#4 of 211 Kauai Restaurants

JO2 Restaurant

See all photos (16 Photos)
JO2 Restaurant – Offering a Fusion of Traditional Flavors with a Creative Spin
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

When all you want is pure decadence in every bite, set your sights on JO2 Restaurant for an experience unlike any other in East Side Kauai. Their unique mix of French, Japanese, and Hawaiian cuisine soars beyond the wildest expectations as Chef Josselin puts his skills to the test. Fresh, local ingredients always join the party as does exquisite preparations and plating artistry to remember.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

If you’re in the mood for the finest culinary creations imaginable, treat yourself to a truly memorable dining experience at JO2 Restaurant. Located right along Kuhio Highway, this modern East Side Kauai restaurant barely hints at the magic going on inside. But once you get a good look at the ingenious plates of food and bright tropical drinks, you simply won’t believe your eyes.

As their chef, Jean-Marie Josselin uses his French upbringing, passion for quality ingredients, and appreciation for global culinary techniques to create mouth-wateringly good dishes with tons of artistic flair. French, Japanese, and Hawaiian cuisines heavily influence his approach, creating a fusion of flavor and style that you won’t soon forget.

Every dish looks like an awe-inspiring work of art and boasts big, bold flavor in every single bite. In addition to the culinary expertise exhibited at this eatery, their dedication to getting farm-fresh ingredients helps as well. Every ingredient comes from the island proper, allowing them to balance flavors found from the mountains to the sea.

To help elevate the flavors in every course, they offer nearly every cocktail imaginable, although tropical-based drinks are always a good choice. Like their menu items, every drink they make features farm-to-table goodness, including freshly-squeezed citrus and herbs sourced fresh from the farm. Not sure which drink to order? Just let your server know and they’ll offer their recommendations. They’re always happy to help you have an exquisite dining experience, so don’t hesitate to let them know what you need.

Although it’s tempting to fill up on their appetizers and main entrees, dessert should always be a part of your dining experience at this imaginative restaurant. Their creativity shines through as they bring all the top tropical fruits to the height of perfection. All their desserts feature the flavors you know and love taken well beyond the next level.

The deconstructed Banana Cream Pie, for example, comes with caramelized bananas set on top of a dollop of pudding and paired with ice cream, whipped cream, and a fresh mint leaf. The Dark Chocolate Molten Cake, Tres Leche Custard, and many other desserts are equally inventive, so you really cannot go wrong no matter what you choose.

You simply must try their:

Kauai Organic Tomato Sampler
The diversity of the island shines through in the Kauai Organic Tomato Sampler. This fantastic appetizer puts a variety of heirloom tomatoes on full display as they stack up to meet your expectations. The slice of kiwi on top helps accentuate their sweetness while the fresh herbs pair perfectly with their myriad of flavors.

Prawn and Roasted Chinese Duck Lumpia
The land and sea come together beautifully in the Prawn and Roasted Chinese Duck Lumpia. This appetizer features two large lumpia cut in half to reveal their scrumptious filling and get you ready to dig in. Although their exact recipe remains a tightly-kept secret, you’ll be glad to come back again and again for another taste.  

Seared Hokkaido Scallops
There’s perhaps nothing better than perfectly seared scallops accompanied by all the right flavors. Fortunately, you can get just that by ordering the Seared Hokkaido Scallops as your main entrée. You’ll get two huge scallops seared on both sides to a perfect brown and then set over a wide array of veggie and seafood selections. The buttery lemon sauce brings everything together and tastes amazing down to the last bite. 

If you’d like to simply enjoy their food without all the hemming and hawing over what to order, you can jet in at 5 pm for early dinner hour. During that time, they serve a three-course, fixed-price menu that’s hand-curated for their guests’ enjoyment. Each selection builds on the next, allowing you to experience the perfect flow of fresh island flavors.

Insider Tips:
-Their small restaurant fills up fast, so be sure to reserve your spot well ahead of time to avoid missing out. To make your reservation, you can call the restaurant directly, send them a quick email, or book your spot through Yelp.
-They’re happy to host your private parties, cater your events, or even serve as your private chef. Interested? Just give them a call.
-Need a little fresh air while you dine in style? Ask for seating on the patio.