Pau Hana Patrol | TGIF Tavern’s range of menu choices evokes plantation cuisines Sept. 23, 2015 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COMPlantation Tavern’s lumpia is $5 and bok choy tossed with garlic and shoyu is $4 during happy hour. Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. A mishmash of ethnic dishes, including Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Portuguese, Okinawan and Korean fare, make up the menu at Plantation Tavern. Adam Gilbert, the establishment’s owner and chef, refers to the menu as "plantation cultural cuisine." Almost everything at the tavern is family style or ala carte, and follows a farm-to-table concept. The experience This clean, cozy gem is tucked away in the back of the shopping center. It’s definitely a hangout for local folks with its laid-back vibe, and offers an inviting atmosphere. It’s a light and airy establishment, decorated in cream and brown tones, with an attractive curved ceiling and hanging lights, and has an updated modern flair. The wall above the tables serves as a gallery that features plantation-life art. Plantation Tavern Kapolei Marketplace, 590 Farrington Highway www.plantationtavern.com Happy hour: 3-5 p.m. and 10-11 p.m. daily; closed Mondays >> $2 off signature cocktails, selected wines >> $5 well cocktails >> $4 Heineken light >> $2 off poke nachos (market price) >> $5 Spam fries >> $7 garlic chicken >> $5 lumpia >> $10 poke bowl One-Year Anniversary Celebration: 5 p.m.-midnight Oct. 2 6-8 p.m.: Hawaiian music with a roaming hula dancer 9-11 p.m.: live music There’s a small seating area outside, but most of the tables are lined against a wall across from the bar. We visited on a Friday and it was quiet at first, but became busy as the afternoon went on. Our server was friendly and we didn’t wait too long for our order. The drinks The Spiked Plantation ($8 during happy hour), one of the signature cocktails made with Malibu rum, amaretto, pineapple juice, lemonade and a dark rum float, was tasty. My companion enjoyed a refreshing ginger passion mojito ($10) with Old Lahaina silver rum, ginger syrup, passion fruit puree, house-made sweet ‘n sour, fresh mint and club soda. These signature cocktails are $2 off during happy hour. Well cocktails are $5, and that’s an attractive offer. During happy hour, the restaurant also knocks $2 off a handful of selected wines. The food Since the produce and meats used in dishes are locally raised and grown, everything tastes fresh. The happy hour menu includes typical fare like edamame and garlic chicken, and more unique choices like Spam fries and poke nachos. Just when I thought Spam couldn’t get unhealthier, I was introduced to the tavern’s Spam fries: slices of Spam battered in panko, deep fried and served with banana ketchup. (I admit it, I liked them!) We also enjoyed the garlic bok choy ($4), tossed with garlic and shoyu. A chopped rib-eye steak was topped with sauteed Ewa sweet onions and mushrooms. It was more expensive at $20 and our least-favorite item; it just wasn’t that tasty. My companion really savored the poke nachos, said to be a best-seller. Fresh ahi poke is served over fried wonton chips and topped with chunks of avocado and Kamuela tomatoes, then drizzled with Sriracha aioli and unagi sauce. You can choose spicy or shoyu poke. When we visited, the happy hour price was $14, but the price changes daily based on market value. During the afternoon happy hour, items on the regular menu are not available since they are prepping for the dinner crowd. So if you want to get items like bagoong fried rice ($7), blue crabcakes ($16) or a Mililani-raised kalua pig plate ($10), visit toward the end of happy hour so you can order off the dinner menu. Gilbert says that menu was designed for the west-side community, offering various ethnic fare, with food served until midnight. And although it’s not on the happy hour menu, we ordered a Big Island cacao brownie with vanilla gelato and chocolate sauce for $7. It was worth it. For those with dietary concerns, symbols are used for all menu items to indicate that they are vegetarian or vegan and gluten free. The verdict Plantation Tavern is a great spot to check out if you’re in the area. And if you can’t make it to the afternoon happy hour, there’s a late-night option. The food is fresh and tasty, and the atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable. The signature drinks, although a little more pricey, are refreshing. Previous Story Do it! Reel Rock Film Tour, 'The Butterfly' Next Story Movies: 'The Intern,' 'Hotel Transylvania 2'