In the past we've had so much bad luck with new-to-us restaurants that she though we had a curse of some type and quite frankly I wasn't willing to try out new places unless I had to. My standards of service are pretty fricken low to begin with and so many places fail miserably. It is no wonder that so many places don't make it a year.
It was with a bit of trepidation that I bypassed the familiarity of one trusted pace to try out Kana Girl's Hawai'ian BBQ. Boise, or at least the larger metropolitan area, has a few "Hawai'ian" places. One is fake as hell, the other is more of an upscale "fusion" place (I could be wrong, but it is so out of our way I won't ever find out), and the other is just ok. The last place was this new place on State Street (3912 W State Street to be exact).
We parked out back and walked in the back entrance, something that I was advised never to do. It is generally good advice to avoid the back of a restaurant if you want to keep your appetite. This was a notable exception. I don't know if the aromas were coming from their cookers or the smokehouse next door and frankly I didn't care. I just wanted to jam some smoked meat in my face hole now.
At first glance I think a lot of people would think that the Kana Girl's Hawai'ian BBQ was a little "divey". The seating was cheaper outdoor patio furniture and people were eating out of styrofoam take-out containers using plastic utensils and paper cups. If this turns people off it must suck to be them because they either never went on vacation to Hawaii or they stayed in some super stuck-up place when they did. Between the decor and the soft Hawai'ian music playing in the background (actually in the kitchen area) it was a step back to my vacation.
The food was typical local Hawai'ian fare, or it sure as hell seemed that way to me. When we went on vacation we really tried to eat at local places and stayed away from touristy restaurants whenever possible. The food was so much better when it was made without the pretentious drapings and visitor sensibilities. I'm not going to delve too deep into the food, but I will say this: after our first bite the wife and I started planning on when we'd be able to come back for our second visit.
Kana Girl's Hawai'ian BBQ is obviously a family affair and a labor of love. The couple that own the place were in the kitchen singing along to their music, enjoying what they were doing while stealing the occasional kiss. It was a busy Saturday night maybe a half-hour before close and it seemed they
For the brief times we've been eating there we really did enter into our own Island Time Zone.......
At the risk of you getting there before I do and eating the last of the pulled pork, I have to urge you tomake the trip and check it out for yourself.
They are open Tuesday-Saturday 11-8 and I don't recommend looking at their online menu until you are prepared to drive over. We made the mistake of trying to go over at 8:30 PM Friday night and you really don't want to experience that disappointment if you can avoid it.