EAT This Week: Kalani’s Sampler

To try and decide each week where and what to eat around the basin can be a challenge — there are so many amazing choices. In this feature we’ll dive into dishes that will surely satisfy those hunger pangs and leave you wondering where to go next.

Kalani’s Sampler plate is the featured EAT This Week.

Any time I see a sampler on the menu I get excited. I’m always one that is looking for the next best bite or drink, so the more opportunities in this quest, the merrier. I get especially excited when every sampler bite makes me wish I had a full order of each, which is the case for this week’s dish. Let’s start with the crab cakes.

The crab cake gives you exactly what you want if you’re looking for traditional — crusty outside with a soft, yet textured inside. The Dungeness crab is meaty and sweet with a little bit of zip and it nearly melts with each and every bite. They’re served over a caper remoulade, which adds just the right amount of salty, creamy and brininess. I may have inhaled the first one in a single bite — don’t tell anyone.

Next in line are the coconut shrimp. If you’ve never had this sweet and salty mash up, then I must tell you what you’re missing. The crusty exterior doesn’t go over the top with coconut – just enough to provide a sweet, crispy texture that plunges into the juicy shrimp. The Thai chili aioli it is served over, provides the balance in the Force of sweet and heat and rounds out the rest of the gang with a creamy pop.

Riding in the caboose are the baby back ribs. The marinated meat has that gruff exterior of a slight char on the outside, but an ever so tender inside that sheds its rib the first chance it gets. They are drenched in a sauce that is equal parts sweet and sticky and like all true ribs do, has no problem leaving some shrapnel around the mouth for the ever so important flavor savors.

Whether it’s date night or cocktails, or both, this trio hits all the high notes for a great start to the night. And if you end up saying you wish you had more, don’t say I didn’t warn you. Two appetizers constitute a full meal, right?

Kalani’s is located at 1001 Heavenly Village Way, Ste. 26 in South Lake Tahoe. Visit them online at for a complete menu and information or call ahead for reservations at 530-544-6100.

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