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100 Ocean Friendly Restaurants in Hawaii

The only toes-in-the-sand dining on Kauai is at Lava Lava Beach Club. Daniel Lave photo.

The only toes-in-the-sand dining on Kauai is at Lava Lava Beach Club. Daniel Lave photo.

In less than nine months, the Surfrider Foundation and its coalition of partners have certified more than 100 Ocean Friendly Restaurants in Hawaii. This statewide program, which kicked off on Earth Day 2016, recognizes restaurants leading the way in environmental protection by operating without foam and plastic.  

To celebrate this milestone, Koko Head Café, one of Hawaii’s first certified ocean friendly restaurants, is hosting a fundraiser party on Thursday, Jan. 19 from 5:30-8 p.m. Acclaimed chef Lee Anne Wong will create sustainable seafood and vegan pupu, to be accompanied by Lanikai Brewing Company beer. Tickets are $20 and available in limited quantities at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ocean-friendly-restaurants-100th-restaurant-party-tickets-31059401506?aff=es2

Ethan Page behind the counter at Little Fish Coffee. Daniel Lane photo.

Ethan Page behind the counter at Little Fish Coffee. Daniel Lane photo.

“We are excited to honor those restaurants that are doing the right thing as leaders across the state, and soon, the nation,” said Stuart H. Coleman, Hawaiian Islands Manager for Surfrider Foundation. “With the success of our program in Hawaii and Southern California, the Surfrider Foundation will launch the Ocean Friendly Restaurants program on a national level in the Spring.”

Examples of restaurants certified in the program are 12th Avenue Grill, Mud Hen Water, Mahina & Sun’s, Bevy, The Nook, Blue Tree Cafe, and Kona Brewing Company’s Koko Marina Pub on Oahu; Tin Roof Maui, Maui Brewing Company, Honolua Farms Cafe, Maui Fresh Streatery, Market Fresh Bistro, and Choice Health Bar on Maui; Kona Brewing Company, Village Burger, Fish & Hog Market Cafe, and Sweet Cane Café on Island of Hawaii; and Merriman’s Gourmet Pizza, Little Fish Coffee, Kalaheo Cafe & Coffee Company, and Lava Lava Beach Club on Kauai.

Executive chef Mark Arriola of Merriman's Fish House Kauai. Daniel Lane photo.

Executive chef Mark Arriola of Merriman’s Fish House Kauai. Daniel Lane photo.

Restaurants participating in the OFR Campaign MUST follow these three criteria:

  1. No EPS foam (“styrofoam”) use; take-out food containers are recyclable (in your area) or compostable
  2. Only reusable tableware is provided for onsite dining inside restaurants*
  3. Proper recycling practices are followed throughout the restaurant

*Food trucks and take-out restaurants with no significant on-site dining are exempt from requirement #2.

And choose a minimum of three of these criteria as well:

  1. Plastic straws are provided only upon request or are replaced with compostable straws
  2. All take-out beverage containers are recyclable (in your area) or compostable
  3. Takeout bags are not made of plastic and are provided only upon request.
  4. Only compostable utensils are provided for take-out, upon request
  5. No beverages sold in plastic bottles.

For more information on the Ocean Friendly Restaurants program and its coalition of partners, the full list of 100 certified restaurants, and how to get certified, go to: www.oceanfriendlyrestaurantshawaii.org.


About Surfrider Foundation

The Surfrider Foundation is a grassroots non-profit dedicated to the protection of our ocean, waves, beaches, and coastal resources through an engaged public acitivist network. Surfrider is fueled by a large group of volunteers who serve to work on issues of beach health, water quality, beach access, and responsible development. Surfrider’s Hawaii Chapters are proud to be working with the Maui Huliau Foundation, Kokua Hawaii Foundation and the Rise Above Plastics Coalition on Hawaii’s Ocean Friendly Restaurants Program.

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The Local Kauai Kitchen & Bar Open in Kapaa

Owners Erin Keller and Jose Cortez. Daniel Lane photo

Owners Erin Keller and Jose Cortez. Daniel Lane photo

Note: In 2017, our blog posts will be less frequent. We’ll continue to update the book and app, but I will be writing a cookbook! I submitted a book proposal to Andy Ross, an agent I met at the 2016 Kauai Writers Festival, and he is now representing me. I look forward to sharing my progress as I move through this exciting project. In the meantime, Dan and I wish you the very best of the holiday season and an exceptional 2017!

The Local Kauai Kitchen & Bar opened on Nov. 25. Located in the former Eastside Restaurant, the focus is simple food in a casual setting with a seasonal “small-plate” menu that showcases local ingredients. Continue Reading →

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High Tea Now Served on Kauai

Guests play piano and even bring Champagne to celebrate special occasions. Daniel Lane photo

Guests play piano and even bring Champagne to celebrate special occasions. Daniel Lane photo

The Tea Room at The Gallery evokes a charming, easy going time when things moved a lot slower. Teas, written by hand with colored chalk, are listed on chalkboards that are hung with white ribbon. There’s botanical tea powder by Naikela, which is grown and blended on the North Shore. Traditional teas include fragrant Extra Bergamot Earl Grey, Da Zhang jasmine green, first flush darjeeling, rooibos, organic Pai Mu Tan and Yunnan White Needle white teas and double fermented pu-erh. Continue Reading →

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Farm to Table Events in Hawaii

Join Chef Sheldon Simeon of Tin Roof Maui at Merriman’s Fish House in Poipu on Dec. 18.

Join Chef Sheldon Simeon of Tin Roof Maui at Merriman’s Fish House in Poipu on Dec. 18.

This blog post is sponsored by Edible Hawaiian Islands.

Two farm-to-table events in Hawaii will go toward a good cause. On Friday, Dec. 9, the Hawaii Island Paina takes place at Merriman’s Waimea with guest chef Mark “Gooch” Noguchi of Oahu. This farm-to-table culinary experience, in which Chef Noguchi of the Pili Group teams up with Merriman’s chef Vince McCarthy, is the first of two fundraisers for the Hawaii Islands Land Trust (HILT). Continue Reading →

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Trees Lounge Offers Brunch

Any Kind Eggs ($18) with "Add the Works" and "Make it A Meal." Daniel Lane photo

Any Kind Eggs ($18) with “Add the Works” and “Make it A Meal.” Daniel Lane photo

On Sept 24, word spread across social media that Trees Lounge was closing after nine years of business. Kauai’s residents and loyal visitors were distressed to learn the news. After all, they’d became accustomed to the only place in Kapaa that offered live music. But in a last minute move, music-lover Ulla Freeman, a Kauai resident since 2009, bought the place on Sept. 26. Continue Reading →

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