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“Food Disappointing, Meal Too Rushed”

Sam Choy's Kai Lanai
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Ranked #40 of 288 Restaurants in Kailua-Kona
Price range: $30 - $30
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Delivery, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Description: A former Wendy's restaurant completely redone.
Otter Rock, Oregon
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Food Disappointing, Meal Too Rushed”
Reviewed February 3, 2014

We went there this evening for a special evening. Turned out to be not that special.

The ocean view is great, but it overlooks parking lots and roof tops. We knew that going in. It's still pretty nice, with the hillside view. Very nice ocean view.

We ordered an appetizer and drinks to start. The waitress tried to get us to order the meal at the same time, but I saw the train a coming. I said I'd wait until our appetizer was done. Thank goodness, as the meal came in about two minutes.

We ordered the two specials this evening. One was a "surf and turf" (ono bellies and rib eye steak). The other was a Hawaiian white fish, macadamia crusted over a bed of Hawaiian risotto and mushroom. Both sounded delicious. My wife ordered the surf and turf. The steak was not great. Brown gravy that tasted pretty pedestrian. I tasted the ono and liked it, but my wife didn't. She ordered mashed potatoes, the only thing she liked. I had the fish special. Pretty tasteless. I never put salt and pepper on a restaurant meal, but it helped this dish. I eat a lot of fish. This was so, so, at best.

Not relaxed dining. Food, only so so. I was pretty disappointed overall.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Mark C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,766 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
portland, Or
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Wonderful meal and place to watch the sunset”
Reviewed February 3, 2014

We came here with a reservation for four and got one of the best tables with an unobstructed view of the sunset at 6:00. It was a perfect place for our 'nice' meal toward the end of our vacation. We each had a different meal and all 4 of us loved our dinners. Pork chops, chicken, steak, and a trio of fish. All were excellent. Our waiter was helpful and gave us just the right amount of attention throughout the meal. The only part of the meal that wasn't quite up to par was the calamari appetizer. Could have been better. This is a relaxing place which is nice, but not overly fancy. The prices are very reasonable for the location and type of food. We highly recommend this place!

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank allie19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
109 reviews
63 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“GREAT FOOD BUT SERVICE NEEDS IMPROVING”
Reviewed February 3, 2014

Six friends dined at Sam Choy's above Keauhou Shopping Centre. Everyone enjoyed their meals and the quantity and presentation was very good. As we have experienced at this restaurant previously, the service was poor. Our waiter forgot to tell us about the specials (one of which I would have had but it was too late when I heard about it when another waiter was giving the info to guests at an adjoining table), our wine was brought quickly but the asked for water didn't arrive until he was reminded again, when the adjoining table was brought bread we asked the other waiter if we could have some and he brought it, and when we finished our meals we had to flag down our waiter to take our plates away. The three fellows wanted to split the bill and gave our waiter three credit cards. He was gone for the longest time and when he did return with the original bill and credit cards processed, we found on the back of the bill the amount divided by three in long-hand division - we guessed this was the reason for the delay in having the credit cards processed - at least we hope so and that nothing else was done with the cars when they were away from us.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Bev060
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
126 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“more negative than positive”
Reviewed February 1, 2014

our waiter was obviously under influence of some sort of drug!!!!! he also kept scratching himself!!!!!!!! we were 11 people and order everything from vegetarian to chicken and fish dishes. Only the fish dishes were above average. two chicken dishes were returned to the kitchen

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Ehsan V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plymouth, Minnesota
Level 6 Contributor
200 reviews
129 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 191 helpful votes
“We'll be back!”
Reviewed February 1, 2014

We went to Sam Choy's for my 60th Birthday in January 2014 and had a fantastic dinner accompanied by a bottle of 2003 Dom Perignon from their wine list and a spectacular sunset! Simply a wonderful evening!

Our server, Jaye, was a newbie; she'd just gotten her nametag badge that evening. Even though she was still learning her way around, she did a great job for us!

We started out with the Brie Won Tons and Champagne. The Won Tons are devine! We highly recommend them! And the 2003 Dom Perignon from their wine list was a reasonable $190.

For dinner, my wife had the Kona Duck and I had the Braised Short Ribs, both were prepared with lovely, interesting spicing and cooked perfectly, presented beautifully, and tasted fantastic!

For Dessert, we did the serious chocolate chocolate flourless cake and a couple of scoops of different flavors of their restaurant-made ice cream. Wonderful!

We'll be back!

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank mikie376
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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