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Thanksgiving dinner on Oahu

cbn456 Sep 11, 2012 01:39 PM

Hello Hawaiian Chowhounders!
We'll be spending Thanksgiving day in Oahu (Waikiki area with no rental car, but not afraid of a good walk). We need a suggestion for Thanksgiving dinner. It doesn't have to be traditional turkey and gravy, but we'd like something a little more special that the rest of our stay. I tried Alan Wong's, but they are closed for the holiday...bummer. So we'll be eating there Friday night. Still need something for Thursday. Thanks!!

  1. KaimukiMan Sep 11, 2012 02:49 PM

    I'd consider checking with The Hau Tree Lanai, Orchid's, Roy's, Duke's, Azure, Michele's, La Mer, and Top of Waikiki (list is ordered based on my personal preferences and changed about 6 times before I posted this, and twice in edit mode, ymmv.) All of these are in Waikiki and all offer wonderful meals. Not sure of their thanksgiving offerings or hours. The price range is all upper side, with some of them at the upper end of the upper side. If they are open for Thanksgiving they will be filling reservations quickly if they haven't already.

    20 Replies
    1. re: KaimukiMan
      manomin Sep 12, 2012 06:24 PM

      Also DK Steakhouse & Tiki's are additions to K-Man's list. You can always trust his opinions to be sure! I'm just adding my own 2 cents!

      1. re: manomin
        KaimukiMan Sep 13, 2012 06:37 PM

        appreciate it. i've not been to DK's steakhouse, heard mixed reviews but all his other ventures are top of the line. I suppose we should include Bali Steak & Seafood, and Hy's Steakhouse and make it an even dozen possibilities.

        1. re: KaimukiMan
          manomin Sep 14, 2012 11:55 AM

          Well I'm fortunate, I've always had a great experience and lucky it happens most everywhere I go. I've never been to the Bali or Hy's. I did not enjoy Ruth's Chris at Mauna Lani Shops and only ate there due to lack of anywhere else to eat. I was at Hiroshi the other night and walked by Ruth's Chris and they have some really good happy hour specials 7 days a week so it might be worth a try for that. I know this is about Thanksgiving but Vino during the month has their $15.00 steak dinner special that is half the price and is so worth it. Local beef, lovely vegetables a true bargain and a great opportunity to try a beautiful local steak.

      2. re: KaimukiMan
        cbn456 Oct 3, 2012 10:23 AM

        Thanks for the great recs. One Q: Is "Michele's" Michel's at the Colony Surf or some other restaurant that I can't find? Thanks again!

        1. re: cbn456
          russkar Oct 3, 2012 10:29 AM


          1. re: russkar
            cbn456 Oct 3, 2012 07:29 PM

            Great. Thanks! One more Q: Roy's (the original one in Hawaii Kai) is closed on Thanksgiving. Is the Waikiki one also good? Or should I wait for the original one?

            1. re: cbn456
              manomin Oct 3, 2012 10:01 PM

              I would definitely go to Waikiki for your Roy's experience. I also like Hawaii Kai but I really really like Waikiki from the chef and his kitchen to the amazing service from everyone you encounter.

              1. re: cbn456
                Bill Hunt Oct 5, 2012 07:02 PM

                We have dined at the Hawai`i Kai location several times, over the years, and have been less than impressed.

                Have not been to the Waikiki location, so cannot comment on it, as an option.

                OTOH, we have enjoyed most Roy's, on the Mainland (different restaurant group), and on most Islands in Hawai`i. Most have been better, for us, than Hawai`i Kai, but maybe we always hit them on bad nights?



                1. re: cbn456
                  zippyh Oct 6, 2012 04:56 PM

                  We dined at the Hawaii Kai and the Waikiki location about a month ago.
                  Our meal at the Waikiki location was better. Dishes seemed to be prepared with more care at the Waikiki location. At the HK location, our baby octopus app was somewhat overcooked and chewy. There was someting less than ideal about another app which I can't remember.

                  We've been visiting the islands for years and had always made the trek out to HK to go to Roy's. We'll just be going to the Waikiki location now. Not that the HK location is bad but there's really no reason to go out of your way for it.

                  1. re: zippyh
                    scottca075 Oct 8, 2012 03:21 PM

                    Been eating at Roy's Hawaii Kai since it opened and was there most recently as Labor Day.... it has never wavered or dropped in the all the meals we've eaten there.

                    I don't think Waikiki is AS good, but still better than 95% of the restaurants in Waikiki including Duke's, Hula Grill, Hau Tree Lanai, Michel's and Azure.

                    Dare I suggest looking at Hakone? Look at Miyako Restaurant too if the Hau Tree Lanai is full.

                    1. re: zippyh
                      Bill Hunt Oct 9, 2012 08:36 PM

                      That is worthwhile info.

                      I have only done one of those two locations, and the last visit was quite some time ago, so likely not to be of use to anyone.

                      Mahalo for the reviews,


                      1. re: Bill Hunt
                        manomin Oct 9, 2012 10:39 PM

                        I like both but have been pretty much going to the Roy's Waikiki since they opened over 5 years ago. I think the food is fabulous in Hawaii Kai too! I just like Waikiki Bill Hunt let's go next time you're here! I used to know what your email is! I just saw this picture from Prima of soft scrambled eggs with Salmon roe, ginger and a drizzle of sauce (wish I could remember what it was) it looked amazing! I walked by tonight to get some bread and Ho Farms tomatoes and should have gone in! I have not been to La Mer in the 28 years I've been here but maybe sometime. I'm interested in trying their new cocktail experience I think it's called L'Aperitif but someone can correct me I'm sure!

                        1. re: manomin
                          Bill Hunt Oct 11, 2012 08:10 PM

                          As I need to try the Waikiki location (finally), that is a must-do for me.

                          It has also been some years, since we were last at the Hawai`i Kai location, so much might have changed. We saw similar, though in the other direction, at the Wiakaloa location, where it was great for two trips (and I mean outstanding!), but then the Exec. Chef moved up to corporate, and things changed. Then, the last two trips were when there were major conventions at the Hilton, and the place was too loud to actually dine. The noise was so "over-the-top," that we just cut the meal short, and left. Couple that crowd (twice within a few years), plus what we saw as a decline in the food, and we wrote them off our list.

                          Aloha and mahalo,


                2. re: cbn456
                  KaimukiMan Oct 5, 2012 06:50 PM

                  Yes, I mistyped per russkar's response below

                  1. re: KaimukiMan
                    cbn456 Oct 9, 2012 07:51 AM

                    So, I think it's between Michel's, Hau Tree, and Roy's Waikiki. Orchid's & La Mer sound a little to pricey/fancy for us (more expensive than Roy's?). We're going to do Duke's Barefoot for lunch. And Azure has no availability/doesn't sound like it's worth it. I think Roy's is the recommended winner, no?

                    1. re: cbn456
                      KaimukiMan Oct 9, 2012 11:33 AM

                      I think you will do fine with any of the three, and yes, Roy's would be a good first choice. La Mer would definitely be more than Roy's, Orchids likely so, but closer to the same range.

                      Of course all the usual caveats about going out on a holiday apply no matter where you pick, but I can't imagine Roy's not doing a good job of it.

                      1. re: cbn456
                        scottca075 Oct 10, 2012 11:13 AM

                        I love Roy's, great food, but I think Orchids is better and when you factor in cocktails at the House Without a Key and Orchids setting combined with the food, I think the experience is hard to beat.

                        1. re: scottca075
                          KaimukiMan Oct 10, 2012 01:19 PM

                          Scott has a good point. Actually I rarely get around to orchids, just sit on the lanai at House without a Key with cocktails and pupu's while the incomparable hula and musicians perform. If you want to focus solely on the food, then the balance shifts towards Roy's (arguably.)

                          1. re: KaimukiMan
                            cbn456 Oct 11, 2012 06:50 PM

                            Sounds like I should keep my Roy's Wikiki reservation, but should spend some time having a couple cocktails beforehand at House Without a Key. I feel like this is the makings of a pretty awesome Thanksgiving.

                          2. re: scottca075
                            Bill Hunt Oct 11, 2012 08:17 PM


                            We are finally doing Orchids for dinner. Going back, we did their Sunday Brunch many times, but always dined elsewhere for dinner. After a tour, with Auntie Mable, and an introduction to the "new and revitalized Orchids," we worked them into the mix, and especially as we are staying at the Halekulaini.

                            Some years ago, we did DINE at HWAK, and were underwhelmed, but, as you mention, drinks on their patio are NOT to be missed. We just messed up and chose them for the wrong purpose, and one with which they do not excel. Lesson learned.


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