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  • Ka 'Ikena Restaurant at Kapiolani Community College

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Ka 'Ikena Restaurant at Kapiolani Community College
Ka 'Ikena Restaurant at Kapiolani Community College

Ka 'Ikena Restaurant at Kapiolani Community College Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://culinary.kcc.hawaii.edu
  • Phone: (808) 734-9499
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Tuesday - Friday: 11:00am - 1:30pm; Dinner: Tuesday - Friday: 5:30pm - 6:00pm when classes are in session. Check out our website for available dates.
  • Payment Options: MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American, Hawaiian
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, BYO Liquor, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 18th Avenue
  • Public Transit: East from Waikiki toward Diamond Head, board Bus #22 and stop at the KCC campus on Diamond Head Road.

    East from downtown Honolulu toward Koko Head, board bus #3 and stop at the KCC campus on Makapuu Avenue.

    West from Hawaii Kai toward downtown Honolulu, board bus #58 and stop at the KCC campus on Diamond Head Road.
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Dinner patrons have unrestricted use of the entire campus parking facility of over 1,000 parking spaces

    Lunch patrons have 10 reserved diagonal parking spaces next to the Ohia Building on a first come basis.
A word from Ka 'Ikena Restaurant at Kapiolani Community College
The majestic "Million Dollar" ocean view from The Ka Ikena Restaurant of the Culinary Institute of the Pacific is surpassed only by the gourmet delights found on its menus. The Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Kapi`olani Community College has produced many of Hawaii’s top chefs who have become world famous for their ability to blend classical Western cuisines with the unique ingredients and flavors of Asia and the Pacific.

Lunch and Dinner are produced and served by students enrolled in its culinary and pastry arts program, .

Named in honor of Queen Kapi`olani, the college and its culinary arts program maintains her legacy and her motto, “kulia i ka nu`u” (to strive for the highest) in all that we do. Great food at reasonable prices served in a beautiful atmosphere - that is the Ka Ikena Restaurant of the Culinary Institute of the Pacific!
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Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerContemporary American
  • Diners' Choice WinnerScenic View
Diner Reviews
  • "Had always heard about Ka Ikena and was curious, so went with a friend to check it out. We just happened to be there on their last day before summer break, so it was great to have a very large buffet. We were able to taste a great variety of different food - from salads to hot dishes and deserts. What a tasty meal. I was sad that I didn't have more room to taste more dishes."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "The menu consisted only of prix fixe. Although prix fixe may be a good idea for some, it would be nice for those who want only an entrée to be able to have that option. Not everyone really wants dessert, and very often no soup/salad either. Personally, I often find that an entrée is more than enough for lunch; prix fixe may simply lead some persons to overeat."
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "From the view to the food, to the service and price. This restaurant has it all and more!!! Reservations are very limited, so pre-planning is a must. If you are a foodie, you will love this restaurant experience."
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "My husband and I had the opportunity to dine at KCC on our visit to Oahu, it was the best!!! We were impressed. The Culinary Arts Program students were professional and well trained by the "professors (chefs)". KCC will be forever on my list to visit when in Oahu."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "As a former hotel exec, it's been 30 years since I dined there and the first for my wife. Chawan mushi was excellent and the best we've ever had, even though a bit salty. Fish was overly salty and returned. Sauce was spicy, but bland. Pork belly lacked flavor and more sauce. Noodles were ordinary, very overcooked and did not compliment pork. Desserts were good with large variety. Wait staff was excellent. Too much emphasis is being place on HRC fusion which creates combinations that are not impressive. 30 years ago when I dined with other hotel execs, we came away very proud and impressed. I am still proud and supportive of KCC and students, but execution needs improvement. Decor hasn't changed and is tired and boring."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "I have been here before for Dinner and had a wonderful time. The problem this time was the menu, which changes every two weeks. This was the first day of a new lunch menu and the theme was reinvented pacific asian classics... The waiter did not know how to describe the menu very well and so what we got was not quite what we expected. And the dishes were odd and not all that tasty. Another menu and this would be a different experience. The re-invented caesar salad was wonderful as was dessert... Hopefully these entrees do not return anytime soon!"
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "Great food, wait service good and the deserts was outstanding. Generous portions."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "I may be sorry I wrote this great review, because then more people will know about this wonderful place and it will be even harder to get reservations! But here goes.....FABULOUS view, lovely staff that want to meet your every need, DELICIOUS food, beutifully prepared. You can only make reservations 30 days in advance, and they are only open certain weeks. The price of the food is incredibly reasonable - it's gourmet food, with excellent staff and beautiful ambience, and there's no tax and no tip. HOWEVER - you SHOULD make a cash contribution to the donation box on your way out, it helps train these wonderful students to be the chefs and catering managers you will one day be depending on!"
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "A friend visited KaIkena for the first time & she was so impressed with the quality of the food, and the culinary and hospitality student waithelp. KCC's culinary arts program continues to shine, and it's no wonder that KCC's Culinary Arts program ranks among the Top 20 Culinary Schools in the US; way-to-go KCC! The dining room manager (John Santamaria) was visible and supportive of his students. Under Chef Grant Sato, the Asian Cuisine students excelled; my misoyaki salmon was outstanding! The baking students served perfect dessert under Chef Dan Wetter's superivision."
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "We were so pleased to be able to have lunch at the KCC Ka Ikena Restaurant. The Culinary Arts Program students were professional, well trained and wonderful. All of the food came out quickly and expertly prepared with great presentation equal to the finest luxury dining rooms in Hawaii. The value provided is fantastic and the amazing view of Kahala and Koko Head is unmatched. IMahalo to the Students and Staff at Ka Ikena."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "Ka 'Ikena was a little hard to find and it was obvious the students were a little nervous but that is the purpose of the program, right? The view was great and so was the food. Talking to the students was fun and I could see how some of them are going to have a great career."
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "Wonderful way for students to practice their culinary learnings! If you are open to student's work/study this is a great place for fine dining. Nice view, good Asian fusion food, and nice service."
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "It was a nice and quiet people weren't talking loudly. My mom enjoyed going there. I would go there again to dine and I would also recommend this place to my friends & family. Food was really good view is very nice."
    Dined on 6/17/2014
  • "The view from this Diamond Head campus overlooking Kahala and Kokohead is outstanding thus making the food a wonderful gastronomic experience. This restaurant is a "gem" for great food and service while training up and coming chefs. "
    Dined on 5/7/2014
  • "This is the restaurant staffed by KCC hospitality students. This is not a dine and dash place. Be patient with the students as they must serve from the left, clear from the right, and hit all their other marks. The food is excellent and the students earnest. For approximately $30 you will get two starters, an entree, dessert, and a beverage -- all in a fine dining setting. On this visit, after being seated by the host, there was a delay in receiving water, menus, and being assigned a waiter. The program instructor stepped in when he realized my table had been sitting for over 15 minutes without acknowledgement. After that, the rest of the evening's service was smooth. The panoramic view is outstanding. Will return again."
    Dined on 5/7/2014
  • "Since reservations fill up fast in advanced, I was surprised at the sparseness of the dining area upon entering. Seating and table service was prompt. Unfortunately both of our entree selections were substituted. Instead of the London broil steak with risotto milanese, I had beef stew on mashed potatoes. My mother ended up reselecting salmon for a pasta dish.Our entrees were presented facing the wrong direction but the food was seasoned and prepared well and the baked breads were good. Overall, you get a good value for your money and I would go back again. The view is absolutely beautiful and I caught my mom staring out the window several times."
    Dined on 5/7/2014
  • "My husband and I dine at Ka'Ikena at least twice a year. We always enjoy the food and the students."
    Dined on 5/6/2014
  • "When we first got seated, we ordered right away as one of the people in our group had to leave early. Our server was very good and attentive. However, the food from the kitchen was very slow in coming out. People who ordered after us got served first. We were told over an hour after we ordered, that the steak did not have wasabi mash potatoes, it should have been told to us much earlier. The food was cold when we got it. This was for all six of us. We were the last ones to select from the dessert cart. We had only two similar choices instead of the usual 7 or 8 variety. "
    Dined on 4/29/2014
  • "I think overall, the customer sevice was just outstanding! Our server was very nice and patient, and took care of even small issues like picking out wines. The only reason why I would not give 5 starts is because of the food. First, between 4 of us who ordered rib eye steak, 3 of the steaks were not cooked.... I think that is important factor because even though we ordered welldone, it was all rare... second, the seafood entree was extremely salty. We just had to chew it down with water. Besides these I think it would be very helpful if there are more vegetarian menus, and choice bevereages. Dessert was just amazing, and I think it was great experience. I recommended to others, and it is just great that this type of restaurant is on KCC. "
    Dined on 4/29/2014
  • "The food was very good, and although not served in generous portions, the quantity is enough to sate most appetites. The food is Asia-Pacific fusion and since it is a culinary arts institutes that runs the dining area, the presentation is wonderful as it is tasty. My husband said his salad lacked a bit of salt and had to sprinkle a bit of salt. My food was just fine as it was. Balsamic vinegar was used in just about every dish, and I thought they could have varied it a little. The dining area has a picture window that looks out at the base of Diamond Head as well as the parking lot of the Institute. The service was excellent and ambience was outstanding, though the dining room is not very large. Reservations are hard to get."
    Dined on 4/24/2014
  • "Have been to this restaurant for twice. The first time was good but this time was disappointed. The food was just so-so, service was okay, but for this price, I would expect a little bit more on quality. Hope they would improve in the future. "
    Dined on 4/22/2014
  • "The Ka'Ikena Restaurant had a wide selection of Asian Cuisines to choose from. The entire party I was with had a great time and was very please with the quality of each prepared dish. Everything was cooked to the perfection doneness as requested, without delays or mix-ups. Through this dining experience, my party and I could see how advanced the Culinary Arts Program at KCC is, and the great talent of instructor, as well as students in both the Culinary and Patisserie Arts Programs. Thank you to everyone involved in the Program. "
    Dined on 4/15/2014
  • "A wonderfully, enjoyable evening having dinner at Ka'Ikena and supporting KCC culinary school. BYOB is a hit! Great students and instructor, John. Will always return every chance we have. Great selection of food!"
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "All foods is very delicate taste. we ordered fish and meet, both is good! We wish to be able to go to Ka 'Ikena Restaurant in our near future."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "Great meal and experience and very reasonable! One of the best deals we've found on Oahu, and it is truly fine dining! You've got to try this restaurant!"
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "Everything was excellent! The only comment I have regarding the menu, is the repetitive use of lemon grass in almost all of the entrees. Also, before it was nice having dessert be a surprise. The dessert cart left no element of surprise and it was not anything to be excited over."
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "Great start to a new semester. Staff just little wobbly. Food diversity and execution was great. Quite the bargain. But no call back on phone or anyone to answer . Did not realize it was start of semester. Perhaps your phone message should say no messages should be left for a certain date range. Re Open Table. Seems only can reserve for Tues, Wed, Thurs, while text says open Monday-Friday, so text and reservation needs to match. Other open times feature is great, but could add another choice for 4 open times."
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "This is a special place especially since the workers are culinary students. It's a delight to see these students trying to do their best. I take a wine bottle with a cork so the waiter can practice opening the bottle, since alcohol is not served. The restaurant sits atop a hill so the view is absolutely gorgeous. The ambience is outstanding. Since dining hours are part of the class session, the dining hours are short, but if you want excellent service and a fine dining experience for a fraction of the usual price, this is the place to go. Also, since this is part of a culinary course, there is no tipping, although there is a box near the entrance-exit for any tip you may wish to make. This tip goes to the school, not the students."
    Dined on 2/6/2014
  • "The food and service were excellent! Wonderful desserts. My friends and I always love dining at the end of the semester buffet."
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "Love this restaurant for several reasons: 1) Variety of Food; 2) Presenatation;3) Value:) 4) Scenic View; and 4) knowing that you are supporting the KCC culinary school. And know what you are getting yourself in for. This is operated by a school and students are your waiters and cooks...so service and can be a hit or miss and can be slow at times. Sometimes food is a tad cool. But the students more than make up for it with their effervescent personalities and their "trying to please" attitude. Also, the instructors are always to be seen and deflect any potential problems. Knowing that, you can have a relaxed 5 star meal at 2 star prices. Many reasons to love this place, no reason not to. My favorite and always a treat!"
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "This is a training ground for budding chefs and servers enrolled in the Culinary Program of Kapi'olani Community College in Hawai'i, although you'd never know it from the preparation and service offered here. Its only open several months through the 2 semesters of KCC, so make a reservation and try the pre fixe menu for a very, very reasonable price. (No tipping is allowed of the staff, but you can make a donation to the program on the way out after dinner.)"
    Dined on 2/27/2014
  • "Food was delicious! Especially liked the Butternut Squash Soup with the surprise of a small bites of a sweet pickle (watermelon rind?). Also the Salmon with pesto pasta was inhaled by my husband. Our server seemed a bit nervous regarding his ability to communicate in English and I could not understand which fish he was offering (salmon), but eventually we succeeded! He was very pleasant and performed his serving duties very well. The dessert selection was amazing---what to choose: Tiramisu, French style cheese cake, Creme Brûlée, etc.?? A final word of advice…go hungry! You'll need all the capacity you can muster for this dining experience!"
    Dined on 2/25/2014
  • "Our Mainland guests are happy to support KCC's culinary program. They enjoy the view, the slow paced dining and interacting with the shining stars-upcoming chefs. Ka'Ikena is the perfect spot for us to entertain."
    Dined on 2/25/2014
  • "I finally got to go ka'ikena restaurant after years. Appetizer, main dish and desserts costs around $25 for lunch is a great value with such a great view! There are few things that they should improve, but I am satisfied so far. I would like to visit there for dinner next time."
    Dined on 2/19/2014
  • "Students and staff work hard to please. Food and service - very good!"
    Dined on 2/20/2014
  • "Again, we have enjoyed dining at Ka 'Ikena Restaurant at Kapiolani Community College. Food, service, setting, ambiance was GREAT! Our server, Angel, was Excellent and so very attentive. Her smile & sincere serve was appreciated. There were a couple other servers too, who also did a wonderful job. Sorry I do not remember their names. Kudo's to the 'chefs' in the back too, as the entire meal was onolicious! Thank you again for making our dining experience a Joy! We will return, as we've done these past many years."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "Dined at this restaurant because of previous excellent experience and once more we were rewarded. Excellent food including appetizers, entrees and dessert, great panoramic view and very courteous, friendly, sometimes nervous student servers. Watching how the culinary students practicing their skills is very interesting. Excellent place to take out of town friends there to experience this little gem of a restaurant in Honolulu."
    Dined on 1/30/2014
  • "Dined there 3 times recently. The first 2 times were excellent in every way. The last time was mediocre. They were out of the Lobster that we wanted. The pork was dry and the fish was overpowered by a cheesy taste. Our waiter was running late and very slow in serving us, luckily, a waitress came and helped out and made it more of a pleasant experience that day. Disappointed, but would try it again because they do have very good food and excellent view and friendly service. The educational program is excellent for those who want to go into culinary art. ."
    Dined on 2/11/2014
  • "Our lunch at Kapiolani Community College's Ka`Ikena restaurant on Valentine's Day was outstanding. KCC's Culinary Arts program is known for producing top-rated graduates who go on to do well in restaurants, but we were able to see first-hand how good the training is of future chefs and restaurant managers. The student waithelp led by dining room instructor Aaron Chau were friendly, efficient, and personable. Chef Kusuma Cooray's cuisine was outstanding; our party had the lobster and the pork entrees, and Pastry Chef Daniel Wetter's breads and first-rate desserts were the perfect ending to a fantastic lunch. I can't wait to return. The college campus was beautiful, and the students were outstanding. Way-to-go, KCC Culinary Arts!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "This was our second time at KCC's culinary restaurant run by the students. The food and service were very good and dining there is a good way to support Hawaii's future food industry workers."
    Dined on 2/14/2014