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“Almost an Afterthought, but Should not be Missed”
Review of One Forty

One Forty
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Ranked #3 of 20 Restaurants in Lanai City
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $35 - $50
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Manele Bay
Description: ONE FORTY's name pays homage to Lanai's beautiful 140 square miles and a steak prepared at 140 degrees. At Manele Bay, enjoy traditional breakfast fare with an island influence and dinner featuring hand cut steaks and fish caught just off shore. With an emphasis on local ingredients, our Chef showcases the flavors native to Hawaii. Choose a wine from our accomplished 300 bottle selection and enjoy the picturesque view of Hulopoe Bay.
Reviewed August 20, 2013

With all the noise about Nobu opening at the Manele Bay Hotel we totally missed One Forty on our Spring visit to Lana'i but committed to having at least one dinner there this Summer. While the sample size is fairly small (one meal), with the somewhat less than appealing changes to the menus at the Lodge (especially the Dining Room) One Forty is now our favorite dining option under the Four Seasons Resorts Lana'i banner. While the room itself is not as ostentatious in terms of decor as Nobu, it is a very welcoming, beautiful space with comfortable seating and outstanding view corridors. Service from the time you appear in the entryway is top shelf and the cuisine is truly representative of a high-end American Steak House. My wife thoroughly enjoyed her Filet and Lobster while I savored my way through the Roasted Bone Marrow and Lemon-Parsley Salad and the Wagyu Ribeye which were both magnificent in terms of preparation, presentation and flavor. We will be back for several meals on our winter trip as there are many items on the menu that are hopefully as delectable as they are intriguing.

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Thank Scott K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FourSeasonsLanai, Manager at One Forty, responded to this reviewResponded August 22, 2013

Aloha Scott K,

Mahalo for sharing such a great review of ONE FORTY. I am thrilled to hear that you and your wife enjoyed the American Wagyu Rib-Eye and Kona Lobster with Prime Filet entree. These are some of our most popular dishes! We look forward to welcoming you back to ONE FORTY on your next trip to Lana'i this winter.

A hui hou,
Peter

R. Peter Hingson
General Manager ONE FORTY

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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99 - 103 of 170 reviews

Reviewed August 5, 2013 via mobile

I was really excited to visit after reading reviews about the best rib eye ever. I thought the rib eye was very average. The Ahi was much better. The shrimp cocktail was average. We skipped desert. I thought the food at Kailani and Nobu was better. Service was good as was the view.

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Thank Seat29a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2013

The steak I had for dinner was excellent and cooked perfectly and loved the pretzel bread they served. The service was very good and they were so friendly. It was my birthday and they sure made it a very special birthday for me and will always remember it. The cake I had was wonderful and one of the best cakes I had. The restaurant is very elegant place to have dinner and was a perfect choice. It was the fanciest place I ever ate at and I sure would come back again and would recommend it to anyone.

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Thank Catherine B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2013

I can only speak for their breakfast but it was fabulous. The breakfast burrito was delicious as well as the french toast. They also have a buffet but it didn't seem worth the price $40 a person.

Thank Texastan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2013

For our 25th anniversary and we planned our 4-day trip to the Four Seasons Manele Bay months in advance. With the dates quickly approaching and hearing the island was going to be busy when we visited, I made reservations for One Forty over a week in advance via Open Table. In the additional comments section I noted it was our 25th anniversary.

Expectation #1: By making our reservation in advance and noting our special occasion, our only expectation here was that we would receive a good table.

Reality: We arrived just a few minutes before our 7:00 p.m. reservation. There was one couple ahead of us at the hostess station. She asked if they had a reservation and they said no. She said it would be just a few minutes and asked them to take a seat in the lobby. We then approached the hostess and let her know of our reservation at 7:00. She acknowledged it, said it would be just a few minutes, and please take a seat. A few minutes later, she escorted the couple who arrived before us (without a reservation) to a spectacular table at the corner of the restaurant. Then she returned to seat us at a table at the back of the restaurant. While it still had an adequate view, we were a bit surprised that someone without a reservation received the better table.

We were excited about the evening and the dinner - we both enjoy cooking and trying new things and we know our way around a kitchen. We reviewed the menu online when we were in our room and talked about the different dishes and what we would like. Since we know online menus can differ from what is offered, we decided that we would have the Asian Pear salad (raved about on this forum); the Kahuku corn soup with lobster; and the pan-seared mahimahi. We are light eaters and decided to share the three dishes and have a glass of wine with our dinner, then perhaps have a dessert.

After they brought us our water and wine, we were offered a choice of bread with our dinner - a pretzel-style roll or cornbread. Kind of an odd combination but, OK, we can go with that. We actually considered declining since we eat gluten/grain-free most of the time, but assumed they would be worth the exception. They were not. The pretzel roll was tasteless and dry - one bite was enough. The cornbread remained untouched.

Then the soup and salad were served.

Expectation #2 - The Salad: The description on the menu is: "Asian Pear Salad - Macadamias, Whole Grain-mustard Honey Dressing, Blue Cheese, Papaya, Mango". We were expecting a beautiful little salad accented with fresh papaya and mango (which are in season right now in Hawaii).
Reality: A very simple salad that can be prepared at home on a weeknight - not necessarily a downfall. However, there wasn't a macadamia nut to be found. The bibb lettuce, pear, dressing and cheese were pleasant, but I had forgotten the mention of the papaya and mango until I had to ask the waitress what the curious square red pieces were on the plate. "Oh," she said, "that is dried papaya soaked in white wine." So, no mac nuts and no mango, and strange pieces of dried papaya that defy description (and stumped me) because they completely lacked any flavor. This is the kind of fruit you find in a bad fruitcake - not on an expensive salad in a what is supposed to be a first-class restaurant.

Expectation #3: The Soup. The menu's description: Kahuku Corn Soup – Sea Salt Cracker, Butter Poached Lobster, Lemon Cream, Baby Basil. We envisioned a beautiful creamy corn soup with nice pieces of lobster.
Reality: The soup arrived at the same time as the salad and my husband was presented with a small, square bowl. In it rested the cracker with a smear of lemon cream and basil, as promised. In the bottom resided what could have been lobster, but appeared more like two small bites of slightly chewed gum. Then the waitress presented a small creamer and, with a flourish, poured approximately two ounces of lukewarm soup into the bowl, which barely covered the bottom. We felt as if we had been transported back in time to the 1980's when nouvelle cuisine was all the rage (and diners left every dinner hungry). The soup had a pleasant flavor and consistency, but it was barely warm. It was not a decent portion size and the soup dodged your spoon as you tried to chase it into the corners of the odd-shaped bowl. With a $25 price tag, there should have been at least 2-3 nice medallions of lobster in this dish, not sad, butchered little bites that should have never seen a plate.

Expectation #4: The Entrée. The menu’s description: Pan Seared Mahi Mahi – Heirloom Vegetables, Avocado Puree, Lilikoi Emulsion.
Reality: They split the entrée, which was a nice gesture but not one we requested. The presentation was pretty, and again the portion size was reminiscent of the 1980’s I mentioned above (I’m certain it wasn’t at least 4oz combined) but this is when our special evening came to a screeching halt. As the plate was presented to me, I caught a whiff of something fishy – not a good sign, as fresh, quality fish should have no odor. It also appeared a little gray and dense; not the pretty fresh-caught fillets we normally seen in finer restaurants and, incidentally, even on our own dinner table at home. Oddly enough, we both took a small bite of fish at exactly the same time, then stared, wide-eyed in shock at each other as we tried to keep our composure and fight to swallow. At first small bite I thought it was a little over-salted, but as I continued to chew it got saltier and saltier until the salt permeated my mouth and coated my lips. My husband and I just looked at each other and knew we were both experiencing the same thing, even without talking. We asked each other, “Was that as salty as I think it was?” And it wasn’t just someone with a heavy hand in the salt cellar, this sad piece of fish tasted as though it had been left soaking in a dense salty brine for days, then oversalted. On both sides. Liberally.

And then we did something we’ve never done – we called the waitress and told her to take it away and that we were finished – our dinner had ended. We explained to her that it was so salty it was inedible. She was gracious and expedient and said she would let the manager know as we sat there, drinking water like crazy, trying to get the salty taste out of our mouths. Nothing was working.

Several minutes later, as we continued to drink what remained of our water, the manager came over. Strangely, though, he made small talk for several minutes before he got around to asking us what we thought of our dinner. We expressed our disappointment in the fish and that it was so salty it was inedible. I explained to him that it wasn’t a matter of it being salted, but that it tasted more like it had been soaking in a brine. He asked us if there was anything he could do and we told him that our dinner was finished, neither one of us could taste anything because of the overwhelming salt taste in our mouths. We explained that it was the worst piece of fish we had ever had in the 20 years we’ve lived in Hawaii – the absolute truth – and why we thought it was so. He said to us, “let me get you a dessert; the sweet will help with the salt. Or perhaps an after dinner drink.” We again explained to him that we were finished, nothing sounded good at this point, and to please take the entrée off our check and we would end the evening. To our shock, he actually asked my husband, “So what do you think a good piece of fish should look like?” My husband told him that our special anniversary dinner was ruined, we weren’t feeling well at this point, and again attempted to resolve the evening graciously by asking for the check. The manager left table and while he was gone the waitress returned with another bottle of Pellegrino and thankfully she filled our glasses as we continued to try and wash the saltiness away.

What we should have been preparing for was Round Two.

Several minutes later the chef appears at our table to apologize for the entrée. We explained what had occurred, why we were disappointed and what we had asked of the manager. We declined any additional food, again. At one point I asked him, “Did you taste the entrée when it came back to the kitchen? Because if you did you would understand why we are so disappointed.” He did not answer my question but again asked what he could do. At that point, my husband had had enough – he explained to him how special the occasion was, how much we had looked forward to the dinner, how we had simply asked for the entrée to be removed and that we were finished. Period. That the only thing they could do now was comp our entire meal and end what was now becoming an ordeal. The chef left the table, but with no closure – we assumed the manager would come back and let us know that everything had been taken care of.

Not two minutes later the waitress appeared again and began placing new cutlery on the table. She kindly said, “The chef has prepared something special for your anniversary.” We told her no thank you. She left the table, and that’s when I become completely overwhelmed, lost my composure and started to cry.

It was a special night we had been looking forward to for weeks and our expectations of this restaurant were high – on the level of quality and service we experience at Mama’s Fish House on Maui. We do not mind paying more for excellence. We read the reviews and recommendations and were comfortable with our choice. At the end we felt cheated and as if we had been held hostage rather than having the situation immediately and simply rectified as we had requested in the beginning.

After repeated attempts, still no closure, and with my composure lost, my husband got up and took my hand and said, “No one is going to bring my wife to tears in a restaurant – we’re leaving.” And we left. The manager, chef and waitresses had disappeared and were nowhere to be found. The next day I checked at the front desk to see if we had been charged and there was nothing on our bill.

This was the only sour (or should I say salty) note on our entire stay at the hotel. Everything else about our trip was wonderful. I hope they change the way they handle their fish, that they don’t shortcut the quality, and that their service becomes consistent so that no one else has the same experience in the future.

(It should be noted that throughout the entire ordeal our two waitresses were very pleasant and attentive. It’s a shame they are on the front lines and at the mercy of the kitchen.)

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1  Thank mauiartquilter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FourSeasonsLanai, Manager at One Forty, responded to this reviewResponded July 24, 2013

Aloha mauiartquilter,

Thank you for taking the time to provide such an honest review of your dining experience. I was very saddened to read your review and sincerely apologize that we did not meet your overall expectations. I do however truly appreciate your special mention of the attentive and pleasant service you received from your server. I have reviewed your comments in detail with our culinary and leadership team to fully understand the specific areas where we fell short of your expectations.

Thank you for taking the time to speak with me in more detail. I look forward to reaching out to you in person when you return to the island later this year. As mentioned, I hope that you will give us another chance to provide an exceptional dining experience for you.

Mahalo nui loa,
Peter

R. Peter Hingson
General Manager ONE FORTY

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