Sam Choy's Kai Lanai

4
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1486 Reviews
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$30 and under
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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.

What 1486 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.0based on recent ratings
3.9
food
4.1
service
4.4
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Moderate
77% of people would recommend it to a friend
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KP
KayP
Central Coast
4 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2020
Overall2food1service4ambience5

My husband’s dinner was good, I however had the worst dinner we’ve ever encountered there. I ordered a Chrispy Duck dish but half of it was chicken. Duck is dark meat & half of this overly breaded & then fried dish had white meat in it. They were trying to save $$ by doing it. It is an expensive restaurant so you expect good food. DON’T ORDER THIS DISH!!

BR
BarbieR
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful view! Great drinks and pupils! Friendly staff!

M
Malibujim
Central Coast
19 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

The former Wendy’s location is impressive; great sunset view. The food is good, not spectacular. The service was attentive and thoughtful. There was a mix up on our wine order and they comped us 2 glasses; nice gesture. Their fish is fresh and well prepared...Fish trio was nice combo. Suggest reservation for front row table.

LD
LinoD
Tahoe
9 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was fantastic except for the weather. We tried a couple of their signature drinks and three menu items. The Mai Tai was typical, but Hawaiian Mimosas were outstanding. Fried rice with eggs was good, but the Beef Stew omelette was inspired. Everything about a Sunday dinner with family wrapped in an omelette. We ended with coconut pineapple fritters, which turned out to be a perfect end. The local honey matched the fritters perfectly. Next time we’re on the big island it’s worth the two hour drive from Hilo.

RH
RobertH
Hawaii
5 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Had lunch there. 3 of the five meals were very good. The out door view is amazing

G
Greatbrunch
Las Vegas
8 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Food not bad, waitress left a lot to be desired. Asked for a suggestion and she told me “I’m funny” - wasn’t trying to be.

LH
LesH
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience1

Read many of the reviews on Yelp. Decided to form my own. And I give it an official...meh.

FH
FromHawaii2Maine
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2020
Overall2food2service1ambience3

Poor wait staff, over priced and underwhelming tasting entree. Thought maybe it was just a bad night, gave it a second try and it was just as bad.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2020
Overall4food5service2ambience4

Food was great. Service was sub-par.

CD
CyndyD
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Sam Choy's Kai Lanai restaurant has awesome views. The food is excellent. There are plenty of selections on the menu. It's great that breakfast may be ordered all day Saturday and Sunday. My favorites are the fresh fish sandwich and house salad with Oriental dressing.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Enjoyed our meal at Sam Choy’s on our last night in Kona and it was an outstanding experience. The food was cooked to perfection and delicious and our server was cheerful, attentive and very helpful. Although it ended up being overcast, we had a great view and were very comfortable. Be sure to get the calamari appetizer and the Pineapple Coconut fritters for dessert!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New Mexico
5 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2020
Overall2food2service3ambience3

We remember this place as a little more upscale but it’s now more “every day”. Nice views to the ocean if you forget about looking over the mall rooftops. The word on the street is that Sam has forgotten about this location, instead focusing on his Oahu location. Two of us tried a “new” shredded duck entree and found the plum-based sauce did not taste very good — had an earthy/dirt taste to it. Our server was efficient; food came out quickly; but not overly friendly. I doubt we will go back. Too many other “OK” places to try.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Des Moines
3 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Good food & service. Beautiful view. Noisy.

m
marcm
Calgary
3 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2020
Overall3food4service2ambience3

food was very good but the service was very very rushed and poor

RV
RandyV
1 review
Dined on March 4, 2020
Overall2food2service3ambience4

Duck was undercooked, steak my friend received was overpriced. View from outside tables is spectacular

JK
vipJKTP
Seattle
6 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Delightful with good service and tasty food.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Our waitress, Rhonda, was wonderful . Very friendly and anticipated our needs. Came to check on us but did not intrude. The food was tasty, setting was stunning, but we found it a bit pricey. Lovely evening - just cost us more than we thought it would.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Service was excellent. Becca was awesome server!

LB
LindaB
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had brunch on a Sunday and were so pleased with the beautiful setting, delicious and generous portions and friendly service. The prices were very reasonable and all four members of our group were pleased with their selections which included a ham omelette, fried rice, and eggs Benedict. The reservation process made our seating so quick and efficient as well!

EM
EdwardM
Kansas City
9 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

I had the short ribs and my wife had the "catch of the day". Both were prepared well and very enjoyable. Portions are generous. Can't comment on the dessert because we were too full to try one. The Mai Tai's are excellent. Setting is on top of a hill overlooking a shopping center and a main road but it also had a clear view of the ocean.

l
vipluvtodine
Phoenix
11 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food!!! Their seafood is so fresh as well as the salads. Will return again on our next visit to Kona.

DD
DanD
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on February 27, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Typical tourist-trap restaurant. Was disappointed at the quality and choices of food, was expecting more based on write up in magazines. Only plus would be watching the sunset on a good day...but it was raining when we were there.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on February 26, 2020
Overall2food1service5ambience5

Had reservation for 6pm, didn’t get sat till after 6:30pm due to sunset and guests just hanging out at their tables for it. Food was disappointing.

RF
RobertF
1 review
Dined on February 26, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Overall excellent, great views, great service, nice atmosphere. Only one of our party of seven had a small complaint on the over done ness of a fish dish, all others were excellent.
A must stop every time that we are in south KONA. Also, don’t miss their happy hour for great deals on excellent drinks and appetizers.

BA
vipBookgirlABQ
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2020
Overall2food3service5ambience4

Great sunset view & drinks—daily catch bland overcooked & expensive—I’d come for drinks @ sunset & dine elsewhere or stick with a seafood salad which was tasty.

l
vipluvtodine
Phoenix
11 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love their food and the view!!! Service was excellent too. Waiter was Nathan and he was on top of his game!

BW
BrandonW
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

good food, great atmosphere, waiter was great i think Nathan was his name

AM
AlanM
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience5

Great situation and atmosphere, views fantastic, food not so good. Started ok with chicken wings but all 3 main courses were poor. Desert was supposed to be pineapple fritters but could taste no pineapple at all, also was told it would be free as it was my birthday but it still appeared on the bill. It did get taken off but I would have been unhappy to pay anyway. Overall though a bit disappointed I still enjoyed the place and might give it another chance.

P
randP
Sacramento
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall3food3service1ambience4

We had a reservation for 7. we got there an hour and 15 minutes early to sit at the bar. We had great service at the bar but didn't get seated till 7:40 pm after asking about a reservation three times. We started asking at 10 to 7

ML
MonicaL
Omaha
14 reviews
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall3food2service5ambience5

Don’t bother to reserve - it doesn’t matter. But it’s okay because there’s a lot of seatings.

AF
vipAnotherFoodie
New York Area
66 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2020
Overall2food2service5ambience5

Tourist trap! Dry fish on both my and husband’s entrees. Nice place for a cocktail and vista only. We’ve been on Hawaii for over 2 weeks and it was the only disappointing dinner we had. Also, small menu and at 6:00 there were 3 entrees not even available.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Denver
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience5

Incredible views. Amazing sunset. Servers were far too busy to provide decent service. Drinks were not great and overpriced. Food was decent.

CS
CathyS
Denver
4 reviews
Dined on February 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was our anniversary and we reserved outdoor seating at 6pm. So we could experience the sunset during dinner. It was absolutely fantastic. The food - orange duck and seafood trio was delicious. Service was extraordinary - Derek was awesome!
Will def go back!! .

OT
OpenTable Diner
Calgary
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience4

We had a lovely table and excellent view of the sunset. The drinks were great. Our server was good but was extremely busy and we sat for long periods without being checked on.
Our food was a disappointment. Our appetizer wings were served cool and slightly soggy like they had been sitting for a while. The duck was gross and the fish was over seasoned and extremely dry.
We will head back to this restaurant in the future for drinks but eat somewhere else.

MB
MerlinB
1 review
Dined on February 19, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

We really enjoyed our 3 experiences at Sam Choy's. The staff was really friendly and accomodating.

K
vipKonagal
San Francisco
34 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our waiter, Garrett, was very attentive and our food was served quickly and was very good. Added bonus to the beautiful view, we saw a whale spout!

TB
TerriB
1 review
Dined on February 18, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Our experience was really good. We made reservations, arrived early and didn't have to wait. The food was good. My husband would have liked a cider instead of an ale. I think a wine would have gone better than the ale with my macadamia nut encrusted catch of the day.

f
vipfundinnergroup
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience5

Waiter was stressed and not enough help, poor service and attitude!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

The waiter gave timely service and the food was tasty and came on time. The views of the pacific were stunning

A
Alan
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall1food2service1ambience1

They don’t use this site for reservations....
but said we would have a table in 5 min
We waited 45 min to be seated right next to the entrance , which was open the whole time we waited. Food was over priced, hostesses were clueless, server seemed annoyed we were there.

FAQs

Sam Choy's Kai Lanai is rated 4 stars by 1486 OpenTable diners.

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