By Anni Caporuscio
Trees Lounge is the Eastside’s premier spot for late nights, and it’s also a great place to make it an early evening. And, it’s a place to grab some good, honest food. Owner Mark Myers, an outgoing former chemist, initiated us to how witty, thoughtful, friendly and personal is the concept of Trees Lounge.
“Tree” is the Hawaiian Pidgin for “three.” Trees strives for excellence in a triad of music, food and drinks, hailing from Mark’s three favorite places: Jamaica, New Orleans and Hawai‘i. So you can enjoy the Jerk Chicken Plate with a Sazerac drink and listen to traditional Hawaiian tunes. Or, tap your feet to the blues and a Kaua‘i Grilled Steak with a fancy Caribbean rum concoction. Or perhaps, sway to some reggae with a Mai Tai and a plate of gumbo. You get the picture, right?
We explored tastes from all three regions, and they are all pretty different. But their common elements are hearty home cooking, food that you’d eat with a big family in the yard, and spicy seasoned bites to share with a whole table. The plates are easy to share, yet large enough to eat on your own.
Trees is a prime spot for nightlife, but they also take the culinary side of things pretty seriously. Nearly everything served at Trees is made from scratch — they bake their own breads, mix their own lilikoi dressing for the house salad, and make their own seasonings, like the Jerk Chicken marinade. My sincerest compliments on the rib sauce, a tangy spiciness that I want to take home with me.
It’s a cozy meeting place with warm lighting and comfy chairs and, as you’d expect, long natural wood tall tables that invite the meeting of new friends. The walls welcome local art, featuring a new artist every couple months. There are no TVs at Trees, but if you have to zone out, there is a mesmerizing giant fish tank holding mascots behind the bar. Though Trees is surrounded by resorts and a mall, it is home to residents and tourists alike.
Tress has two live music acts every evening. Happy Hour is from 5-7 p.m., featuring $6 Martinis. Tuesday is Oyster Night, 6 for $10 while supplies last, and Friday is Fish Taco Night. Ask for specials; from the bar and the kitchen.
Visit treesloungekauai.com for their events and live music schedule.
Trees Lounge is at 440 Aleka Place, behind the Coconut Marketplace in Waipouli.
- Anni Caporuscio is a food lover and can be found daily at her Kapa‘a business, Small Town Coffee.