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Big island dining around Kohala

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We are excited to return to Hawaii after many years. We will be staying near Mauna Lani and want to try out what's good - casual or upscale, any cuisine. We are willing to travel too. In the past I seem to remember an excellent noodle restaurant in Kona by a woman chef..is it still there? Also we loved Sensei in Maui and I think there's one in Kona too? I have heard there are some good spots in Hawi. Any great fish places? Any ideas are welcome!

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  1. I'm guessing that you are remembering Oodles of Noodles, subsequently renamed O's Bistro, and most unfortunately no longer in business. The chef there was Amy Ota Ferguson (not sure of the spelling but I think I have the name right). The restaurant was in a nondescript shopping mall. Alas no more.

    However, that doesn't mean you can't eat well otherwise.

    Sansei has a restaurant in the Queens Marketplace in Waikoloa. Very crowded especially when it opens for dinner as there are specials and price reductions for the first hour or so. The food is good but reviews lately have been mixed.

    Places we've enjoyed over the last 2-3 years: Roy's (very loud & sometimes chaotic but the food is good--I have a love for their misoyaki butterfish); Merriman's Cafe at the King's Shops; Merriman's Waimea (but latest reviews don't seem to be as enthusiastic); Pau Pizza in Waimea; Annies Island Fresh Burgers (south of Kona); Pahu I'a breakfast buffet (awesome setting on the water, this is my favorite breakfast on the planet); Kona Provision Company sunset dinner (for the sunset location, food is uneven); Splashers in Kona (but haven't been there since they've moved).

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    Pau
    , Kamuela, HI 96743

    1 Reply
    1. re: connecticut_lady

      We loved Sensei in Maui so it's good to see one in Hawaii. Is there anything like Oodles of Noodles? We loved that place and so did the kids. I've heard there are some interesting places in Hawinbut trying to figure if they're worth the drive.