We really enjoyed our experience
We really enjoyed our experience at Cactus. The food was high quality and flavorful. The wait staff was friendly and a pleasure to talk with. We had lunch and are planning to return for dinner.
4/19/2013 4:00:00 PM
A different menu for us, needed
A different menu for us, needed help with ordering as we were not familiar with the blend of Latin America and Mexican food. Kelly Ann, our fab Sicilian waitress added a lot of color to our great dining experience and did a great job on her recommendations - the braised short ribs and risotto with chicken and the wonderfully fresh and delicious guacamole. Yumm! It was a fun and gastronomically fulfilling evening.
4/25/2013 4:00:00 PM
A great place to eat. Local
A great place to eat. Local products prepared very well!
4/26/2013 4:00:00 PM
Tired of the old standbys when you read a menu? This is the place to go. The food here is wonderful! You can tell a lot of thought went into making this menu. Kudos to the owner and chef!
5/4/2013 4:00:00 PM
The Cocktails were fabulous...The mix of sangria and margarita granita, to die for. The Shangri-la Martini outstanding. We had many things, The tacos, the Meet Platter, The Jidori Chicken, Masa Chicken, Quinoa, Risotto....all were a cut above. Great tastes, funky pairings all work. Good job!!
5/7/2013 4:00:00 PM
The food is fantastic, it's so hard to pick just one entree! The staff is very friendly, energetic and accommodating. We will be back for more!
5/16/2013 4:00:00 PM
Awesome as Always
Great job AGAIN by Thomas, Rey and team...Jamie, Tessa, Brooke, et al, thanks for the great service.
Carne special and Seafood Inspiration special...both were exquisite. The beef (strip steak) was at least 2 inches thick, cooked perfectly med rare and presented slices with Jalepeno chimi-churrie...awesome. The mahi mahi was nicely grilled and flavorful. Well done across the board!
5/18/2013 12:00:00 AM
Love this place! It's a bit
Love this place! It's a bit of a drive for me, but totally worth it. The food is tasty and interesting. I'll be back for sure!
5/19/2013 12:00:00 AM
great happy hour, great lunch
great happy hour, great lunch sandwiches, 1st choice for lunch or happy hour in kailua
5/19/2013 12:00:00 AM
Excellent, attentive, kid-friendly service supported by some of the best seafood and fish on Oahu. Cactus offers a fresh spin on "south of the border" cuisine, local, fresh ingredients, and really good margaritas. You shouldn't pass on the dark chocolate and cinnamon gelato, either.
5/26/2013 4:00:00 PM
Simply effusive over our last visit! Cactus is one of our island wide favorites...we're there about every three weeks and have never been disappointed. This visit was the tops!
Service: Perfect...thanks Ariel!
Food: Incredible...Churrasco Mixto...the incredible meat feast! Well done, John, Thomas and Rey!
5/31/2013 12:00:00 AM
Excellent food without going downto
I went to this placed based on reviews from opentable. I have to say they were right on the money. The food was outstanding. I had the steak special and my wife had the seafood special. We kept stealing bites off of each others plates. Easily some of the best food we've had on the island. The drinks were not very good. Other than that, this place was great.
6/6/2013 12:00:00 AM
Another Kailua gem!
A very unique menu consisting of mainly local products. The price is reasonable for the portions and excellent quality. Getting a table was a snap using OpenTable. We were seated and had our drinks within five minutes.
6/10/2013 12:00:00 AM
Been to Cactus at least 5 times and the food always amazes me. This is food that you cannot cook at home. It's my favorite place on the island and I live in Kapolei. The prices are so much lower than the other nice restaurants like Roy's and Hy's. I say that catcus serves you gourmet food without the gourmet prices. Go at 5pm for dinner, that's when they open if you don't like crowds. It's also much quieter at that time.
6/18/2013 4:00:00 PM
The food is ALWAYS great. I have such a hard time deciding what to eat as there are sooooo many great items on the regular menu and the specials menu. Have not had one thing I didn't like. For starters, loved the fried peppers and guacamole and salsa with chips tray ... really good chips that are made there. The "Swirl" drink, half margarita, half sangria (frozen) is absolutely delicious. I had the chicken with lemon risotto and it was a party in my mouth ... so flavorful and wish I had a plate of it right now. The staff is very friendly and efficient and the manager came over to ask if everything was to your liking. Love this place and we have to drive quite a way to get here ... totally worth it!
6/21/2013 12:00:00 AM
There are few restaurants that out-do themselves on each successive opportunity. Cactus is certainly one of them! Bravo once again... From the phenomenal Ceviche trio, Beef Mixed Grill special, Duck Carnitas and Tacos al Pastur...they were all well prepared, and well served. Thanks Jayme, Thomas and team!
6/29/2013 12:00:00 AM
We went for our anniversary
We went for our anniversary dinner. The food was terrific. The service was excellent.
Very enjoyable evening
7/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great for birthdays
We went there for my birthday. The staff was very welcoming and attentive. The food was great. My only gripe was the amount of salsa and guacamole. The chips are great and we flew through the sides.
The drinks were unique and strong so well worth their price. I didn't know that they had desserts so I brought my own cake and they were fine with that.
Overall, it was a pleasant and tastey birthday dinner.
7/5/2013 4:00:00 PM
Love this place because it's not the usual appetizers and food you find everywhere else. Try the croquetas with goat cheese and squash - the best! Try the Coyotas too! Happy Hour is a great deal and a good time to try all of them.
7/7/2013 12:00:00 AM
How do you create a meat extravaganza better than the last one? Grilled Lamb Chop, Wild Boar Chop and a beef short rib...oh my! My son and I both commented that the sauces and sides were equally as exceptional as the carne... There is no other restaurant on Oahu that creates such amazing flavorful, original dishes. Well done Thomas, Jayme, Ariel and the gang! Simply Exceptional!
7/13/2013 12:00:00 AM
My wife and I get tired of even good restaurants because the flavores are all alike. Catcus is different. Flavorful with South American tones and spice. And the people who run the restaurant are enjoyable and fun. We go back often.
7/25/2013 12:00:00 AM
Cactus served as a meeting place for a farewell dinner among friends for us; the food was good though not as amazing as I had expected from others reviews. The noise was probably what took it to 4 stars, we were rather bothered by the table behind us; maybe not in the control of Cactus but knocked the rating down none the less.
7/28/2013 12:00:00 AM
imaginative local/latino fare
This place consistently serves interesting combinations of mostly locally sourced ingredients. The dayboat fish in a banana leaf is ALWAYS delicious. The chef whips together salsa sides out of unusual ingredients, such as Mountain Apple and jalapeno... in season, of course... or fresh mango, or lychee...
The restaurant is small but very loud. It's nicely decorated with gecko light-fixtures, and soft color tones. Tropical chic. But... kind of loud.
Nevertheless, we are grateful a restaurant that serves this quality of food is in our neighborhood. We'll definitely be back.
7/30/2013 12:00:00 AM
Best Latin American on the island
There are no good classic Mexican restaurants on Oahu. Cactus is not a classic Mexican - it is nueva cocina Mexican and other Latin American countries Peru, Argentina etc.
I had the empanadas and the mandarin duck over quinoa. Very tasty. Some (my wife) may find the duck sauce a little too sweet. Not me!
We sat outside in the evening breeze and barely noticed the nearby traffic coming and going.
Our waiter was efficient and the right balance of friendly and attentive (offering useful opinionated advice) without intruding on our space or being too chummy.
8/7/2013 12:00:00 AM
I love this place. Great place to bring folks from out of town for something a little different. Caesar salad is sooo good and not your run of the mill Caesar. All their food has a great creativity to it and it is amazing the way they make everything so flavourful. Recommend the swirl if your having a cocktail. Frozen margarita and frozen sangria swirled .... Yum! This is a very hip, fun restaurant and this was my fourth time dining and it has been great very single time.
8/7/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great Food, Great Service
Great restaurant on the corner of the Pali highway in Kailua. Food is a mix of latin flavors with Hawaiian/local twist. Always a great special menu with a standard fare as well. My husband and I took a friend here the other night, and he really liked it. Absolutely great service...very friendly, courteous waitress. Will definitely be coming back. If you're visiting Oahu...or live here, it's worth a drive to the windward side to eat.
8/9/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great "south of the border" fare
Our party enjoyed the creative and tasty concoctions. With an emphasis on local ingredients and a flair for all things Hispanic, Cactus did a great job of presenting some unique and flavorful dishes. A member of our party had many food intolerances, and the chef was able to construct an excellent spicy ahi tuna dish with fingerling potatoes and veggies. They also have an extensive wine and cocktail list, not to mention some great dessert options. Appetizer choices included a tasty tomato bisque soup and delightful smoked chicken coyotas (which I've never tried before). Our server was very attentive to our needs, and we were very impressed with the chef's ability to create a mouth-watering experience with severe ingredient limitations.
8/12/2013 12:00:00 AM
Good food and good flavors
Food was good. Not a five star for us though. The price was a little high. We shared an appatizer. 3 drinks and 2 entres. Without tip it was $75.
Nice blend of american, Mexican and Southwest flavors.
Staff was great.
We will return but not on a regular basis.
8/14/2013 12:00:00 AM
A Little Gem in Kailua!
Cactus is one of those wonderful little restaurants that really delivers. As new transplants to the area from the Sonoma Wine Country, we have been somewhat disappointed in the local restaurants. Cactus changed all that. The food is fresh, interesting, and delish. The drinks are inspired. We have only had lunch here but we will be coming back again and again. The staff is delightful and we enjoy all the servers especially Branda. We love what you are doing, Guys!
8/21/2013 5:00:00 PM
Go for the guacamole
Really good, quac plus 3 salsas, chips authentic style, out if the ordinary.
9/6/2013 12:00:00 AM
Been to Cactus around 7 times and never had bad food at all. We had an appetizer, 2 drinks, and 2 entrees for $57. Still my favorite place to eat and I live in Ewa Beach. The noise level is still a little too loud.
9/6/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great place to be adventurous.
Great place to be adventurous. Cindy, a super server, explained the dishes in detail to ensure we would be satisfied with our new experience in Latin American cuisine. Definitely recommend and much easier to get to than a long plane flight to South America! Love the fact that chef uses local produce.
9/13/2013 12:00:00 AM
Deliciously flavorful across the board! Argentinian Chapa bread & Ceviche...Monchong over risoto,..and inspired special trio of petite tenderloin, house cured boar and house made sausage...exceptionally prepared. Perfect service! Thanks to Thomas, Jaime, Tessa and crew for another outstanding dining experience. Bravo!!!
9/21/2013 12:00:00 AM
South American food
Tasty food that read like Mexican but with different spices. Place a bit noisy. Outside dining faced Main Street in front with traffic noise and back outside was on concrete that looked it could use a serious pressure wash; pretty grubby. Inside nicely appointed. Friendly and helpful staff
10/4/2013 12:00:00 AM
Good food and friendly atmosphere
We did an early dinner before a show, so at 5:30 on a Saturday night, the place was empty. That didn't last long, as the place was pretty full by around 6:30! It was our first visit and we'll definitely be back! The menu offered a nice selection and our meals were great...delicious and ample serving sizes. Service was efficient and friendly.
10/5/2013 12:00:00 AM
Cactus in Hawaii
found this on Open Table and read several favorable reviews before securing the reservation. We were not disappointed. We had great service from friendly staff and the food was over the top. We probably should have just ordered one dessert to share, but we went for it and went home FULL. Very eclectic menu and one that demands a second or third pass so that we can sample all the goodies.
10/6/2013 12:00:00 AM
There wasn't one single thing on the menu that I have had in that combination before. Presentation was lovely, food was delicious. It was just a little too noisy to have a great conversation. Regardless, because of the unusual choices on the menu, we will be back o try more items off that menu.
10/10/2013 12:00:00 AM
Love the different style of sauces, dinners and pupus. Never disappoints.
10/10/2013 12:00:00 AM
After a day at the beach we ran home to change and head out to Cactus. The server was friendly and vibrant with a good knowledge of the menu. We started with simple house-made tortilla chips, guacamole and 3 salsas. Although a little bland, the guacamole was fresh and tasty. The salsas were good as well. Our entrees were hot and attractively plated. They were prepared using many local ingredients. All 5 of us enjoyed our meals thoroughly.
10/19/2013 12:00:00 AM
Outstanding dinner. Great
Outstanding dinner. Great food. Chef has done something special here.
10/26/2013 12:00:00 AM
Love this place!
One of my favorite spots in Kailua, great food, plates are always well presented and the taste is always great.
10/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
Interesting menu with a wide variety of South of the border or even South American type food. Vibrant flavors!
10/30/2013 12:00:00 AM
Day of the Dead Special Menu
We (party of three) ended up trying almost the entire special menu!! One of us - who normally orders the braised short ribs and happily boxes the leftovers and eats the remainder as tacos - suggested a new favorite had been discovered in the puerco. The tamale app disappeared with only minor skirmishes over portions; the recently-conceived cocktails left us believing years of careful experimentation and judicious tasting had occurred! The ahi was perfect with a delightfully tangy veg slaw - there may have been a starch. I really only remember the ahi! To me, a churro is a churro - slightly under-done, these were pretty basic. Until they were dipped in the far too tiny dish of Madre chocolate. We used fingers to clean the far too tiny dish.
10/30/2013 5:00:00 PM
One of Our Favorites
The menu is interesting and the food is great, and the cocktails are wonderful.
10/31/2013 12:00:00 AM
A class experience
Between the food and the service, we had one of the best experiences ever. Our friends had never been to Cactus and loved it enough that they plan on returning.
11/7/2013 4:00:00 PM
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...
11/14/2013 4:00:00 PM
First time won't be the last
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!
11/15/2013 4:00:00 PM
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.
11/21/2013 4:00:00 PM
GREAT find in Kailua!
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!
11/29/2013 4:00:00 PM
Unusual menu, Latin/Hawaiian
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.
12/6/2013 4:00:00 PM