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Nov 19, 2007 09:03 AM

Big Island--Kohala/Kona recs?

Leaving Maui today, headed for the Big Island. Looking for one splurge restaurant and any local places with great fish. We're staying in Kohala.

On Maui, we most enjoyed the Fish Market in Paia, and poke purchased at various markets and consumed in our room.

Any recs would be great--we had a bunch for Maui and none for the Big Island!

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  1. Apologies for posting without a fuller search...found a bunch. Looks like either Merriman's or Alan Wong's restaurant at the 4 Seasons will be our splurge. Still looking for good local eats. Or markets to get poke:-)

    2 Replies
    1. re: PetiteSyrah

      If you find yourself at the Four Seasons (Amazing property):
      Consider Pahui'a, This restaurant is right on the beach. Definately a splurge type of place AW's is close by with a good kitchen however no views compared to Pahui'a
      They also have a lovely breakfast buffet.
      Something else to consider is the Sun, Surf and Stars event at the Four Seasons featured every Saturday night (reserve) BBQ on the beach under the stars, entertainment grilled lobster etc Very Popular

      As far as a recommendation for more casual, local type places, Coffee Shack is the place. Amazing views.South of Kona-Kailua

      Cafe Pesto in Kawaihae is always a good bet, about a 12 min drive from Waikoloa area. Terrific pizza and salads

      1. re: easily amused

        We started our trip (18 mos. ago) at Pahui`a and ended it with AW's. They are different restaurants, though both are upper-end. Pahui`a is a notch above AW's. Considering the dining experiences that we had at both, I would be hard pressed to choose. Matter of fact, I'd not choose, but would do one, then a few nights later, the other.

        The one wild card, for me, is Merriman's. Alan Wong highly recommended that I dine there on our next trip, especially as we've never eaten there yet. I figure that if AW makes a recommendation, I ought to listen. Right now, were I going to the Big Island in Dec, instead of O`ahu, I'd do AW's, Merriman's, Pahi`a and Daniel Thiebaut's. The other nights would be fillers.


    2. Definitely Pahui'a. Alan Wong's Grill seems to get mixed reviews, but I haven't eaten there yet.

      3 Replies
      1. re: torta basilica

        Torta, do yourself a favor - dine at Hualalai Grille. You will enjoy it. I promise! It's a bit down-scale, but not a lot. I'm comfortable with a blazer at Pahui`a, but think that even I could get by with a nice flowered shirt at Hualalai Grille, if that makes sense. The food is different, but more in the chef's take on each dish. The wine list is fuller at Pahui`a, but HG's is good to. When we dined there, the sommelier did all of the pairings and was spot on, but I got to look at the wine list.

        Neither is cheap, by any standards, with HG a little less, but both are worth the $, and the effort.

        I recall the negative review of HG, but think that the poster was having more of an issue with a patron hitting on the hostess, than with the food. For us, service was over the top, but I observed what appeared to be excellent service at the diners around us.

        Pahui`a is a bit more romantic, if dining on the beach, but HG is not bad, by any standards.

        If you go, you must do a full report.



        1. re: Bill Hunt

          We'll be at KVR in a week or so, but I have a hard time dragging the husband away from the already included food there, especially Hale Samoa... I'll try! I'm on my own during the day, so just might sneak over for lunch... do you think that would be worth it and comfortable dining on my own?

          1. re: torta basilica

            Tell him that you HAVE to do it, for a report that you're writing for CH!

            Have a great and safe trip. Nice to see you on the board again.