Well, put away that credit card and cancel the flight reservations. Hawaii has come to San Diego. The Kona Kai Resort on Shelter Island is now offering a terrific luau on Friday nights through August.
The Kona Kai is set on 11 acres on Shelter Island, with the only sandy beach along the bay.
The luau, of course, takes place right on the beach, with a captivating view of large, expensive yachts and Point Loma behind them. The setting could not be better. Hawaiian dancers greet guests at the entrance and adorn them with leis or puka shell necklaces to set the mood.
Festivities begin with the parade of the pig. A roast pig is carried in by a small group of warriors and displayed to the guests. Then, as diners fill their plates at the sumptuous buffet, the music starts.
The food is good. And there’s lots of it. Pork, chicken and seafood as well as pineapple, salads and other goodies are there, waiting to be stacked onto plates. Some people can barely carry them back to their tables. A small bar offers mai tai’s. A larger bar nearby offers wine and other drinks.
The long tables, with mixed seating, create a real social opportunity. It is fun to meet and speak with the strangers who are dining across the tabletop. Kids are welcome. Lots of them enjoyed playing in the sand in front of the stage.
It is the band and dancers that really make the evening special. The music was well played, ranging from strong and rhythmic to sweet and mellow. At one time, a number of couples were dancing in the sand.
The Hawaiian dancers put on a great show, as they gyrated their hips and waved their arms to tell the story of the colonization of the South Pacific. They illustrated their “tales” with music and dances from Tahiti to Hawaii. At the end, diners were invited onto the stage for Hawaiian dance lessons, which were entertaining and amusing.
The luaus are scheduled to run through the summer and are economically priced to attract families and groups. It is a really fun way to spend an evening, well worth the food and entertainment.