The Beach House is a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand it’s not especially inspiring or unique, but on the other hand it is exactly what you fly all the way the heck out to the middle of the Pacific to experience. I was fully prepared to be unimpressed by The Beach House, but in the end it won me over.
For starters, “The Beach House” is just about the most generic name I can imagine, especially in Hawaii. It’s the John Smith of restaurant names. Just try looking it up and you’ll see what I mean. It’s also located on the grounds of the Ritz-Carlton, which causes one to imagine that they serve hotel food, and the menu doesn’t do much to dispel that fear. So far not so good. There are a few kinds of salads, some appetizers, and a couple entrees to choose from, one of which is a hamburger. Oh dear.
” Sorry kids, but today we found Nemo … on our table “
The Beach House also isn’t especially easy to find. One is required to navigate a brain-wrenching tangle of golf cart paths and twisty one-way utility roads through a miniature city of condominiums to get there. If it weren’t for my wife’s ability to navigate, I’d still be driving loops around the island looking for this place. Once you do find the restaurant, you’ll need to park in a beach access parking lot and hoof it a good 100 yards down a paved path to get there. As is my way when faced with a series of annoying challenges in order to fill my empty stomach, I was Mr. Cranky Pants as we finally arrived at the The Beach House.
And then I saw the view.
As it turns out, The Beach House is quite aptly named. It’s on. The freaking. Beach. Ok, so the menu is still disappointingly short but come on. That’s a million dollar view. It’s so good in fact that I was able to ignore the painfully touristy music being played, namely Limbo Rock and Blue Hawaii. Props to Mr. Checker and the King, but just… cringe. Anyway, enough about the music and the view and everything else. I finally tore my gaze away from the gorgeous scenery and tried to remember that I was here to feed more than my eyes.
I read through the entire menu, a process that took about 18 seconds, and settled on the probably-average hamburger. Our helpful waitress dropped off our drinks and began listing off the specials. It turned out there were more specials than there were regular menu items, a nice surprise that really helped to address the issue of limited entree choices. At one point the words “grilled ahi sandwich with garlic aioli” were uttered and both my wife and I perked up our ears at exactly the same time. We must have looked like a couple of dogs who were just asked “cookie??” by someone holding a box of Milk Bones, because the waitress immediately got out her pen and started writing things down. Yes, we’ll have those. The sandwiches. Two of those. Bring them now.
Our sammies arrived (one with fruit, one with fries) and boy did they hit the spot. Stuff like this is exactly my very favorite kind of food: Something simple done oh-so-right. The onion rolls were as fresh as can be, the aioli was bang-on perfect, and the fish… Well, there’s nothing quite like fresh caught fish that was frolicking in the waves just hours before. Sorry kids, but today we found Nemo … on our table. Not all stories end like Disney movies do, but at least they make tasty lunches. At $22 a plate plus drinks, however, The Beach House ain’t cheap. We calculated the prices at $10 for each meal and $12 a person for the view. Still totally worth it.
I rate this place a well-earned 8 out of 10 touristy ukulele songs, earning it an unexpectedly decent spot on my list of favorites. If you’re looking for a meal with a view, The Beach House will be very hard to beat. Just remember to ask for the specials.
The Beach House Restaurant
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua
One Ritz-Carlton Drive
Kapalua, HI 96761