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  • Sam Choy's Kai Lanai

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Sam Choy's Kai Lanai
Sam Choy's Kai Lanai

Sam Choy's Kai Lanai Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.samchoy.com
  • Phone: (808) 333-3434
  • Hours of Operation: Serving Daily - Lunch and Dinner, Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday

    Monday - Thursday 11:00 am - 9:00 pm
    Friday 11:00 am - 9:30 pm
    Saturday 7:00 am - 9:30 pm
    Sunday 7:00 am - 9:00 pm

    HAPPY HOUR - Daily 3:00 - 5:00 pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Hawaii Regional Cuisine
  • Executive Chef: Sam Choy
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Getting there

  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Lot plus over flow parking lot with cart service between over flow lot and restaurant.
A word from Sam Choy's Kai Lanai
You'll experience the wonderful hospitality of the Hawaiian culture, the sensational aromas of fresh, island cooking and the innovative recipes created by Hawaii’s culinary ambassador, Sam Choy.

At Sam Choy's Kai Lanai, a stunning 230-degree view of the Pacific stretches out in a beautiful blue oasis before you. “The Short Bait” bar is a fun place to meet friends for pupus or sit by the fire pits and watch spectacular sunsets. The superb service and warm Aloha welcome will make this your top dining choice at breakfast, lunch and dinner.


Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
  • Diners' Choice WinnerScenic View
Diner Reviews
  • "The view and food were very good went back a second time before we went back to phoenix"
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "This place is great, except for all the bugs. My husband had to return a drink because bugs were swimming in it. Other than that, the food, service, and ambiance were good."
    Dined on 7/6/2014
  • "1) the other couple that checked in after without reservations were seated first, and they were given a better table close to the patio, while we had a table in the high traffic walkway by the bar. 2) We waited 10 minutes before the waiter came to the table and quickly took our drink order. He did not ask my guest if the margarita should be blended/on rocks,salt or no salt and quickly dashed off Since we were near the bar, I watched the margarita get blended and watched it sit there till all the ice crystals melted. Then the waiter picked up our two drinks,walked passed and went to 2 other tables before dropping off our drinks. The calamari appetizer looked like it was in a wreck and what little was salvaged as it was quite scant."
    Dined on 8/21/2013
  • "Chose this for our last night. Our waiter was less than attentive and then he disappeared! He was sent home but never told us and we had to ask for help. Turns out they forgot to have us cared for...once they realized it the management apologized and offered us a free dessert/coffee. That being said...the main coarse 3 Fish and my fish in Ti leaves were both quite tasty."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Our waiter was excellent, sorry I don't remember his name. His description of each on tray was mouth watering and we enjoyed how he used his hands in his expressions."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "After visiting the Honolulu location, where the food was good but the ambiance and location less impressive, the Keahou location just south of Kona on the Big Island was a great step up. Same great food, and the lanai's ocean view was spectacular. Sunsets are amazing there, since the view is westward. I indicated "fit for foodies," because you might learn local ways to prepare fish (furikake-encrusted spear fish in my last entree), as well as local names for the different species. Many tourist families make it more casual than you might be seeking for a quiet, romantic dinner. Great evening, overall."
    Dined on 6/23/2014
  • "GREAT for *Special* times, or any time. Loved my Calamari. Sam Choys knows how to fix it and a great serving. Had a garden/house salad with their own salad dressing. I also had a virgin MaiTai. Surprised by the flavor. TRY IT! My husband had a fish trio diner. Plenty for one person. Then out came a tiny little cake and a tiny serving of ice cream. PERFECT for us! They sang Happy Birthday to me and wished us a HAPPY 11th Anniversary. Just the best place to eat. We'll be going back again before we leave. Thank you Sam Choys for a beautiful evening meal under the stars. To Aurthur, our waiter, you took care of us well! Thank you!"
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "I took both of my sons to Sam's and we had a wonderful dinner! The wait staff was very accommodating and reseated us to one of the outside tables so we could experience the view. (We had reservations for 7:30 and I told them we'd wait for an outside table but they moved us right away) My boys (21 and 11years) loved their food. Duck and pork dishes. I am a vegan so the food experience was more fir their benefit. I had the pasta dish with veggies. It wasn't anything remarkable but I wasn't expecting a fabulous vegan dish. :) Our waiter was very friendly and knowledgeable about the menu."
    Dined on 6/17/2014
  • "My husband and I went to Sam Choys for dinner and got a great table with no one in front of us. Very nice waitress and the food was good. A bit expensive."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "The food was excelent and the view is one of the best on the island. I recomend getting there in time to watch the sunset. The waiter was friendly and accomodated some picky personalities!"
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "Fabulous. Location and food to match. Reasonable prices,big portions, beautiful presentation"
    Dined on 6/10/2014
  • "Great view of the sun setting over keahou bay. Food was very tasty. However service was lacking. Our order was taken promptly and food arrived quickly, even had a visit from the executive chef. However once we had finished our meal we were left waiting for over 40 minutes for our plates to be cleared and dessert or more drinks to be offered. When we finally ordered our dessert we were told a couple had been waiting over an hour for our table, even though we had only been around 1.5 hours and had been left unattended for 40 minutes!! Not sure why we were hurried along as there were other tables free, and we had made a booking. Overall the food and view were lovely so worth a trip, just make sure you have an extended booking."
    Dined on 6/8/2014
  • "We have long been Sam Choy's fans and have been to several locations (Oahu and the Big Island) of his restaurants through the years! The view at this location is amazing!!! The food is ONO!"
    Dined on 6/2/2014
  • "Not only was our meal delicious we were treated to a spectacular view of the sunset. The Brie wontons were especially tasty. "
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "The staff needs to learn how to serve and clean a whole fish. I know how to do this so it did not phase me, but I looked around and most diners hardly touched their slimjack, which was incredible!"
    Dined on 5/22/2014
  • "We love the open dining and we had a wonderful sunset. Chris (our waiter) was attentive (just enough). The entire wait staff was so kind - our 5 year old granddaughter felt at home and everyone cared for her requests in a gentle friendly way. "
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "We celebrated our granddaughter's 7th birthday @ Sam Choy's...it's her personal favorite dining spot. The food was delicious and the service by Paul was outstanding. But, the best part was when the staff gathered around our table with cake, ice cream and candle in hand to sing, "Happy Birthday" to her. She lit up brighter than the candle. Thank you to all for making her, and us, feel so welcomed and special. Mahalo kakou for serving up a large portion of aloha. "
    Dined on 5/12/2014
  • "We were visiting Kona, and wanted a special place for our anniversary dinner. My brother and family recommended Sam Choy's. We could not have been more pleased. The hostess that greeted us was very friendly and made a great first impression. We were seated just inside the edge as it was raining just before we arrived. We had a spectacular view. Our waiter gave us time when we needed it, but was there when we needed something or wanted to order. The final special touch was a special dessert to share because it was our anniversary. It was also Mother's Day, and we watched how nicely the families were treated. I would definitely recommended Sam Choy's, and looked forward to returning the next time we visit Kona."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "This is a great location with a good menu, but they are incredibly inconsistent. I went on a Sunday afternoon and it was great! The best wings I have ever had. Went back two days later and same dishes were terrible! I have gone here several times in the last year and had the same experience. Great food once followed by two or three really mediocre meals. It is sad, because clearly it can be good when they want it to be."
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "We had mother's day brunch. It was good food but pretty pricey, so not somewhere I would go on a regular basis if you're on a budget."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "We went to Kona for Spring Break. We were staying the Keauhou area and made reservations based on prior reviews. It did not disappoint--to the point that we made an effor to go back again before we left. We had a terrific waiter that helped us plan our stay by recommending a really great beach. The food was amazing--from appetizers to dessert! The view has to be the best on the island. It's perched on a hill overlooking the Pacific. It's not "on the beach" but it doesn't matter. "
    Dined on 4/22/2014
  • "Overall the food and service were outstanding; I would definitely return when next in Kilua-Kona."
    Dined on 5/8/2014
  • "We dined at Sam Choi's many years ago, when he was near the airport. The presentation was so beautiful we hesitated to eat it. It turned out even better than it looked. His reputation then was impeccable. Yesterday, I expected the same, and I was disappointed. The presentation was nothing special. The food quality was slightly better than average. The service was attentive. The prices were above average. I guess all that success went to his head."
    Dined on 5/8/2014
  • "A previous review mentioned Amy the server and we were fortunate to have her too. Great perk for the restaurant with her knowledge and great personality. I had Ono which was ok but my husband's entree was floating in oil and not great. This fish is not prepared like a Roy's just to give a comparison. "
    Dined on 5/5/2014
  • "One entree was very good, another was mushy. Noise level for dining was unacceptable, due to loud guitar player. Could not carry on conversation. Service good. View fantastic. Probably won't go back, too bad, was anticipating the evening because we always went to their restaurant in the industrial park. "
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "The duck entree was the best I have ever eaten and the rest of our table enjoyed their entrees as well."
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "I enjoyed food. Steak was so delicious. Dinner salad was so good! But brown rice was so bad. I was satisfied "
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "We enjoyed the food as well as the wonderful view of the sunset over the ocean. We would recommend the pork tenderloin. Definitely will return to this restaurant on our next visit to Kona!"
    Dined on 5/1/2014
  • "Had to return 2 plates due to being cold but the server took care of it immediately. We had a great meal at this restaurant. Have been there several times, never disappointed."
    Dined on 4/27/2014
  • "Choy's Kai Lani has a fantastic view of the Pacific, an interesting menu, a good staff and a great kitchen that turns out some wonderful preps. The fish trio is a standard menu item but the fish variety changes (do avoid the Walu everywhere). Wine selection is OK, but a little pricey compared to some other places. The short ribs are excellent, his home-made salad dressing is tasty and its hard to beat a great meal and fantastic sunset all at the same time."
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "If you want a nice night out while on the Kona side of the Big Island but you prefer not to deal with the traffic and noise of Kailua, this is a great choice. The fish was wonderful, the menu is diverse, the restaurant is up on a hill so you can see the sunset, and the live music is a nice surprise. We had a great dinner with good wine. "
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "The filet was like heaven in the mouth. Melted like butter with every bite! Amazing!!!"
    Dined on 4/24/2014
  • "The view was just beautiful. The waiter was great -- very friendly and helpful. The food was excellent. My only tiny complaint was that my glass of wine was pretty small."
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "We ate at Sam Choy's twice. There is no better ocean view than this. Spectacular! Our lunch was excellent in every way. But the Sunday brunch left much to be desired. The variety was limited and preparation only satisfactory - not outstanding. There were few vegetable dishes. Desert choices were very poor and the omlets were prepared very poorly. Sunday brunch not a good value compared to others we have had."
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "Lovely ambiance, great view & is especially nice to treat mainland guests to a well cooked and unusually varied local food. One of our favorites!"
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "Reserved for another sunset dinner. And will come back again. Ask for Amy as your server. "
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "We visited there our first and last night on the Kona side of the island. "
    Dined on 4/18/2014
  • "Nice view, food decent, spectacularly presented though on the salty side. There seemed to be some tension between the waiter and the presenter of our dishes that was noticeable. All in all above average dining experience. "
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "Starting out, while my wife does not normally like Brie, the Brie wontons were a big hit especially with the papaya/pineapple sauce. Kona Orange Duck is one of my wife's favorites and she was not disappointed. My oriental lamb chops while having the perfect seasoning and tasty were a little on the tough side. Finishing up with the Coconut Panna Cotta was the right thing to do and ended the meal on a nice note. OpenTable needs to add a notes field to the reservation request so I can make special request."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • ". Sam Choys gets busy at happy hour because of the good prices and food. The view is fantastic. This is a great place for foodies. We all had a great experience here trying different appetizer plates. "
    Dined on 4/18/2014