An award-winning chef and restaurateur, Paula Rungsawang-Coult together with husband Kirk Coult have two popular restaurants in Po‘ipū, Bangkok Happy Bowl Thai Bistro & Bar and Poipu Rock N Roll Sushi.
The menu at Bangkok Happy Bowl reads like a family recipe book as Paula has created her own dishes along with adding personal flair to family recipes passed from generation to generation. What’s more, the couple returns to Thailand each year to find new inspiration.
“We immerse ourselves in the latest foods in Thailand,” says Kirk. “And Paula always comes back with new ideas, new dishes to add to the menu.” Paula also grew up in Bangkok and has lots of family to reconnect with.
Before opening any restaurant, Kirk and Paula always research the community to see what they can bring to the table. “We look for two things,” explains Kirk. “We look for a place that doesn’t already have what we have to offer, and we look for a place we’d really love to be a part of the community. And Kaua‘i fit the bill for us both ways. We really love it.”
They also love and appreciate the support from local residents who visit on an ongoing basis, making the restaurant a part of their lives. And when they hear visitors say Bangkok Happy Bowl was one of the highlights of their vacation, nothing beats it.
“We made the decision that we wanted the restaurant to be experiential for our customers,” adds Kirk. “Not only do they get delicious fresh food through Paula’s recipes and our experienced sushi chefs, they get the full experience.” The “full experience” means a welcoming staff, friendly service, an immersive atmosphere and flavorful dishes, as well as live island musicians performing nightly, hula, open mic night and even an occasional taiko drum performance.
And what are Kirk’s favorites? “I love our sushi boats. You can pick the one that has exactly what you want on it, and taste multiple roll flavorings and sashimi. And I love the Pad Thai—pineapple curry is my favorite.” The Hawaiian Pineapple Curry with Shrimp and Coco Salmon happen to be two of their signature dishes. There are also 50 vegetarian selections and vegan options.
Oh, and bring the keiki to select their favorites from the kids’ menu!
Enjoy a full bar with Thai-influenced specialty cocktails and local and international draft beer selections. Happy Hour is 4-6 p.m. daily. Enjoy live island music seven nights per week, 6:30-9 p.m. and open mic Tues. 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Enjoy Classic Rock Night and Trivia Wed. 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.; Karaoke Night Thurs. and Sat. 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.; Surf Night Fri. 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.; Free Hula Show Tues., Thur. and Sun evenings. Dine in or take-out available.