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The Mediterranean Gourmet, Haena

Hanalei Colony Resort
5-7130 Kuhio Highway
Haena , Hawaii
Tel: 808 826 9875's insider take:

Fresh hummus, tabouli, and baba ghanoush are a bit unexpected in the Hanalei Colony Resort's remote corner of Hawaii. Yet you won't be disappointed with the Mediterranean Gourmet's menu, which reflects Middle Eastern, Greek, and French influences and also includes perfectly executed standards such as Caesar salad and filet mignon. The venue, home to Charo's "hoochie coochie" dinner show in the 1980s and still owned by the Spanish bombshell, recalls the dive bar from Coyote Ugly (trading the bras strung up as decor for a belly dancer who wiggles between the tables on Friday nights). Yet somehow, even when you're perfectly sober, it works out to a lively and tasty (not to mention affordable) evening. Picking up a picnic lunch is a good idea, too, but skip the overpriced couple's dinner ($300 per couple, not including alcohol) unless you relish the idea of having chatty Imad Beydoun, the Lebanese chef, cook for you tableside.—Updated by Cathay Che

Open Mondays through Saturdays 11 am to 9 pm.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.