About Sam Choy's Kai Lanai

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.

78-6831 Ali'i Dr.
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
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Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Hawaii Regional Cuisine

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

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(808) 333-3434

Website:
http://www.samchoy.com/

Parking Details:
Lot plus over flow parking lot with cart service between over flow lot and restaurant.

Executive Chef:
Sam Choy

Additional:
Beer, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Private Dining

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.

Sam Choy's Kai Lanai Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

3.9

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

3.7

service

3.9

ambience

4.1

value

3.4

Noise

Quiet

73% would recommend it to a friend

Scenic View (26)
Great for Outdoor Dining (15)
Local Ingredients (11)
See All
Casual (11)
Romantic (10)
Good for a Date (8)
Handcrafted Cocktails (8)
Neighborhood Gem (8)
Good for Birthdays (7)
Creative Cuisine (7)
Kid-friendly (6)
Good for Groups (5)
Happy Hour (5)
Healthy (5)
Special Occasion (5)
Good for Anniversaries (4)
Authentic (4)
Bar Seating (4)
Fit for Foodies (4)
Hot Spot (4)
People Watching (4)
Fun (3)
Great for Lunch (3)
Quiet Conversation (3)
Tasting Menu (3)
Waterfront (3)
Worth the Drive (3)
Great Beer (3)
Comfort Food (2)
Quick Bite (2)
Sunday Lunch (2)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
Business Meals (1)
Cozy (1)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Live Sports (1)
Pre/post Theatre (1)
Spicy (1)
Tapas (1)
Great for Brunch (1)
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958 reviews
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 (Orange County)·Dined 5 days ago

To expensive for portion... Waitress had to many tables... Should never have to ask for water, we did... Expected a little more for ambience given price and nice.

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food3
ambience2
service2
value2

 
 (Nashville)·Dined 6 days ago

Best sunset view!!! And the food and service was outstanding!!

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Denver)·Dined on November 13, 2017

We just returned from dinner. We seldom give bad reviews. But this was such a bad experience that we feel compelled to tell people. Service was slow. After getting our drinks (and being greeted quickly) we waited quite awhile to give our order. We waited for quite awhile for our food. The people to our left and behind us, both were waited upon by different people, got there after us, and got their entrees much sooner than we did. We both had fish, so it wasn't the dish that caused the delay. When we received our food, the entrees and veggies were hot, but the potatoes were cold. My entree, the speciality of the house, a fish trio, was overcooked.
We complained about the potatoes, and they were promptly replaced with lukewarm potatoes!!
We didn't complain further, but ate what we had. The waiter, Paul, was very nice, and offered free dessert. He also gave us a discount because of the potatoes, which we appreciated. We both ordered ice cream. We almost laughed out loud when we realized that that both dishes were over 50% melted. What restaurant can't manage firm ice cream? It was quite obvious that it was partially melted. The best thing about the evening was the view, the music, and the drive home!

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food1
ambience5
service2
value3

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on November 12, 2017

Our first time at Sam Choy's since they left the Keauhou Beach Hotel years ago. It was great.

Tags: Cozy, Great Beer, Good for Birthdays, Quiet Conversation, Scenic View
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 9, 2017

We went for our anniversary and it was a great night. We caught the end of happy hour and had fabulous cocktails and the calamari was excellent. Our dinner was good overall and we were given a complimentary dessert! We would certainly recommend Sam Choy’s with the great food and stunning view!

Tags: Good for a Date
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Denver)·Dined on November 8, 2017

Service was terrible and the potatoes tasted old.

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food3
ambience5
service1
value2

 
 (Denver)·Dined on November 8, 2017

Nice Hilltop Restaurant that provides outdoor dining with a sunset view! Some instrumental Hawaiian music would have made it BETTER

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 7, 2017

We have been to Sam Choys a few times over the years. The meals are typically generous with portions and the fresh fish is a treat. The only complaint this time was that the soup and salad before the main course should be served before the main entree and not all together with the main entree which is what happened this visit. Other than that our server Harvest was a pleasure. The views of the ocean and coast line are always fabulous!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Romantic, Great for Outdoor Dining, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries, Scenic View, Good for Groups
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 6, 2017

I made reservations on Sunday 11/5 and requested special seating. The host on duty did not even realize or read the request. She just ignored me and gave us what was open. We ordered both the BBQ and short ribs they were both dry and burndt. I dine at your location every time I visit Kona ( at least 5x a yr) hopefully all will be better next time. If not, I will not recommend it or return. ☹️

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Scenic View, Waterfront
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food1
ambience3
service3
value2

vip
 (Hawaii)·Dined on November 5, 2017

Great morning breakfast menu. Had inexpensive Portugese bean soup and grilled cheese sandwich. Located high above ocean with expansive view and always a cool breeze.

Tags: Great for Brunch, People Watching, Good Vegetarian Options, Creative Cuisine, Live Sports, Local Ingredients, Great for Outdoor Dining, Sunday Lunch, Scenic View, Waterfront, Bar Seating
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food5
ambience3
service5
value3

 
·Dined on November 1, 2017

Food was great and also service. We like the view because of scenery.

Tags: Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Scenic View, Tasting Menu, Hot Spot, Romantic, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Groups, Casual, Fun
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 1, 2017

We were a large group (2 tables of 8) and we sat a long time before the waitress started drink orders. Food ordering/arrival was relatively timely, but when it came time to split the bill, it was nearly 45 minutes between the time we let them know we wanted the bill and the time the last person had their card returned to them. Granted, splitting a bill takes time, but the delay seemed to occur when we gave them our cards. 30 minutes to run 8 or so cards? Seemed excessive.

Tags: Scenic View
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food3
ambience3
service1
value2

 
·Dined on October 31, 2017

Great atmosphere and service. We both had the Macadamia nut-encrusted chicken and it was a home run. Will likely have the ribs next time. Oh, man, so many delicious choices.

Tags: Fun, Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 27, 2017

We go here each time we come to the Big Island. This time it was a very different experience. Our reservation was at 6:45. Service was a bit slow. The restaurant was not full. After ordering, fish for our guests, chicken for me, we were told they were out of chicken, ribs, pork and mashed potatoes! Who runs out of all of these? My only choice was an overpriced pasta dish with veggies. I don’t eat fish. I spoke with the manager and all he gave me were excuses about why they ran out. Didn’t offer to comp my pasta even after I asked. He offered us free appetizers for the next visit. A little hard to use when we don’t live here! All and all we were very disappointed. I expected much more. Sadly, we will not be returning.

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food1
ambience2
service2
value1

 
·Dined on October 27, 2017

Kitchen ran out of 2 entrees.
Waiter forgot our salads.
Substitute entrees did not have sides from original order.
Not well organized from hostess, waiters, kitchen; good food but not worth the price.
The view is one of the best in Kona.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Casual
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food2
ambience2
service2
value2

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on October 21, 2017

This tym food was terrible didnt like any of it not sure why the other few tyms i went it was awsome thos tym is all thumbs down.. Service was awesome Mckeena was our server again he does a a wesone job.. All food was undr cooked

Tags: Great Beer, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food1
ambience1
service5
value2

 
·Dined on October 20, 2017

Great food! Great views! Calamari is the bomb! The service is spectacular also. We could walk here from Kona Coast Resort. I had the fresh fish and my husband had the ribs. Both super good!

Tags: Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Groups, Handcrafted Cocktails, Tapas, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 17, 2017

Awesome service! Spectacular views! We got there early (5pm) for a 5:30 pm reservation and was seated with no wait. The waiter (Robert) was very attentive and hilariously funny.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Spicy, Healthy, Neighborhood Gem, Authentic, Fit for Foodies, Local Ingredients, Fun, Romantic, Casual, Worth the Drive, Handcrafted Cocktails, Happy Hour, Hot Spot, Great for Outdoor Dining, Sunday Lunch, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Scenic View
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on October 14, 2017

Always a nice location, great view, nice open air, good food.

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food5
ambience5
service3
value4

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on October 11, 2017

We were on vacation and ate at Sam Choys on Sat. Oct 7th. Jean was our server. The food and service were fantastic! My family so enjoyed it, that we ate there again on Tues. Oct 10th. Paul was our server the second time, once again amazing service and food. Since we had limited dinner nights while in Kona, it speaks volumes that we chose to eat at Sam Choys twice. Highly recommended! Ask for Jean or Paul
Mike K (Long Beach CA)

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on October 1, 2017

Sunday brunch is quite the good value and our trainee was pleasant.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Scenic View
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Hawaii)·Dined on October 1, 2017

Sam and his team feature local cuisine in a great atmosphere. Fried rice and soft scrambled eggs are a great way to start the day!

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food4
ambience4
service4

 
 (Sacramento)·Dined on September 30, 2017

Have eaten at this restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinners and have never had a bad meal. Fish is cooked to perfection.

Tags: Healthy, Kid-friendly, Creative Cuisine, Good for Anniversaries, Local Ingredients
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
·Dined on September 24, 2017

Service was excellent . Mckenna was oir server on sat night n sunday night was Robert both was excellent . Food was excellent cocktails was awsome loved the view very frendly

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion, Great Beer, Handcrafted Cocktails, Worth the Drive, Great for Lunch, Happy Hour, Hot Spot, Scenic View, Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine, Casual, Good for a Date, Kid-friendly
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on September 23, 2017

Dinners looked beautiful on the plate, but on the inside they were tough and undercooked. We had duck and lamb. Maybe they were cooked too quickly. It was difficult to know if we were supposed to order the 2 sides included with the main entry, because sometimes they were already on the plate and the description of the meal in the menu didn't tell us. I got charged extra for one side, and the other side (mashed potatoes) was not hot. I sent them back to be warmed, but they came back the same way. Gorgeous view and sunset, though.

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food2
ambience4
service4
value2

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on September 22, 2017

The view is awesome but the service was terrible. The waitress was disorganized and slow. My macadamia crusted ahi was overdone. My ladies seared ahi was too salty. Sam Choy should remove his name from this restaurant.

Tags: Scenic View
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food2
ambience5
service1
value3

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on September 21, 2017

Good food, good friendly service, casual, and great view.

Tags: Casual, Quick Bite, Comfort Food, Scenic View, Great for Lunch
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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (Denver)·Dined on September 20, 2017

Macadamia crusted chicken was huge portion! Margaritas were too sweet and made with cheap blanco tequila. Service and views were excellent. Brie wontons are great appetizer.

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food4
ambience5
service5
value3

 
·Dined on September 16, 2017

The view is incredible!! Appetizer, salad, soup, and main courses all served at the same time. Food was lukewarm at best. Seafood chowder was delicious, but also served lukewarm.

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food2
ambience5
service3
value3

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on September 10, 2017

There is a wonderful view but the place is disfunctional. They brought our meal lacking part of it. They finally came back to say they ran out then thought $3.00 off would somehow make up for it. Our drink order arrived as we where ending our meal, unreal. Leaving you could hear the kitchen arguing with the wait staff. Too many restaurants with a nice view to go through this. Also it is open air so it was a hot muggy dinner.

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food3
ambience3
service2

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on August 28, 2017

Wasn't too sure about Sam Choy's due to the smaller menu but everyone in the party was able to find something and each person enjoyed the meal! Also the drinks were very good!!! Ambience and atmosphere is perfect for Hawaii and mirrors the way of life here well :)

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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on August 23, 2017

The location is pretty amazing. The sunset view is great. The food... well... it was just, uninspired. The seasonings were OK, not great. The cocktails were made with Bacardi and were really sweet. The fish was OK but not excellent. The duck was tender but it was supposed to be five spice orange duck and that should have been pretty obvious, but neither was. The wine selection was meh and very inconsistently priced (and 400% markups on the bottles?). The service started out great but then there was a long time that we did not get service, and spotted our server talking and flirting with another employee. I may be back but probably not.

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food3
ambience4
service2

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on August 21, 2017

The food is superb, the service was fantastic. Thank you!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (東京)·Dined on August 16, 2017

View is very nice. Especially sunset is beautiful.
However, food and service is average.

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food3
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on August 13, 2017

We had wonderful service. Breakfast was wonderful. I know sometimes its hit and miss. But today was wonderful!

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food5
ambience4
service5

 
·Dined on August 13, 2017

Beautiful location for sunset. Fod was excellent, service was superb. Would always recommend for romantic dinner.

Tags: Good for a Date, Quiet Conversation, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
·Dined on August 6, 2017

Would have liked a larger portion and more flavor of the fish

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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

 
·Dined on July 31, 2017

This place is worth it just or the view (especially at sunset), but the service was out of this world and the food and drinks great.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Romantic, Happy Hour, Worth the Drive
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on July 30, 2017

The pasta I had with white wine sauce had no flavor at all.

Tags: Scenic View
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food1
ambience4
service2
value1

 
 (Austin)·Dined on July 29, 2017

Our waitress Kat really made our experience complete. Seafood trio, cucumber martini’s, beautiful sunset, and a waitress with a great sense of humor. We had a wonderful meal, and a great time with our family. Thank you. Recommend.

Tags: Comfort Food, Waterfront, Kid-friendly, Local Ingredients, Neighborhood Gem, Casual, Handcrafted Cocktails, Happy Hour
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

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