Kalena Fish Market

Kalena Fish Market – A Great Spot in Lihue for Korean BBQ Served in Big Portions
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Kalena Fish Market makes it easy to get your fill of home-cooked Korean BBQ goodness. Located in the heart of Lihue, this popular eatery serves up famous Meat Jun and other fan favorites in big portions. Their quality of service will have you feeling right at home, although the lack of space usually means you’ll need to take your meal and run.  

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

Whenever you’re craving Korean BBQ deliciousness, swing by Kalena Fish Market to get your fill. Set in beautiful Lihue, this small eatery goes big on the flavors and portions, ensuring that you’ll walk away fully satisfied with your meal. Their friendly service brings it all together, too, so you’ll always feel welcome to come back for another taste.

Upon arriving at Kalena Fish Market, you can count on a line coming out the door. They’re quite popular with the locals and tourists alike, after all, which keeps them busy from open to close. Their short lunchtime hours contribute to the busyness as well, but thankfully it’s well worth waiting around for a chance to try their creations.

While you wait, take the time to pour over the menu and see just what they have on offer. Despite the name, meat entrees dominate the menu, although there’s fish available, too. Many of their daily whiteboard specials feature locally-caught fish, like their ever-popular BBQ Marlin, so don’t forget to check the board before ordering.

Once you make it to the front of the line at Kalena Fish Market, their friendly service will win you over even before you get a taste of their food. Alohas all around kick off the transaction plus they’re always happy to answer all your questions in full. After putting in your order, plan to wait around for a bit because they cook everything to order. A 10- to 20-minute wait is pretty standard most days, although big orders often take a bit longer.

Space is limited inside, so you might want to head outside to wait for your meal. They have a bench right out front plus plenty of wall space to lean on while you wait. If you want to come back in about 20 minutes, you can go walk around the small park across the street instead. Once you get your food, you’ll likely need to go elsewhere to eat it unless you get lucky and find an open table.

The top dishes at Kalena Fish Market include:

Fish Katsu
The Fish Katsu takes fried fish to the next level with unique breading and tasty sides. They make this dish by frying up the panko-breaded fish just right, and then pairing it with two scoops of rice and your choice of four vegetable sides. 

Meat Jun
A definite fan favorite at Kalena Fish Market, their Meat Jun is a true Hawaiian classic filled with the best Korean flavors. They create this plate by dipping sliced beef in egg, and then frying it until perfectly cooked. After that, they slice it up and put it on the plate along with rice and veggie sides.

Kalena Special
When you simply cannot decide between all the tasty menu items, treat yourself to the Kalena Special. This dish features Kalbi, Meat Jun, Fried Mandoo, and BBQ Chicken in hearty portions. As if that’s not enough, they add rice and veggies to the mix, creating a truly filling plate for you to enjoy at your leisure.

All the regular plates at Kalena Fish Market come in big portions, leaving you feeling absolutely stuffed after every meal. If you want to make it a little lighter, get their medium plates instead. For that option, they drop the sides to one scoop of rice and two veggie choices while decreasing the entrée size a bit. Alternatively, you could just go with the bigger plates and save the rest for later, so you have a delicious snack waiting in the wings.

Insider Tips:
-They’re a cash-only establishment, so stop by the ATM before you arrive.
-They do not allow any substitutions, not even for a fee.
-Want to avoid the line? Call in your order before leaving the hotel.
-Parking is a challenge on the best of days. If you’re going to eat at Kalena Park across the street, park there and walk over. Otherwise, take a look around the nearby neighborhoods for an open parking spot.