Cactus

4.4
387 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Latin American
Top Tags:
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Gluten Free Options
  • Good for a Date

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About

Cactus is "Modern Latin Cuisine with Aloha," inspired by the flavors, culinary traditions and techniques from Central and South America as well as Cuba, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Offering the cuisines of the sun, land and sea, Cactus menu selections focuses on:

* Local produce from the islands
* Two Lady Farmer's pork from Kahalu'u
* Big Island beef, veal, & wild boar
* Sustainably caught or farmed seafood from the island chain

Drop-in or reserve a table in our casual, lively environment with warm, engaging, professional service.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Latin American
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Hours of operation
Breakfast
Sat 10:00 am–2:00 pm
Lunch
Mon–Sat 11:00 am–3:30 pm
Happy Hour
Mon–Sat 3:30 pm–5:30 pm
Dinner
Mon–Sat 5:00 pm–9:30 pm
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Phone number
(808) 261-1000
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Chef Matt Laidlaw
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Hamakua Drive
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Public transit
Bus 57
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 387 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.4based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.3
service
4.1
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined on June 10, 2018

We will miss you! We have had so many great meals with you.

Love & Aloha!

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4.0Dined on June 9, 2018

My friends and I considered this visit to Cactus as our last supper. We are so sad that it is closing. We do hope they will find another location and staff to re-open soon. We will miss them terribly.

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5.0Dined on June 3, 2018

Love the food, one of our favorite spots for dinner. We prefer to sit outside.

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4.0Dined on May 25, 2018

Excellent smoked chicken salad...would have liked to see more green veggie options and less fried food options...although Latin American cuisine I believe there are non fried delicacies that could be added perhaps as specials.

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3.0Dined on May 6, 2018

They were overwhelmed by the crowd on cinco de mayo. Not enough staff. Long wait for drinks and food. The food was good not great but not worth the high price. Probably will not go back.

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3.0Dined on May 6, 2018

Service was sloooooow, 2 drinks an appetizer and meal took us 2.5 hours! The server did say their chef called off, leaving them with a “guest chef” and they were also short wait staff. But man, it took forever. The food was nothing to rave about, mushroom enchiladas and my husband had the shrimp tacos but again...guest chef, so maybe better on a different night? The menu had great variety, with fun twist to various Mexican dishes. The drinks were delicious, great selections there. I enjoyed the Smoke and Mirrors and the Jalepeno Margarita, maybe a little on the weak side? But great flavor. I’d give it one more try, fingers crossed the usual chef is working and they’re staffed appropriately!

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4.0Dined on May 5, 2018

Consistently good food. Flavors are layered and each spice is tasted. Love the frozen sangria!

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5.0Dined on May 5, 2018

Wonderful Cinco de Mayo again as usual. Mariachi Loco playing made it all the better! Food , drinks and service top notch!

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5.0Dined on May 5, 2018

Kristen, once again you and your Team gave us a wonderful evening. Cindy is great as always in taking care of us and or Friends from Ewa Beach. This was their first time at Cactus and they enjoyed it very much. We will be back soon. See you soon.

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5.0Dined on May 1, 2018

The guacamole was excellent! Local greens are superb! Argentine flatbread salad is delicious!

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4.0Dined on April 29, 2018

On a Saturday night with a huge shower party taking much of the staff's attention was stretched thin but our server and assistant were friendly and helpful. Had the grapefruit-cilantro martini which had delighted in the past like drinking a Spring meadow. This time it was too heavy on the fruit and light on the cilantro (and liquor). Steak and mushroom tacos with smoked black beans were tasty, and the chocolate gelato with cinnamon dessert exploded with taste. Coffee was a disappointment, about as strong as dishwater (it doesn't bode well when you can see the bottom of a white cup through the brew). We will go back often, but probably not on a Fri/Sat night.

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5.0Dined on April 27, 2018

Great food...great drinks...great service...that’s all you need! Eat here!

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5.0Dined on April 27, 2018

Cindy was a fabulous server. She made delicious recommendations & served with joy. Thank you.

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5.0Dined on April 6, 2018

I had the Mexican mule, the grilled peppers, and the smoked mushroom enchilada. The food was excellent, loved the non traditional prep of enchilada, really good flavor. The mule needed more bite, maybe more lime juice. Service was friendly, excellent.

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3.0Dined on April 5, 2018

I have been many times and the experience has previously been terrific but not this time. Even though the place was almost empty the took a long time to get service. The table near us was seated after us and got their food before us. The order was wrong the first time and the mashed potatoes tasted like they were made with spoiled milk. I'll go back based on previous experience but not for a while.

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2.0Dined on March 30, 2018

When we were seated, the host informed us that they were out of fish. It was noon, lunch, on Good Friday ...how could they not have fish?!? We asked the waiter for an order of empanadas, to which we were informed that they were out of empanadas. I’m not sure what’s going on with this restaurant, but this is obviously poor, poor management and planning; especially for a so called “Spanish” fusion restaurant to not have fish on Good Friday, much less not have empanadas. Come on!!! I wanted to go in the kitchen and teach those cooks how to make empanadas!! There is a new Peruvian restaurant in Kapolei, next time I’m in the mood for ceviche and empanadas, I’ll gladly make the drive.

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4.0Dined on March 27, 2018

We had friends from New York staying in Kailua for vacation and thought we would impress them with this special restaurant because we know the food is always wonderful and inventive. We were early but they sat us right away near the door, which was perfect as one person was using a walker. We ordered the guacamole, salsas and chips as an appetizer. Yummy! For dinner we had the fish tacos, risotto, potato crusted chicken and the special seafood inspiration. Each dish was delicious and beautiful but the timing was a little off, which surprised us as it has never happened before. First two dishes came out then one more, but the last dish (risotto) took quite awhile more. Not a big deal but unusual. The Mexican chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream was wonderful but the macadamia tart was too sweet and mushy.

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5.0Dined on March 25, 2018

We had a lovely meal..everything was spot on. The flavors were amazing and the finishing tones superb!

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5.0Dined on March 25, 2018

A great spot for dinnner. The ceviche was well presented and had great flavour. Tacos, both the fish and braised beef were very tasty. This is a must stop place for dinner in Kailua.

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5.0Dined on March 24, 2018

Our 6 year old rated Cactus as her new favorite restaurant! The house smoked bacon was perfect, everything we ordered was creative and delicious. The server was friendly and knowledgeable and the prices average. We got there at exactly ten, when they open so they were still getting things ready but the horchata was fresh along with the amazing guava tostadas and everything else we ordered. Perfection!

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5.0Dined on March 22, 2018

Good variety of gluten free food.

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2.0Dined on March 18, 2018

Unfortunately Cactus did live up to it's reviews from trip adviser. Staf was frendly and the main courses (X4) where good. Ceviche appetizers were blend and portions were slall ( for 18$ more was expected obviously).
Main courses where averaging 30$ per person and, although decent size and taste, no "omg" were present all around...
Appetizers were delivered around 3-4 minutes appart between guess at the same table ( again, only 4 of us) and sadly, same with the main course. The poor server was trying her best but ...voila!
We travel all over and do not count or budget meals, no limits were applied here money wise, we just wanted an honest place that delivers on a scale that maches its pricing. Did not find Cactus honest that way hence me taking 5 min to write this review.
Near 300$ (4 people), 1 glass of wine each, no desert or aperitifs is too much for this Mexican joint. Sorry, did a lot better elsewhere last week...

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5.0Dined on March 18, 2018

Great food and service.

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5.0Dined on March 17, 2018

Great food and drinks. Casey was our server and he was excellent. He was helpful, friendly and very efficient.

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5.0Dined on March 15, 2018

The food was delicious and our server, Jillian, was outstanding. She was very friendly and made great recommendations!

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3.0Dined on March 4, 2018

Great food, although it took over 20 mins for our appetizers to come out. Wait staff was accommodating though and gave us a small discount for the inconvenience.

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4.0Dined on February 27, 2018

Great spot to meet up with long lost girlfriends! Its quiet and tables are not too close for comfort. Lots of great salads to choose from

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3.0Dined on February 24, 2018

Our waitress was so nice but unfortunately the food took a little longer than I expected it to take.

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4.0Dined on February 19, 2018

Cactus is a great place to try something different, experience new flavors and new foods. There are so many Chinese, Japanese , Korean and Italian restaurants in Kailua. So, having this restaurant here in Kailua is perfect!

We were celebrating a Birthday for one of our family members. It had been a while since we visited this place but I remember their Cubano Sandwich very well. I was not disappointed. The combination of meat, cheese, pickles and a few other things on toasted bread was delicious. I added on a side of sweet potato fries and my meal was complete. We also tried the Argentine Fry Bread with Pineapple-Manzano Chile Jelly which was superb, a new favorite. The consistency reminded me of a doughnut, almost like beignets (French doughnut) without the powdered sugar on top. I wanted to eat the whole plate myself.

The only thing about our experience at the restaurant was that we waited a little over half an hour or so before our party got our main meals. I just wanted to make mention because you may have to sit for a bit. The food was delicious though so we feel it’s worth the wait.

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1.0Dined on February 18, 2018

I really like this place the food is great and all by my goodness what happened to the service? If you go here be prepared to wait an hour just to get food even if it’s half empty. I hope they make it better or that’ll be the last time I go which I really don’t want it to be.

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5.0Dined on February 11, 2018

My friend had been there and suggested it for us to go to lunch. We both loved the entire experience. Friendly staff, great food choices, loved the specialized cocktails and tried a couple of different ones. They did not disappoint. I wish I lived closer as we drove about 30 minutes to get there but it was well worth it and would do it again, under similar circumstances.

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4.0Dined on February 10, 2018

Cactus was a good experience. Nice to have a place on Oahu which served tapa style plates. Drinks were tasty. Overall it was a good experience.

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5.0Dined on February 7, 2018

We will be back!! Food and service was exceptional! Very accommodating ‼️

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3.0Dined on February 3, 2018

Overall it was a good experience with just a few minor hiccups:

Service was a bit slow - it took at least 15 minutes from the time we got our drinks to the time they took our order.

There was dried red wine on the foot of my wine glass. However they took the glass away and brought a clean one and even wiped it down in front of me just to be sure it was clean.

A small tiny piece of plastic wrap was stuck to my braised short ribs. It was probably from when they took it out of the pot and transferred it to a warming dish. It may have gotten stuck or fallen in by accident.

They were very accommodating to the issues and comped us the appetizer.

Great response and very quick to resolve issues.

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5.0Dined on February 2, 2018

Wonderful, fresh food! Favorite part was the dessert !

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5.0Dined on January 29, 2018

The service was great and food delicious! Thank you!

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3.0Dined on January 19, 2018

Better for lunch than dinner. Dinner rush seemed to overwhelm the wait staff and kitchen. Food was nowhere near as good as what we had when we ate lunch here previously. Sat for our 7:15 reservation at 7:40 and didn’t have food on the table until 8:30. Had to ask for our drinks twice before we got them. One plate of fish had to be sent back to be re-fired as it was completely raw.

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5.0Dined on January 4, 2018

Great food specials and great staff and Gulian was awesome♡

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2.0Dined on January 1, 2018

Service was very slow. Good didn’t take long once we put in our order but it took a while for the waitstaff to bring drinks, take out order, and bring the check. The food was mediocre. The three-cheese dip was overpriced and not especially tasty. The goat cheese croquettes were good.

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5.0Dined on December 30, 2017

Great food and nice service. We are always impressed when we come here. A little pricey but worth it

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