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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 WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
  • Diners' Choice WinnerScenic View
Diner Reviews
  • "Celebrating my birthday this year was a big deal, as I haven't done so in years, and Sam Choy's was the "perfect" venue to do so! From the moment my date and I walked through the door, we were greeted with smiles and quickly escorted to our lovely table overlooking a sunset washed Kona shoreline below. Our celebratory margaritas were made to perfection and we lulled over the delicious menu choices, probably a bit too long, but what the heck...it was so much fun! We decided to go with an array of pupus instead of main course dishes because we wanted to sample more of Sam's culinary delights and we weren't disappointed, only wish there were more choices available! A complimentary chocolate decadence dessert topped off a perfect meal!!!"
    Dined on 7/20/2014
  • "Our granddaughter was visiting from Nashville and she said that Sam Choy's was one of the restaurants she wanted to go to. We go there for most special occasions."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "This was the second time we went to Sam's. The first time was very disappointing because the service was so bad. This time our server was wonderful and the food very good. There's few places nicer to see the Sunset in Kona than from an outside table at Sam's. (To get an outside table, I'd definitely recommend reservations.) My one complaint was the timing of the dishes from the kitchen. There were long lags between the courses, especially between the entree and dessert. Also to be improved would be the hostess - it's always nice when there's someone there to thank you for dining with them."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "First timers at Sam Choys. We heard thru media that it was good. We had no idea his status as a chef was this highly regarded. We did not know he had a t.v show and several cook books. We do know that we could not stop raving about the quality and flavors of the meal. My hubbie had the fish trio and I had the steak with shiitake mushroom sauce. We even brought some home and ate it the next day and the flavours were still there! It was clearly the best meal we've had in a very long time. Thank you for the great food! Desert was excellent too!"
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "This is one of my favorite places in Kona! It is always such a delightful experience to come here. I enjoy bring family and friends that are visiting from the mainland. They enjoy it as well. I appreciate Sam and his crew immensely as he adds so much to Kona and this beautiful island of Hawaii."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "Very nice sunset view. Excellent food. Really good prices."
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "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
  • "The view and food were very good went back a second time before we went back to phoenix"
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "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
  • "Have been to the original Sam Choys when it was up by Costco in Kona, and we visit almost every year and go to his new location, which we went when it was the Wendy's with the killer view then sat vacant for years...so glad it's Sam's!! Salad dressing rocks!"
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "The filet was like heaven in the mouth. Melted like butter with every bite! Amazing!!!"
    Dined on 4/24/2014
  • "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
  • "We went to Sam Choy's because of the ratings on Trip Advisor. We were so disappointed. The food was not very good or well presented. The waiter only made jokes about our complaints of slow service and food not being as presented in the menu. There are too many good restaurants in Kona-Kailua to waste your time and money on this place."
    Dined on 4/22/2014
  • "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 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