Always from scratch
Known for its large happy hour following and popular sushi bar, Kona Grill in Village Pointe has even more to offer than many may realize. Considered a polished casual American restaurant, its diverse menu features long-time favorite entrees such as its famous Macadamia Nut Chicken, as well as a quarterly promotional menu with new items developed by chefs from its 27 restaurants around the country.
Kona recently celebrated its 10th anniversary in Omaha, and while the restaurant’s layout hasn’t changed over the years, all other aspects have evolved. “We have something for everyone,” said General Manager Chris Congdon. “From our elegant dining room to the full bar, sushi bar, patio, and private dining room that seats more than 30 guests.”
What began as an outdoor bar with a garage-style door, the year-round patio is now heated and air conditioned and is a hot spot for Kona’s happy hour, which is offered twice a day and all day Sunday. In addition to mixed drink specials, margaritas, and three types of sake sangria, the happy hour menu includes appetizers and small plates such as avocado egg rolls, smoked gouda fondue served with apples and baked pretzel bites, five types of flatbreads, and eleven sushi rolls. “Husker Happy Hour” is also available during every Husker football game, and guests can enter a free raffle every time they attend for a chance to win a 50-inch Samsung TV at the end of the season.
“A lot of people think of us as a sushi restaurant, but we’re far from that,” Congdon said. “We have everything—salads, steaks, burgers, pasta, sandwiches, and seafood.” In fact, fresh fish selections are flown in five times a week. Kona also offers a gluten free menu, a vegan menu, and a special kid’s menu “bento box” style. It offers nine entrees from grilled cheese to grilled salmon and two sides such as French fries, fried rice, or edamame. It also comes with an orange shaped into a bear, courtesy of the sushi chefs.
One unique aspect about Kona you don’t find with many corporate restaurants is that every single item is made from scratch—there are no frozen company products brought in, which is a big appeal for Executive Chef Jose Aviles. “Kona takes pride in everything they do from scratch,” he said. “I have always worked in scratch kitchens, and I like the fact they encourage their chefs to come up with, and submit, their own ideas.”
Aviles said many customers don’t realize they can order from the full menu at anytime, anywhere in the restaurant, whether in the patio or the dining room. He recommended the Hawaiian ribeye, served with parmesan garlic mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables, and the sea bass, which is served with fried rice and ratatouille. “And our sushi chefs can make just about anything requested,” he added.
Other special offers include custom menus for business or private family functions, catering and delivery for weddings, “Wine Down Wednesdays” with half price bottles of wine all day, and “Perfect Pairings” lunch on weekdays. Black Friday also kicks off the restaurant’s gift card promotion, which is buy any amount gift card and get a second gift card for half price. After that if you buy a $100 gift card you get a free $20 bonus gift card, through the end of the year. There is also the “Konavore” email based loyalty program, which includes coupons and special offers by joining for free on the Kona Grill web site.
And if you’re traveling to other states where there’s a Kona Grill, Aviles guarantees you’ll find the same quality and fresh from scratch taste. “Every location stays true to that concept,” he said. “No matter where you go, the food is just as good.”
295 N 170th St.