By Anni Caporuscio
Primarily an outdoor restaurant entirely surrounded by plants, the décor is complemented by mismatched tables and chairs, strings of warm lights and a sea-glass pebble floor. There’s live music three to four nights a week. If it rains or if you want a bit more privacy, there’s a small and comfy indoor seating too.
Caffe Coco is mostly a vegetarian place, but it does have a few options such as fresh island fish and organic chicken. Almost everything is available as gluten-free or vegan, and all the sauces are vegan.
Owner and chef Hollan Hamid is vegan, and she draws on the flavors of the world that show themselves so plentifully on Kaua‘i. The menu is full of local fresh produce.
Server Brittany Allen calls it world cuisine, since there’s a bit of everything: Indian Samosas, Moroccan Charmoula, Vietnamese Summer Rolls, Thai Curried Pumpkin Soup and Pasta Fresca to name a few.
A local- and visitor-favorite for more than 20 years, Caffe Coco was an original creation by restaurateur Ginger Carlson. About four years ago, Hollan and her husband, Haleem, bought the place and improved it even more.
Hollan is a culinary school graduate, and used to work with Alan Wong and Merriman’s. But she says her specialty and real love is pastries. Did I say I loved the cake?
They don’t serve alcohol, but for a $5 corkage fee, they’ve got wine glasses ready for you. They also have a keiki menu.
Caffe Coco is in a little cove in Wailua, at 4-369 Kuhio Highway, right across the street from Kintaro. They’re open every day from 5 to 9 p.m.
Visit www.caffecocokauai.com or call 822-7990 for more information.
- Anni Caporuscio is a food lover and can be found daily at her Kapa‘a business, Small Town Coffee.