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“Beautiful view” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sam Choy's Kai Lanai

Sam Choy's Kai Lanai
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Ranked #38 of 283 Restaurants in Kailua-Kona
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: American, Seafood, Asian, Polynesian, Hawaiian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Kids, Special occasions, Scenic view, Bar scene, Local cuisine, Families with children, Romantic, Large groups
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Brunch, Drinks, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Dining
Description: A former Wendy's restaurant completely redone.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Beautiful view”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 19, 2014 via mobile

A bit pricey for the type of food and service, but the view and drinks were worth it. Food was good , coconut shrimp were huge! Wait staff was friendly . I would say this is worth at least one visit if only for the view.Sunset is excellent time to enjoy cocktails.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank Beaglerun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,668 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Carpentersville, Illinois
Level Contributor
24 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Nothing special”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 18, 2014

We wanted breakfast and came 10 minutes before 11:00 so they said we could not have breakfast menu. Instead we got lunch menu with 3 breakfast options (not great). No fruit served with any of our options (really ... in Hawaii where certain fruits should accompany your dish automatically). Great views but not impressed with menu.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank MyYorkies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eugene OR
Level Contributor
79 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Wonderful Views, Wonderful Service”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 13, 2014

We ate at Sam Choy's twice during our vacation on the Big Island. We went for lunch one afternoon and for pupus one evening. The views over the Pacific are second to none. We were able to enjoy our meal while watching the whales. Both our lunch and the pupus were delicious, especially the poke (tuna) and the calamari. What made the experience really worthwhile, however, was the service. For lunch our server was Thersa. She seemed genuinely happy to have us there, pointing it the whales and making suggestions as to the food. Our server in the evening was Shawn. He also went out of his way to make us comfortable and to make sure that we had everything we needed. The star of the visits was Shawna. She seated us during both of meals. She not only brought us the menus and the water, she found me a phone book when I told her that I needed to contact an airline to check on our friends' delayed flight (not an easy thing to find in this day and age) and she brought us some coupons for complimentary pupus when we mentioned that we had been turned away a few nights earlier because of a special event at the restaurant. All of the staff went over and above the usual standard and made us wish that Sam Choy's was not quite so far away. We will definitely go back the next time we are on the Big Island.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank travelmavenEugeneOR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Level Contributor
66 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Great View! Mediocre Food”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 13, 2014

Just another typical tourist oriented restaurant offering an incredible expansive view and little else.
We went for a "ladies lunch" gab fest and we did have a nice time. Our server was excellent but never asked if the food was to our liking---probably because the answer is generally not favorable. Eight cocktails and four appetizers cost $120, including tip. We probably will not return.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank RebeccaDelIslas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
so cal
Level Contributor
272 reviews
178 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
“Fried Poke, okey dokey”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 12, 2014

We had two exceptional dishes here - the fried poke (Sam's trademark dish) and the fresh fish salad (two nice pieces of ono with somen noodles, greens and vegetables). The view is exceptional high on a hill overlooking the ocean. The prices are pretty reasonable also.
On an earlier visit we had the three fish plate with three grilled fish - fairly plain - but with four delicious dipping sauces.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank xsteves
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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