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Honolulu and Oahu Restaurants

Hoku's at the Kahala

Updated 01/17/2014

Fodor's Review

Hoku's at the Kahala. Everything about this room speaks of quality and sophistication: the wall of windows with their beach views, the avant-garde cutlery and dinnerware, the solicitous staff, and the carefully constructed Euro-Pacific cuisine. The menu constantly changes, but you can count on Chef Wayne Hirabayashi to use fresh, local ingredients when possible in his innovative dishes such as braised short-rub tempura, salt-crusted rack of lamb with tomato confit,

and butter-poached lobster with passionfruit jus. It's an excellent and popular choice for special occasions or for Sunday brunch. The dress code is collared shirts, no beachwear. The Kahala Hotel & Resort, 5000 Kahala Ave., Kahala, Honolulu, HI, 96816. 808/739–8760. www.kahalaresort.com. Reservations essential. Closed Mon. and Tues. No lunch.

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Restaurant Information

Address:

The Kahala Hotel & Resort, 5000 Kahala Ave., Honolulu, Hawaii, 96816, United States

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Phone:

808-739–8760

Restaurant Details:

  • Credit cards accepted
  • Closed Mon. and Tues. No lunch
  • Reservations essential

Updated 01/17/2014

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Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating

By esernel

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Mar 3, 2009

A Perfect Evening

Having read the previous review I was reluctant to dine here but having eaten here many times in the past, I felt that we should experience the restaurant, if for nothing else the beautiful room and ambiance. Something new which Hoku's is offering (and perhaps this was just for a limited time) was a five course tasting menu which was excellent. We began with oysters prepared three ways followed by an outstanding mushroom and truffle risotto in parchment

paper. The salad was the Waimanalo Valley greens nicely dressed with a white balsamic vinagrette. After a refreshing amuse bouche the main course of filet and lobster tail was served - both perfectly prepared and delicious. Finally for dessert we were served a platter of various pastries which were very good, but after such a filling meal we could only have a taste of. The wine list continues to offer a large selection of new as well as old world wines and the service was impeccable. We dined at some very fine restaurants during our recent visit, but glad that we had this dining experience at Hoku's on our last night of our trip.

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By bennyb

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May 22, 2007

Poor food and service; nice location

Wife started with Ahi Musubi ($19) - very bland, basically diced ahi gently mixed into rice and rolled. No noteworthy flavor. Friend had Big Island Greens ($11) - lettuce with a few small slivers of asparagus and potatoes. The vinaigrette was barely there, and the salad was described as tasting "like a small plate of lettuce." Wife and I shared the Lamb for two ($94). Wife is Asian and prefers rice as a starch, which we were promised. The lamb

arrive without starch. It tasted salty - very salty. They brought 2 small tourines of sauces, but they did little to cover the saltiness. I can't even remember tasting lamb, just salt. the rice arrived just as we gave up on eating the lamb (I made it through 3 our of the 4 pieces; wife only managed to choke down 2 pieces). Friend ordered N.Y. Steak ($49). It was described as stringy and not flavorful. He ate about half of it. Friend's date ordered poached Onaga ($40). It was a small piece of fish and did not come with any sides (such as starch). Flavor was a type of curry. The fish was dry. She is a local girl who has eaten onaga many times, and said this was one of the worst preparations she has had. Only friend's date ordered dessert - the warm chocolate cake. It came with a small side of strawberry sorbet. She enjoyed it. Coffee and iced teas were $5 each, and they charged $5 for each re-fill. I don't understand how anyone can be satisfied with this restaurant. Perhaps some believe that if the restaurant is next to a beach and has fancy place settings, the food MUST be good, so they convince themselves that it is. Sadly, it is not. It's better than Zippy's for sure, but far, far, below Alan Wong's, 3660, and Roy's. The food is even below Sam Choy's, OnJin, and Kakaako Kitchen. Very disappointing, with the apparent exception of the warm chocolate cake dessert.

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By Alan

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Mar 23, 2005

Used to be terrific

Hoku's used to be terrific. I don't know what happend to make them slip, but it's quite a disappointment now in food and service. The atmosphere has always been extremely noisy so I won't fault them for that. That hasn't changed.

By Rick

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Feb 25, 2005

Hoku's is TOPS!

I've eaten there once for dinner and once for lunch and both times the food was incredible. I also think the service was top rate and the Asian-Pacific atmosphere is beautiful. I'll go again and again.

By Kathy

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Aug 8, 2003

Not Worth the Visit

We ate at 7 of the best restaurants on Oahu and this was at the botom of the list. The service was probably the worst I've encountered in a fine dining restaurant. The restaurant is set against a beautiful backdrop and the room is pretty. However, the acoustics in the room are awful so the evening's "music" was a symphony of clanging plates and silverware. It gave the room a diner feel and I had to remind myself a few times that I was not at Dennys.

The food was nothing to write home about and the bill was second highest. Skip this one and go to Chef Mavro, L'Uraku, 3660 on the Rise or Alan Wong's instead.

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By Kim

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May 19, 2003

DISAPPOINTING....

I hate to be the one to wreck a previously perfect 5.0 rating but I've to to be honest! After carefully researching and reading many reviews and customer comments I chose Hoku's to celebrate our ten year wedding anniversary. I made my reservation ONE MONTH IN ADVANCE. I mentioned that we would be celebrating our 10 yr anniversary and asked for a good table (something I never do but thought the occasion warranted it). What I noticed while waiting

to be seated was that all tables have an ocean view. The best being the row next to the large windows. Then there is a middle row of tables and then a third row of tables furthest from the windows. I'll give you one guess on which row we were seated at! Is it asking too much to have a window table (which there were several of) overlooking the ocean on my big 1-0??? Is one month notice for a resort restaurant not sufficient?? OK I feel better now that I've got that off my chest! Now on to the food. We shared the sushi appetizer-it was ok, nothing special. I than had a salad-again, ok but nothing special. Our main entree was the crispy whole island fish for two. I believe it was opah. The fish was good but the three sauces served with it were again ok, but nothing special. I would rather have one oustanding sauce than three not so special! I think this dish could be amazing if served with the right sauce. That mediocre fish dish set us back $80 ($40 per person) which I don't mind paying but it better be awsome-it was not. To cap off our not so spectacular anniverary dinner the waiter brought over a complimenaty desert in honor of our celebration which just made me more annoyed because it verified they did indeed know it was our anniversary and they still chose to seat us as far from a prime view window table as possible! Overall-VERY DISAPPOINTING!! Ate at Alan Wongs the night before and it was FABULOUS in every aspect!

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