That first time I drove past farmland and spent a night in the small town of Santa Maria. Sweet scent of red oak was in the air as I ate delicious Santa Maria bbq.
I was surprised to find Santa Maria bbq on Kauai. I hear rock tunes from the 80’s and the scent of bbq is in the air. I order a combo of tri tip and bbq ribs. Tri tip was cooked to medium/medium well so it was juicy but tough to chew. Flavor has similarities to Santa Maria bbq. Ribs were tender, juicy, and covered in bbq sauce which was good.
On a second visit I tried the grilled ono. I like the mild flavor of the ono and the seasonings accentuated the ono. Texture of this fish reminds me of cod.
I loved the band, the friendly staff, and the vibe of this spot but the food while very good is not quite like the bbq places I visited in Santa Maria. Missing is the local red oak meats are smoked and the dry rub is not quite the same. They use a mix of hardwood charcoal and wood from the Java Plum Tree which imparts a different flavor. Lastly they didn’t put any sauce on the meats in Santa Maria.
I need to return and try more menu items.
Paniolo Santa Maria Style BBQ
4-1345 Kuhio Hwy
Kapaa, HI 96746