Thursday, November 20, 2014

San Diego Eats: Kealani's, Encinitas


I've received a few emails asking about places to eat and things to do in San Diego and if I happened to have a guide written about these things on this blog. It seemed silly answering no to this question, so I decided to start documenting and mentioning our visits to our favorite places in San Diego. You can find all of these things indexed on the newly created (and still in progress) San Diego page on the main menu. Here's my first restaurant review...

On our first trip to Hawai'i together, Scott and I stayed with some friends up in the hills above Waikiki. We got dropped off at the beach by our friend, who raced us down there in the rain in his bald-tire minivan. He cut-off about nineteen people on the way there, always throwing a shaka out his driver's side window, as if it made up for all the blatant traffic fouls. 

We surfed a spot in town that had a short jetty you used to get in and out of the water. On our way out, Scott took my board and allowed me to climb up the rocks first, reaching to hand it to me once I was safely out of the water. The problem was, when he stepped up to pass me my board, he stepped on a colony of sea urchins, or "vana", as the Hawaiians call them. Our friend said he's never seen a case so bad. The lifeguards said the same. Scott said he thought he was going to throw-up. Luckily some good Hawaiian plate lunches helped make this day memorable and happy. Hawaiian food after surfing always makes me think of good waves and vana, and it always tastes perfect to me when we get out of the water. 

After a sunset surf that quickly turned into night surfing yesterday, we were so hungry I said I didn't think I could bear to take the time to shower off before we got to Kealani's, a Hawaiian restaurant specializing in plate lunches and dinners (very much like the one our friend took us to that infamous day). We love the authenticity and simplicity of the menu. Rice and macaroni salad are served with just about everything (but you can get three scoops of one or the other if you ask). So is teriyaki sauce. They have teriyaki marinated tofu (pictured) as well as chicken, mahi mahi, beef and kalua pork. The atmosphere is really casual. You pay at the counter and can then choose to sit under a little hut by the window, listening to Hawaiian music, or shop at the Hawaiian gift shop located in the restaurant while you wait for them to bring you your food. They don't serve alcohol, but the various flavors of Hawaiian Sun compliment any order. The only downside to me is that the food is served with plastic utensils and plates, but if you're on the fence as to whether or not this is worth the stop, it might be worth it to know that native Hawaiians own and love Kealani's. As they would say, it's good kine grinds, perfect after any kind of beach day. 

Kealani's: "Living Da Aloha Spirit" 
Address: 137 W. D St, Encinitas, CA 92024
Phone:(760) 942-5642
Price: $ (under $10 per entree; cash only) 
Hours: Monday and Wednesday 11:00 a.m. -6:00 p.m.
Closed Sundays 
All other days 11:00-8:00 p.m.


here's Scott soaking his foot in vinegar after the vana incident

9 comments:

  1. Ouch, poor Scott, that sounds painful. The food looks and sounds delicious, I'm a big fan of tofu. It's served here far too rarely. CJ xx

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    1. The first vegetarian restaurant in the USA was started in this town Encinitas, so there is no shortage of tofu options there. Like I'm always saying, you've got to visit San Diego!

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  2. Here in Ireland we don't have anything like this! It's nice to look at the pictures and imagine life in california. I do wish to visit someday and try Hawaiian food.

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    1. I've been meaning to learn to make Hawaiian food at home. If I do, I'll share the recipe. If you make it, then you can bring Hawaiian food to Ireland :)

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  3. Poor Scott! At least he gets to eat in a cool thatched booth. This place looks awesome:)

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    1. They have a snow cone/shaveice machine too..byob ;)

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  4. Oh, poor Scott! That sounds awful! But the restaurant sounds awesome -- we definitely need to check it out. Especially if they have a shave ice machine! Yum!

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    Replies
    1. It's always a toss up for me between shave ice and the Hawaiian Sun drinks.

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  5. kjmichaels@netscape.net. You're welcome. Ken

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