Overall Review: Cork

Service: The service is good at Chili’s at Kahala Mall which is about the only thing that this restaurant has going for it. Every time we have gone to Chili’s (a handfull of times) the staff have been really friendly but not to bright. The last time when we had really fishy salmon and the waitress though that they caught it fresh in Hawaii (Honey Salmon doesn’t grow here!) but she did take $10 off the total which was appreciated since it was practical uneatable and was priced at $26.

Food: The food is slightly above fast food but priced like it was a first class establishment! The salads look more dead than alive and they charge you an extra $2 for a side salad which is ridiculous when its straight out of a bag, limp and partially brown. All the food and seafood is poor quality but what can you expect when you use cheap ingredients? The food is below average and very inconsistent. The ribs are tasty but there is hardly any meat on the bone. Everything you order is just bland or really bad. Burger King has better food than Chili’s! The biggest problem is that the price tag doesn’t match the food quality so every time you eat at Chili’s you feel like you have been raked over coals. The last time we ate there was so bad that we swore to never go again unless we are drinking margaritas at the bar. Our advice… heat up an Amy’s lasagna or eat an apple and you will have a far better experience than going to Chili’s (its worth waiting for a table at CPK or the Counter. You will end up eating better food and saving money). Chili’s also has a crappy happy hour. Booooo Chili’s!

Favorite Dishes: Dry Rub Ribs (Full Rack don’t get a combo), Santa Fee Chicken Salad, and the Hamburgers.

AtmosphereThe atmosphere is meeeeehhhhh at Chili’s. The tables are old and could use a makeover. The lights are low over the booths and so bright that you feel like you are being grilled at the police station which is really annoying and hard to enjoy dinner (specially if you are sensitive to light and get headaches easliy). Overall the bar has a better feel to it than the regular restaurant but the whole place could use a fresh coat of paint and some new decor besides TVs.

Consistency: They are very consistency overpriced and terrible.

Parking: Parking is easy at Chili’s in Kahala mall. If you go during the day you can park right out front, if you go later at night you need to be a bit lucker or you can always park on the roof or over by Macy’s and walk.

Price Range: Medium-High ($11.99-$26) per Entree
No BYOB Allowed
Reservations Not Necessary
Take Out Available

Happy Hour

4211 Waialae Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
Tel: (808) 738-5773

Hours of Operation:

Happy Hour
Mon-Friday 2:30-6pm in Bar only or Patio ($2 off drafts, $2 off appetizers, $1 off glasses of wine, and $2 off margaritas)

Chili's ribs & shrimp

Combo Ribs & Shrimp

Chili's ribs and salmon

Combo Ribs & Salmon

Baby Back Ribs

Baby Back Ribs


Side Salad

Chicken Fajitas

Fajita Sides


JJ Bistro & French Pastry

Overall Review: Cork

Service: The service was less than impressive at JJ Bistro on Waialae Ave. The restaurant is family owned and the staff was friendly but very slow to take our order or bring us food. In fact, the items we ordered trickled in one at a time which was strange especially when you want to eat at the same time i.e. appetizers and then entrees together, as a table.

Food: wow the food was bad at JJ’s and overall very lack luster. Everything was eatable but we only ate it because where so hungry…. practically starving! We started with the Kang Lao soup which was in a beautiful bowl but very watery and needed a bit more thickness or flavor to it, followed by the pizza which was so oily the whole bottom of the plate was covered in it. The pizza tasted ok but nothing better than we could have ordered from Dominos! The next dish we received was the vegetarian quiche which was by far the most disappointing dish specially for a french bistro! I mean how hard is it to make a quiche? it was just terrible. The last dish we received was the baked opakapaka and although it wasn’t fishy the sauce was extremely watery and had a strange flavor. We def wouldn’t return to JJ’s unless we where sticking to desserts because they looked pretty good. 

Favorite Dishes: None….. 🙁 bummer

Atmosphere: Ummm the atmosphere was very strange at JJ’s. The artwork is a mix match of all kinds of stuff and really quirky overall. Also the walls where really dirty which was a bit gross to look at while trying to enjoy your meal.

Consistency: It was the first time we have been and most likely the last! we went because we had a Groupon and thought it would be fun to give it a try but wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

Parking: JJ Bistro has a small parking lot behind the restaurant with some stalls for guests. On the weekend you can also park in the other retailers space because they are closed for the weekend. Besides the parking lot you can try to find street parking which is metered.

Price Range: Low ($5-$9.95) per Entree (Prix menu – $24.70)
No Corkage Fee!
Reservations Not Accepted
Take Out Available

JJ French Pastry
3447 Waialae Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
Tel: (808)739-0993

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Thursday 9am – 9pm
Friday – Saturday 9am – 9:30pm
Sunday: 12:00pm – 8:00pm

JJ Bistro & French Pastry restaurant review quiche

Vegetarian Quiche

JJ Bistro & French Pastry restaurant review

Baked Opakapaka

JJ Bistro & French Pastry pizza

Chicken Pizza


Blue Water Grill

Overall Review: Cork

Service: Yikes…. the service was terrible at Blue Water Grill in Hawaii Kai. The evening started out with us calling and booking a reservation at 7:30pm that night. When we arrived we where informed that it would still be at least 30 minutes before we could be seated. I inquired why they didn’t tell us to come at 8pm if there where busy and the hostess was frazzled and didn’t really have an answer… hummmm get it together guys! Then once we where finally seated an hour later not only was the restaurant empty (like tables everywhere) but our waiter was less than impressive and kept forgetting things or was MIA for most of the evening.

Food: The disappointments kept on coming when we received our food. By the time we where seated both the local fresh fishes dishes they where out of as well as the lamb. They blamed all the issues on the Groupon deal they did but we felt that they should have been more “on their game” knowing that their deal was expiring July 4th and that MAYBE this weekend people would come and use the GC before it expired!! The food was lack luster, under seasoned and overall pretty bad. The salmon came with mushy and overcooked rice, the ribs where dry and served over a watery slaw which made all the french fries wet, the Filet Mignon was cut into two thine pieces of meat (not a thick piece like it should be) and even our friends hamburger which is impossible to screw up wasn’t so great. 

Favorite Dishes: Seafood-Artichoke Dip, and our drinks.

Atmosphere: The atmosphere is the best thing going for the Blue Water Grill. The restaurant is overlooking the water / harbor of Hawaii Kai and has a beautiful view. The is an ideal place to go for drinks and to watch the sunset. The decor is warm inside with high ceilings and light wood floor and fixtures.

Consistency: We have only been once so far and will never go again. If we do for some strange reason we promise to update this section.

Parking: Blue Water Grill has free parking out front if you are lucky enough to find a spot. The parking lot is in the Hawaii Kai shopping center and is shared with all the other restaurants & vendors including Safeway, The Shack and many others.

Price Range: High ($20-$30) per Entree
Corkage Fee $20 per Bottle
Reservations Accepted (but even if you have one you may still have to wait!)
Take Out Available

377 Keahole St
Honolulu, HI 96805
Tel: (808) 395-6224

Hours of Operation:
Lunch & Dinner:
Mon-Thu: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Fri: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sat: 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sun: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Happy Hour – Monday to Fridays 3:00-6:00 p.m. daily.


Blue grill restaurant review

Seafood-Artichoke Dip

Blue grill mango-guava baby back ribs

Baby Back Ribs

blue grill hawaii kai salmon



Migawon Korean Resturant

Overall Review: Cork

Service: Well the service at Migawon on Kapiolani blvd was overall pretty bad. The moment we walked in we were greeted with smiles (most likely excitement because no one else was in the restaurant) but it didn’t last long. At one point we asked for some napkins and the lady pointed to the corner table where they were located! I mean really? its not like they didn’t have the time to service the only customers in the restaurant. Also they barely spoke English and it took two of them to figure out what we wanted.

Food: The food was pretty competitively priced with other Korean BBQ places in town, but Migawon only gave you 5 lousy kimchi sides which were not very good and very disappointing. In fact, we only asked them to refill one of them (the bean sprouts) which is not what you want when you spend $20+ per a person. The menu was pretty typical they had both BBQ options and regular menu items including stews, pancakes, bi bim bap, etc. It was memorable…. but not in a good way.

Favorite Dishes: BBQ Chicken, Boneless Kalbi, Lettuce & Seaweed (for wrapping meat and rice).

Atmosphere: WOW the atmosphere at Migawon is just awful. It’s dirty, has zero personalty and was thrown together with a mish-mash of tables and chairs. The music was like a techno pop which was really strange for a Korean restaurant and flies/gnats were flying around us the whole meal which is super unappetizing.

Consistency: We have only been once and we will never return. Honestly this place is not long for this world. I can’t imagine it being around for longer than 3 months.

Parking: They do offer parking but its really unclear where that was exactly. We ended up paying to park down that back ale off of Kalakaua and Kapiolani.

Price Range: Medium ($20-$27) per BBQ Entree
Reservations Accepted (Not Recommended)
Take Out Not Available

1726 Kapiolani Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96814
Tel: (808) 947-5454

Migawone Korean BBQ in Hawaii Picture

BBQ Combo Plate


Overall: corkage

Service: The service was laugh out loud bad! it was just ridiculous. I mean they where very nice but terribly at serving. In fact, it took me three try’s to get them to remove an almost empty dish (the salad and all that was left was some pathetic limp lettuce doused in dressing). Its so annoying when they leave complete dishes to clutter your already small table. Also they brought us cold towels and pointed out they are usually hot – and our waiter didn’t know the different between Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris so it took a while to get even a drink at this establishment.

Food: Most absolutely the worst Korean food we have ever had. They also don’t have the BBQ grill on the table or even the portable grilling option which is rather strange for a Korean restaurant… the owner did say it was part Japanese so maybe that’s the Japanese influence? At any rate it was surely missed specially when the other food was less than impressive.

Favorite Dishes: Note – nothing was really good but these where not as bad: Seaweed Springrolls (tasty and creative but very oily), Bulkogi Salad (lean meat but way over dressed) , Leek Chijimi (like a pancake this was the best dish) – Do not order the Tofu Salad the tofu was rancid or the pickle / kimchi sampler it was awful.

Atmosphere:The Atmosphere of Richo is wonderful! they have floor table seating on the edge of the restaurant which are unique and can be fun for a date. The main seating tables and chairs which are also very modern and elegant in dark tones. The sushi bar sites at the back of the restaurant hiding the kitchen and creating a nice focal point for the guests facing that direction. The bathrooms where very clean and smelled great. If the food was better this would be a great place to go with its dim lighting and an overall aesthetic appeal.

Consistency: We will never go again to Richo. It was so bad it doesn’t even deserve another chance. If you want a good recommendation don’t wast your money or calories on this restaurant.

Parking:Parking is a breeze at Richo which was nice seeing how the food and service where so unacceptable. They have free parking in there lot located to the left of the door and once that fills up you can park in most of the stalls in the lot to the right of the entrance. It shares a few slots with some vendors but at night they are all closed so the entire lot is free for Richo guests.

Price Range: Medium-High ($8-$50) per Entree
Corkage Free $20 per Bottle
Reservations Accepted
Take Out Available (But they don’t have a take out menu)

Richo Korean Cuisine
3008 Waialae Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96826
Tel: (808) 734-2222