The Plantation House at Gaylord’s at Kilohana

The Plantation House by Gaylord's at Kilohana: Experience the Island Magic of This Popular Pre-Flight Destination
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

The Plantation House by Gaylord's at Kilohana brings island vibes to every meal. Its authentic menu features fresh catches, local produce, and plenty of delicious cocktails. Best of all, however, is the restaurant's atmosphere, which feels downright magical. 

- The Local Expert Team

The Plantation House by Gaylord’s delivers a feast for all of the senses, complete with enticing scents, sweeping views, and live music. Exceptional cuisine forms the basis of each visit, however, and you certainly won’t leave disappointed after you’ve sampled the authentic island dishes served here. Located within the original courtyard of the Kilohana Plantation, this restaurant is perpetually in demand, to the point that it may be necessary to book your table several days in advance.

If you’re lucky enough to land a reservation, you’ll encounter a sophisticated, yet approachable menu. This establishment’s culinary greatness can be attributed to executive chef Johnny Saguid, who boasts decades of experience at Kauai’s top restaurants.

The meals are magnificent, but your Plantation House experience won’t be complete if you neglect to order a cocktail. If you struggle to choose between the drink menu’s most indulgent options, don’t worry: you can’t go wrong with the classic Koloa Rum mai tai, which is crafted from a 1944 recipe. Be sure to ask your server about the daily drink specials, as there is always something interesting to try. 

If you’re in a rush, this probably isn’t a good place to visit. Service is friendly but can be slow at times. That being said, a quick meal would be antithetical to the signature Plantation House experience. This place is all about relaxation — so make the most of it and take time to truly savor every moment in this remarkable environment.

A few of our favorite menu items include the following:

Local Field Green Salad
Local cuisine is important at The Plantation House, where the menu’s signature salad includes several enticing ingredients provisioned from nearby farms. Your salad is chock full of roasted portobello mushrooms, goat cheese, toasted pine nuts, and garlic. It also includes all your favorite veggies: mixed greens, grape tomatoes, and cucumbers. A lemon balsamic vinaigrette ties the entire salad together, forming a light, but the satisfying dish you can opt for when you don’t want one of The Plantation House’s more filling meals.

This entree’s name doesn’t quite do it justice, but it does make it abundantly clear that the dish will appeal to anyone who is intent on avoiding meat. Centered around eggplant and alii mushrooms, it also features a blend of veggies such as baby bok choy, bell peppers, and green beans. All this is simmered in a coconut Olena sauce and served over steamed Jasmine rice.

Campanelle noodles are only the beginning for this hearty, yet healthy pasta dish, which is loaded with arugula, zucchini, and grape tomatoes. Its enticing flavor is made possible by lemon juice, garlic butter, and parmesan cheese. Enjoy garlic bread on the side and feel free to add chicken breast or the catch of the day for an additional fee. 

Fish Tacos
The latest fresh island catch would be great on its own, but there’s something extra festive about enjoying it roasted and within a corn or flour tortilla. Better yet, these tasty fish tacos include chipotle crème fraiche and roasted tomato salsa. 

Filet Mignon Au Poivre
Indulge in an expertly prepared steak that is bound to please even the most discerning carnivore. This flame-grilled beef tenderloin stands out with a green peppercorn demi-glace. Other highlights include blue cheese, arugula, and whipped truffle potato. 

The Plantation House by Gaylord’s at Kilohana offers a unique ambiance, complete with festive island vibes and elevated entrees. Combine all this with a craft cocktail, plus gorgeous views — it’s easy to see why this is such a popular date-night destination. 

Insider Tip:
The restaurant’s convenient location makes it a top option right before or after a long flight. Consider making your reservation for shortly after your arrival to ensure a great first impression of the island.