Sam Choy's Kai Lanai

4.3
1143 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Hawaii Regional Cuisine
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.

Dining Style
Casual Dining
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Cuisines
Hawaii Regional Cuisine
icon/ic_clockCreated with Sketch.
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
icon/ic_phoneCreated with Sketch.
Phone number
(808) 333-3434
icon/ic_new_windowCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_paymentCreated with Sketch.
Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
icon/ic_dress_codeCreated with Sketch.
Dress code
Casual Dress
icon/ic_chefCreated with Sketch.
Executive chef
Sam Choy
icon/ic_private_diningCreated with Sketch.
Private party facilities
If you have an intimate party or a large gathering, you will select your menu or defer to Chef Choy’s suggestions and life-long experience in preparing custom, creative and undeniably delicious food.
icon/ic_contactCreated with Sketch.
Private party contact
Don Girvan: (808) 333-3434
icon/ic_neighborhoodCreated with Sketch.
Neighborhood
icon/ic_parking_detailsCreated with Sketch.
Parking details
Lot plus over flow parking lot with cart service between over flow lot and restaurant.
Additional
Beer, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 1143 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Newest
Filters
K
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Love the beautiful view from Sam Choy’s. I always order the seared poke island salad. Delicious fresh ahi poke. Friendly servers😊

Report
Helpful
L
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

This restaurant was recommended to us for it's good food, outdoor dining, and overall ambiance and it did not disappoint. Sea bass was excellent as was the fresh ahi poki flight. Service a bit slow with a comment from our server that the kitchen was "backed up"-but only about 20% of the restaurant was occupied on a seemingly quiet Thursday evening and remained so during our 1.5 hour stay. Outside of that , would return.

Report
Helpful
G
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always, great food!!! Went late on Wednesday night and was pleasantly surprised as the crowd was gone so we enjoyed the quietness.

Report
Helpful
OT
Portland
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Drinks and desserts were awesome.... the lamb was tough and over cooked for medium as requested

Report
Helpful
F
Hawaii
12 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service

Report
Helpful
M
Hawaii
48 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

If I could give 10 starts for ambiance I would, the views here are simply spectacular. It is Sam Choy, one of the great Hawaiian chefs of all time. The food is delicious, really great value when you consider the million dollar views and million dollar tastes!

Report
Helpful
a
Anchorage
38 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

The food is fresh and flavorful. The service was good and the view is great.

Report
Helpful
L
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 2

Great view! The server was slow to acknowledge us and then when she finally brought us menus she did not return for 15 minutes. We watched her clearing other tables and chatting around - clearly oblivious to us patiently waiting. My husband finally had to go get her attention. Then a downpour started and the wait team could not figure out how to make the moving roof cover our table. Not a big deal - we are in Hawaii, afterall. I really wanted to love this restaurant - but we had really bad service on this particular night.

Report
Helpful
JL
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Simply outstanding. Food ambiance are first rate @!

Report
Helpful
s
San Diego
39 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We decided to try the restraunt because we had been there before. We did not know that the restraunt was sold and kept the Sam Choy name. I have to say we still enjoyed the food and drinks. And the sunset was was excellent from the seating area.

Report
Helpful
OT
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Beutiful sunset could see from the open terrace.

Report
Helpful
DD
Hawaii
15 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sunday brunch is an especially good value. And our server was a pro. The view is beautiful and when walking out look at the herb garden.

Report
Helpful
TJ
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Birthday for my Beautiful Wife.
Waitress was incredible, friendly and attentive.
Food was delicious, view spectacular.
Mahalo for making my Ku’ipo’s birthday special.

Blessings & Aloha, Kevin & Christine McCarty

Report
Helpful
LS
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent! service food and sunset! We will highly recommend and we will be going back!

Report
Helpful
MA
Houston
19 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

View is nice. Ordered lamb chops medium to medium rare. Were delivered tough and well-done. As all other food had been delivered to table, didn’t want to send back and wait for reorder. Friend ordered mushroom pasta which literally came with two small pieces of mushrooms. Wasn’t impressed. Won’t be back.

Report
Helpful
MH
Memphis
1 review
Dined on October 15, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

The fresh fish was dry and suppose to have macadamia nuts and couldn’t taste them. Waiter told us the wrong vegetable, I have allergies to soy and no mention of soy in meal and I got sick. I told them it was my birthday so did my husband, no recognition of my birthday although the table next to us they sang happy birthday to a lady. Last year when visiting the island, we ate there twice. This time we will not go back.

Report
Helpful
JV
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

Arrived and were seated for our reserved time. Food took over 1 1/2 hours to come out and was very dry and bland for such well known restaurant. Entire experience was horrible and told the hotel that recommended the restaurant not to recommend them again.

Report
Helpful
KF
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 2ambience 1

It took far too much time to get the main course after the starter. The pasta with beef had no taste at all.

Report
Helpful
A
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Food and service was good, atmosphere was just ok. We went for dinner and it was very bright lighting and was a little more casual than we were expecting.

Report
Helpful
A
Tahoe
5 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 4

Worst meal experience there! Baby back ribs were dry, duck was fatty and tough.
Salad was served before appetizer but it didn't matter since all three courses were served within 10 minutes. Still eating salad when the appetizer came, then entree right behind.
Only part of the table groups diners were able to order dessert. Had to track down the waitress to get the last two orders in.

Report
Helpful
F
Hawaii
28 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

I had the poke salad and Brie won tons with wine, my partner had the mix plate. It was good.

Report
Helpful
c
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Perfect for a sunset dinner in Kona Kailua. Live music and fresh seafood

Report
Helpful
MM
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a great place to end our vacation on Big Island. The view was superb, the food and drinks excellent and the waitress was super nice. We had a hreat time!

Report
Helpful
OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 5

Visited restaurant in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The view is spectacular. Food was expensive and cold.

Report
Helpful
OT
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Last dinner with family in Hawaii.
We arrived 25 mins before our scheduled dinner and got sat promptly.
Waiter was at the table fast and explain fish of the day and cocktails.
It was HOT and bright, but nature can’t be changed.

Report
Helpful
MM
1 review
Dined on September 3, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

We visited while on vacation in Kona and enjoyed it very much. Reservations were very easy, the view is breathtaking and the ambiance is fun and friendly. The resident cat amused us greatly. The only down side was that we found out after we ordered that they were out of key lime pie but the bread pudding was lovely. We will go back the next time we visit the Big Island!

Report
Helpful
OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 3, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 3

The food was terrible. All dishes served room temperature vs hot. Duck entree was almost inedible due to toughness.
The Fish 3 ways did not seem fresh. Again warm not hot.
The drinks were refreshing but almost without alcohol.
Overpriced nonsense. It is a total skip.

Report
Helpful
i
Hawaii
5 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went to Kona to visit family. Sam Choy is usually packed, but this time there was no line. We were greeted very nicely, was seated with awesome view. Had a cocktail and it was delish. Mom ordered beef stew which she loved, it actually had more meat than veg. We got to taste it yum. I had a mixed plate beef, chicken, and fish. Superb. Chefs know how to cook. My sister had sandwich which she raved about. 10 stars if I could!
Went back Sunday for breakfast, for you locals out there, we were greeted and treated like ohana. Even the chef came over, the manager was super cordial as they should be. Loved this place. The waitress and waiters all very friendy and polite. Wonderful experience. A HUI HOU

Report
Helpful
ID
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great music, excellent food and beautiful atmosphere. Staff was terrific!

Report
Helpful
DA
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perennial local favorite for comfort food with a million dollar view of the ocean!

Report
Helpful
PA
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really loved it since it was near our hotel. Nice views! Wonderful sunset! Reasonably priced meals. Recommend it to anybody staying close by

Report
Helpful
JU
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Raw chicken wings, great music, great view! The server had too many tables so we didn’t get water for a while, and didn’t get refills. Still enjoyed the view and moment.

Report
Helpful
JM
Indiana
3 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We chose this restaurant for the ocean views and that it got great reviews on yelp. The service was excellent and the view was wonderful. We got the Poke flight and it was OUTSTANDING. The food is very well prepared and wonderful.

Report
Helpful
SR
Las Vegas
5 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The waiter was friendly and warm. Food was really good and atmosphere was very Hawaiian. Loved going here for our 24th anniversary!

Report
Helpful
RJ
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The entire evening was outstanding. We have been following Sam Choy's restaurants since the 1990s, and every time it's a memotable and delicious experience. Thank you!

Report
Helpful
TF
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

we enjoyed the fresh catch of the day and it was just delicious...a generous portion of Ono fish...the restaurant was not as busy as it usually is but we ate late...we try to eat at Sam's at least once on each trip and it takes us 1 hour to get to the restaurant...

Report
Helpful
BT
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

Food came out a bit cold. Server was not that attentive. Ambiance was excellent.

Report
Helpful
FW
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 10, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 3

The OpenTable app specifically asks for an indoor or outdoor reservation. But the restaurant couldn’t care less. When I reminded the hostess, she said there were not any tables outside available, when clearly there was an open 6-top. We only had a party of 4, but the 6-top remained unused during our entire meal...poor customer service.

Report
Helpful
JB
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Unfortunately Poor service spoilt our meal. The only positive was the view from our table onto to shopping Centre Solar panels

Report
Helpful
NP
1 review
Dined on July 5, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 4

Great location and pretty good service. This restaurant has the potential to be really great and in fact it was at one point. Unfortunately it has gone downhill. This is not my first bad food experience here. I thought initially that I “caught them on a bad day”. At this point they are all “bad days”. On this particular experience the vegetables served with my fish were soggy the way frozen vegetables are. The fish was over cooked. Our poke appitizer was served luke warm after our dinner was, even though it was ordered well before our dinner. To be fair management and our server were very gracious about the mistake but there is no excuse for the poor quality of overpriced food. As a resident of Kona I am saddened that Sam Choy’s no longer holds themselves to a higher standard. Easy to do when you primarily serve a revolving door of tourists.

Report
Helpful
1
2
3
29