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Sam Choy's Kai Lanai

Perched on the bluff above Keauhou Shopping Center, the relatively new Sam Choy's Kai Lanai is already a Kona classic. Celebrity-chef Sam Choy has transformed an old Wendy's into a beautiful open-air restaurant complete with a bar, The Short Bait, designed to look like a charter-fishing boat. Granite-topped tables offer ocean views from every seat in the house. Open for lunch and dinner (and breakfast on weekends only), the venue presents reasonably priced entrées, highlighted by the macadamia-nut-crusted chicken, Oriental lamb chops, or Sam's trio of fish served with shiitake-mushroom cream sauce. The ahi salad (served in a deep-fried flour tortilla bowl) is a great deal for $14. Keiki (children's) menus accommodate families. Parking is at a premium, so you might have to park in the shopping center below. The restaurant can be noisy. Arrive at 5 pm to nab the best patio seating.

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