Customer reviews for Kukui's on Kalapaki Beach (in Marriott Beach Club)

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Good gluten free dining at restaurant in Marriott Beach Club, Dec 28, 2017
reviewer: Gftraveler from South Riding, VA
Kukui's on Kalapaki Beach is the main restaurant within the Marriott Beach Club resort on the southeastern tip of Kauai. We stayed at this resort for a week, so we dined at Kukui's quite a bit...for breakfast 4-5 times, for lunch 3 times, and for dinner once. Overall, I'd recommend it if you are gluten free. However, take note of the following: You will not find many gluten free options at all listed on their Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner Menus. The only way I knew all the gluten free options that were available is that I called well ahead of our trip to make sure this would even be a viable option for dining during our one-week stay. Our son has Celiac, and we try to select locations that offer the most GF options so that he will feel included in the nice dining we do on vacations. It's always a shame to be dining at a nice restaurant and be restricted to just a few options. At Kukui's, I was assured by the sous chef, our son would have plenty of options. This was, indeed, the case. However, these items are not well publicized at all. There is a note on the breakfast menu about "letting your server know about any dietary restrictions." There are only 1-2 salads listed as GF on the Lunch (poolside) menu...and nothing else. And on the Dinner menus (there are several, depending on the night of the week), there is only the notation of gluten free flatbreads being available. Looking at their menus linked from this page ('s-restaurant-&-bar/76223/online-menu.mi ), you'd think you were in for a week of very restricted eating. However, this is not the case. For breakfast, we were able to request gluten free muffins (best to do this the day or evening before you want them). They were delicious...fresh, homemade, and moist. We enjoyed 4 varieties during our stay: blueberry, banana walnut chia, chocolate chip, and coconut pineapple. Our son was also able to request gluten free pancakes or waffles (we stuck with the pancakes, as I'm always concerned about having gluten free waffles made on a waffle iron that's used for regular waffles, too, which I always assume is the case). Of course, you could also order eggs, bacon, and sausage, which were all verified gluten free. These and other items noted as gluten free were available at their daily breakfast buffet and special Sunday brunch buffet. There was also an omelette station. So there were always plenty of breakfast options. For lunch, their amazing burgers were available on gluten free buns. They came with chips, but if you ever wanted to order fries, I was also told they could bake some in order to avoid the shared fryer. There were also some salads. I'm not sure if they could have done the fish or shrimp tacos gluten free...I didn't ask about corn tortillas, since our son always seemed so happy with the burger options on the days we were having lunch by the pool (other days we either snacked or were out on excursions/tours). We only dined at Kukui's once for dinner (I've reviewed the other places we dined at nearby on this site: Duke's and Cafe Portofino and a Hawaiian luau). The only thing noted on their dinner menu as being GF were the flatbreads (and that's what our son wanted to order). But in my conversations with the sous chef, he also told me that steaks and various seafood dishes would be an option. I was also told they had gluten free pasta available. I trust this was the case, but I am just so surprised they don't make this more clear on the menu that these things are available (even if it's with modifications). I met a woman at the bar one afternoon that, coincidentally, was gluten free as well. She heard me ordering a burger on a gluten free bun for my son. She never realized they were available (and had settled for a burger wrapped in lettuce) because nothing was communicated to her (and she had no way of knowing all the great items available gluten free, because it wasn't noted on the menu). She didn't know about the breakfast options, either. Perhaps she should have asked, but really, it is so sad that there are probably many, many guests like her that settle for plain, boring meals throughout their stay at this resort because they don't know of all the great gluten free substitutes available. I also learned that the kitchen is VERY careful about the preparation of GF orders (and other restricted dieters' orders), so cross contamination was never a concern. Besides, I always ask the person taking our son's order to note that it's an "allergy" so they take it seriously. To sum up, I'd recommend this place as a safe restaurant for dining, whether you are staying at the Marriott resort or not. Just call ahead to get a better feel for the options for whatever meal you're going to be eating there. Know that there are many more options than what they publicize.

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