Hula Island Grill’s menu of “island inspired fusion dishes with a little Hawaiian flare” and festive, fun cocktails are a retro-hip trip to the tiki-bar restaurants of mid 20th-century America. An outdoor patio is complete with both shaded seats and tables that let you get some rays while vacationing in Monterey.
While sipping a tropical cocktail, have one of Hula’s many appetizers, such as glazed and fried plaintains. They are sweet and dusted with coconut flakes. Portion sizes are big enough that a single order is enough for two. If you crave something spicier, a hot seaweed salad fills the bill. Resting on a long piece of dried seaweed, the spiralized dish holds a Thai-spice kind of flavor and is one of our favorites.
Hula’s menu changes depending on what time of the day it is, and the options are endless. One specialty is the Ahi Wasabi Bowl of white rice, black beans, and a special cabbage mix. Seared to perfection, a generous portion of tuna is laid neatly atop the bowl. The dish is then crowned with jicama and scallions. Wasabi cream sauce comes on the side, adding unique flavor and extra kick.
Tacos, Hula-style, are a featured item. Shrimp tacos come with Caribbean slaw and salsa on corn tortillas. The shrimp are grilled and seasoned in a tropical mix of flavors and the slaw is citrusy, without mayo.
Gluten-free and vegetarian options are available.
With its fun themed roster of cocktails, unique take of tropical food, and friendly staff, Hula’s Island Grill is a recommended stop in Monterey, California. It’s about five minutes from the downtown shopping center and the waterfront.
Note: There are other Hula’s Island Grills in Santa Cruz, California, and in Phoenix, Arizona.