Sam Choy's Kai Lanai

3.9
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1448 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 1448 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.9based on recent ratings
3.9
food
4.0
service
4.3
ambience
3.6
value
Noise · Moderate
74% of people would recommend it to a friend
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TB
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
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
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall3food3service3ambience5

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

OT
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

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

A
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
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.

WS
Tucson
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall1food2service5ambience5

We’re not seated until 30 minutes after our scheduled reservation. Noise level was high food ok. Waitress was outstanding

RE
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience5

We made a reservation and glad that we did as the place was packed. We sat outside with a fabulous sunset. The food was outstanding although I did not get the sea bass I wanted (they were out) but the tuna and shrimp was pretty good too. My husband had the short ribs and said they were outstanding. Our friend along with us had the fish trio and really liked it too. The only down was the noise level from the singer. Was sooooo loud had a hard time hearing our waiter or each other. Would we go again, absolutely

OT
Anchorage
19 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food5service2ambience5

Very delicious lunch at Sam’s! Unfortunately, the service was quite lacking. Our server was not very friendly, and was absent a good portion of the time we were at the restaurant. Another server stepped in to help us when he saw that we were looking around for her.

We will definitely return, the food is incredible… We just hope that the service is improved.

DS
Los Angeles
42 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Spectacular view and a big plus for us is that it is a “dog friendly” restaurant!

OT
Portland
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3food3service2ambience4

We have eaten here several times. Usually very good, this time the service was very slow. Would not recommend the Crispy Duck....

OT
Dallas
6 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful experience at Sam Choy’s! We were celebrating our anniversary and they gave us a table with the perfect sunset view, but all of the tables there get an amazing panoramic view of the sunset. Nathan provided great service in helping us select specials and wine. We started off with calamari and the kauai clams and sausage. The clams were my favorite!

For dinner, I got the macadamia crusted fresh catch of the day that had this amazing teriyaki glaze on it. We were just incredibly happy with the food and experience. I recommend going for a reservation by 6pm to get the full sunset and ordering their fresh fish options!

DS
Hawaii
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall1food2service1ambience3

Drove up looking for a parking place. A man comes out with a glass in his hand and no identifying name tag and starts directing us to park near the building. My husband wasn’t parking fast enough and they guy gets angry. Husband tells him he is being careful not to scratch car and tires. Man yells at us telling us it is not his first rodeo. Continued to yell at us until we were at the door. Get to the hostess and she tells us no table available even though we had a reservation. Husband talks to manager and miraculously a table appears. Waited twenty mins before waiter came. Waited over an hour for food that was lukewarm with congealed sauce likely been sitting at the pass for awhile. Waiter gives us a bill and tells us to just leave at the bar because no time to come back and get. Guess what he didn’t get a tip either. Terrible. Won’t be back and we are locals.

OT
Dallas
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good food, reasonably priced for a resort area. Best views

s
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

The food was awesome and enough to fill you. It started to rain and the staff very quickly moved us under covered and took care of needs. We come to Sam Choy's whenever we are in Hawaii

i
New York Area
249 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

My one regret is that we didn't discover Sam Choy's till our last night in Mona. It was so good we definitely would have eaten there more than once. Besides the good island drinks we had a great choice of wine. I had the orange duck. My dining partner had the short ribs. Wonderful. Portions were generous and the sides were delicious as was the key lime pie dessert.

M
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Went late in the evening so it was very quiet.
Food was very tasty.

OT
Edmonton
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Beautiful place to spend a Hawaiian evening. Delicious food, awesome live music, incredible sunset. We loved it!

DC
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience2

Food was fine, but overpriced. Not vegetarian friendly. Waiter was rude to our vegetarian friend. Kept repeating NO, NO, NO over and over again. She settled on an Island Salad with no meat add-on but they brought her just a side salad. Not happy!!

JM
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2020
Overall3food2service2ambience3

It was raining and we were support to have table outside. The drinks were great! My food was dry and it needed a sauce for the crab cakes. It was over price and under class.

TC
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall2food2service3ambience4

The prices are way to high and most of their selections are fish. The food was bland.

DD
Hawaii
22 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Try the heart-healthy eggs Benedict with tomatoes/spinach. Top it off with pineapple fritters and you have a fine breakfast!

L
Denver
6 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience5

Restaurant was only 1/4 full- it still took an hour to get our food. Wife got a veggie omelet- it was mostly onions. Great views- average experience.

P
Naples
15 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our server for two of the three days we went there was Nathan ...he’s fabulously! Jeric the manger was such a dear to try to get the fish just right... as we were told the first night it was hebi but in fact , it’s still a mystery probably wahoo but, we’ll never know .. but the food delicious and service spectacular

SL
Minneapolis
3 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience5

Amazing location. Fish was great. Drinks were yummy! Kids meals of Mac and cheese was gross and cheeseburgers were burned. Good reason the kids weren’t eating well.

LV
Kansas City
19 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We loved going for just a drink or for dinner- the view is amazing!

SS
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Liked very much too be there. Excellent place for a dinner during sundown. Very unusual food.

P
Naples
16 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The waiter was great but he had too many tables

T
Munich
7 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

tasteful food, good view for sunsets,
friendly staff

BF
Las Vegas
8 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Amazing place to watch the sunset. Staff is friendly. Desserts were awesome. Poke was very good. Three fish platter was overdone but tasty.

CC
Anchorage
2 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall2food2service3ambience4

I would really love to see talented chefs be more about their art and showcasing local produce than about catering to the masses.

DM
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall3food3service1ambience2

Food was only lukewarm. Service was non attentive. Drinks were good. Music was great.

RS
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall3food3service5ambience2

Beautiful view but very very loud! Even on the outside deck.

JH
Hawaii
7 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The perfect evening. Seated at one of the firepit tables, very comfy seats, great ambiance, and the music was superb. Not to mention the food.Mac crusted catch of the day-ahi- was excellent as was the huge portion of tasty short ribs.
Can't say enough about this place. Will be back again!

OT
Berkshire
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our guests loved everything

MO
Seattle
1 review
Dined on January 23, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Everything was good beautiful evening with friends service good, food good but a little high

M
Hawaii
3 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great time at Sam Choy's Kai Lanai for dinner. We have been there a few times when we are in Kona, Hawaii. Their food & drinks have always been fantastic. Plus there is such a great view from the restaurant! We love it there, especially at sunset.

CL
1 review
Dined on January 21, 2020
Overall2food3service4ambience5

Great place to watch the sunset. But the food did not meet our expectations, especially for the price. Had 5 minutes to eat salad before the main course arrived and they weren't super busy. Don't waste your money and find a different spot to watch the sunset.

MN
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We appericate that Sam Choy's was able to accommodate us, and wit ha good view of the Ocean as well. Dinner came out at a great time, and so did the apps. Along with Drinks. Everything was great. It was real sweet of the entertainer that night to play a song for us as well. It was a great place to have the rehearsal dinner, for a wedding party. Thank you!

OT
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall2food1service2ambience3

Keep trying Sam Choy’s and continue to be disappointed. Unremarkable food, cold mashed potatoes that were like glue. Pricey for what you get.

CC
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

We go here every January while on holiday. Today’s experience was very lackluster. Slow service, average fish special...disappointing. The views remain amazing, but in the future we will just go for drinks, if at all.

CW
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall2food2service3ambience4

I had a special fish trio and my wife had Mahi mahi. We were highly disappointed. None of the fish had any flavor. The vegetables were basically raw and also didn’t have any flavor. We also had a calamari appetizer- it too had no flavor.