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Kai Andersen | Photo: Courtesy Image | October 25, 2013
In need of a break from the flavors of the Pacific Rim? Look no further than these island eateries that take on the cuisines of Latin America.
Since opening two years ago, this Kaua‘i’s South Shore hot spot continues to earn its place as the island’s leading Mexican eatery. Most recently, the first floor has turned into a taqueria and margarita bar, drawing the thirsty at the end of every day. Brunches here are a must too. The Shops at Kukui‘ula, 2829 Ala Kalanikaumaka, Po‘ipu, Kaua‘i, 742.8884, tortillarepublic.com
Chef Nick Mastracusa draws upon the flavors of the Mediterranean and South America for this chic beachside destination. Definitely try the chilled mango gazpacho and the ceviche at lunch while enjoying the ocean view. Four Season Resort Hualalai, 72-100 Ka‘upulehu Drive, Kailua-Kona, Hawai‘i Island, 325.8000, fourseasons.com/hualalai.com
Cilantro Mexican Grill
This Lahaina spot has been repeatedly lauded as having some of the best Mexican food on the Valley Isle. Enjoy it now before it closes as the end of the year. But don’t worry—chef Paris Nabavi has something even better up his sleeves for 2014. 170 Papalua St. #140, Lahaina, Maui, 667.5444, cilantrogrill.com
Chef Jim Moffat’s bastion of taste continues its rule on the Garden Isle’s North Shore. Why? His sophisticated take on tapas continues to wow diners without fail. Just be sure to make reservations as seats here fill up fast. 5-5161 Kūhiō Highway, Hanalei, Kaua‘i, 826.7081, restaurantbaracuda.com
The tastes of Latin America are the star at this Kailua eatery. From Oct. 31 to Nov. 3, the region’s culture will be too as the restaurant celebrates the holiday of Día de los Muertos. Enjoy handmade tamales and other regional Mexican specialties. 767 Kailua Road, Kailua, 261.1000, cactusbistro.com