The Pineapple Room

The Pineapple Room – Serving Up Delightful Cuban Fare in a Cozy Setting
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

When you’re craving traditional Cuban foods and drinks, there’s only one place to go in East Side Kauai: The Pineapple Room. But that doesn’t mean they don’t go above and beyond in their creation of meals to remember. Their tiny dining room doesn’t offer much space to stretch out, but you can take your meal and run off to Kapaa Beach.

- The Local Expert Team

When it comes to chowing down on Cuban fare, you absolutely have to jet over to The Pineapple Room to satisfy all your cravings. Although it’s your only option when you want traditional sandwiches, bowls, and empanadas galore, they promise to exceed your every expectation no matter what you order. All their dishes boast big flavor and all the right textures, taking you on a culinary journey with every bite. To get all your favorites piled high on your plate – or ready to go in a takeout box – you just have to jet down the Kuhio Highway to their quaint restaurant.

Located right next to the Kountry Kitchen, this East Side Kauai eatery has a tiny footprint but a whole lot of soul. It lies just feet away from where it was dreamed up by Kountry Kitchen owner, Susana Espinosa, who happily let her son, Adam Rick, take the reins. Along with his partner, Lesya Lackey, Rick dreamed up a delightful menu based on his Cuban grandmother’s influences – and a star was born.

When you arrive ready to put in your order, you’ll instantly get greeted like family and warmly welcomed through the doors. The cozy aesthetic in the dining room will make you feel right at home, although there’s really not a lot of room to dine in. If you’re lucky, you can snag one of the few tables and lounge inside while you chow down on your selections. Most times, however, they’re full up with patrons gazing lovingly at their freshly-prepared Cuban fare.

Their top menu items include:

Yuca Fries
When you want to go beyond regular French fried potatoes, you absolutely have to try the Yuca Fries. This must-have side starts with sliced cassava root, or yuca, that’s fried up until tender in the middle and crisp on the outside. Then, they plate it up and serve it piping hot alongside a tub of housemade cilantro aioli.

Chicky Empanada
You cannot go wrong with an order (or two!) of the crisp and delicious Chicky Empanada. To create each order, they roll out two balls of Lesya’s homemade dough and fill them with shredded chicken. After that, they dunk them both in the fryer until a rich golden brown. Cilantro aioli and Tabasco sauce land alongside right before the whole lot comes out to your open arms.

Pineapple Empanada
Want a sweet kick while enjoying their homemade empanada dough? Just grab an order of two Pineapple Empanadas. Instead of shredded chicken, these ones get a caramelized pineapple filling before hopping into the fryer. Prefer something a little different? Go with the guava and cream cheese-filled ones instead.

The Cubano
Classic Cuban street food done right, The Cubano keeps it simple without compromising on a lick of flavor. To make this iconic sandwich, they put pork, ham, Swiss cheese, and mustard between two slices of buttered bread. Then, they slap it on the grill to get it hot and melty before it slides onto a plate with plantain chips and their amazing Mojo Sauce.

Bistec Con Mojo
If you’re craving beefy goodness, look no further than the Bistec Con Mojo. This elegant bowl begins with USDA choice steak cooked to your desired level of doneness. After that, they artfully place it over rice and beans before pouring on the Mojo to your liking.

Want to enjoy a dining experience to remember? Order your meal as takeout, and then jet over to Kapaa Beach to chow down while taking in the scenic views. While noshing on all your favorite Cuban flavors, you’ll get to watch the waves caress the shore, see seabirds in their natural habitats, and check out all the action on the beach. After that, simply lie back and sunbathe while your belly settles, and then join in on all the fun.

Insider Tips:
-Want to add even more flavor to your bowls? Get a sunny side egg, avocado, or bacon over the top for an extra charge.
-For a little bit more, you can boost your tropical empanada experience by adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
-If you’d like your selections ready for pickup when you arrive, place your order ahead of time through the online system on their website.