Papa Kona Restaurant & Bar Opens

December 24, 2019, 2:33 PM HST (Updated December 24, 2019, 2:33 PM)
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  • Pupu Sampler at KPC (PC: Karen Rose)
  • Avocado Tots at KPC. (PC: Karen Rose)
  • Lettuce Wrap with Kalua Pork. PC: Karen Rose
  • Ahi Shooter. PC: Karen Rose
  • View from Papa Kona in Kailua-Kona. PC: Karen Rose
  • SWIPE LEFT OR RIGHT
    • Pupu Sampler at KPC (PC: Karen Rose)
    • Avocado Tots at KPC. (PC: Karen Rose)
    • Lettuce Wrap with Kalua Pork. PC: Karen Rose
    • Ahi Shooter. PC: Karen Rose
    • View from Papa Kona in Kailua-Kona. PC: Karen Rose

Gathering with friends for pupus and drinks is a favorite pastime for many Big Islanders. In fact, pau hana is often a daily part of one’s ritual in paradise. While hanging out and relaxing after work is nice in and of itself, the additional bonus of a gorgeous view and tropical breeze can make it that much better.

Kona’s newest gathering spot, Papa Kona Restaurant, elevates the dining out experience by offering what is arguably one of the most awe-inspiring views in Kona Town. It takes nothing more than to look up from your mai tai and out onto the Pacific Ocean to be reminded of how big the world is — and how small our place is in it. Of course, the magnificent panoramic views always seem to make the food taste better as well.

Papa Kona Restaurant and Bar recently offered special guests a sneak peek (and taste) of its new menu at the establishment’s new Ali‘i Drive location. The atmosphere was festive, as servers passed around an array of pupu samples and cocktails, while guests enjoyed live music and spectacular scenery.

Some of the creative treats passed around by the staff were avocado tots served with teriyaki sauce and sambal aioli. The sampler was a hit, with many guests going back for seconds and thirds. The ahi poke shooter was a fresh bite of poke served in kimchee cucumber cup.

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After the first two pupu samples, attendees enjoyed a taste of the restaurant’s dragonfruit mojito, a hand-crafted cocktail made with silver rum mixed with fresh lime and house-made dragon fruit simple syrup with a mint infusion.

Next up were the lettuce wraps made with kalua pork, kimchee and pineapple salsa, and the ahi poke with mango and avocado in a wonton cup. These sample were followed up with the Call Me Irresponsible cocktail, a blanco tequila with St. Germaine elderflower liqueur, fresh lemon, grapefruit bitters and Bundaberg guava soda.

The last two pupu samples of the evening, were a Caesar salad in a crispy parmesan cup and chicken teriyaki skewers. These treats were followed by a coffee cocktail called Espressing My Love made with Tito’s vodka, crème de cacao and Papa Kona cold press coffee, which was shaken and served with a crema float.

“Our hope is that people will find Papa Kona a great place to meet up with friends for pupus, craft cocktails and a gorgeous view,” said General Manager Julia Pittman. “Our pupus are created to pass around and share without the need for utensils. It’s the perfect spot to gather with friends.”

For a nice cup of coffee, good food and a great view, Papa Kona at Waterfront Row in Kailua-Kona may just become the new hangout spot. They also host weddings and special events.

Papa Kona is open daily from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. for breakfast and brunch, and will soon be open later hours with their new dinner menu.

Karen Rose
Karen Rose is a writer and journalist living on the Big Island of Hawai‘i. Her writing focuses on food, wine, travel, arts and entertainment. She never met a food she didn't like—except black licorice.
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