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Sam Choy's / Big Aloha Brewery
Active Beers: 6
Beer Ratings: 18
Beer Avg: 3.61
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]
580 N Nimitz Hwy
phone: (808) 545-7979
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
Once again, fooled by addresses. 580 North Nimitz Highway was the blank side of the building with the main entrance on the opposite side.
Valet parking was offered as I walked up and the entry was close to the far right side of the building. Entering, the m.d.s. was to the left, followed by a sea of standard restaurant tables and chairs. I passed the lavs with a porthole off to the left, followed by the copper-clad brewhouse and 9 FVs against the far left wall. By making a right turn back there, I encountered a glass case with Mug Club mugs followed by the short, stainless steel topped, "L"-shaped bar opposite the FVs. Looking up, the three stories stretching to the ceiling put me in mind of a converted warehouse of some stripe. Of to the right of the entry was a seating area that incorporated a medium-sized yacht! The kitchen was on full display running along the back wall of the restaurant area, headed straight back from the entry. Running along the top of the kitchen were a series of green chalkboards detailing various seafood specials.
Beers: $$ - reasonable.
Food: $$$ - expensive. I only had a crab cake appetizer.
My friendly, customer-oriented server was Glen.
12-24-2009 13:51:34 |
More by woodychandler
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
I have a lot of family that lives on Hawaii (and I mean alot), and when I tell them I want to go to Sam Choy's for dinner and a few beers, they always say, 'why you gonna go all that way for that tourist food boy'. Of course I'm not representing their Pigeon Talk very well not to mention they probably live 25 min away, but for Hawaii, that's like saying I want to go across the country! The beers are OK, but this is Hawaii, so any beer in Paradise is a great beer. The food is OK. The kids had fun playing around the 'boat' table...
11-25-2008 15:07:08 |
More by hopdog
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3 | $$$
While on vacation in HI on the Big Island, the wife and I decided to hop over to Oahu for the day and take in the sites of the big city. Sam Choys was right off of the main highway that goes into Waikiki. A huge, old warehouse. Looks innocent enough from the outside and the inside is huge; tall ceilings and nothing but open space. If your lucky you can park on the side of the street but you have to be very lucky. Valet is pretty much the only way but is free (never hurts to tip a little, though).
Service was reasonable, a bit slow but most of the service in HI is slow with their whole laid back attitude. The cream ale was delicious and the IPA was pretty good. Not overly hoppy but decent enough.
For lunch, I had the BLC; bacon, lettuce, crab sandwich. A little too much bread for my liking, with three pieces and not much BLC, but decent overall.
Around five beers to select from and most seemed pretty ordinary. Definitely try the cream ale and the IPA is a on the less hoppy side of the genre. The food was okay but nothing spectacular.
05-07-2007 20:25:18 |
More by SaCkErZ9
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
This particular Sam Choy's is a restaurant specializing in good seafood that also brews it's own beer.
We ventured in for dinner on a weekday. The staff was friendly and seated us right away. The place is very large. It takes a moment to take in the vibe of the restaurant. One can see the kitchen from the middle of the dining area. Above the kitchen is the beer list. The atmoshphere reminds me more of a river-side crab restaurant than a Hawaiian seafood restaurant. Plenty of nets and boating lines help make the decor. Some brushed metal and weathered wood add to this over-sized crab shack feel. The bar is located to the left of the kitchen. It is somewhat hidden. They had a couple of guys playing music the night we were there. They fit right in and added to the lively, fun feel of the place.
Our server was friendly and recommended a couple of options off the menu. The menu is quite large. They specialize in seafood but the menu offers plenty of other items for the non fish eater. We had crab cakes, which were good. The ahi tuna is very tasty as well. The food is well prepareed and I liked the variety of the menu.
I thought the beers were good and the styles they brew pair well with the food. They had about five beers on tap that night. The cream ale was a good starter. The James Cook IPA is nicely hoppy, but not a huge hop monster. It went well with my entree. The honey porter made a good choice for dessert. The porter is not overly sweet and is smooth. They make a good quality beer here.
Sam Choy's is a well attened restaurant. The beers are tasty and the food is good. It has a lively attitude and is well worth the visit. Recommended.
12-19-2006 19:24:23 |
More by Rumrunner
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
I've been to this "brewery" a bunch of times. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner [it's name is "Sam Choy's Breakfast, Lunch and Crab]. Best to think of this as a restaurant that happens to brew its own beer. The brewery is more of an add on.
It is located in an industrial area in the middle of a busy road. Great location if you are coming/going to the airport. There is also a movie theatre very close by [Dole Cannery] if you want some entertainment after you eat. You will need to valet since parking is non-existent.
Decor is open, with a high ceiling. It has an open kitchen, which can add to the noise. The brew kettles are off the left when you walk in, not the center of attention.
The dress code is very casual [shorts and slippers (flip flops) are fine]. A good place to bring the family if you want to drink craft beer and want to bring them along! They even had a magician coming around to entertain some kids [I was there for dinner].
Sam Choy is a celebrity in Hawaii. Very popular. Even has his own TV Show. He is known for having large portions, so you will be full when you leave. They have a nice selection of food that is all reasonably good. They had a $20 special going that included: salad, soup, entree and dessert. Excellent deal!! Regular entrees are in the $15-$30 range.
They had seven beers on tap [6 regular and one seasonal IPA]. Beers are brewed on premises. You can get the sample for $6.95 that includes 5 beers [5 oz.]. For the price of their usual 10 oz, $3.25, you can add on their remaining two beers.
It is a good place to go with the family or a casual experience with good food and local beer. Hawaii has a very limited selection of beer to choose from so you should drop by and try some. You won't leave hungry, that is for sure!
02-20-2006 18:46:34 |
More by atigerlife
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
This down and dirty seafood joint was exactly what I needed after a 6 1/2 hour flight, oddly I kept on thinking cajun bayou from the decorations; fish nets and a boat that had seating inside of it. The food was better than I thought it was going to be though I stay far away from anything from the NE ... why would I even think of eating Maine Lobster in HI. The lobsters look just as jet lagged as I did.
Good selection of beers, the Green Bottle Lager & Steamship Lager stood out from the rest as being the freshest. The Kakaako Cream Ale was amazingly clean for such a light beer. From the sampler the Steamship Lager seemed to pair best with the Garlic Ahi Tuna so I continued on with a pint of that.
This brewpub is a worthwhile visit in the beer deprived state of HI.
11-18-2004 16:19:08 |
More by Jason
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5
This place is primarily a restaurant that focuses on fish/seafood with a Pan-Pacific asian flair. It is owned by Sam Choy, one of the premier Hawaiian chefs- kind of the Emeril of Hawaii (no offense intended Sam). But is also has a brewery for those interested.
The atmosphere is a big warehouse-style restaurant with an open kitchen (you can see lots of interesting crabs and things ready to be cooked and eaten), lots of noise and usually a wait. Parking is non-existent, and it's not located where you are likely to walk to it. Valet parking is pretty much mandatory. The food is excellent.
The brewery is pretty much an add-on so that you can have a craft beer while you eat. There's a small bar area near the brew tanks, but I would not even think of it as a brew pub environment.
I've tried a couple of their brews- I recall the hefeweissen favorably, and the pale was decent. Nothing classic, but good. I have been there twice, and both times they had 3 brews to choose from, but they rotate the styles around. Unfortunately it isn't a place where I might want to stick around and try several.
Overall, there are a lot better brew pubs in the world, but if you are in town and looking for excellent seafood paired with some decent beer, give it a try. Great restaurant, so so brewpub.
03-20-2004 01:33:25 |
More by Dukeofearl
Sam Choy's / Big Aloha Brewery in Honolulu, HI