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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.


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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerGood for Groups
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
  • Diners' Choice WinnerScenic View
Diner Reviews
  • "Bean soup was salty with not much flavor. Greens were not as fresh as would have preferred."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "They were shooting a a video while we ate which was fun to watch. the food was great my husband had fish to die for and I had steak. Great desert as well. Would highly recommend this resturant. Great view of sunset. It sits above a large shopping center."
    Dined on 6/29/2013
  • "Heard a lot of mixed reviews. We had the fish trio and it was excellent. Service was knowledgeable and speedy."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "It was a great meal. We were thinking it was Asian food by the name. But a great surprise it was very American food. The appetizers are very good and the service was top notch. Not cheap but well worth it. It view was great to. Just like everything in kona it's pretty laid back so don't get in a hurry. If I was to come to kona again I sure would eat here again."
    Dined on 4/1/2014
  • "We had hopes of enjoying a fine meal with a view of the sunset. The meal started out well with the Poke appetizer which was terrific. Service was pleasant and timley. The duck was prepared well, howevera thicker with more flavor was desired. The kids shared the ocer cooked fish plate.. The big disappointment was the fish trio my wife ordered. The local white fish was like a hockey puck. The sword fish was over cooked but edible. The fish cheeks had more oil and tolerated being over cooked. It was one of the more expensive entrees and disappointed the most. One interesting note is we only saw one server who did not qualify for AARP. We do not recommend this restraunt to anyone who wants to eat cooked fish."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Excellent seafood choices, and the butterfish laulau is to die for! The view is excellent, though the inside tables suffer by comparison to those on the lanai. Our server was personable and attentive...."
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "was able to cancel my original reservation for 7:30 and rebook if not satisfied. Name- different you will remember it. Parking- crowded may have to parkat mall below restaurant. Ambiance- not overstated, very open feeling . View-outstanding Host- efficient, not so much warm and cuddly. Entertainment - pleasant....live singer guitar player Menu - Not large selection but covered main entrees. Presentation - immaculate, superb, warm plate too Food - Everyones meal was excellent, fish not overcooked, steak was done to order Service - good, attentive, quick to take order, fill water, etc. Dessert - not all selections available but what came was tasty. Cost - $$$ . $157 with wine, tip,entres for 4, dessert for two Overall rating: 8.75"
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "The title says it all! The seared poke is awesome!"
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "Wonderful value and opportunity to share good food, conversation, and a view with others."
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "The food at Sam choy's was Amazing! Would highly recommend the chef's trio. The sunset over the bay is the best ever!"
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "We had a patio table. Great view of sunset and Pacific Ocean. Service was great. I had macadamia nut crusted chicken, my husband Had spare ribs. Both dinners were excellent. We had a cucumber martini."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "We went on a recommendation from someone in Hilo of where to dine in Kona and were not disappointed. We made a reservation online a couple of hours in advance (recommended earlier if weekend) and were seated right away with a great view. The restaurant is open air with gorgeous views of the ocean. Mai Tai's were tasty and good range of prices on wines. The presentation of the food was as beautiful as it was delicious. Most entrees were mid 20s with a few lower and beef higher. A definite choice if ever in the area again."
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "Cory, was a great waiter. Really went out of his way to make it a great dining experience. The food menu had a nice selection to cover most everyone's tastes. The down side was all the guest who brought small children to dine here. Not the restaurants fault, just rude to have our sunset and meal interrupted by several screaming children."
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "Was touted for its view but since it was dark there was no view. Maybe we missed the best of Sam Choys. Food was a real disappointment. My wife and I both had different red wines; neither was worth the trouble. One was a flat tire, the other better but not much. Both had premium prices though. I had the roast duck. It must have been a 20 year old mallard-tough and rubbery. My knife would not begin to cut it. Sorry, won't be returning to Sam Choy's."
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "This place sits on top of a cliff overlooking the ocean- just fabulous view! Great live music and food! Don't miss the ribs appetizer! Our waiter was busy so service was a little slow but we didn't mind with the great view!"
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "We enjoyed everything about our dinner at Sam Choys. The food, the service, and the ambiance were just right."
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "Sam Choy's was recommended to us by some friend who winter in Kona and we weren't disappointed. We secured an early reservation in order get a table by the railing. The view is beautiful, although there is street right below with regular traffic on it. Both of our entrees of fresh local fish were vey good and well prepared."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "We sat along a wall which was outside and next to a busy road way into a shopping plaza. The view was great but it felt like we were eating on the side of a busy road - totally took away from the special potential this restaurant has to offer"
    Dined on 2/25/2014
  • "Not only is Sam Choy's Kai Lanai in a great location with wonderful ocean views, the food is great and a wonderful example of local cuisine. Having a first class restaurant like this one, really enhances the Keauhou area."
    Dined on 2/23/2014
  • "The fried poke appetizer was excellent. It melted in your mouth and the flavor was divine. Two of us shared the dish, and we were fighting over the last piece. Our entrees however, were a different story. We both ordered specials. I had panko-seaweed encrusted ono, and my husband had the deep-friend Opakapaka (full fish). Neither was very tasty. The portions were huge, however they were bland and un-exciting. The view was outstanding, and the service was quick and friendly. I would recommend this place for a quick pupu and drink at sunset, then move on elsewhere for your main course."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "Second time eating here this trip. Much better weather than the first night. Got a seat right on the edge and watched the sunset while enjoying our dinner. Food was excellent again."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "Great place for our last night in Hawaii! The food was incredible - beautifully prepared, tasty, and the portions were perfect. I requested a sunset view table, and was pleased when our table was right on the edge of the lanai with a great ocean view. The service was good, but I expected a little more. Our server was very friendly, but obviously spread too thin and dealing with the inefficiencies of the restaurant as a whole. We didn't get a bread basket until we asked, no one refilled our water during dinner or took a new drink order, and when I finally was able to order a second drink, it came after my dinner because they were out of glasses. For a place of this caliber, that seems unacceptable - but overall - very enjoyable dinner."
    Dined on 2/20/2014
  • "They are located on a hill overlooking the ocean and it is great to sit and watch the sun go down while dining. This time we were here on a night when it was raining and windy and sat a bit further "inside" (not sure how you have an inside of a building without 2 walls...). We still had a great view and were sheltered from the elements. It was a bit windy that night so its a good idea to dress correctly (I wore long pants this time) and I noticed a few people with wind breakers. The food was great and the service was exceptional. All recommend trying the Butterfish."
    Dined on 2/17/2014
  • "We enjoyed a pleasant lunch last week, the seared ahi salad and moi moi saimin. The tuna was a bit fibrous but the marinade was delicious. The salad dressing was fantastic! The saimin was chock full of char shu pork teriyaki style beef and very satisfying. The waitress was very engaging as well."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "Great indoor/outdoor dining experience with an awesome sunset view. Food presentation is well done but Service a bit lacking. Lau Lau and Three Fish Trio were delicious but NY steak was not so good. Stick with the fish and you can't go wrong. High noise level with the entertainment."
    Dined on 2/20/2014
  • "We had the poke appetizer, a Laulau entree, a braised short rib entree, and the tropical fruit cheese cake for desert. The appetizer was the best of the bunch with the poke being tasty and the sauce only overpowering the fish by a smidge. The Laulau was especially focused on the sauce making it difficult to find the taste of the fish, shrimp, and mussels. It was good, but the sauce overpowered the entree. I had a taste of my friend's braised short rib. It was also good but seemed a bit too sauce heavy as well. The desert was just right - the cheesecake and accompanying sauces worked well together."
    Dined on 2/19/2014
  • "Had a great meal here but the service was slow. Too many tables for the number of servers and the bar was extremely slow. Great views and not enough parking."
    Dined on 2/19/2014
  • "After our first visit just three weeks prior, we were a bit disappointed with the food this time around. The location still can't be beat but it does seem there are some consistency issues with the kitchen as other reviewers have noted. A very long wait between appetizer and entree followed up by two thin slices of very overcooked Ono on a bed of Pene pasta in a pesto sauce (the "special"). I love this location and the casual atmosphere but I'm going to think twice before going back at this point. Sorry Sam!"
    Dined on 2/19/2014
  • "We love seafood. I had seafood laulau. It was wonderful.We enjoyed very much."
    Dined on 2/18/2014
  • "My husband and I have been in the restaurant business for over 20 years each so we are really nit-picky. Service was prompt and friendly. Food was great. Didn't love the layout of the tables or the cement floor but all in all a great dining experience."
    Dined on 2/16/2014
  • "We have had occasion to be on the Island for an extended period and this was the fourth and last time we will go to Sam Choy's. You can tell the recipes and the ingredients make good food possible and sometimes it is good. There have been enough disappointments (it was the lamb chops this time) that we won't be going back. The open air ambiance of the facility is very nice and the food is just sub par."
    Dined on 2/17/2014
  • "We were awed by the million dollar view and it was a very fitting place to celebrate a special occasion. The food was well prepared and delicious (rib eye steak and short ribs were tried). We timed our reservation to take in the sunset and we loved our table by the outer edge to get the full view. A very wonderful experience overall."
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "In a word . . . excellent. The food, the ambiance, the service, the view, the presentation, the music, the setting . . . we couldn't have asked for more. And the prices were surprisingly good. Combine all these attributes, and we will return again and again and invite friends and recommend to anyone we meet."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "This restaurant has great outdoor seating with beautiful views of the sunset! I would make reservations if you want to sit near the fire pits otherwise if you arrive about 5:30-5:45 you should be able to get a seat. Definitely will be back the macadamia nut crusted chicken was phenomenal and so was my fiancés 10oz filet!"
    Dined on 2/9/2014
  • "We ordered the shoyu poke and calamari as appetizers. The poke was delicious but the calamari was "meh", the batter was crispy enough but it lacked flavor. I ordered the pork Katsu for dinner and it was really tender. Had to use the ketchup to add some flavor, though. Husband had the fish trio - he loved the blackened swordfish (not dry at all) and the deep sea snapper (mang cheong?) but thought the Mahi Mahi was a tad on the dry side. Had the bread pudding for dessert and it was just ok. Not enough sauce. The meal took an hour end to end and the server brought our check even before dessert was brought to the table. Seemed odd as we had not at any time indicated we were in a hurry."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Flavor-full food, well prepared, graciously served, generous portions. Balmy breezes and panoramic views. A very welcoming ambience. Kind of an upscale Old Hawai`i feeling."
    Dined on 2/9/2014
  • "Not at all impressed with the service. The server first came to the table and said she would bring us water, but didn't bother to ask for our drink orders. When she did return to take our order, all three diners requested Diet Coke, but she didn't inform us that the restaurant only serves Pepsi products, and therefore brought Diet Pepsis instead -- blecchhhh! When she cleared the appetizer and brought bread, one diner requested to keep her bread plate (which had already been dirtied by the appetizer) but the server offered to bring her a clean plate instead. That plate never arrived. Food was okay. Macadamia nut chicken was very tasty and moist, portion size was huge. But remaining entrees (steak and braised short ribs) were just okay."
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "Sam Choy's is a wonderful place for dinner - great food, well made drinks, wide selection of wines and attentive but not overbearing service. The reasons that I did not give it a 5-star rating is that it is more casual than elegant. My wife had a glass of Merlot before dinner and I had a vodka martini, both of which were served promptly and tasted fine. For entrees, my wife had panko-encrusted chicken and at our server's strong suggestion, I chose the trio of double lamb chops. Both were outstanding and the portions left no room for dessert. Sam Choy's is located in a growing shopping center but is situated on a hill with a fantastic ocean view. Parking is plentiful and reservations are encouraged."
    Dined on 2/6/2014
  • "Fish way overdone, dry. That is not usually the case. Still will return."
    Dined on 2/4/2014
  • "Food was very good for some in our group and very average for others. Service was very slow, it took over 30 minutes to receive our cocktails."
    Dined on 2/4/2014