Although it’s located inside Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, Billfish Poolside Bar and Grille is not just for hotel guests. It’s a relaxing spot open to the public, and we recommend checking it out if you’re in the area. Situated on the Big Island’s West Coast, this is a great spot to start your day or stop in for a bite while exploring everything the area has to offer.
The vibe at this outdoor eatery is extremely casual and relaxed. Located next to the resort pool, the restaurant is covered by a thatched roof and offers tables and chairs covered by umbrellas that protect diners from the sun. A covered bar is the centerpiece of the restaurant and a wonderful place to post up for some poolside cocktails. A smooth stone floor rounds out the beachy, resort feel of the area.
In addition to the pool, which is clean, well-maintained, and often filled with joyful children and families, there are sweeping views of the nearby beach and ocean. In terms of scenery, Billfish offers you a little bit of everything.
The food menu is somewhat straightforward and offers a selection of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, house specialties, a kid’s menu, and dessert. While there wasn’t anything on the menu that we found outrageously unique, the food is serviceable and well-prepared. The drink menu was where we felt Billfish really shined. Although there wasn’t a huge selection of specialty drinks, everything we had was delicious. The drinks were cold, flavorful, and not watered down.
Some of our favorite food and drink items were:
Ahi Poke Nachos
You can’t come to Hawaii without trying some poke, and in our opinion, there’s no better way than with an order of fresh poke nachos. At Billfish, they use yellowfin tuna mixed with sweet onions, scallions, and a secret sauce. This is placed atop crispy wonton strips and topped with furikake. The blend of flavors and textures makes this a beautifully balanced bite.
Fish and Chips
For those looking for something a little heartier, we recommend the fish and chips. Freshly caught fish is expertly coated in Kona brew batter, fried, and served with French fries and tartar sauce. We found the fish to be tender and the batter to be crispy and flavorful. The fries were hot and well-seasoned, and the tartar sauce was the perfect complement to the dish.
Kalua Jackfruit Tacos
Vegetarians, this one is for you. Instead of building tacos around fish or meat, this dish features kalua-style jackfruit as its centerpiece. This is loaded into corn tortillas and topped with pico de gallo, guacamole, and spiced tortilla strips. The combination of sweet and savory, soft and crispy really works to deliver a complex dish. It was so good we think even carnivores would enjoy it!
This is the restaurant’s signature take on a Mai Tai, and believe us when we say you’re going to want to give this one a try. This delicious concoction has a base of Cruzan-aged rum mixed with orgeat, guava nectar, lime, and coconut water. Not enough? Don’t worry, it’s also topped with a dark rum floater. The result? A sweet, strong, tropical beverage that will tantalize your tastebuds. Oh, and they’re pretty strong. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
All in all, Billfish Poolside Bar and Grille is a relaxed spot to grab a drink or casual meal while taking in the sights and sounds of the pool, beach, and ocean. We hope you enjoy your visit!
-Service can tend to be slow, so plan on 1.5-2 hours here, just to be safe.
-Right next to the resort is Kamakahonu Beach, which is open to the public. Situated on Kailua Bay, the area is shielded from the open ocean and offers calm water that is great for families, amateur swimmers, and young children. Perhaps consider a visit while you’re in the area!
-The Kona Farmer’s Market is located a short drive from the restaurant and offers locally grown produce, local specialties, and handmade crafts from more than 40 vendors.