Plantation Tavern

Step Up to the Plate

October 28, 2018

Story By: Elima Pangorang | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo


Serving up a melting pot of various cultures’ cuisine, Plantation Tavern aims to serve the community locally sourced organic ingredients while sticking to Hawaiian plantation roots.

Founded by husband-and-wife duo Adam and Sonia “Sunny” Gilbert, the couple’s Plantation Tavern beginnings started with a move from town to Oahu’s west side.

Adam was working as executive chef at Star of Honolulu in the beginning of the move but the commute was not ideal. So, in an effort to reduce their carbon footprint and to be closer to home, the Gilberts decided to open their own restaurant with chef Adam at the kitchen’s helm.

The pair’s commitment to sustainability and keeping it local and organic is found throughout the restaurant’s menu.

“We really support the local people, businesses and farmers,” says Sunny. “We source produce and meat from across the entire state. Our main purveyor is Kahumana Farms. Our shrimp is from Kauai, beef is from Kunoa (Cattle Company), goat cheese is from the North Shore, macadamia nuts and tomatoes are from the Big Island, and we have so much more.”

She further mentions that many of Plantation Tavern’s spirits and brews are from Hawaii producers as well, including Paniolo Blended Whiskey and Pau Vodka from Maui, and beer from Honolulu BeerWorks, just to name a few.

To top it all off, they also contribute to the community by donating a portion of restaurant profits to homeless families and children in the area.

Plantation Tavern visitors can check out the Kapolei hotspot Tuesday-Sunday for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., dinner from 5 to 11:30 p.m. (last call) and two happy hours at 3-5 p.m. and 10-11 p.m. Plus, local musicians play live every Friday 8:30-10:30 p.m.

Bravo to avo!

A colorful medley of toppings pile high on this fun dish, such as vibrant chunks of avocado and bits of green onion, Ewa sweet onions, Kamuela tomatoes and locally sourced ogo.

Crisp and golden

House-fried wonton triangles grant a big crunch and act as a great vessel for the counter textures of the fish and avocado.

Say ‘yes’ to dress

Unagi sauce and spicy Sriracha aioli dressing add alluring flavor to this stacked dish providing a nice balance of sweet, savory and spicy.

A nod to Norm

A good friend of owner and chef, Adam Gilbert, named — you guessed it — uncle Norm, created this concoction and gave the recipe to Gilbert to use at Plantation Tavern, who then added it to the menu after a few tweaks of his own.

A fresh catch

The nachos can be prepared with shoyu or spicy ahi poke, or even shredded kalua pig if diners are not craving seafood. The ahi is sourced fresh daily from Honolulu Fish Auction.

Kapolei, HI 96707

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best