Splasher's is a quintessential island beach shack. Adjacent to the sea wall on Ali'i Drive in Kona at the location where the ocean has a tendency to splash up and onto the street when boats pull-in, this locally-owned ten-table, open-air establishment serves up excellent fresh grub and draft beer.
The omnipresent and gregarious owner assures every party entering that they will get a seat--or she will find them one--after ordering at a small counter. You are given a so-called "Hawaiian GPS device" (a rock with a painted number on it) so the servers know whose food to bring to whom. They have three local beers on tap and a bunch by the bottle as well.
Their signature item is the locally caught-the-day-of fish tacos.
You can get them blackened (pictured above) or grilled, and either fries (regular or waffle), onion rings or salad. We made two trips here, and enjoyed the Mahi Mahi at lunch and devoured the Ono at dinner. The Ono is my favorite--hearty, tender, and juicy. The taco shell is a corn tortilla and includes shredded lettuce, spicy homemade salsa, and a hearty portion of cheese. I added guacamole. The dish runs $11.99--not cheap, but reasonable for Hawaii, especially considering the value for fish caught the same day by local fishermen.
And while you are enjoying this treat, you get to people watch down Ali'i drive in Kona, which is always entertaining, regardless of the time of day:
Look, there is a guy walking nonchalantly with a parrot.
The evening we were there (Tuesday), check out local outrigger canoe teams. They say avoid downtown Kona on Wednesdays, when cruise ships drop off passengers for a daylong stop in the port.
Do go if you are on the Big Island. It is fantastic and unpretentious. And what better time to enjoy--as we did--than after a morning Sea Quest snorkeling adventure? I know this is a food blog, but this is by far the best snorkeling trip we have ever taken so I would be remiss if I did not mention it. Plus, after snorkeling at two beautiful spots it will help you to work up an appetite which you will need given the portions! Ask for Captain Liam.