Big Kahuna Beach Grill

Big Kahuna Beach Grill -- Bayfront Restaurant Boasting Massive Burgers & Enticing Signature Cocktails
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Big Kahuna Beach Grill is a brand new restaurant in Kailua-Kona, located at an enviable location overlooking Kailua Bay, including the harbor and pier. This is a multi-faceted beach grill that offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with an outstanding signature cocktail list, exciting happy hour menu options, and a different live music talent every night of the week. 

- The Local Expert Team

The very popular, 15-year-old Splasher’s Grill in Kailua-Kona was a restaurant in Hawaii forced to close its doors after 2020. But from its ashes came something new, something exciting; that restaurant is the Big Kahuna Beach Grill.

The Big Kahuna Beach Grill is located in that old enviable spot Splasher’s had, which is in the heart of Kailua-Kona’s harbor district, on Palani Road overlooking Kailua Bay and the Kailua Pier. The new owners only just opened doors in the fall of 2021. But while it is still less than a year old, the Big Kahuna Beach Grill of Kailua-Kona has already made quite the name for itself. In a very positive way.

This restaurant boasts two floors, both of which feature large open dining areas with very beachy decor. The most popular places to sit, however, are on the second-floor waterfront deck and at the bar. The bartenders here are renowned for their friendly and engaging demeanor, thus enjoying this restaurant and bar’s specialty drinks fast and first-hand offers a fun and very aloha experience. On the other hand, if you want to enjoy exceptional views of the harbor, watching boats go in and out and the general hubbub of the area, then you will love that second-floor deck view.

The Big Kahuna Beach Grill does it all in terms of food served. This is a seven-day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner operation. As with its predecessor, this restaurant is best known for its thick burgers and grilled sandwiches. 

Popular items on the Big Kahuna Beach Grill food menu include:

Tsunami Blue Smash Burgers
The Tsunami Blue, like all of the burgers listed on Big Kahuna Beach Grill’s Smash Burgers menu, features two beef patties wedged between a brioche bun. This menu item in specific also includes caramelized onions sauteed with mushrooms and served smothered with smoked Maui onion aioli, blue cheese crumbles, and a layer of bacon. All burgers also come with your choice of French fries, potato fries, onion rings, or a side salad. Vegetarians will appreciate that they can sub the meat patties for Impossible Burgers for a slight upcharge. 

Take Off Tacos
This delicious, straight from the sea menu item features blackened ahi topped with Asian coleslaw, pickled pineapple, and cilantro with a wasabi ginger aioli dressing. This is a great choice for those looking for something a bit lighter but unmistakably Hawaiian.

Big Kahuna also has a specialty Happy Hour menu that is available between 3 and 5 pm, a specialty small kids’ menu, and, of course, an outstanding signature cocktail menu with fun names like the Parrot Fish Pucker and Thai One On (they also have plenty of beer and wine options for non-liquor drinkers). Overall, you will find that their prices are reasonable, especially considering their wonderful waterfront views on that second floor as well as the size of the entrées. Live music gets performed every evening, between 6 and 9 pm.

Insider Tips:
-Don’t pay for parking! Big Kahuna Beach Grill offers a free parking lot for its patrons right beside the restaurant. Take advantage of this and enjoy a walk down to Kailua Pier and Kamakahonu Beach before or after your meal. 
-All of the views on their second-floor deck are great, but if you want the best chance at the best seat in the house, arrive between the lunch and dinner rush and ask for the table on the balcony’s corner. This table offers the best view of the overall harbor and pier, as well as the busy pedestrian areas along Palani and Alii Drive.