Sam Choy back in Kona
Sam Choy has finally opened his new restaurant in Kona. It's in the old Wendy's (extensively remodeled) above the Keauhou Shopping Center with great ocean views. Very different from his old spot in the Koloko industrial center. This one has a view of course, a full bar, a reasonably priced wine list, and a sink in the men's room to die for (maybe the women's room too).
The pace is a bit frenetic. Both the dining room and the kitchen (which can be viewed through a large window) have many people working, so service is quick. Either Sam is trying to get maximum table turnovers or he is simply putting lots of people to work, but we can't complain about too much service. Both times we were there (Saturday lunch and Sunday dinner) it was crowded, but that did not slow things down. All the staff were very friendly as well. Sam himself was there that night, so maybe the staff were all on their best behavior!
For lunch on Saturday I had a great fish sandwich with lots of fish, though the bun was a bit ordinary. Also good purple potato salad. My partner had fish and chips, which was also quite good. For dinner on Sunday (for which we had and needed reservations, even at 5:45) I had Ka'u duck a l'orange. Very very good, plus garlic mashed potatoes and local vegetables. My partner had lamb chops served on a bed of house made pasta. Dinner came with soup and salad (standard, no choices); the onion soup was good, but not really hot when it came to the table.
When I go back for dinner, I will ask to sit outside on the lanai because the dining room was a bit noisy for my taste (all too common these days). But I will definitely go back; just can't decide whether it will replace Jackie Rey's as my favorite local restaurant.