Island of Calm

Kona's tasty happy hour won't break the bank

The crust on my Kona pizza is a sweet cracker-crisp layer under a topping of peppery cheeses and red quarter-size andouille sausage slices. The crust builds to a thick, bready rope all the way around. Both pizzas are too much for one, and after one slice each--Who am I kidding? We eat up half of both--we wave Beth down and ask for takeout containers. She thinks we're done and starts to pull out the check. Oh, no. We're not nearly finished. We are brokenhearted gals on the verge of dyspepsia, and we need more of...something.

Beth whips out the dessert menu. Her tip and my esteem for Kona's waitstaff training go up immediately. S. orders turtle cheesecake. I opt for Key lime tart.

The rain's just starting to turn from downpour to drizzle when a couple of chefs wearing uniforms from one of NorthPark's cafés stop in for beers. They bookend a woman sitting at the end of the bar. She's wearing a T-shirt that stretches the word "Juicy" across parts that turn it from a promise into a threat. From across the room the woman looks like she might have some class. Up close she looks like she's made up to be seen from across the room.

Forget the food court: Kona Grill's macadamia chicken beats a greasy pretzel any day.
Tom Jenkins
Forget the food court: Kona Grill's macadamia chicken beats a greasy pretzel any day.

Location Info


Kona Grill

8687 N. Central Expressway
Dallas, TX 75225

Category: Restaurant > Asian Fusion

Region: Park Cities


Happy hour:

Kona calamari $3.48

Sweet Maui onion rings $2.48

California roll $2.75

Kona pizza $4.48

Key lime pie $5.50

Regular menu:

Baked Sea bass $21.95

Small filet mignon $23.95

Kona tacos appetizer $8.25

I watch the chefs sandwich their juicy conquest. S. has stopped talking and is enjoying her cheesecake, forking methodically from the tip of the creamy triangle back to the bumper of nutty crust. I ask for a bite, and she gives me a look like I've asked to borrow rent money. My Key lime tart is all mine, and it's divine. Every bite bites back with a sweet green smack of the tropics. Neither of us leaves enough dessert for a take-home box.

We've been here for two happy hours. A few more patrons have wandered into the bar area and the roomy mahogany booths in the main dining room are starting to attract some interest from shoppers wagging bags full of purchases from stores on this new side of the mall.

We pay the check--all those drinks and eats, some of which we're toting home, and the total's under half a C-note--not forgetting to honor the obliging Beth. As we gather umbrellas and handbags, the bartender cranks up the windows, opening the wall between bar and patio. The rain has stopped and on the breeze is a hint of wet pavement and broken promises.

On the way out I hear the Dewar's guy tell the bartender, "I'm an occasional drinker." Sure you are, buddy. The kind who goes out for a beer and wakes up in Budapest with a full beard and an empty wallet. 8687 N. Central Expressway in NorthPark Center between Macy's and Nordstrom. Open 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Friday-Saturday. The bar is open till midnight Monday-Thursday and until 1 a.m. Friday-Saturday. 214-369-7600. $$$

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