Home Bar & Grill

Overall Review: CorkCorkCork

Service: The service was good at Home Bar & Grill on Kalakaua ave. Both our servers where really nice, cute and really stayed on top of our groups service. Often times with a large group the service can be slow or some people’s dishes / drinks are not right but this was not the case with Home Bar & Grill which was just great.

Food: The food at Home Bar & Grill is typical bar local style cuisine. Items you can expect to find on the menu include grilled meats, fries, poke, kim chee, salads, loco moco, burgers, seafood and even chicken gizzards. The menu also includes a Home Bar & Grill Burger Challenge featuring three 8oz kulana burger patties with cheese, bacon, sauteed onions, mushrooms, fried egg and a pound of fries. If you can finish it in 15 minutes you get it for FREE. Its a fun local spot with good bar food variety and flavor-full food. 

Favorite Dishes: Pork Chop, Parmesan Truffle Fries, Garlic Soy Beans (edamame), and the tater tot nachos.

Atmosphere: The restaurant is the old Slammers and they didn’t really do much to change the inside of the restaurant. It’s kind of run down looking with miss matched chairs and tables. The ambiance is dark and is the type of place you would meet some friends late night for grindz or maybe even a secret lover! haha

Consistency: This was the first time we went but will update this section next time. We do have some friends who say its consistently good for drinks and pupu’s after work though!

Parking: They have a valet parking private lot out front with a few limited spaces….or you can try to find street parking but be careful late at night because the area is a bit ghetto after dark.

Price Range: L0w ($9-$26) per Entree
No BYOB Allowed
Reservations Accepted
Take Out Available

Address:
1683 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, HI 96826
Tel: (808) 942-2237

Hours of Operation:
Mon-Sun: Dinner & Pupu’s 2 p..m – 2 a.m.

Home Bar & Grill

Rib Eye

Home Bar & Grill pork chop

Pork Chop

home bar and grill restaurant review

Truffle Fries

Yanagi Sushi

Overall Review: CorkCork

Service: The staff was nice but not exactly helpful or very fast. In fact, it took over 20 minutes to get our credit card back which felt really strange when we paid. They did fill our water glasses quickly and clear old dishes but it wasn’t like they interacted with us. Typically if you notice a guest didnt eat more than one bit of a dish you would ask if they wanted something else of if anything was wrong with it. They just took it away and brought the check!

Food: The food was very disappointing at Yanagi Sushi on Kapiolani blvd. This restaurant has been a stapil in Honolulu for years and has always had good Japanese food in the past. However, its been at least 5 years since we have been last and the food has really suffered during that time. Out of the 4 items we ordered only one was good or even eatable. The Pork Cutlet (Tonkatsu) was really chewy and cut into super large pieces making it very hard to eat. The shrimp tempura had a tiny thing little shrimp inside and so much batter on its all you could taste. Finally the chicken teriyaki was covered in fat and really grimly tasting. The only thing we even could eat was the butterfish (which was good) and the miso soup. Even the end of the experience was a bummer because the ice cream was very icy and overly sweet. 

Favorite Dishes: Butterfish Miso-yaki and Miso Soup

Atmosphere: The ambiance is nice inside Yanagi Sushi but it is in need of a facelift. The tables are super old and the floor has seen better days. With a little work this place to be polished again. One nice attribute is that the walls showcase famous visitors and friends of the owners and make the restaurant quaint and have a unique family feel.

Consistency: About 15 years ago this was a consistently good restaurant but after the experience we had today we wouldn’t go back for Japanese food ever. There are so many great restaurants like Imanas or Sushi ii you can go for the same price if not cheaper than Yanagi Sushi to have a delicious Japanese feast.

Parking: Yanagi Sushi has valet parking out front which is convenient. All you need to do is pull up, pass over your keys and tip the boys a few dollars when you leave and you are all set!

Price Range: Medium-High ($8.95-$37.50) per Entree or Combo
Corkage Fee $15 per Bottle of Wine or Sake
Reservations Accepted
Take Out Available

Address:
762 Kapiolani Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96813
Tel: (808) 597-1525
Website: /
http://www.yanagisushi-hawaii.com

Hours of Operation:
Lunch: 11a.m. – 2p.m.
Dinner: Monday – Saturday: 5:30p.m. – 2p.m. Sunday: 5:30p.m. – 10p.m.

Yanagi Sushi restaurant review

Combo Plate

Yanagi Sushi Butterfish Review

Butterfish Miso-yaki

Yanagi Sushi pickles

Pickles

 

Roy’s

Overall: corkage corkagecorkage corkage corkage

Service: The service is top notch at Roy’s. From the moment you arrive till your exit from the restaurant you are treated as a prince / princess. The waiters are attentive, courteous, and extremely professional at this 5 start dinning establishment.

Food: The food is modern asian pacific cuisine and items you can expect to find on the menu are Sushi, Salads, Seafood, Meats and of course desserts. The fresh fish is sensational and truly captivates the essence of the islands. The meats are also very tender and the short ribs just fall off the bone. There hasn’t been anything we have tried on the menu that we sent back or didn’t think was terrific. Another nice touch is instead of giving you a big basket of bread to start  you receive a bowl of well seasoned edamame which is a nice light start to your decadent meal.

Favorite Dishes: Beef Carpaccio, Baby Back Ribs, Salads, Hawaiian Style Misoyaki Butterfish (OMG delicious!!), Short Ribs (Fantastic!), Chocolate Soufflé, and Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Atmosphere: The ambiance at Roy’s in Waikiki is stunning. Both the inside and outside seating area’s are and tropical feeling. The art is also asian influenced which ties into the dinning experience very well. The inside area is rather large but has good acoustics. The only negative thing the restaurant was freezing cold. The outside is much more casual feeling and also has a bar which is perfect for some pupu’s or drinks while enjoying Waikiki.The Hawaii Kai location is in Hawaii Kai and has a similar decor. The restaurant is located upstairs and is also lovely.

Consistency: The consistency at Roy’s is fantastic. Each time you come you can be sure to have a delicious dish with the same amount of food, seasoning and taste as you remembered it.

Parking: Roy’s has validated parking at the hotel around the corner on Beach Walk at the Embassy suites for $6 for 4 hours (you can forget about finding street parking! don’t even try… its not happening). At the Hawaii Kai flagship location you can park for free at that Hawaii Kai Towne Center.

Price Range: High ($24-$33) per Entree
Corkage Fee $25 per Bottle
Take Out Available
Reservations Accepted & Recommended

Address
Roy’s – Honolulu (Hawaii Kai)
6600 Kalanianaole Highway
Honolulu, HI 96825
Tel: (808) 396-7697

Roy’s – Waikiki Beach
226 Lewers Street
Honolulu, HI 96815
Tel: (808) 923-7697
Website: http://www.roysrestaurant.com/

Hours of Operation:

Hawaii Kai: Dinner Only
Mon – Thu: 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Fri: 5:30 p.m – 10 p.m.; Sat: 5 p.m – 10 p.m.; Sun: 5 p.m – 9:30 p.m.

Waikiki Location: Lunch & Dinner
Daily: 10:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Hawaiian Style Misoyaki Butterfish Roys Waikiki Restaurant Review

Misoyaki Butterfish

Opah From Roy's in Waikiki Restaurant Review

Chinese Opah

Salad


SARENTO’S – At The Top Of The Ilikai

Overall Review: CorkCork

Service: The services started off really good at Sarento’s at the top of the Iliaki hotel with the wine sommelier who came right with our bred and wine list…. but after that it was down hill.  At first we thought they where trying to give us a “relaxed” experience when we waiting for 10-15 minutes before even receiving a menu but then once the meal started the same service inadequacies carried through. After we ate our entrees it took at least 20 minutes for them to clear our plates and even longer to receive a check which we eventually had to asked 3 different waiters for because we needed to get to a show on time and our waiter was MIA.

Food: The food was very disappointing at Sarento’s! The menu looked really good but only 1 of the 4 things we ordered was very good. The menu is traditional Italian with lots of protein entrees and pastas but nothing was particularity mouth watering in fact, the seafood fra diavolio linguine pasta was a bit overcooked and the seafood it came with was pretty fishy. The stuffed pork chop was extremely dry (and it was stuffed with cheese so you would hope it would have a little moisture) and the best thing about ordering that dish was they brought my wife extra veggies on the side because she didn’t want the potatoes and they where really well cooked. Overall we ate the food because it was expensive and we where hungry but I would have been more satisfied eating at California Pizza Kitchen any day of the week. Another thing we feel compelled to mention is this pupu called the Ossa Bucco Potstickers which had a really strange and bitter taste & even worst aftertaste… we only ate the filling so stay far away from that if you go!

Favorite Dishes: The best thing we had besides the bread & hummus they served on the table was the Ahi Bruchetta which was very fresh and with a little salt quite memorable, light and delicious.

Atmosphere: The ambiance is the best thing going for Sarento’s and it has an unbeatable view over the ocean, diamond head and city of Honolulu. Each table has a unique view and really there is no bad seat in the establishment. One thing to mention is when we called to make our reservation they mentioned it was “Jazz night” and did we want to site in the Jazz section for an extra $10 cover charge. We declined the offer and then when we  were seated found ourselves smack dab right behind the wall where the Jazz was playing. The band was very talented but the music was so loud we had to scream to each other across the table! they should either start the live band after 9pm or keep it a bit down so its still background music for the guests (specially if you ask not to be in what they call the “Jazz Section”).

Consistency: I would love to say we would be back to update this section but you couldn’t pay me enough money to give Sarento’s another shot in the near future. Maybe in a few years we will give it another whirl!

Parking: Sarento’s has valet parking at the Ilikai which they validate for you so you only need to pay $2 (plus tip) or you can park in the self parking lot in the Marina Parking off Hobron also for $2 with validation.

Price Range: Medium-High ($20-$38 or Market Price) per Entree
Corkage Fee $25 per Bottle
Reservations Accepted & Recommended
No Take Out Available

Live Music (Piano)

Address:
The Ilikai Hotel
1777 Ala Moana Blvd.
Honolulu, Hawaii 96814
Tel: (808) 955-5559
Website:
http://www.tristarrestaurants.com/sarentos_top_of_i/

Hours of Operation:
Dinner Hours:
Sun – Thu 5:30pm – 9pm
Fri – Sat 5:30 – 9:30pm

Cocktails & Bar:
Sun – Thu 5pm – 11pm
Fri – Sat 5pm – 12am

Sarento's restaurant review hawaii

Ahi Bruchetta

sarento's at the ilikai hotel

Seafood Fra Diavolio

Stuffed Pork Chop

 

Giovanni Pastrami

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkage

Service: The service is good at Giovanni Pastrami in Waikiki. The bar has very friendly and attentive bartenders/waitstaff are full of smiles and very attentive to your needs. They can also mix up a mean cocktail!

Food: Giovanni Pastrami’s menu consists of hot and cold deli sandwiches which are delicious, pizzas, appetizers, pastas, soups, salads, burgers, hot dogs and typical bar food. Another great appeal is that they server breakfast all day until closing at midnight which is always a winner if you are itching for some eggs and bacon. The food is ok for bar food and a perk is that they have a fantastic Happy Hour with free cheese pizza with any alcohol purchase between 3-5pm, $5 appetizers and deals on drinks ($3-4 beers, $4 well drinks, $1 off wine).

Favorite Dishes: Reuben Bites (with pastrami), Sliders, Fries, Rueben Sandwich (with corn beef!) and Pizza

Atmosphere: The ambiance is that of a sports bar. They have both table seating and bar seating but both are completely surrounded by flat screen TV’s on all the walls which are really distracting if you are trying to eat but perfect for this type of establishment where everyone has their eyes peeled to a sports game of some sort.

Consistency: Giovanni is consistently average. It’s the type of place you go to for a happy hour drink or to valet your car and grab a quick validation to go somewhere else for dinner in Waikiki. Its absolutely consistently great for a drink!

Parking: One of the very best things about Giovanni Pastrami is that they have valet parking at the Wyndham hotel right next to the bar. After 6pm its $6 to park for 4 hours but after that jumps up to $3 per a half hour so be careful or you can quickly run up a huge bill. Before 6pm you can park for $3 for a flat rate all day. . 

Price Range: Medium ($13.95-$27) per Entree
No BYOB
Reservations Accepted But Not Required
Take Out Available
Happy Hour Deals!

Address:
227 Lewers St
Ste 118
Honolulu, HI 96815
Tel: (808) 923-2100
Website: www.giovannipastrami.com

Hours of Operation:
Mon-Sun: 8 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Happy Hour Deals: Mon-Fri 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Giovanni pastrami restaurant review

Rueben Bites

Sports bar restaurant review

Rueben Sandwhich

Giovanni Pastrami outdoor

Entrance

Indigo’s

Overall:corkage corkagecorkage

Service: Service is always pleasant at Indigo’s. The staff wears cool Balinese looking uniforms which match the decor of the restaurant which is always fun. The bar tenders in particular are always very attentive and make the best drinks! overall the staff is very good unless you go on First Friday when the crowds take over.

Food: The food at Indigo’s is a bit of a mesh between Asian, Mediterranean and French with an modern island spin. The menu has a good variety of dishes including interesting hot appetizers, salads, fish, and poultry – It is recommended to go for lunch and try the buffet instead of going for dinner. The lunch menu is very limited but if you get the buffet it is a good deal and you won’t be disappointed (note you cannot order from the dinner menu at lunch). They also have one of the most fantastic happy hours in town with over 30 Martinis to choose from all for only $4. It truly is Martini Madness and a great place for Pau Hana with friends after work (beers $3 and discount on Appetizers as well).

Favorite Dishes: For Lunch – Roasted Tomato Garlic Crab Soup (YUM!), or the best is to get the $15.95 lunch buffet – delicious assortment of cooked vegetables, seasonal composed salads, fresh fish, chicken, noddles, potatoes, pizza, hummus and at times warm appetizers. For Dinner – Tempura Ahi Roll, Watercress Salad, and Steamed Fish with Sizzling scallion oil

Atmosphere: Love Love Love the atmosphere at Indigo’s! Its so unique that nothing on the island compares to it. The restaurant has various seating areas all showcasing a different experience. The main dinning area has high ceilings and very modern tropical art & furniture. My personal favorite is the outdoor patio seating which feels a bit like Bali and you can enjoy a glass of wine as you can gaze over the garden outside. There are also two other bar areas and the Green Room is a wonderful place to meet friends after work and enjoy happy hour (Martinis to dye for! – big and cold) or for the late night crowed they have a dance room in the back.

Consistency: Lunch and Happy Hour are consistently terrific at Indigo’s. Great place to take an out of town guest if you go downtown for any reason!

Parking: Yup parking is not pleasant downtown but there are ample municipal parking structures you can select from. The cheapest one is located on Beretania on the right hand size of the street right after you pass Nuuanu Street (NOTE: this parking garage closes at 12pm and your car will be locked in so if you park here – make it an early night). Also Indigo’s has a valet service for $5-$6 dollars which is attractive at night when its harder to find a parking space.

Price Range: Medium ($10-$22) per Entree
Corkage Fee $15 per Bottle
Reservations Accepted
Catering & Take Out Available

Happy Hour!

Address:
1121 Nu’uanu Avenue,
Honolulu, HI 96817
Tel: (808) 521-2900
Website:
www.indigo-hawaii.com
For more information on INDIGO catering please call 808.521.2900 or contact Bob Grossberger at Indigobob@hotmail.com.

Hours of Operation:
Lunch
Tue-Fri: 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Happy Hour
Tue-Fri: 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Sat: 6 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Dinner
Tue-Thu: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri-Sat: 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Bar
Tue: 5 p.m. – Midnight
Wed-Sat: 5 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.
Closed Sun and Mon

Keo’s

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkage

Service: The service is ok – sometimes better than others. The staff is friendly and they fill the water up quickly so that’s always good! They also put the wine in a big ice bucket so it stays perfectly chilled during your dinning experience which is always lovely.

Food: The food is pretty run of the mill Thai. Nothing on the menu is so good that it haunts me at night but its pretty tasty and when we go to Keo’s with friends the plates go back to the kitchen empty.

Favorite Dishes: Thai Vegetarian Spring Rolls, Green Papaya Salad, Fish Patties, Basil Chicken, Green Curry, and the Pinot Gris 🙂

Atmosphere: The atmosphere makes this restaurant and brings the entire experience up. The entrance and inside of Keo’s is enchanting with orchids and Thai wood carvings surrounding the seats. The decor is tropical with a artsy flare. The only really strange part of the decor is the owner loves these large metal statues and they are everywhere inside the restaurant and extremely out of place since they are not Thai at all  (mostly statues of animals and women) but it does add a unique element to this particular Waikiki classic.

Consistency: Keo’s is actually not very consistent. It really depends on who is cooking that day and each dish can literally come out tasting and looking different from visit to to visit. Basically one thing has remained the same that over the last 10 years the food has gone from great to just about average.

Parking: Every time we have been to Keo’s in the past they had free valet parking, but this last time they allowed guests to park in their lot themselves which was very convenient.  The parking lot is just down the street making this a great place to meet & eat in Waikiki if you are visiting out-of-towners.

Price Range: Medium ($11-$20) per Entree
Corkage Fee $20 per bottle of white and (seriously) they said $22 for Cabernet!! haha so the owner must not like red wine very much.
Reservations Recommended
Take Out Available

Address:
Keo’s Thai Cuisine
2028 Kuhio Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii,96815
Tel: (808) 951-9355
Website: www.keosthaicuisine.com

Hours of Operation:
Dinner Nightly: 4pm – 10:30pm

Side Street Inn

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkagecorkage

Service: The service is wonderful at the new Side Street Inn on Da Strip! from the moment the valet opened the car door, to the moment we were seated the service was excellent. The staff was smiling, happy, and down right pleasant through the entire meal. Its rare to find such good service and it commendable!

Food: The food is served family style so its the perfect place to go with lots of friends & family for pupus or dinner. The menu is very typical of a local style restaurant with lots of Asian and Island flavors, lots of meat dishes, appetizers and overall good grindz.  Each dish was served hot, fresh and in a timely manner so its no wonder the place was packed!

Favorite Dishes: Nalo Green Salad (big and delicious), Pork Chops, Hoisin BBQ Baby Back Ribs (all ribs are just delicious!), Garlic Soy Beans, and drum roll….Peanut Butter Crunch dessert. Sooooo freaken good!  (Tip: Don’t order the fried rice, its very heavy and not very crispy)

Atmosphere: The new side street in has a great atmosphere. The restaurant has ample seating and airy high ceilings prefect for absorbing all the noise. The Side Street in has both booth and table seating making it a very homey, bright and modern restaurant you can feel comfortable wearing anything in.

Consistency: We have only been to this new location once but the food is consistently tasty with the other Side Street Inn location on 1225 Hopaka St.

Parking: Oh the parking… yes not our favorite part of the evening seeing as the only convenient place to park is the valet service provided by the restaurant at a $5 fee without tip! Don’t get me wrong… I’ll pay for valet but if I eat at the restaurant I hope to get a better deal than $7-$8 per a visit. Of course you can always find free street parking on Kapahulu if your lucky.

Price Range: Medium ($8-$20-Market Price) per Entree
No BYOB Allowed
Reservations Recommended
Take Out Available

Address:
614 Kapahulu Ave.
Honolulu, HI 96815
Tel: (808) 591-0253 or 596-8282
Website: www.sidestreetinn.com

1225 Hopaka St.
Honolulu, HI 96814
Tel:(808) 591-0253 or 596-8282

Hours of Operation:
Hopaka St – Sunday – Saturday 2:00 pm – 2:00 am
Da Strip – Please call restaurant as hours for new location are TBD

Sidestreet In Whole Fish Picture

Steamed Fresh Fish

Side Street Pork chop product review

Pork Chop

Kaimana Beach Hotel – Hau Tree Resturant

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkage

Service: The service was so so at the Kaimana Beach Hotel. The staff is def union and we had some old timers serving us. They where all very friendly, local and personable, however, they where not very fast or gave good recommendations. That being said they did refund our crappy appetizer which we appreciated.

Food: The food is ok. The fresh fish was good and brought the overall dining experience up.  The vegetables where cooked perfectly and the portion size was way above average and I would defiantly go back for the dish.

Favorite Dishes: Fresh Opakapaka with steamed vegetables (TIP: Do not order the Chefs Ocean Trio! gross)

Atmosphere: The atmosphere is prob the best thing going for this restaurant. Yes the furniture is VERY dated – think 60’s – bright pink table clothes that are super run down and rinky-dink tables and chairs. However, the restaurant sites ocean front and is shaded by a beautiful Hau Tree where Robert Louis Stevenson use to sit and write. At one time this restaurant was most likely IN and charming but now it looks like it needs a serious make over! If you visit either look up at the tree or out over the ocean and no where else!

Consistency: We have only been once for dinner so far but once we return promise to update this portion.

Parking: The restaurant is located at the Kaimana Beach Hotel so you can valet the car and get validation. Or you can park at Kaimana Beach park and walk.

Price Range: High ($25-$39) per Entree
Corkage Fee:
Reservations Accepted

Address:
The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel.
Hau Tree Restaurant
2863 Kalakaua Ave. Honolulu, HI 96815
Tel: (808) 923-1555 / Fax: (808) 922-9404
Website: http://www.kaimana.com/hautreelanai_2.htm

Hours of Operation:
Breakfast: 7 am – 10:45 am
Lunch: 11:45 am to 2 pm (Mon. – Sat.)
Sundays Lunch: 12 pm – 2 pm
Dinner: 5:30 pm – 9 pm

BLT

Overall: corkagecorkagecorkagecorkage

Service: The service was top notch at BLT. They have plenty of staff and I never had an empty glass of water throughout dinner. The waiter was extremely nice and also very helpful in answering questions we had about what was in each dish.

Food: The menu at BLT is classic Steakhouse meets French bistro. They have a very diverse menu and wonderful raw seafood selections. BLT spoils you with two table appetizers starting with grilled bread and warm pate, followed by hot popovers covered with cheese. They have everything you would expect on a traditional Steakhouse menu in addition to a Chefs Daily Special 3 course menu which everyone at our table took advantage of for only $60 per a person! The dishes where inspiring, had very generous portions and an island pacific flare to it.

Favorite Dishes: The free appetizers of course! From our 3 course dinners – Spicy King Crab Dumplings in Miso Soup, Tenderloin, Crusted Shutome, and Coconut Parfait with Guava Curd and Pineapple Soup was the most delicious dessert we have had in a while.

Atmosphere: BLT has a wonderful atmosphere. The restaurant has both with indoor and outdoor seating perfect for any occasion. The ambiance is beautiful with walnut floors, dark leather banquettes and highlighted with tropical art and murals. The restaurants design has fantastic flow from room to room and even the bar area is separated enough from the main restaurant that it creates another interesting dinning experience and really helps reduce the traffic and noise to the dining room.

Consistency: We have only been once so far but promise to update this section when we go again which will be soon since it was so delicious!

Parking: BLT is located in Waikiki so parking is challenging on the street and Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center is a bit of a walk. We recommend valeting your car as the restaurant validates and you can even enjoy a free bottled water while waiting for your car after dinner (or after dinner drinks upstairs).

Price Range: High ($29-$50) per Entree
Corkage Fee: $25 per bottle
Reservations Recommended

Address:
Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk
223 Saratoga Road
Honolulu, HI 96815
Telephone: 808-683-7440
Website: http://www.bltsteak.com/

Hours of Operation: Open For Dinner Only
Sunday – Thursday: 5:30PM – 10PM
Friday & Saturday: 5:30PM – 11PM

BLT restaurant review

Pâté BLT Starter

BLT in Waikiki review

Tenderloin Special