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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 4 times today

Sam Choy's Kai Lanai

3.9
1073 reviews
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$30 and under
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Hawaii Regional Cuisine
Top Tags:
  • Scenic View
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Good for a Date
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
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Cuisines
Hawaii Regional Cuisine
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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
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Phone number
(808) 333-3434
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Sam Choy
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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.
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Private party contact
Don Girvan: (808) 333-3434
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Neighborhood
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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 1073 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
3.8
food
3.9
service
4.3
ambience
3.6
value
Noise · Moderate
74% of people would recommend it to a friend
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2.0Dined 3 days ago

Unfortunately the restaurant is severely understaffed. Service was therefore very slow. Our appetizer came out with our meal instead of ahead of time. Also, the portion size and quality of the food was not what it's been in the past. I have been going to this Sam Choy's for over 10 years and was very disappointed.

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

Great food, views and setvice

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

We had a great dinner with close family all visiting from Canada. Good options for meals. Everyone enjoyed their dinner and our service from Dale was excellent! We visited the restaurant several years ago and remembered that it had a great view and nice lights for evening visit. Would definitely go again!

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4.0Dined on April 17, 2018

Very nice. Great service. The poki appetizer is to die for. Fabulous.

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1.0Dined on April 16, 2018

Historically bad night at this joint. Poor service, inedible food, almost empty parking lot. This place has one of the best sunset view on the big island. In the past it has had food and service that rivaled the view. Not so on Sunday this week. Waited over an hour for overdone ( to mush) fish. Took forever to just put the order in, then the wait was ridiculous, and upon delivery it was obvious it cooked the whole time.

Even though they comped the food, I did not eat it. Look for another alternative.

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4.0Dined on April 15, 2018

I reserved an outdoor table with fire pit on Open Table. When I arrived (10 minutes early) for my reservation there was a couple in front of us that did not have a reservation but they were seated at an outdoor table. We were next & told no outdoor tables available. We were sat at a table in the back adjacent to a wedding reception group. Service was very good until the wedding party arrived & then server was busy with them. Food was delicious but rest of experience was not.

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2.0Dined on April 15, 2018

We reserved an outside table, but were shown an indoor table next to a screaming child. When we asked to move outside, the only option was a low cocktail table. We took it, but couldn't put our knees under the low table and had to perch throughout dinner. The view was worth it.

The waitress had trouble remembering our pupu order, and sent the wrong one, then acted like we were being difficult.

My mojito had no rum in it, just lime juice and wilted mint leaves. Ugh. Waitress insisted there was rum in it, I had to demand it be taken off the bill.

The food was very pretty, but poorly cooked. The lamb was nearly raw. My duck had beautifully crispy skin, but the fat hadn't been rendered, so I couldn't eat the skin, where all the seasoning was.

We won't go back there.

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5.0Dined on April 12, 2018

Reservations accepted and honored on time. Parking good. Excellent view of the ocean. Sunsets fantastic. Food presentation good. Delicious calamari appetizers. Service respectful. Enjoyed the evening.

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5.0Dined on April 12, 2018

Terrific service- server Rae was right there! Appetizers are great. Try calamari or edamame. Dinner with a great view. Brunch served until 3 PM. Either way you can't miss.

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1.0Dined on April 10, 2018

Save for the view which is spectacular, this place should be skipped. Service is adequate. Food is very poor, and borders on bad. Fresh? No way. Sam Choy should be very, very ashamed. Park near-by, view the sunset from the parking lot but be kind to yourself: Don't go in and don't purchase food.

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1.0Dined on April 9, 2018

Service on all fronts was very slow. First, we had to wait a long time to be seated since the hostess was not even up front once we came in. We were seated in the area where we could watch the a lovely sunset and had the fire pit on our table which we were told would be lit once the sunset. That never happened to any of the table fire pits. We ordered two of their customer favorite dishes. My trio fish order was served with only two of the three fish and one fish was severely overcooked. By the time I received the do over order which took some time I could only take it home. The lamb/pasta dinner was served not warm when we received it nor did it have much flavor. We found the price and quality of the food to be over valued and service from the staff friendly, but not up to par for a restaurant of that caliber. It seems to be living only on the reputation of the Sam Choy name. Upon our leaving, the hostess had a que of 6 parties still awaiting their check-in.

There appeared to be no manager on duty overseeing operations and quality. The only excuse we received was they were short staffed.

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4.0Dined on April 5, 2018

Food was great but the service was really poor. Have been before and had great service so hopefully it was an off day. Fantastic view and awesome happy hour

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2.0Dined on April 5, 2018

Don't waste your money! I had the ribeye and it was so tuff I couldn't eat it! Very disappointing!

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1.0Dined on April 2, 2018

We went at 2PM for the Easter buffet, having been misinformed by telephone that the buffet went until 6PM. $50/head. Only water and iced tea came with the buffet. The prime rib was tough and fatty. The only other meat was from trays. One type of blackened fish, one tray each of pork, chicken, and Portuguese sausage. No lamb, no ribs, no duck, no meatloaf. No sweet potatoes. Mediocre salad tray. A gooey chocolate cake and another sweet cake were the only desserts. This meal confirmed previous bad meals: No more chances.

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1.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Went for Easter brunch. Food was cold and they used process cheese for the omelette. Food was in the chafing dish but burner was turned off. Prime had no auju sauce nor horseduise. Dessert was covered with white sheet so no flies get in them. Terrible terrible terrible never again

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4.0Dined on April 1, 2018

We went for Easter brunch...big fun. Pork was way dry (needs a good sauce), and all else was delish.

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5.0Dined on March 30, 2018

Visiting Hawaii from Michigan. Have been to Sam Choy’s on previous visits. Reserved an outside table on Open Table. Had a coupon for free pupu from the Big Island this Week guide. Was the BEST calamari we’ve ever had! Entrees we had were fresh catch, duck & mac crusted chicken. All were yummy! Service was just ok, young & not very knowledgeable. Timing was not the best, brought salad before appetizers & entree was rushed. Will go back.

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5.0Dined on March 30, 2018

We had an amazing dinner! My dad ordered the poke, and I had the ribeye. Everything was delicious, and the view was beautiful!!

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4.0Dined on March 29, 2018

As usual, we had a lovely lunch. The view is incredible! Service is very good and food was delicious. Sam Choy's is a place not to be missed.

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5.0Dined on March 29, 2018

Beautiful views, good food and service.

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5.0Dined on March 25, 2018

What a great place, waitress was attentive food was amazing and price was reasonable. Would recommend to anyone.

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4.0Dined on March 24, 2018

This was our first time here. The view is truly spectacular, and the best reason to dine here. The food was pretty good, as were the drinks. But not especially memorable. I would dine here again if in the area.

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4.0Dined on March 20, 2018

Great view and very good food.

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3.0Dined on March 20, 2018

Great view, very noisy due to large party

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4.0Dined on March 17, 2018

The view and the drinks are spectacular. The food less so.

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3.0Dined on March 17, 2018

Comfortable. Nice view. Ok food. Friendly service

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5.0Dined on March 16, 2018

Great views of the Kona Coastline, especially from outside seating along the perimeter. On a good day, get there in time for sunset. Spectacular! Only detraction from the view is the fact that it also overlooks the roofs of the Adjacent Keauhou Shopping Center, but easy enough to overlook. Excellent food selections, especially the fresh seafood, creatively prepared and presented. Try the calamari appetizer: one of the best we've had anywhere!

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4.0Dined on March 15, 2018

We were vacationing in Kona and decided to try the restaurant since it was near the house we were staying in.
Although we didn't reserve one of the fire-pit tables, we were given the option of having one and it was pleasant, but still didn't distract from the fact that vehicles roar by on the busy street and parking lot. Perhaps some screening would help?
Food was excellent! Waiter was friendly and service was good despite past reviews.

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5.0Dined on March 15, 2018

Great food with a stunning view! I had shrimp pasta-veggies were perfectly cooked and the garlic wine sauce was light and flavorful.

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2.0Dined on March 10, 2018

Very disappointed. Service was spotty. All of the entrees were over cooked and lacked flavor. Rib eye was raw then came back burnt and covered in sauce. Overpriced for mediocre food.

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3.0Dined on March 8, 2018

This restaurant is not worth the price of the food. Yes The structure is beautiful the view is great for watching sunsets but that is where the excitement ends

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4.0Dined on March 8, 2018

The food is really good and the view can’t be beat. I wish the service matched the quality of the food.

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2.0Dined on March 6, 2018

Two of us has seafood trio .
Side dishes minuscule . 1 one the 3 fish totally overcooked . After having it sent back...., waited, it comes back seated on frozen...,

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2.0Dined on March 5, 2018

The views were very nice. The food however was very poor. Pork Kausu was over cooked and dry, chicken tortellini special had over cooked pasta, and the mashed potatoes were cold! Not a good experience

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3.0Dined on March 3, 2018

The service seemed very slow and unattentive. The rib eye teriyaki steak was not teriyaki but came with mushrooms & mushroom sauce. The waitress & food deliverer was not knowledgeable of what was served. The food & our dining table overlooking the water was good but the service was lacking. It’s not the great experience we had there 3 years ago.

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4.0Dined on March 1, 2018

Great view. Excellent cocktails. Server did not help us once seated but after asking another waitress, she was very accommodating & the rest of the service was great

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3.0Dined on March 1, 2018

Slow service and wasn’t crowded. Both entrees were missing the vegetable side. Fish dishes were fine. We’ve gone 3 times in the last 2 months and probably won’t go back. First time was ok, second time was horrible, now we’re done; too many other good restaurants.

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3.0Dined on February 27, 2018

SErvice was very slow although she was nice. Good good but very very slow start to finish

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3.0Dined on February 26, 2018

The four of us went for dinner and had 5:45 pm reservations. We were seated promptly. We were celebrating our friend’s milestone birthday and had made arrangements for a sparkler with his dessert. Unfortunately they forgot, and we had to remind them after the dessert already was served. We found the service extremely slow and the service was poor. The waitress came about 15 minutes after we were seated to take our drink order. We had another 15-20 minutes to get our drinks. Dinner was very good. Unfortunately, there were quite a few items on the menu that were not available. When seated, we asked the waitress to be sure to give us the bill at the end, she forgot and asked if we wanted to split the bill. Not the end of the world, but a little uncomfortable, particularly given that we’d discussed this earlier. I would recommend this place for the view and food quality but not for the service.

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4.0Dined on February 25, 2018

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are great. Lots of older folks here; everything on one level. Portions are large. Noise level not bad as restaurant is open on two sides. Fantastic view high up overlooking Pacific. Friendly and dedicated waitstaff.
The only negative is a long wait for main courses. That's not too bad as use nurse your drink overlooking the ocean.

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