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  • Cactus

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Cactus Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.cactusbistro.com/
  • Phone: (808) 261-1000
  • Hours of Operation:

    Breakfast: Saturday & Sunday 10:00am-2:00pm
    Lunch: Daily 11:00am-3:30pm
    Happy Hour: Daily 3:30pm-5:30pm
    Dinner: Daily 5:00pm-9:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Latin American
  • Executive Chef: John Memering
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Hamakua Drive
  • Public Transit: Bus 57
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Reserved stalls are available after 6pm for CACTUS guest parking.
A word from Cactus
Cactus is "a celebration of the cuisines of the new Americas with Aloha," transporting the flavors, culinary traditions and techniques from Central and South America as well as Cuba, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Offering the cuisines of the sun, land and sea, Cactus menu selections focuses on:

* Local produce from the islands
* Shinsato Farms pork from Kahalu"u
* Kulana and Kuahiwi beef, veal, wild boar from the Big Island
* Sustainably caught or farmed seafood from the island chain

Drop-in or reserve a table in our casual, lively environment with warm, engaging, professional service.

Upcoming Events:

*On Thursday, February 27th, we have joined forces with Oahu Fresh for our next Farmer's Dinner.
*We are now offering Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 2pm.

Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
Diner Reviews
  • "service was very good, we shared a number of the dishes. never been disappointed."
    Dined on 8/17/2014
  • "We enjoyed our dinner at the Cactus. We were surprised to find it in a kind of strip-mall setting. We felt like we were at a chain restaurant but the artistry of the food and the service quickly changed our impression. The chef is an artist...each presentation was original and creative. The combination of flavors and manner of preparation was excellent. We split the seared Ahi with quinoa - wow, I didn't want it to end. Others had various dishes, the big belly was disappointing but the clam bake was well received. The portions turned out to be a bit small for the price but overall we would recommend it."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "Sat immediately for our reservation as the restaurant was pretty open. There is a happy hour, but they didn't offer it unless you are sitting in the bar area. Sort of odd since the restaurant wasn't busy in either the bar or the dining area. You would think they would offer it regardless of seating. Server was very good at her job and knowledgeable. She was going the extra mile to please a table next to ours that was a little difficult. Food was all delicious. From ceviche and croquettes to steak tacos and enchilada...everything was spot on for flavors. They source a lot of local ingredients, which is a plus. Good beverage selections. The place is spotless also, which shows they are great at cleaning. Recommended."
    Dined on 7/31/2014
  • "Road construction obstructed the restaurant and made it hard to find on a very hot day, which made me grumpy. We had attentive service, but since it was nearly empty I don't know if that's standard. The food was fresh and was appetizingly presented but a little bland. Tortilla chips were freshly made and wonderful. The chef was flexible to requests."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "There were 3 in our party & I brought my guests because I was here once before & was so impressed with both the food & service. Once again, I was not disappointed & neither were my guests. Food was flavorful & portions were exactly what they should be. Our server was friendly and helpful & recommended dishes that we tried and absolutely loved. She made our dining experience a memorable one, making us feel like she really cared about our needs. Definitely going back! We had the Kulana steak, chicken risotto & the grass fed steak (forgot the name), and enjoyed every last bite of it! I have to keep going back to sample everything on their menu!"
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "went there for lunch-good flavors, good food and large portions."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "We've been hunting for a restaurant that uses organic&local ingredients, & prepares food well.Cactus fits the bill,& they have more than one veg option!The risotto w/goat cheese mousse was divine. My BF raved about grass fed Top Sirloin. It was quiet Mon. night with 1/2 the tables empty, but when we asked the server to hold off 10-15 mins before bringing dessert,she said "well ok, but there is a big reservation coming in." Hmmm!? Maybe she had a smaller section & wanted to turn tables more?Who knows,no large party showed up within the 20 mins it took us to finish,nor did the other tables get filled.We let that go (a fluke?),but we'll be mindful next time that this isn't a place to linger or have a leisurely meal."
    Dined on 6/30/2014
  • "We had a party of six for lunch, all enjoyed their meals. Waiter was entertaining along with the ability to articulate the menu options. Both improved the quality of our time together. I have already started to recommend your place to my friends."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "Thank you so much for treating us so amazingly! We had a group of 8 ladies, and you were very attentive, and went out of your way to make us feel special. Kristi - you are AWESOME! Will definitely come back again!!"
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "Love the food at Cactus. Our waiter suggested Huevos ranchero and Nacho libre and both were awesome. If I had to suggest one over the other it would be the nacho libre ... It was amazing! Wish I had a plate of it right now. Also, highly recommend the Michelada drink. It was delicious and love the spiciness of the tomato juice. A real winner. It wasn't very busy but we were their early. Hope they continue the brunch as great food and drink menu."
    Dined on 6/8/2014
  • "Excellent food, price good considering the excellent quality of the food. Waiters a little too chummy for my taste, do not appreciate being asked " how is everything" multiple times."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "Great service. Enjoyed the different flavors paired with the fresh local products. Had a hard time choosing what to order, but the four dishes (for 4 people) were all great. Will definitely return!"
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "Thanks again for a fantastic dining experience! The specials were all wonderfully delicious...thanks to Thomas, Eli and the kitchen crew. Our celebration of our son's birthday was capped off by a great birthday cake presentation...Thanks Kristin! Overall, another great experience."
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "Delicious food that you can't get anywhere else. Friendly service, interesting drinks. Don't miss the frozen Sangria. They are famous for it, and it lives up to the hype."
    Dined on 5/27/2014
  • "Ever walk into a restaurant and not feel welcomed. Like they really didn't want you there and they really wished you didn't come so they wouldn't have to feign their smiles and say their insincere welcomes. The restaurant wasn't crowded but it took a while before our waitress showed up. The other staff didn't smile, didn't acknowledge our presence or thank us on our way out. Food was ok. Kind of pricey for what you get. Nothing special. Won't go back again. "
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "Overall fair experience. I dined there once before for lunch, this time I went for dinner. My reservation was at 7pm and it was a little busy when we arrived. It took about 15 minutes to get a table. Service wasn't bad, everyone was really busy at the peak time but instead of ignoring us, they were consistently apologetic about the wait time for food and drinks, and they still stopped by to check to see if we were okay which I appreciated. Drinks took longer than food, I think they just needed more hands on deck, behind the bar and I think an extra server would have helped."
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "Cactus has always been a wonderful experience. John, Kristen and the rest of the staff are great. The menu has a wonderful variety featuring local products. With a drink selection to match the food perfectly. If you are anywhere near don't miss Cactus!"
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "The reason I gave it 4 stars is because the waitress sold us 3 taco plates and had to come back to say there were only 2 left. No big deal but it is a very popular dish on the menu. They should have been prepared. Also, last time I was there, the fryer was broken so no French fries or croquettes OR fish tacos. You can't help it if your fryer isn't working but I REALLY wanted those croquettes. However, I had made a reservation for 10 and showed up with only 6 and they didn't bat an eye. The service was great from our waitress and we loved the meal. Every one of us loved the meal. I highly recommend this restaurant and try to eat here often."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "This was our second trip to Cactus, and once again it didn't disappoint. Great food, great drinks, and great service. The only reason I didn't give all 5 stars was because even with a sweatshirt, I was freezing. But besides the temp, absolutely one of our favorite restaurants on the island."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "A very tasty menu with a latin/mexican flavor. Good service and food overall."
    Dined on 3/3/2014
  • "Read some reviews and studied the menu prior to our visit. The menu sounded really interesting and good but I wasn't too impressed with the tastes. Guess I was anticipating too much. But the wine and the prickly pear margaritas were very good. The entire staff was very nice."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "Every President's Day, my high school friends and I meet for lunch. This is the first time we chose a new place (versus our regular place). It was a really nice change and everyone enjoyed it. The food was interesting, in a really good way. The service was great. I think they have the best chips. But the one thing you have to try is the fried bread! So good!! No one was disappointed and everyone liked what they ordered."
    Dined on 2/17/2014
  • "From the moment we sat down, we had a perfect experience with our lunch on a rainy day. The wine by the glass was a nice pour and reasonably priced. The croquettes appetizer was amazing, and our entrees were crazy delicious! Our server was knowledgeable and fun. The menu and flavors are inspired dishes taken from all over the Carribean, Central and South America, and are creative and unique. Our only suggestion is that they add a tag line to their name. Cactus implies Mexican or Southwest cuisine, and while we were delighted with the menu and the food, others would be disappointed not to get Tacos and Enchiladas. I suggest a tag line to the name, like:" Latin American/Carribean Fusion" - dont miss this treat for your tastebuds!"
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "We enjoyed taking a good friend to Cactus for her first visit. I love the on-line reservation option. The food, as usual, is exotic and excellent. Of course, from a Cactus point of view, we thoroughly enjoy your service staff. They know the menu and are excited about explaining and recommending,its not put on but very real. A Delightful Experience."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "Great pupus and everything we tasted was freshly prepared and ono"
    Dined on 1/26/2014
  • "Cactus has quite a unique menu, especially for Hawai'i. I enjoy the various Latin American influences on the food, wine and cocktails. I hope that the restaurant can grow (as their space at the bar and for dining are a bit small, especially for weekend crowds), WITHOUT losing its more intimate, family restaurant feel. I look forward to going back again."
    Dined on 1/20/2014
  • "Overpriced, bland food. Hostess/server kept giving me judgemental looks every time I requested something."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "So glad Cactus finally took the Open Table plunge the last few months ... menu continues to impress us, and definitely enjoy their meat and fish dishes the most! Drink creations are also great!"
    Dined on 1/4/2014
  • "We've eaten at cactus several times in the last 6 months and the food is getting progressively worse ."
    Dined on 1/4/2014
  • "Worst food ever. Strange flavors and hopeless combination of flavors. Big party 'tax' but not mentioned at reservation nor arrival."
    Dined on 1/2/2014
  • "It was my first time here. I'd only past the restaurant in driving home from Whole Foods. We started with the special seafood ceviche which was amazing. Added chips and salsa with guacamole. It was good but I would have been happier with a little less salt on the chips and although the guacamole was very good, the sauces that came with the chips would have been enough as they were delicious. We had the special seared ahi on saffron rice entree, absolutely cooked to perfection. For dessert, the flan was just right. I will definitely return. My only complaint was a couple, load and obnoxious, at the table next to ours which made it very difficult to enjoy my dining companion."
    Dined on 1/1/2014
  • "Overall, the experience was very good, but the person serving you makes the difference--it can make or break the experience. In our case, it broke it:( The female server was very "plastic" and not very helpful. She didn't really try to explain what the various dishes were. Explanations were very general. When I brought to her attention that a Cactus shaped cookie in our dessert was burnt, she quickly replied, "No, it's the green spray on it. It's not burnt!" I looked at her and said "It tastes burnt. It is not the green spray." She gave me a look and so did i. She walked away and then came back with an insincere smile, "Oh, is this one better?" Will not go back. She probably realized that her attitude might affect her tip..."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "Been meaning to stop into this place fir more than a year. Why did I wait so long? Food was South American unique, service perfect, and cocktails beyond compare. Don't put of a visit to this neighborhood watering hole!"
    Dined on 12/23/2013
  • "The atmosphere was café like and didn't seem to match the ridiculously good quality of the food. I actually like that. The food was perfectly seasoned and they have a great selection for carnivores. Really a very enjoyable and low key dining experience."
    Dined on 12/15/2013
  • "Chef Memering has brought South of the Border adaptations to Hawaii. He has incorporated local farm-to-table ingredients into Latin and South American dishes. An example is the "Ahogada" sandwich that is tender and moist-braised shredded local pork "drowned" in a black bean sauce then sandwiched between a ciabatta -like roll then presented in a spicy thick broth/sauce. The flavors melded well, the bread roll sopped up the sauce but still remained whole enough to pick up the sandwich without using fork & knife. Service(host to wait help) was friendly, personable, patient and efficient. The restaurant, itself, was light, open and airy which seemed to beacon a welcoming, casual and comforting vibe."
    Dined on 12/13/2013
  • "Unusual menu, Latin/Hawaiian fusion. The dishes we had worked well; the combos won't appeal to anyone expecting standard US Mexican food. Good preparation and spicing, plenty of thought put into the dishes we had. Good drinks, very friendly staff."
    Dined on 12/7/2013
  • "LOVE this place! Everything has been fantastic, and the most interesting menu on the windward side. The only hard thing is trying to decide WHAT to order--I want it all! Great food, great service, LARGE portions, and very reasonable prices--love it!"
    Dined on 11/30/2013
  • "This was our 5th experience and as always it was great. Our favorite is always the bread and we look forward to the specials. It was a great experience, there were a few celeberties in the house and added to the excitement. We live in Pearl City and the trek over H-3 is well worth the drive."
    Dined on 11/22/2013
  • "We decided to give Cactus a try & we were so happy with our food. The mixto special was tasty although the boar chop was tough. I really loved my short rib dish & the cilantro risotto we shared. The banana coyota was a great dessert. I can't wait to come back & try the guacamole. Everyone else was having it & I feel we really missed the boat on that. I want to try the duck carnitas next time too!"
    Dined on 11/16/2013
  • "Very impressed with the level of service we received during our meal the other night. Always knew the Chef was on top of his game. Will certainly return and recommend to our friends. Well done and good luck... Aloha, Thomasclan"
    Dined on 11/15/2013