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One of the best hotel restaurants on Kauai, this is also one of the smallest and hardest to find, tucked inside the discreetly located Koa Kea Hotel & Resort. Although rivals offer more dramatic ocean views in plusher settings, Red Salt has consistently executed elegantly presented dishes from a menu first designed by El Bulli–trained chef Ronnie Sanchez in 2009 and expanded by later chefs. The latest is Kauai native Noelani Planas, who trained under Joel Robuchon and Wolfgang Puck, among others. She serves seared mahimahi with forbidden black rice (as the nutritious grain is known) flavored with Madagascar vanilla bean, while her Kona lobster gnocchi benefits from charred leeks and cremini mushrooms. The latter is on Planas’ four-course tasting menu ($79). On most nights the adjacent lounge serves exquisite sashimi and sushi, along with small plates such as kalua pork potstickers and crabcakes. Red Salt is also open for breakfast; the house specialty, lemon-souffle pancakes, take 20 minutes, but are worth the wait, and possibly the cost ($22).