I'm pretty easy to please when it comes to burgers. I know the difference between a good burger and a bad one but I'm such a carnivore and constantly trying to be good so I don't become grossly overweight that when I decide to have a burger I have the whole thing and it's a real treat. So I was excited about Kua 'aina but not expecting much - we were there for my friends leaving do. She is Hawaiian and although hasn't lived there for a long time I think she's starting to be ever so slightly nostalgic about it so it seemed to be the perfect place for us to turn up and stuff our faces and say farewell.
I was actually quite pleased as were supposed to be going to a vegetarian restaurant which everyone says is excellent but I know would give me no-meat panic as soon as I look at the menu. Joe and I arrived late and everyone had just ordered, Joe in fact was even later than me so by the time he arrived people were tucking into their food. This was no bad thing as it gave us a chance to see what everyone else was having and make our decision. The menu has burgers, sandwiches and salads with a good selection of side dishes from proper fries and coleslaw to dill pickles and sweet potato. And the service is so quick that we got our food not long after everyone else so they didn't have to sit there and watch us eat.
We had bacon and cheese burgers and shared fries and dill pickles. We finished every last scrap. The burgers were cooked quite rare and served in little baskets - there was no dainty way to eat them but that's not part of the deal with Kua 'aina. Little wooden tables, tea lights, old surfing photos everywhere and a relaxed atmosphere, incredibly fast service and great prices this is a fantastic place to go - especially in these money crunching times. I've never been to Hawaii but I really think the atmosphere lives up to the name and the reputation.
Most of us had burgers (avocado and pineapple were other variations - not together though) and a selection of sides - the lady herself had Mahi Mahi sandwich and another veggie had a halloumi sandwich. These were just as big as the burgers and went down really well. We were all full and happy afterwards - except for one guy who ordered a cheese and bacon burger and just got bacon. But as he refused to just ask the waiter for a bit of cheese to be shoved in quickly which I'm sure they would have done happily I can't really count this as a bad thing. There were ten of us drinking beer and being noisy so I think one slight omission is completely acceptable. I've had worse from places where its £40+ a head.
Kua 'aina is proof that you can still go out, eat well and have fun with your friends and not spend loads of money. Highly recommended.