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Looking for good eats on the Big Island

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We will be there in May 2008, staying in Kona. We will have a car and plan to travel the whole island during our 8 day stay. As to price $-$$$$ is okay if it is worth it. I am looking for a place for a good plate lunch and want to know if Merrman's is as good as they say or is there something better. I heard there is a tour that takes you to his farms and then back the restaurant for a 4 course meal. Type of food is also open, we will of course want to take advantage of the fresh fish and sushi is a must. We like good food so if that happens to be a french, italian, or Thai restaurant that is fine. Here is the break down, 8 dinners - 2 high end (3 if I can convince my husband), and 7 breakfast and lunch. Love local haunts that the typical tourist who doesn't know how to check in with chow hounds would never find. Can't wait to see what you come up with.

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  1. For one of your high end dinners you might like the restaurant at the Mauna Lani (forget the name but it's the main one in the hotel). I stayed there almost a year ago and we ditched our plans to eat at a couple of other restaurants in order to have a few more dinners there. It was really good and a great atmosphere as well.

    3 Replies
      1. re: LunasMom

        That's it. I just ate there last month and it was wonderful, go early for sunset!

        1. re: LunasMom

          Yes that's the one! We were only planning on a couple of meals there and we ended up eating there every night but one! It's lovely.

      2. A recent post had quite a bit of discussion on these issues:

        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/502390

        3 Replies
        1. re: alanbarnes

          Thank you I have looked at that and added a few to my list already. CanoeHouse looks good but the reviews go both ways. I did go to Roy's on Oahu years ago and may have to go to this one just to compare, unless I hear bad things here.

          1. re: LunasMom

            I also ate at the Roy's in Waikoloa, it was really really good. I had the celebrated misoyaki butterfish and it was delicious and very large in portion. The short ribs were really good too as well as the steak and the blackened ahi.

            You will like their spicy edamame that they serve when you sit down also.

            1. re: LunasMom

              I did some scathing reviews of the Canoe House, but that was several chefs ago, and I've gotten some good feedback from CH folk, that nothing like my experiences exist nowadays. Have not been back, so if you see my name on a review, well, it's time may have passed. I stand by what I wrote, but things, and restaurants, change. What was poor in '98 might well be stellar now.

              Just an update,
              Hunt