Restaurant Recommendations

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Gertrude's Jazz Bar (Kailua-Kona) * * * *   Posted by on Monday, 21 November 2016, at 1:01 p.m.

Gertrude's is the night club that Kona has been waiting for! The new owners have put a lot of style and hard work into transforming an old venue on Ali'i into a pretty swanky European style jazz bar (above the Scandinavian Shave Ice -- enter on Ali'i up the piano-painted stairs). The decor is gorgeous, with lots of big mirrors reflecting the sweet ocean view. Service is friendly, and the tapas are delicious and unusual.

On Saturday night the excellent swing jazz band Casablanca was playing, the place was packed, dancers were enjoying the dance floor and we had a terrific time. We went early -- between 5 and 6:00 there's a happy hour with $2 off everything on the menu -- so we saved $14 on our 5 tapas and 2 drinks. There's a $5 cover charge for the music, which was played through a first-rate sound system complete with stage lighting.

Gertrude's is also a great place for a special occasion and deserves five stars, but I don't want to make it seem too expensive. Their website lists the music calendar (also art events), but no menu is posted yet. Most small plates are around $8-9. We drank a Stella Artois for $6 and a winsome little bottle of prosecco for $8. Mixed drinks are a bit more, in line with the other venues on Ali'i.

The crowd was varied and enthusiastic, and the sound level in the room was just right -- a happy buzz of voices and the music listenable but not too loud. Love it!

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