A FAMILY LEGACY
The Nakagawa family has operated this Hawaii Island landmark
since the 1920s. It’s a living tribute to a family business tradition
that has kept pace with changing trends and times. The original
Seaside Club served only two items: mullet and chicken.
The 1946 tsunami destroyed the first restaurant; the Nakagawas
rebuilt it, and it now seats 175 diners in three separate rooms
overlooking the ponds.
The Pacific Rim menu and the decor, paired with the setting (on a 30-acre natural, brackish fishpond called Lokowaka) makes this one of the most interesting places to eat in Hilo. Islanders and visitors travel great distances for the fried aholehole (young Hawaiian flagtail), and mullet raised at the aqua farm. Other great dishes from the sea include furikake salmon, miso butterfish, and macadamia nut–crusted mahimahi, but the menu includes plenty for landlubbers, too, like prime rib, chicken, and salads. Arrive before sunset and request a table by the window for a view of egrets roosting around the fishpond.
The restaurant has been voted as Best of East Hawaii – Best Seafood for 15 years in a row, and are an 8-time winner of the Hale Aina Award for Restaurant of Distinction.
Lokowaka: Lokowaka is owed to a legend about the giant lizard woman Waka, who dove into the pond to escape the wrath of Pele after angering her. She became the guardian of the fishpond and the water there was named for her. Lokowaka is the largest of the fourteen fishponds that stretch across the shores of Waiākea and Keaukaha and is famous for the mullet that grow there.