<I realized what a fun kinda place this is as soon as I walked through the door.
"Hi c'mon in, what-kin-I-get-cha?" the gal behind the bar beamed.
In a single step I left the real world and was now at what was to become my favorite watering hole. No need to walk deep into this eatery to quench my thirst. First things first, one step, place my drink order, second step, I'm at my seat. Slurp...ahhhh, now onto the food.
A couple more steps and I'm sitting under an umbrella on the water, a gentle breeze and a happy group arriving by boat for lunch. Is this paradise or what?
Mex-Caribe dining is tasty, fresh, colorful and healthy. Fresh, fresh, fresh - a perfect reflection of the colorful decor and waterside dining. So where does one get experience creating such festive foods?
Owner Angie Runyan, an Iowa native honed her skills for 7 years at the famed Chevy's Tex-Mex styled restaurants in California's Bay Area (San Francisco for those short on the lingo).
"My dad retired in Hawaii and I thought I should at least visit him," she gleefully reminisced. So in 1994 Angie's visit turned into a move and she has not looked back.
"Kinda a no brainer, summer all year long, happy friendly people..."
For some of us, an accessible, roomy and clean restroom is paramount to selecting where to dine. They have that covered here. Not many places can claim a restroom that's actualy fun and festive.
"Dont feed the ducks," she chirped as the ducks weaved in and out the tables looking for handouts from unsuspecting customers, "dont get me wrong, they are adorable but they should be eating out in the water, like good ducks should."
The menu has something for everyone, dine in or take out, toe tapping background music and live music on Tuesdays. Catering for parties, events or fundraisers round out the Cha Cha Cha experience.
"Who wants to be normal?" Angie probclaimed when I asked what sets her restaurant apart from others, "We want to be extraordinary."
Charmed by her infectious Cheshire Cat smile - I have to agree.
Hawaii Kai Shopping Center
377 Keahole St. C-1A Honolulu, HI 96825
Tel 808 395 7797 Fax 808 259 6324
Monday - Thursday 11 am to 9 pm
Friday & Saturday 11 am to 10 pm
Sunday Brunch 9 am to 2 pm
Sunday 9 am to 9 pm
MONDAY - ALL DAY