By Anni Caporuscio

Taro and Beet Hummus is delightfully colored, and with the texture of hummus, is a deliciously interesting way to introduce taro for the modern diner. Less savory and sweeter, dip it with traditional Mediterranean sides found right here on Kaua‘i.

When you think “beachside dining,” you’re imagining the sounds of lightly crashing waves, salty breezes and that laidback leave-the-business-elsewhere feeling, right?

Few restaurants on Kaua‘i get you closer to the beautiful Pacific than Lava’s on Poipu Beach. It’s nestled poolside at the Sheraton in Po‘ipu and comes with the festive vibes of beach days and pool lounging, recreation, lazy sunset times and carefree va- and stay-cationing.

Yet, beneath all this luxurious and festive seaside lounging, Lava’s is a hard-working food and drink machine, and you’d never know it; they make it seem easy. They’re open seven days a week serving breakfast from 7-10 a.m., and then lunch and dinner from 11 a.m.-8 p.m., which means they have three menus each day. They also host a generous Happy Hour from 3-5 p.m.

Lava’s has a full bar with exotic specialty drinks. They service poolside meals and drinks to beach walk-up guests. They can be incredibly busy, but the staff is silky smooth and doesn’t break a sweat (that I could see).

They’ve been working hard to keep the place fresh. Last year, Chef Gabe Balenzuela updated the dinner menu, and soon will adapt the lunch menu to match the quality. He briefly explained how. As a Marriot restaurant, there are menu standards, and he likes to push the envelope like a rebel, which we can all appreciate. They’ve also recently remodeled the interior, giving it a festive island feel, making the inside and the outside collide. Manager Emily Horn attributes the great feedback and success of these undertakings to the restaurant staff, without whom no great place functions.

Make Lava’s on Poipu Beach your beach, pool and South Shore retreat, and enjoy island living. Find them at the Sheraton in Po‘ipu. Visit sheratonkauai.com for more information.

  • Anni Caporuscio is a food lover and can be found daily at her Kapa‘a business, Small Town Coffee.