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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
  • Email: culinary@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!
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
  • Diners' Choice WinnerContemporary American
Diner Reviews
  • "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
  • "love the menu which changes each week. they offer new types of breads and desserts each semester. the students are just wonderful and eager to please."
    Dined on 2/13/2014
  • "i have been coming here for the past 10 years and have never been disappointed. the service was excellent, food was as delicious as ever. its a nice place to get together with family and friends."
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "I have made reservations here at Ka 'Ikena at KCC for years each time I can visit beautiful Honolulu. It is a great program for anyone to enjoy, The students get thorough training and have a great opportunity to discover their culinary strengths. The food is excellent, and the presentation at the table is very welcoming. The cost is very reasonable as you may imagine, and the onsite dining room supervision on the students is subtle yet educating. I love the students, some who are naturals for their chosen profession, others who are just hopeful that they are doing well ( and most are much more). This is , for me, a not to miss lunch and/or dinner, several times each visit to Hawai'i . Aloha"
    Dined on 9/13/2013
  • "Dining at the Ka 'Ikena Restaurant is always a great experience. The menu selections are great, the service is great, and the food is good and presented very attractively. The enthusiasm and politeness of the student servers is a pleasure to see."
    Dined on 2/4/2014
  • "It was a quiet setting with a lovely view. The students did a fine job both serving and preparing the meal. We loved the amuse-bouche: a spoonful of chilled watermelon soup, mint and tiny lemon balls. A nice surprising combo of ingredients. All courses were on the small side, but filling. He had the fresh catch of the day and loved it, I had the rib eye, but thought it was the weakest part of the entire meal. It was not that flavorful and on the chewy side. I plan to return soon to try one of their lunches. It's a good way to support the students."
    Dined on 2/4/2014
  • "We had our 3rd or 4th visit to Ka'Ikena and enjoyed as much or more than our earlier visits. To start with, the view from the restaurant is fantastic and romantic. Our server was a delight with much attention and a delightful freshness (she was learning). The food presentation was spectacular and the subsequent food tastes were wonderful and truly inventive. As an ending to this special evening, we discovered again that the price was so incredibly reasonable for such a nice time. This is a must try when in Honolulu."
    Dined on 1/30/2014
  • "We enjoyed a wonderful dining experience. The food, service and atmosphere were excellent. We look forward to returning."
    Dined on 1/29/2014
  • "Aloha To All who read this review, What an unknown gem hidden away on the campus of Kapiolani Community Collage. I was told this was an exceptional restaurant but I was also told it was staffed by the students of the culinary institute and it could be a great experience or not. The servers bent over backwards to make sure we were satisfied with each course but oh so politely. It felt like we were in a five star restaurant and after finishing the meal & homemade breads & desert we knew that is exactly the experience we enjoyed. Go back, often! BRAVO to the professors you and your students you have surpassed "The Best of the Best". Charles David Dreher Commonwealth Capital Advisors"
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "Always a winner! Great food...great presentation...and the students try their hardest to please...what's not to like!"
    Dined on 1/29/2014
  • "Considering it was opening night for the school, all five of us had a great night. Looking forward to our next dinner there!"
    Dined on 1/28/2014
  • "Wow...the culinary program at Kapiolani is awesome. Had I not known I was in a school setting, I never would have guessed! My duck medley appetizer was awesome. The freshly baked bread was the best I have ever had on the island. For my salad choice, I had the infused watermelon with salad greens. As my entree, I had the portobella mushroom and tofu grill which was deliciously served with veggies and a potato mash. Finally, for dessert, they brought the dessert cart out, and I chose the Napoleon, on of my favorites. The ocean view from the dining room was gorgeous. We had a 5:30 reservation, so we were able to see the sky change in hue during our meal. I look forward to dining here again!"
    Dined on 12/5/2013
  • "After enjoying a number of dinners in your restaurant we have now become regulars there. We especially enjoy seeing, tasting and guessing about the micro-greens served with each dish and your amazingly flavorful sauces. Presentation is always creatively beautiful...without being over done, and service is very pleasant We certainly look forward to many more delicious and enjoyable dining experiences at your fine establishment!"
    Dined on 11/27/2013
  • "We thoroughly enjoyed our dining experience. Be sure to buy the bread that they serve at dinner. It is the best."
    Dined on 11/26/2013
  • "This culinary school restaurant always exceeds our expectation for the food, service and enthusiasm. The food is a high level quality and presented artfully. We'll be back!!!"
    Dined on 11/27/2013
  • "The good: outstanding quality, friendly and attentive service, relaxed and un-pressured, spectacular location, great value. The regrettable: if only Ka'Ikena were open for lunch and dinner more often!"
    Dined on 11/20/2013
  • "I love dining at Ka'Ikena. The food & service are always excellent and the price is a bargain. I am also glad to help out the students of the Culinary Program."
    Dined on 11/15/2013
  • "I was impressed by the quality and hositaity which were offered by students. All food were nice and especially their mushroom soup for the day was excellent. I would say some restaurants in Waikiki need to learn all from them. Hoping all student's good luck for future."
    Dined on 11/7/2013
  • "This is a hidden gem of a restaurant in Honolulu, you won't get a better meal for the money anywhere. If there is a down side, it is one that you can ignore when you realize that this is a culinary school, so the servers are students learning and so the service can be a little erratic but these are kids trying to learn. The food is on par with places like Alan Wongs, Mavro's and any of the other high end restaurants in Honolulu. This is also a bring your own wine place, with no corkage fee. You don't tip either, you make a voluntary donation to the program as a cash tip, the meal itself can be charged. Highly recommended and reservations a must, this is not a walk in restaurant."
    Dined on 11/13/2013
  • "You can't beat this deal. The food was great. Presentation was first class The service was very good. And all for around $30.00 per person for a full three course meal."
    Dined on 11/14/2013
  • "What a WONDERFUL Birthday Lunch! I requested a window table- Spectacular View- Fantastic Food. We had a 3 course lunch. Appitizers: mushroom soup- thick, creamy, a mushroom showcase/or a lovely salad. The Vegetarian luncheon came with a lovely variety of roasted & steamed vegetables & purple sweet potato mash. Outstanding ! I ordered the soft shell crab. I don't think I Ieft anything on the plate!!!! My friends were presented with birthday desert tarts complete with candle and the birthday song sung by the serving staff (very nice touch).The desert trolly rolled in:. I ended up taking my Dutch Apple Pie home to my husband who devoured it. My friends ordered the Lemon Pie & the Pecan Pie--WOW!!"
    Dined on 11/6/2013
  • "Kapi`olani Community College's Culinary Arts program continues to shine, as evidenced by the food and served at Ka`Ikena. Student waithelp were friendly and efficient, and could work at any fine dining restaurant. The food was outstanding; fish was prepared perfectly, and all dishes were seasoned just right. The advanced pastry class' souffle was outstanding. Way to go KCC--keep up the high quality of training future chefs."
    Dined on 9/26/2013
  • "Our server Ikaika was very attentive and very nice."
    Dined on 10/10/2013
  • "Our group of 17 classmates, including 2 spouses, thoroughly enjoyed the buffet. They were raving about it. We were honored to have the chef introduced to us by one of our classmates who took a course from her so we were able to inform her about how well we enjoyed the delicious meal, fabulous desserts and scenic view with wonderful company. I have been to several buffets and lunches that we ordered off the menu. We were never disappointed. I always try to invite different groups of friends to enjoy this experience. The price did increase, though."
    Dined on 10/11/2013
  • "Fantastic opportunity to watch future KCC Hospitality and Culinary Arts students grow in their profession. There is no better education than a practical hands on experience. Excellent!!"
    Dined on 10/9/2013