Merriman's Fish House
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Merriman's Fish House Restaurant Review: Peter Merriman gave his name to this two-story restaurant, where executive chef Mark Arriola is in the kitchen. Upstairs, the dinner menu offers just two meat entrées, including garlic-and-rosemary-rubbed lamb chops, while among well-prepared fish dishes are a flaky ono filet crusted in buttery sesame seeds brought to life with a sweet-tangy lilikoi sauce, and chili pepper scampi, their spicy heat softened with a side of polenta. The medley of fish --- scallop, shrimp and clams swimming in a delectably light yet rich ginger coconut broth --- is especially noteworthy. Raw ono is successfully paired with coconut and jalapeño for a cool, spicy poke, and fresh ahi is served with a traditional kukui nut relish. The downstairs café is less pricey and offers lunch, dinner and pleasant outdoor dining. Grilled mahi mahi tacos are updated with napa cabbage and a cilantro lime crème sauce, and ahi poke is wrapped in a crispy wonton and drizzled with a plate-mopping wasabi aïoli. Pizza topped with kalua pig, pineapple and a basil-macadamia nut pesto puts a favorable new face on an old favorite. A full bar, specialty cocktails using Kauai rum, and a respectable wine list provide libations. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free menu items are also available.