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Party Size
For 2
Date
Sat, 5/26
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 15 times today

Sam Choy's Kai Lanai

3.8
1084 reviews
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$30 and under
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Hawaii Regional Cuisine
Top Tags:
  • Scenic View
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Special Occasion
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 1084 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.8based on recent ratings
3.7
food
3.8
service
4.2
ambience
3.5
value
Noise · Moderate
70% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined on May 15, 2018

Wonderful view, good food, great place to see the sunset.

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5.0Dined on May 15, 2018

we enjoyed our annual farewell to Big Island dinner at Sam's again this year. as always everything especially the view was exceptional. we ate a ton of fresh Island seafood prepared in a variety of ways, with good cocktails and a great ambiance.

will always go back.

thank you

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4.0Dined on May 14, 2018

SERVER, Nathan,was a great addition to the establishment.

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3.0Dined on May 13, 2018

The menu supposedly has several gluten free entrees. What they don’t mention is that all the sauces with those entrees have gluten. I received ahi tuna with nothing on it but scallions. All salad dressings also have gluten. Do not eat here if you’re gluten free. At least they refunded my meal

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1.0Dined on May 12, 2018

For the prices of the food...totally not worth it. Waitress was awesome but kitchen was slow.

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4.0Dined on May 5, 2018

Very good service. My husband ordered the 'Sam's Island Poke (Raw)', however, it was very salty. We told the waiter and got a replacement right away... this time the teriyaki wasabi drizzle was in a separate container, food tastes good!

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4.0Dined on April 28, 2018

One of my favorite restaurants on the BI & have been dining there every vacation since they opened! My only complaint is that the Grilled Oriental Lamb Chops did not have the sweet oriental glaze that I had become accustomed too, & my grilled vegetables with the macadamia nut crusted fish were as bland as they come & we're just steamed. So on both occasions I had to request Sam's oriental dressing on the side for a dipping sauce for the lamb chops & vegetables.

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3.0Dined on April 28, 2018

We visited Sam Choi's Kai Lanai in 2016 and were very pleased, so we took our family there, this year April 27th, and were disappointed in the ambiance and noise level (we were sitting under the roof and probably the noise is not so bad if you sit outside). A beautiful sunset would have partly compensated this, but unfortunately it wasn't visible due to the clouds :-(
The service was good and the waiter was very nice but could not fulfill our request to order an item from the lunch menu for one of us. The food was good but not outstanding and the chef visited our table for a short talk. All in all I would only recommend Sam Choy's Kai Lanai for dinner at a table outside when the sunset will be visible.

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5.0Dined on April 24, 2018

Sam Choy's is always a nice place for lunch. Casual, semi-outdoor tables with a cool breeze and a nice view of the ocean. I had the fresh fish plate with mahi mahi and brown rice, which was delicious; and my friend had one of the huge, wonderful salads.

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4.0Dined on April 24, 2018

nice view!
open.casual.relaxing space
drink serve is slow
we need waiting 10〜15 min
suppose to be less staff

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2.0Dined on April 23, 2018

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 on April 21, 2018

Great food, views and setvice

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5.0Dined on April 20, 2018

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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5.0Dined on April 19, 2018

Wonderful place to view sunset. Good was great too.

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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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