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“Good restaurant”
Review of Cafe O'Lei Kihei

Cafe O'Lei Kihei
Ranked #14 of 183 Restaurants in Kihei
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Hawaiian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Late Night, Dinner, Reservations, Takeout
Reviewed February 20, 2014

The food and service at this restaurant is very good. Everyone at the table enjoyed their food and drinks. The location isn't the best, we sat in a corner in the back, but even the window tables overlook a parking lot. The restaurant has a good atmosphere, and the service was top notch.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Kim T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,625 - 1,629 of 2,771 reviews

Reviewed February 20, 2014

My parents and I ate here for dinner recently because we had been here for lunch previously and enjoyed it.
First mistake: coming for dinner without reservations. Even though the only view you have from your table is of the Denny's strip mall parking lot, this restaurant is very popular, particularly with the senior citizen crowd who make up a big part of Kihei's tourist population.
Food is decent and the prices are lower than you'll pay at the resort hotel restaurants.
If you arrive here without a reservation for dinner, particularly if you are here about 6 p.m.-7 p.m. or so, when many seniors like to eat, be prepared for a long wait for a table in the cramped and crowded waiting area, with people constantly streaming past you to register at the desk and the front desk staff yelling out names as tables become available.
While I was there near the front counter, even a few people who did have reservations found they had to wait a while for a table and I could hear them complaining to each other that this had happened on other visits.
The restaurant seems to take its loyal following for granted, because we did not feel at all personally cared for, partly because they don't seem to have enough wait staff for the number of customers.
We were shown to a side room at the back of the restaurant, and there seemed to be only one waitress for this entire section of the restaurant. So we were seated and then waited and waited before anyone even acknowledged that we were there. We kept wondering if we were invisible but realized the poor waitress had to take orders at all of the other tables in this section of the restaurant, so she was very busy. I don't blame her. I blame management for not having enough people.
She was friendly when she finally arrived, but this is also the kind of place where, once your order is taken, you hardly see the waitress again. Some bus staff, whoever is available, brought out our meals, asking, "who ordered the salad?" "Who ordered the fish?"
Not a great way to make you feel that you are being personally cared for.
We had a much better experience here when we went mid-afternoon for lunch, when it was not so rushed, but this dinner experience made us decide never to return for dinner.
Food was acceptable, not stellar. Parents ordered papaya with shrimp salad; I had chicken breast with potatoes and veggies. I'm not one of those people who feel you're not getting your money's worth unless your portions are so big that you have a big take-home bag at the end of the night, but even then, the portions of my very skinny piece of chicken breast and tiny scoop of mashed potatoes were unusually skimpy for the price: the kind of serving you might give someone who is on an extreme diet.
As we ate our meals, the busy waitress didn't come back to check how things were going until we were all finished our meals. Again, I felt sorry for her with so many tables to serve, but we also felt that nobody here particularly cared how we were doing.
We felt ignored through the evening and wondered, with our tip, who exactly we were tipping. The waitress we barely saw or the busboys who actually brought the food and drinks out?
We all found it kind of depressing and decided not to even order dessert because we just wanted to leave rather than to continue to be ignored. We left and no one from management or the front counter even looked up to say 'thank-you' or "how was everything?" I guess they don't need to, because of the big crowds they get here.
I would recommend management hire a few extra servers who can actually give you personal service and make you feel as if they are taking care of you and your experience and that they welcome your business. We felt like we were just part of an assembly line. We would go back here for lunch when it is quieter, but will not return for dinner. Not a happy experience.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Steve1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2014

I had the seared Ahi and my wife had the Crab Cakes. The food was phenomenal and the service was just as good. We loved it!

Thank bruce3226
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2014

Lots of wonderful choices and very knowledgeable staff. The drinks are reasonable in price. The mud pie is awesome and healthy (believe it!)

Thank Pals05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 13, 2014

A good family restaurant, patronized primarily by locals so it has to be the best in a tourist city! It has a very limited menu but outstanding prices.

Thank cyrnos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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