Oahu, The Gathering Place, is Hawaii’s most populous island, with a population of about a million people. It may seem busy, but believe me when I say that Oahu, like the other Hawaiian Islands, has its fair share of enchantment. Visitors just need to know where to look.
One of these amazing places is Ko Olina. This spot on Oahu’s southwest coast seems light years away from the rush and bustle of busy Honolulu and crazy Waikiki.
Ko Olina means “place of delight,” and there is no greater name. It’s tropical escapism at its best, with some exquisite resorts fronting a series of picture-perfect tourmaline lagoons.
Consider eating in Ko Olina, surrounded by palm palms, tiki torches, pleasant ocean breezes, a glistening sea, and breathtaking sunsets. In this paradise, there are just too many of the top Ko Olina restaurants to choose from.
I feel that Hawaiian Islands eating provides the greatest seafood from its abundant Pacific oceans, as well as the best fresh, sustainable, and unique veggies from its local farms. And the innovative chefs here know just how to produce and present their food, making eating in Ko Olina one of the top things to do in these lovely isles.
These are some of my favorite restaurants in Ko Olina, Hawaii.
Don’t miss out on these activities in Ko Olina and Kapolei that will let you immerse yourself in the city (get them while they’re hot!):
- Ko Olina Resort: Stars Above Hawaii Polynesian Star Voyage
- Oahu: Eco-Friendly West Oahu Snorkel Sail with Dolphins
If you like this post, you should read the following:
- 13 Best Traditional Hawaiian Dishes
- 10 Best Restaurants In Maui
- 10 Must-Try Breakfast Places On Maui
- Best Lahaina Maui Restaurants
- 6 Must-Try Haleiwa Restaurants
- 1 The 7 Best Kapolei Restaurants on Ko Olina
The 7 Best Kapolei Restaurants on Ko Olina
+1 (808) 380-408692 – 1048 Olani St.
I recall hearing about this eatery, named after the Hawaiian monkeypod tree, for the first time. I had to go just for the sake of curiosity. Particularly considering it is owned by the Merriman Group, one of Hawaii’s best restaurant organizations.
It’s so good that we’ve made it our go-to spot whenever we visit Ko Olina. The open-air restaurant serves lunch and supper, with organic farm goods, beef, and fresh catches from nearby farms. Although the menu isn’t huge, it’s a good mix of appetizers, salads, hand-tossed scratch-made wood-fired pizzas, and major meals.
A Monkeypod Mai Tai is an excellent place to start here. With the addition of a macadamia-nut orgeat and Marie Brizard Orange Curacao, this take on the Hawaiian classic is a lovely rendition. That really is to die for.
Favorites include the Pumpkin Patch Ravioli with kiawe-roasted squash, chvre, organic spinach, and toasted walnut sage pesto, as well as the Kauai Shrimp and Hamakua Mushroom Potstickers with ginger, garlic, green onions, and a citrus shoyu sauce (Japanese soy sauce).
Another crowd-pleaser is Wood-Roasted Free-Range Chicken Wings with garlic, rosemary, and tzatziki sauce.
Make room for dessert, however, since the handcrafted seasonal cream pies here are a must. Strawberry and chocolate are our particular favorites. Don’t worry, there’s enough to go around (if you really want to). The Monkeypod is an excellent spot to begin your eating adventure on Ko Olina.
Hiki La Hiki
+1 (808) 679-007992-1001 Olani St.
We were so thrilled with our breakfast here that we christened La Hiki our Ko Olina morning gastronomic paradise, inspired by the Hawaiian phrase Mai Ka La Hiki A Ka La Kau, which means from dawn to sunset. And they weren’t necessarily breakfast connoisseurs. Yet when it comes to this chef, you know you’re in for a wonderful treat no matter what you order.
We began with a warm cup of Kona coffee, a famous island treat made from beans harvested on Hawaii’s Big Island plantations.
The Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon and avocado, served with asparagus and roasted tomato, was delicious. Another major hit was the brioche French toast with mac nut caramel and orange blossom syrup. This was a great eating experience that was accompanied with Mimosas and Bloody Marys.
We can’t wait to return for their huge weekend breakfast buffet, which includes all of the typical things as well as meat-carving stations, varied dim sum, a poke bar, and king crab. It is widely regarded as the greatest breakfast on Oahu.
At the Four Seasons Resort, with a spectacular open-air pool and ocean views, the restaurant also serves evening, showcasing prime cuts and locally-inspired food. Their service is flawless and unhurried, and the spirit of aloha is palpable here. La Hiki offers a full fine dining experience in Ko Olina.
Minas Fish Restaurant
+1 (808) 679-007992-1001 Olani St.
Michael Mina, a James Beard Award-winning chef, outdid himself once again when he established this amazing Hawaiian fish house restaurant under his own name at the Four Seasons.
The ambience and magnificent seaside views at this line-to-table Hawaiian fish restaurant with numerous decks are unrivaled. Well, there is oceanfront eating with your feet in the sand.
The seafood is the feature of the show here, from the raw bar to the appetizers and traditional creative entrees. There are additional menu alternatives for those who want to eat at home.
Uncertain what to select? Minas’ unique fish sommeliers may advise clients on the best fish to combine with their palates. We have to admit that this was a fascinating sommelier experience for us.
You haven’t lived until you’ve had Mina’s Lobster Pot Pie. The entrée is served to the table, then elegantly plated, with a brandied truffle cream, baby root veggies, and sea-salt sprinkled pie crust. It’s a foodie’s paradise! My husband was smitten with his Black Garlic & Miso Black Fish, which was served with shishito pepper, garlic fried rice, and a Nori emulsion.
Minas is the place to go in Ko Olina for a fantastic blend of cuisine and scenery.
+1 (808) 671-888792-161 Waipahe Place +1 (808) 671-888792-161 Waipahe Place
Cook with Feeling. Longhis motto is eat with passion. Since 1976, they have been pioneers in the farm-to-table movement, with their first restaurant opening on Maui. With its gorgeous open-air Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club location, the Oahu restaurant serves Italian and Mediterranean-inspired meals. The breathtaking beachside environment is excellent for a relaxed casual lunch, happy hour, or supper.
We chose a dinner sitting that would allow us to enjoy a stunning sunset with champagne. The Belgian Endive Salad with Gorgonzola cheese, caramelized Maui macadamia nuts, and a honey mint scallion vinaigrette that we shared was delicious.
I picked the Longhi-style fresh fish of the day, which was an opah, for supper (moonfish). I like it when a dish allows the fish to speak for itself, as it did here with a wonderful white wine lemon saut, local vine-ripened tomatoes, and fresh Maui basil.
Another highlight was the Sesame Crusted Ahi, which had Sashimi grade Hawaiian Ahi seared rare and served in a light lobster consommé garnished with ginger, sliced leeks, red bell pepper, pepper, cilantro, and tamari. It couldn’t have been better with a hot sesame oil drizzle on top.
Try this Ko Olina restaurant staple for great dining in a relaxed setting.
Restaurant Ama Ama
Aliinui Drive, +1 (866)-443-476392-1185
This lovely open-air restaurant in the majestic Disney Aulani Resort and Spa serves breakfast, lunch, and supper. It was called after the Ama Ama, a native mullet fish that spurred fishing villages on Oahu’s leeward coast as early as the eleventh century.
The restaurant is designed to seem like a traditional Hawaiian seashore home, with a thatched roof, mosaic-tile decorations, a fountain, and a reflecting pool. It’s a fantastic location to eat only feet from the beach. If you’re fortunate, you could even see Mickey, Minnie, or a few other Disney characters.
The menu is small but well-thought-out. We had a Seafood Poke Plate with Ahi Tuna, Korean-style Salmon, Maui Onion, and Crab.
The Ama Ama Chopped Salad was delicious, with crispy wonton strips, bacon, chopped tomatoes, avocado, egg, Furikake spice, capers, and house-made ranch dressing. For an additional fee, the daily catch, chicken, or shrimp may be added.
The Sorbet, available in Lilikoi, Guava, or Strawberry, is the ideal palette cleanser to cap off a superb dinner. We urge that you request all three since they are so refreshing. You’ll be happy you did.
Disney fantasy meets amazing food at one of Ko Olina’s greatest restaurants.
The Roys Restaurant
(808) 676-769792-1220 Aliinui Drive
Roy Yamaguchi, a celebrity chef, founded his first American-Japanese fusion restaurant in Honolulu in 1988. He has now extended to various additional sites around the United States and Guam. What we like about Roys is its consistency in providing excellent cuisine, value, and service. And the Ko Olina restaurant location maintains this high standard.
Roys is open for lunch, aloha hour, and dinner and is located on the Bridge Bar lanai overlooking the 18th hole of the scenic Ko Olina Golf Course.
Appetizers are our top picks for a little bit of everything sampling opportunities here. The Roys Canoe Two is a large sharing meal that includes Spicy Ahi Maki, Shrimp Tempura, Blackened Ahi, Mongolian Ribs, and Chinatown Chicken Spring Rolls.
The Hawaii Kai Style Crab Cakes with a spicy sesame butter sauce are another hit. To be honest, we’ve been satisfied with everything we’ve had here.
Although the name Roys Restaurant may not be exciting, the cuisine at this high-end Ko Olina restaurant is.
We enjoy Thai Lao, a hidden treasure only a short drive from Ko Olina’s resort area, for a little island dining variety. The informal restaurant delivers a delectable selection of Thai, Laotian, and Vietnamese appetizers, salads, and entrees. Choosing a choice is difficult, particularly when the aromas of tasty meals waft tantalizingly through the air.
We like to start with a delicious Lemongrass Soup, which is a tangy broth with tomatoes, mushrooms, lemongrass, and traditional spices. The stage is prepared for the second act.
The Chicken Massaman Curry with potatoes, carrots, onion, and pepper is one of my faves here. Another great hit is the Shrimp Pad Thai, which has thin rice noodles stir-fried with bean tofu, egg, and crushed peanuts.
The restaurant is perfect for vegetarians, with so many wonderful selections to choose from that will satisfy everyone. Thai Lao is the best restaurant in Ko Olina for superb Asian cuisine.