Fodor's Expert Review Roy's
Roy Yamaguchi is one of the 12 founding chefs of Hawaiian regional cuisine, a culinary movement that put Hawaii on the food map back in 1991. Opened in 1988, his flagship restaurant across the highway from Maunalua Bay is still packed every night with food-savvy visitors mixing with well-heeled residents. The wide-ranging and ever-interesting Hawaiian fusion menu is made up of his longtime classics, like Szechuan-spiced baby back ribs and blackened ahi with soy mustard butter sauce, and contemporary creations such as a pork chop with Hawaiian-chili chimichurri sauce and andagi (an Okinawan donut hole) made with poi. The local favorites are the miso butterfish and the chocolate cake (which should be ordered with your entrée). Also, don't forget to ask for the freshly baked dinner rolls, which are served by request only. There's also an exceptional wine list. The Waikiki location is equally busy and has a four-course menu for vegans and gluten-free eaters, but it's the Hawaii Kai location that loyalists return to again and again.
6600 Kalanianaole Hwy.
Hawaii Kai, Hawaii 96825, USA
- Spectacular sunset views and a tiki torch–lit lanai and bar area
- Small and large portions available for many dishes
- Signature menu items like blackened ahi with a cultlike following