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Kona Grill

New addition to the Woodbridge NJ rt 1 corridor...Opened last week...Anyone know this small chain?

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  1. We eat at the one in KC every once in a while. Sushi ok, salmon and tuna ok, macadamia chicken good, avocado eggrolls different. They do discounts at happy hour and it's a good deal. FWIW I did not realize that Kona is a chain until I saw your post;
    that either speaks well for the restaurant or means I should get out from under my rock more often. ;)

    1. Was gunna just post about this too. I am curous about Kona Grill. The menu looks very eclectic with various choices from sushi to salads, chicken, noodles, steaks, etc. So it seems like a nice place for groups that have different tastes. I am really curious about their bone-in ribeye since I love steak.

      Anyone tried it yet?

      1. live a mile away from one in troy, mi. have eaten there a few times. sushi is average. appetizers were surprisingly bad. sea bass is decent. my kids didn't like their pasta dishes. prices are above average. the best thing about the place is the bar. good happy hour. tables on a screened in patio. we go for beers more than anything.

        1. I used to work odd hours and would eat at Kona about once a week since it was one of the few places in Omaha that served food past 10 p.m. Their sushi is decent, and their pizza is great (especially for the prices on the reverse happy hour). I haven't had much experience with their entrees, though.

          1. We just went there for the second time last week. When they opened here, in Troy MI, last summer we stopped as they had patio dining. Since it's a chain I'll just blame it on the service for the local place, but it was so bad including the food we said we'd never go back. Ok, so we went back with friends who now live out of the country and love it there. I had the pork tenderloin as they have a limited fish selection and the only thing good about it was the mashed potatoes and I loved the braised bok choy. We couldn't get a parking spot and my husband had to park in the next building over, the dining area was almost empty, but the bar was full. What does that tell you! My thought is that it's a bar that just happens to serve food. So if you want to get a drink and something to eat, then fine, but if you're looking for dinner you might be disappointed.

            4 Replies
            1. re: grouper

              What time did you go? They have really good happy hour specials that are only available in the bar so it's possible that everyone was enjoying the deals.

              That said, I'm not a big a fan of Kona. I find I can get much better food for a better value at other places (even other chains).

              1. re: pollymerase

                We went at 6:30. I'm sure that the good deals attract people to the bar, but that just proves my point that it's a bar that happens to sell food. That's ok if with me if that's how they want to be labeled...you just don't get great food there. Again, I won't be in a hurry to return.

              2. re: grouper

                the parking situation there is terrible, largely because they have all of the front and west side spaces reserved for valet.

                1. re: xman887

                  I would probably agree. There were empty spots in the valet parking, but we didn't want to pay for it.

              3. I really llke this chain. My favorite item is the Sweet Chili Glazed Salmon salad. I also like the noodle dishes such as Pad Thai and Peanut Chicken; I was able to sub tofu for the meat in the noodle dishes, which is an option I prefer.

                1. It started here in AZ and is still a popular spot for many... but as mentioned is more known for their happy hours and social/patio scene. It's not bad food, but nothing special.
                  I think they, like PF Changs, are trying to be "ethnic" and different from a AppleChileBees type place, but not so different that a big chunk of the common market won't try them out. So they have Thai, but it's pad thai. They've got Japanese, but it's the cutesty sushi rolls.

                  I gotta give them a little bit of props for not being completely typical (burgers, hot wings, fried cheese) when chasing the mass market. Inevitably, a friend will suggest it for a midweek birthday group or friday happy hour and it's fine for that now and again. But not something to seek out in terms of grub... unless you are in a really blah part of the country. And that happens!

                  1. I've eaten at 3 Kona Grill locations in AZ a bunch of times (part of a shopper gig... shhh... don't tell anyone).

                    First, with multiple visits to each the location in Chandler has ALWAYS been better than the one in Scottsdale. Both in service and, more importantly, in food quality. For instance, the Lemon Grass Crusted Halibut, while overpriced, was absolutely fabulous in Chandler. I had the same thing later in Scottsdale and it was just okay. This happened with other dishes as well.

                    In appetizers, my favorite is the avocado egg rolls. I love those! Potstickers were substantial and tasted pretty good. The satay, however, seemed nothing like satay to me.

                    The "tacos", which are more like wraps, were exceedingly bland made with chicken but very tasty made with the blackened catfish. I think I had the Basil Pesto Linguine once, but can't remember it. Which probably says something about it. The sushi I have sampled was all okay (other than one very odd tasting California rolls of all things), but nothing to write home about.

                    1. I just went to the Woodbridge location tonight for dinner and I was not impressed at all. These service is horrible (taking 20 minutes just to get drinks, and almost an hour for food), it wasn't that good at all (sushi was falling apart and bland, potstickers undercooked, but the macadamia chicken was really good but 20 bucks for a chicken entree is a lil much). over all I will not go back there... it was a waste of my time and money.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: carolkat

                        I went to the Woodbridge location on Friday for a lunch meeting...service was not bad, but annoyed the heck out of us because someone must have trained them to stop by the table every 10 minutes. Granted, we sat for 2 hours+ and it was later so the place was pretty much empty, but it was almost comical.
                        I had an ahi tuna sandwich which was really excellent quality. Nice thick piece of tuna cooked to my desired donesness and not dried out. The taro chips were tasty but I really couldn't eat more than a couple because they were way too oily, not drained well.
                        We had an appetizer of calamari served with a spicy dipping sauce which was tasty, the calamari had a light coating which was also well seasoned.
                        Can't say what the place is like when it's busy, but it seemed pretty well run and organized from my observation. Maybe they had some glitches when they first opened that they have worked out. I think if you put it into the context of chain restaurants (like the others on that stretch of Rt.1) it's a better option.