I’d describe the ambiance as late industrial. Stark concrete floors showing just a hint of gloss and incredibly tall ceiling heights left me feeling that I over-dressed for the occasion. The decor was largely gray painted metal racks, set off by accents of red against a white backdrop. The lighting was, as you’d expect, quite spectacular, with huge circular fixtures mounted a good 50 feet off the floor. In fact it was so well lit, I was hard pressed to find a single shadow anywhere.
I’m talking about Costco in Kahului. If you’ve never dined at this exclusive establishment, you’ve missed a real treat.
Probably the biggest feature that sets this dining experience apart from other mere restaurants is the fact that all your cuisine choices are already decided for you. Even the number of courses you’ll encounter during your meal is a surprise, though the price always remains the same. Also rare among eateries, here customers are actually encouraged to eat while walking around the place—preferably towards the next course of fare. Sitting and eating is strongly discouraged.
My most recent trip began with what turned out to be an exotic peanut butter, made in a Vita Mix 5000. This imported engineering wonder is so technologically evolved that the chef made a presentation while concocting the butter. He even had a microphone headset and a cute assistant. It was like enjoying a magic show along with my food.
Sparking apple cider was the first beverage offered for my dining pleasure. I found the slight tartness to be a delightful offset to the rich and sweet textures of the peanut butter. Of course, this was no ordinary cider—the bottle was a luxurious transparent green, sealed with a cork top. Despite the initial tartness, the cider had a pleasant finish with tones of both Delicious Red and Fugi apples.
My next appetizer turned out to be a buttery cracker delicately topped with a small slice of Kraft American Cheese. Kraft’s American variety borders on a Velveta-esque consistency, yet somehow remains a solid cheese. It’s typically served on burgers and in trailer parks across the nation.
I was pleased to see yet one more appetizer provided with my meal, and it was by far my favorite. It’s really quite simple, too: you start with canned, chopped clams, add them to a rye cracker and then pour on both Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce. It was delicious, though anything including both Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces is delicious by default.
By the time it came time for an entree, I was beginning to run out of room. But the offering of Teriyaki Meatballs was too much to pass by, and it proved an excellent choice.
Dessert was Land-O-Lakes whipped cream. I found it to be the best pressurized fat and sugar mixture I ever had. The whipped cream came atop pumpkin pie, which was an excellent platform.
But then, rounding one aisle, I realized that this day was a double dessert day. I barely had any room left in my stomach, but I could not refuse the gourmet cookies made by the world-renowned Kirkland Corp.
It was truly my lucky day. MTW