porterhouse chops. All very good and plenty of food to satisfy.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience5

There are no words to describe how amazing our dinner was. The food was outstanding and the sangria was amazing. We ordered six different plates, two desserts and four sangrias. We went during happy hour so we got 25% off our bill, so the price was fantastic. Our server was Kawai and she was phenomenal! She answered all our questions, frequently checked on us and suggested items we should try. The okinawan sweet potato & kabocha pumpkin tortellini was one of our favorite plates, although all of the plates were exceptional. Can't wait to get back there again.

MM
vipMysticsMom
Hawaii
12 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I was a little concerned about my first visit under new ownership, but I was very pleased to see only improvements! As always, the food and service were superb! All in all, the price is reasonable for the quality of the food. Everything is fresh and local, and the presentation and taste are both worth every dollar.

W
vipWendy
Milwaukee
5 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous assortment of small plates and sangrias (and beer).
We had duck confit tacos, pumpkin tortelloni, short ribs with beet risotto, crab crusted opah & ahi poke nachos. The tortelloni and opah (fresh catch) were my favorites but everything was delicious, fresh and nicely presented. For a small plates restaurant, I was impressed with the portion sizes.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Minneapolis
3 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2016
Overall3food3service5ambience3

The food was pretty good but the prices were way too high for what you got, even by Hawaii standards.

PS
vipPippinS
Hawaii
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2016
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Came on Valentine's Day for dinner. Had a great time, food service and drinks were all amazing. Wish we had this restaurant back on Maui!

AB
ABCD
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on February 11, 2016
Overall1food1service2ambience1

Probably the worst restaurant i have ever eaten in Hawaii.

G
vipGrouper
Hawaii
26 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2016
Overall2food4service3ambience1

We read about this restaurant in the guide book. Used to be called Josselin's Tapas, now just Tapas. Turns out that Mr Josselin moved to Kapaa and opened JO2 (which is phenomenal).
This place seems to be still sorting out its theme. The food is supposed to be tapas, but the prices are in the $30 range for a full entree. We only ordered 2 dishes, each about $20, which seems awfully high for what should be a tapas size plate. Many seafood options (appropriate for Hawaii), but heavy advertising for the sangria, which doesn't fit with seafood. Similarly, the light fixtures are beautiful artistic big drum chandeliers, but the tables are bare and the chairs are stark. Looks like the food court at an airport or a mall, under hotel lobby fixtures. The loud disco music didn't help the atmosphere either. Lastly, I think every single employee in the entire organization stopped by our table to ask how things were going . Literally got interrupted every 5 minutes. There weren't very many customers in the restaurant so maybe they had time to spare, but I would prefer to eat my dinner in peace.

c
vipchefmimi
Salt Lake City
64 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2016
Overall3food4service3ambience3

My husband and I were so excited to dine at this restaurant, because we had enjoyed a fabulous dining experience four years prior. What we didn't realize is that it had been sold by chef Jean-Marie Josselin, and was in the hands of another, less experienced chef, albeit trained by him. So now it's called Tapas, but there's still confusion in the name online. The space upstairs was once so beautiful, but now it needs a re-do. There used to be a sangria cart which was fun. They said they're maybe going to bring that back. We're used to fine dining but the prices for each tapas was overly expensive. We even witnessed people leaving after checking out the menu. Prices that belong at a nice hotel's main restaurant perhaps. My husband ordered chicken tenders in a "spicy" sauce, and they were horribly overcooked. We asked for some sauce for dipping, and got a little bowl with about 1 tablespoon of sauce. If properly cooked they would have been okay. The rest of the food was great, but it just wasn't the same as before. I guess it's not supposed to be, but the chef needs to figure out just exactly what she's aiming for - is it an extension of Josselin's or something completely new and her own. Sad, and I'm rarely disappointed in good restaurants. I would call this overall fair.

LH
vipLeeHP
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Found this through open table while driving back to our hotel from a day of sight seeing. Tucked away in the shopping center was this hidden gem. The service was excellent, They served my favorite wine and the food was amazing. The best part was the enthusiasm of the staff. They were excited about the menu options and shared that energy with the diners.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Seattle
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2016
Overall2food2service3ambience3

Went with a group of 7. Ordered 12 tapas with an average price of $30 per tapa. Tapas are less than 2 servings.

LB
vipLarsB
Hawaii
6 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Strongly recommended: burrata and arugula salad, Kauai shrimp tempura dynamite, Okinawa sweet potato and kabochi pumpkin tortellini, pork belly, miso butterfish. Red sangria.

A
Amy823
Miami
8 reviews
Dined on January 29, 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Super delicious! We tried the salad with roasted tomatoes and feta-the best salad I've ever eaten! We also really enjoyed the meatballs (theme at snd vegetables were fantastic!), the pumpkin tortellini -very good!!, the kimchee Freud rice )mets husband's favorite!), and the sizzling beef (my favorite after the salad!) try this place!!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2016
Overall4food5service5ambience4

With up to 12 on the reservation, three families can be tough to satisfy. Tapas handled it all with great food, a relaxing and quiet atmosphere, and kids comings-and-goings. The Kauai Shrimp Tempura Dynamite was a real hit with the gushing vapor followed by delicate flavors and a light tempura coating. The Fire Crackling Salmon was my personal favorite, again a light touch on the lumpia, good amount of fish, and a nice snap of spice.

Always wish tapas places were less pricey, but this one was worth it. Thanks

T
vipTheshow
Las Vegas
8 reviews
Dined on January 23, 2016
Overall2food2service3ambience3

Less than average food at more than average prices...There are much better choices very close by. Save your money and skip this one.

LJ
vipLisaJane
Denver
31 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2016
Overall4food5service3ambience4

We just concluded a week on Kauai and tried a lot of restaurants. This was our favorite. Lychee sangrias were incredible. Pork belly was my daughter's favorite. I loved the pumpkin ravioli. We also enjoyed the wontons and ahi roll. The butter fish was yummy too. Our waiter was lack luster for personality but the food was so outstanding that I over looked that for my rating.

KG
KateG
Dallas
1 review
Dined on January 8, 2016
Overall4food4service4ambience4

This is billed as a Tapas bar, but the plates are actually rather large. We got the pumpkin tortellini (good appetizer size, 5 large tortellini) and it was GREAT! Super flavorful and I could have dipped everything in the brown butter sauce. The sashimi platter was also delicious, and a good shared plate appetizer size (~8 pieces of fish). The sizzling beef could be an entree for one person, it was really good with lots of yummy veggies without skimping on the meat. The "side" of fried rice with short ribs could also be an entree for one person as it came in a larger bowl. The fried rice was super flavorful, and the short ribs and poached egg made it into a meal. The tiger prawns were also very large and could be entree as they come served over a veggie puree. I highly recommend this place, but don't order like you are at a Spanish Tapas restaurant where the plates are actually small bites. I would recommend asking your waiter which plates are smaller and which ones are larger. 3-4 plates for 2 people is plenty! My husband and I ordered 5 things, and could have fed 2 more people easily!

f
vipfoodforreal
Chicago
14 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2016
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love this place. Ask for a round table so you can get the lazy Susan. It makes sharing easier and more fun. Great place to try a lot of different things. Everything was delicious!

SM
vipScottM
16 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2015
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Josselin's, aka Tapas at Kukui'ula, is simply astounding. The dishes are comprised of the very best land and sea creatures and the attention to detail in not just flavour composition, but also presentation is superb. Love the char siu pork, the poke (so good we ordered two in a row), the pork and leek wontons - honestly, everything here is amazing. We've been four times in the last fortnight and can't wait to visit again soon!

e
vipedyak
Seattle
50 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2015
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Tuesday specials are a good deal. Get the $30 Margarita pitcher if you are having 4 glasses of those drinks. All the tacos (fish, shrimp and pork) are good, as is the hamburger.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2015
Overall1food2service1ambience2

We have been to this restaurant 4 other times in the last 3 years and each time it was expensive but worth it. Now it's expensive and disappointedly poor on every count.

First, we made reservations 2 months in advance for Christmas and New Years Eve dinners. We arrived on time and were told our table wasn't ready yet and they would call us when it was. Forty (40) minutes later we were finally seated. I've eaten at thousands of restaurants all over the world and I've never waited near to 40 minutes for a table I've reserved. I suspect that parties without reservations were being seated in a way that left insufficient tables.

Second, the menu was shorter and quality poorer than in previous years.

Third, the net day our credit card info was used for fraudulent purchases in India. Since this was the first that we used that card in a couple days, we suspect that someone at the restaurant sold our credit card info online.

We canceled our New Years Eve reservation and will never eat there again.

S
vipSbroadhog
Central Coast
26 reviews
Dined on December 16, 2015
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Tapas is located in a new retail venue with other great restaurants & retail shops. The menu was expansive in theme & variety.

FAQs

Tapas @ Kukui'ula offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (808) 742-7117.

Tapas @ Kukui'ula is rated 4.1 stars by 458 OpenTable diners.