Big Island Restaurants



Tommy Bahama Tropical Café

Fodorite Reviews

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Tommy Bahama Tropical Café Review

This breezy, open-air restaurant, located upstairs at the Shops at Mauna Lani, offers an excellent roster of appetizers, including seared-scallop sliders and coconut-crusted crab cakes. The chef here has freedom to cook up his own daily specials, and the miso-marinated kampachi is a standout. Other entrées include rustic chicken pasta and crab-stuffed shrimp. Homemade breads and creamy butters set the stage for a nice meal, which most definitely should include one of Tommy's outstanding martinis, the tastiest and strongest anywhere on the island. Desserts are decadent and meant for sharing. There's live music every evening.

    Contact Information

  • Address: The Shops at Mauna Lani, 68-1330 Mauna Lani Dr., No. 102 Kohala Coast, HI 96743 | Map It
  • Phone: 808/881–8686
  • Website:
  • Location: Kohala Coast

    Restaurant Details

  • Credit cards accepted.
Updated: 01-06-2014

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  
  • Food  

    Tommy Bahama's Tropical Café Review

    We make at least 1 trip per year to the Big Island and always look forward to lunch and shopping at the Tommy Bahama cafe in Mauna Lani. Our most recent visit in October 2010 was a huge disappointment.

    We ordered cocktails and the prix fixe lunch menu which listed 3 courses. When our bill came, we were charged $12 EACH for the key lime pie. We of course complained to the manager, who explained that he has argued with "corporate" over the amibguity of the menu, but the pie is not included in the prix fixe lunch. With some arguing, he deducted the price of one slice of pie.

    1. The key lime pie was average. Good--just okay. In fact, I would be hard pressed to find a piece of pie worth $12. Tom Douglas Coconut Cream comes to mind (which is $35 for a whole pie)--but TB or any other key lime is a distant...well, it's distant. Not even close to 2nd.

    2. Who in the freaking heck charges $12 for a slice of pie. I mean, nothing special about it. Your average 1/8 slice. No whip. No fresh fruit garnish. Nada. Pie on plate. Sheesh.

    3. When you list PRIX FIXE at the top of your menu and 3 courses underneath, the assumption is clearly that all is included. There was no "and may we suggest for dessert at additional charge...ask your server...". Despite the argument from the manager, this is blatant lying, deception, and really, really, really poor service.

    4. I've been in the restaurant biz a long time and it was pretty clear to me that both the waitress and the manager were out and out LYING and knew full well that--as others have apparently been--we would be upset with a PIE BILL tantamount to 1/3 of our bill...of course some ditz in the corporate office who is a pencil-pusher and knows NOTHING about the hospitality service is likely most to blame. Actually, the waitress was very competent and I hope she's found a position where her type of skill is more appreciated and customers are treated as a valuable commodity.

    5. We will never return and will not recommend TB's and will go out of our way--in the same manner that TB went out of their way to deceive us--and leave this restaurant review in as many places as we can find.

    by cmcpoole, 12/3/10

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