Chad and Lisa Webb want to bring the “Aloha Spirit” to Cupertino. Never an easy feat. But for those unfamiliar with the highly touted Hawaiian fast-casual dining chain, which got its start in Maui, Coconut’s Fish Cafe is one of those rare restaurants that receive rave reviews from tourists and islanders alike.

The interior décor of Coconut’s instantly welcomes guests with island-theme bamboo accents, custom surfboard tables and TVs showing island scenes while Hawaiian music plays gently in the background. The restaurant also strives to keep our oceans healthy, and Lisa assured me that all their fish are sustainably sourced, line-caught and flown in daily.

For starters, the Coconut Shrimp ($9.99) sounded like a winner. All of us also decided to order up Coconut’s famous grilled Fish Tacos ($11.99), which Zagat has dubbed the “perfect taco.” A nice on-tap craft beer selection includes Maui Brewing Co. The Coconut Porter ($6.49) sounded enticing.

The shrimp came out fried hot and fresh, and the Thai chili-pineapple sauce served up a terrific blend of sweet and heat. The fish tacos come out only two to an order, but they’re stacked to the max with 17 ingredients in seven layers. A helpful employee suggested we eat them with a fork—or chopsticks—to dissect them and get a taste of all the fresh ingredients. It also helped to stop us from making a complete mess.

The first entree I tried was the combo Mahi Mahi and Ono (a.k.a. Wahoo). It was firm, fresh and juicy, and combined well with the coconut milk coleslaw and fresh mango chunks. Once I’d picked the taco down to a manageable size, I went in for an all-encompassing chomp. As all the ingredients crossed my palate, my taste buds hula danced. It’s hard to believe something so delicious can be semi-healthy.

As for the porter, the brew was bold, smooth and had a toasted coconut finish that paired splendidly with the tacos and shrimp.

“Aloha” has two popular meanings: hello and goodbye. But at Coconut’s Cupertino, customers are saying hello to fresh flavor and goodbye to processed food. “Aloha” can also mean love, and that’s just one of the feelings one can expect after a few bites.

Coconut’s Fish Cafe
20010 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino.