Go West


As a townie without transportation, I rarely make it out to West Oahu. But I like it here, so I envy those who live on this side. My envy was compounded when I recently visited Monkeypod Kitchen, located at Ko Olina Resort.

During my weekend visit, it was packed, so I was lucky to be seated right away. Because of its location, the clientele seemed to be mainly tourists. Usually, tourist locations are a red flag for my budget, but I was surprised by the reasonable prices of both food and drinks — at least during happy hours from 3 to 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 to 11 p.m.

My waiter explained that most appetizers are half off during happy hour, and the pizzas are $9. For drinks, all Ocean Vodka cocktails are $6, culinary cocktails are $8, wine is $6 per glass, and draft beers more than $9 are $3 off, while all other drafts are $4.75.

These prices were much cheaper than I expected, so I figured there was a catch — my friend and I worried that maybe the drinks are not that good. But we stuck it out, ordering a Bloody Mary with Ocean Vodka (pictured above, right), and a Rain Tree Elixir (left) containing Veev Acai Spirit, coconut water, lime, simple syrup and kaffir lime leaves. For food, we had butternut squash pizza and pumpkin patch ravioli.

The pizza and ravioli both were delicious. Who would have have thought that squash would do well on pizza? But the drinks were what really surprised me.

The Rain Tree Elixir was served in a big glass, and although it was just $8, the alcohol was not held back. I could feel the burn from the alcohol, but taste the acai berry at the same time. The kaffir lime leaves helped to balance the sweetness from the syrup. If I could order a vat of this cocktail, I would.

The Bloody Mary was equally delicious, though not spicy enough for my liking. Monkeypod creates its own Bloody Mary mix, which was evident (I could even see pepper floating around in the glass): Normally, a Bloody Mary is sour, but Monkeypod’s has a smokiness that had me thirsting for more.

The long trip out here was worth every minute. I especially suggest going during happy hour, when your stomach will not only thank you, but your bank account will, too. baumsammi@gmail.com