Lunch at the Aloha Vista Bar and Grill at Keauhou

aloha vista bar and grill

At Aloha Vista Bar and Grill, you might initially come for the view, but you will come back for the food. Wish I could say the same thing about the interior of the restaurant, but that would be only my suggestion for improvement: to beef up the atmosphere. Makes you want to stuff your face and leave, not hang out and order another drink.

For a Kona Country Club restaurant on a golf course, the Aloha Vista Bar and Grill lacks ambiance. When I first poked my head inside, I thought maybe it was a cocktail lounge and had to ask if we could get lunch. It looks like a high school cafeteria. But perhaps I was disappointed because I had it in my head to expect so much more. It is nothing like the golf course restaurant at the Four Seasons in Lanai; that place is plush. So you can’t blame the interior on “well, it is Hawaii.”

aloha vista bar and grill

You will find 3 menus, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some of the dishes are identical but cost more as the day goes on. This delectable dish in the photo above is Loco Moco. Popular meal for any time of the day in Hawaii. When I first heard of this years ago, I thought it sounded dreadful and wondered who would consume such a thing.

However, I have come to love Loco Moco, so I now have to eat my words. Along with the grilled hamburger patty on a bed of rice, topped by two over-easy fried eggs and a shitload of brown gravy. I think the gravy contains beef broth and Worcestershire sauce. I scarfed down the entire bowl.

My friend ordered the rigatoni, alfredo style, with gorgonzola cheese, mushrooms. Since she is allergic to garlic, the chef left the garlic out of the sauce. That is always a nice sign when the chef can accommodate special requests. Fabulous dish, and I’d like to return for dinner and order it.

I should mention the Aloha Vista Bar and Grill features American and Italian cuisine, with a heavy emphasis on southern Italy. It is a little confusing to find, but don’t try to use GPS. Just drive down Ali’i Drive until you see the Kona Country Club and turn makai into the driveway. A rather unassuming building greets you below the parking lot; park and go in.

Elizabeth Weintraub

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