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Tortilla Republic

Koloa HI (Kauai)

the shops at kukui ula, kauai HI 96756
mon-thurs 5:30-9pm, fri-sat 5:30-10pm

Tortilla Republic (Kauai HI) - taco review

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Rating: 91
Price: $$$$

guest review by long-time business associates Mom & Dad

Enjoy a quick meal before viewing a Kauai sunset (twice)

John (Dad) & Kathy (Mom)

Tortilla Republic has an upstairs with full dinner menu and a ground-floor bar with a 'bar menu'. Our seating on the initial visit was a bar table within arms' length of the bar crowd, allowing us to admire the steel tree sculpture. Our follow-up trip sampled seats on the outside patio, within view of the amazing tropical landscaping of the upscale shopping center. The bar is reportedly specializing in mixed drink concoctions and does NOT serve draft beer. Business associate Dad 'settled for' a Kona Fire Rock in a frosted glass. Mom stuck with Kauai tap water, second best on Earth (to, naturally, Edmonds).

Guacamole was a huge serving, apparently starting as 3 avocados. Some kind of homemade-style chips. Both served their purpose well, althose no outstanding flavors or textures were obvious. The chips and salsa used the same chips, adding an excellent salsa with a quick. Probably 3 stars if using a 4 star scale.

Business associate Mom had carne asada both nights which were good, though the cotija cheese was unappreciated. Dad had grilled catch of the day - ahi one day, ono the other. They were perfectly grilled, served hot (pro tip: eat 'em before they cool off!!). They came with a lime rimmed in hot chili powder which, when squeezed over the contents, produced the optimal amount of heat - especially on the eaters' lips. Salsa was available; whe used the standard, which overall was spiced nicely and seemed to have some unknown diced tropical fruits included in the recipe. Service was great the first night inside the bar and adequate the second night. Witnessed a collision between the hostess and drink-server which was handled in a jovial, light-hearted manner.

By Hawaiian resort standards, and considering the location is in the initial development of an ultra-upscale resort community, $15 for 3 tacos is a bargain. Likewise $5.50 for a bottle of beer.

Not sure how the tacosmog point system works (editor's note: 1-100 scale), but on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being inedible and 10 the greatest free food/drink/service on Earth, and factoring in the location, we scored it a 9.1 (editor's note: this can be translated to a tacosmog 91). Only lower prices and a salsa bar, or possibly a more interesting guacamole recipe, would raise the score.

Caught the sunset, incredible experience to be savored nightly.

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