The family and I decided to hit Kona Jack’s for dinner the other night. We were squabbling about what we wanted and my son wanted a steak, while the rest of us wanted (fresh) seafood. Perfect solution.
It obviously has a loyal following because even after all these years, it was hopping for dinner on a Friday. We ended up in the sushi bar area (they mumbled something about kids, so I wonder if they don’t seat kids in the main dining room), which was fine except the tables in there are pretty darn small if you’re putting four people at them.
My son got his steak dinner ($32), complete with baked potato and was happy. The quality of the beef was good, and it was cooked properly medium rare. His meal came with soup or salad and he chose a Caesar salad. I didn’t try it—he said it was fine, but slightly underdressed. Oh yeah, and they bring you this tasty loaf of warm herby bread with seasoned soft butter. That bread is delicious. My daughter wanted me to ask if we could get some extra to take home. She loved it.
My daughter got the special, which was fish and chips made with fresh lake perch. It also came with soup or salad and she got the clam chowder and gave it to hubby and me. I always forget that the clam chowder at Kona Jack’s is one of the better ones in town. Next to Barking Dog, which is now closed sadly, it’s my favorite. It is seasoned slightly differently and is a bit chunkier, but is very good. Her fish and chips were also good—perch is quite thin, so it’s not super tender, but it was fried well and tasted very fresh. I can’t stand those big steak fries they serve here, and am never tempted to eat even one. Those are straight up boring foodservice if you ask me.
Hubby had the blackened grouper sandwich ($15.50). The quality of the grouper was very good—Kona’s does a great job of having impeccably fresh fish, which is one of the reasons it is one of my favorite places to buy fish to cook at home as well. They also gave it a heavy-handed dose of blackening seasoning, which gave it a nice kick. Honestly though, there was a lot of bread to fish ratio and nothing particularly special about the bun, so hubby just ate the fish. Next time he says he’ll order it without a bun and see if they give him a little extra fish.
For me, I had the tuna tartar ($15) and the tempura fried veggies ($10). Well really, hubby and I shared them since his meal was a little light without the bread. Mine certainly was not. They give you a nice portion of tuna here for $15. It’s cubed and seasoned well with garlic, ginger, cilantro and a sesame dressing. It comes with crispy fried wonton chips and a little seaweed salad. It’s my go to place for tuna tartar now that H2O has closed unless I make it myself. It’s a little larger dice—almost like a poke, but very good.
The tempura fried veggies were also tasty—and a very generous portion. Also, it almost seemed perfectly tailored to me. The veggies on the plate were broccoli, asparagus, zucchini and avocado (ok, fruit). Pretty much my favorite things to tempura are these exact things. Actually, I think this was the first time I had fried avocado and I was wondering how it would hold up. It was delicious. I pretty much can’t think of a way I don’t like avocado unless it’s not ripe.
All in all, we all agreed that we need to remember Kona Jack’s more often when we’re all undecided about where to go. It’s a pretty wide menu and great quality seafood. Love the bread and clam chowder too.
9419 North Meridian Street