Dining Divine at Eating House 1849

Eating House 1849 by Roy Yamaguchi Lei

Devour some divine dishes at Roy’s Eating House 1849 on Kauai, then dig into its deep history.

Text by Kelli Gratz | Images courtesy of Craig Bixel

Inspired by chef Roy Yamaguchi’s grandfather, who owned a tavern and restaurant in Wailuku, Maui in the 1940s, Eating House 1849 is a throwback to the good old days. Its menu also pays homage to the concept behind one of Hawai‘i’s first restaurants, constructed by Portuguese businessman Peter Fernandez in 1849, and uses seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers and fishermen. Well known around the islands, Yamaguchi is a pioneer of Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine, a James Beard award-winner, and a restaurateur (you may know him from those fine-dining establishments, Roy’s). Eating House is his newest endeavor, and a pleasurable stop on the southern coast of Kaua‘i.

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Like all of Yamaguchi’s restaurants, at Eating House, there’s emphasis on fresh, local ingredients inspired by Asian and European cooking traditions. Since its opening on March 9, the restaurant has attracted quite the scene. Tourists and locals alike delight in the spacious, light-filled venue designed by architect Brian Fujiwara. It’s plantation-like with a modern twist: touches of steel and mood lighting. The open kitchen makes you feel at home—that is, until you watch a man cutting up a large kampachi. Then it starts to get exciting.

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Generous helpings of the sizzling rainbox Tesuyaki poke and Mama’s pork and tofu lumpia are set on tables and consumed rapidly by the lively clientele. The popular 1849 hapa burger and parmesan fries are an outrageous mix of flavors, the juicy Makaweli beef and Kulana wild boar patty made even better by its pairing with gooey smoked gouda and chipotle aioli. The “Rissoles” Portuguese shrimp turnovers offer a delightful crunch and come served with pickled onion and fennel salad. And the Kona lobster and Kunana goat cheese ravioli oozes with truffle corn puree and tomato sofrito. So if you find yourself in Kolea, stop in at Eating House 1849, where you’ll find a great throwback vibe and a fun, and filling, night out.

Eating House 1849 is located at 2829 Ala Kalanikaumaka Rd. in Koloa. For more information, visit eatinghouse1849.com.