Ko Olina Resort is a great place to stay if you want to kick back and relax. It’s far from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki and Downtown Honolulu, which is both good and bad. Positive points of staying in Ko Olina are the lack of crowds, congestion, noise, etc. But with that serenity comes a negative; Ko Olina lacks shopping and has limited dining options. While greater options will become available when the Four Seasons officially opens, I’ll be covering current options. So here’s my Ko Olina Dining Guide.
The most popular Ko Olina dining option, and one of my favorites, is Monkeypod Kitchen. Monkeypod is located across the street from Aulani and the Four Seasons in the Ko Olina Station shopping center. It’s open primarily for lunch, happy hour, dinner, and brunch on weekends.
If you plan on dining at Monkeypod, reservations are highly recommended because it’s nearly always packed, especially for happy hour. Happy Hour at Monkeypod is definitely the best deal in Ko Olina with $9 pizzas, 50% off appetizers, and great discounts on drinks. Beyond happy hour, though, Monkeypod has a great menu with something for everyone. Service at Monkeypod is what you’d typically expect from a place like this, highly varied. We’ve had great service here, and we’ve had not so great service. It’s not only the service that’s inconsistent at Monkeypod, though. The food can be inconsistent as well, this is especially true with the wonderful burgers.
The Pete’s Classic Burger is my go-to menu item at Monkeypod. When cooked to the correct temperature, this awesome burger is a flavorful umami bomb! I usually upgrade the fries that come with my burger to the Garlic Truffle Oil variety.
One of Monkeypod’s most famous menu items is the Pumpkin Patch Ravioli.
These little pillows of goodness are filled with sweet pumpkin puree and are served in a little butter with spinach and goat cheese.
The most expensive appetizer at Monkeypod is also another great option.
The Poke Tacos are just that; poke inside a crispy wonton shell and topped with some avocado crema.
Other items at Monkeypod include the pizzas, pastas, saimin, steaks, island fish, and their popular cream pies. Monkeypod also has an extensive drink menu with over 30 beers, an extensive cocktail menu, and even house ginger beer.
With the closing of the JW Marriott Ihilani, Sushi Yuzu became the only Japanese food Ko Olina dining option. Sushi Yuzu has a really extensive menu offering up sashimi platers, noodle dishes like udon, yaki tori, salads, sushi, and even wagyu beef sushi.
Sushi Yuzu isn’t my favorite sushi or Japanese restaurant, but it is a solid option. The restaurant itself is very tiny, so to be safe, I’d recommend making reservations. Service here is generally pretty good too. Like Monkeypod Kitchen, Sushi Yuzu is located in the Ko Olina Station center, directly across the driveway from Monkeypod.
Pizza is always a popular option, especially for traveling families. So it comes as no surprise, then, that pizza delivery guys can often be seen in the lobby of Aulani. But the Ko Olina dining scene does have its own pizza joint: Pizza Corner. Like Sushi Yuzu and Monkeypod Kitchen, Pizza Corner is also located in the Ko Olina Station complex. Unlike the other two restaurants, though, Pizza Corner is a takeout joint with no seating of its own.
As far as the food goes at Pizza Corner, they have what you’d expect from an American Pizza joint at resort prices. But Pizza Corner does have some unique speciality pizzas like their Poke Pizza.
The Poke Pizza is basically a plain pizza crust drizzled with poke sauce and topped with furikake and diced red onion, ahi, and tomatoes. The wife and I tried the poke pizza once and decided it wasn’t for us. We did also try Pizza Corner’s garlic knots (ok) and cannoli (had better).
While the wife and I didn’t care much for the food at Pizza Corner, what we hated was their service. The first time we ordered from them, we got delivery, which went ok. But the second and final time we tried to give them business, they wouldn’t even let us order. I called 30 minutes prior to closing to place a takeout order. An employee answered the phone and promptly asked if she could place me on hold. 15 minutes later my call is picked back up and they inform me they are no longer taking orders because they are closing soon. Really? After that incident I vowed to not do business with them again.
Would I recommend you not give Pizza Corner a try? No. By all means, do give them a try if you like. I simply felt they handle my situation entirely wrong and they were never willing to fess up to it, so I’ve chosen to not give them anymore business.
Beyond the three restaurants I’ve listed above, there are a number of other options for Ko Olina dining. The most notable restaurant in Ko Olina is probably Roy’s Ko Olina. The Roy’s name is synonymous with upscale dining in Hawaii, but I’ve avoided the place thanks to really mixed reviews.
Ko Olina Station actually has five additional dining options aside from the three already listed above. The first option is Country Market, which is basically a full service ABC Store with a deli. Your second Ko Olina Station option is Just Tacos Mexican Grill & Cantina. Your third option, and the only dedicated coffee shop in the resort, is Island Vintage Coffee. The fourth option at Ko Olina Station is Two Scoops Ice Cream Parlor, which we’ve found to be overpriced. The fifth and final option at the Station is the Ko Olina Hawaiian Bar-B-Que, which is a bit like an L&L Drive Inn.
The Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club also has a few dining options on-property. Longboards Bar & Grill is the Ko Olina Beach Club’s standard resort restaurant serving “American” fare. The newest addition to the resort, however, is Longhi’s, which recently took over the Chuck’s Steakhouse space. Of course the Beach Club does have a pool bar too.
Of course, when in Ko Olina, you can always have a magical dining experience at Aulani. Since I’ve already covered the topic of Aulani dining in a separate blog post, I won’t discuss any of them here.
The final set of dining options in Ko Olina would be the restaurants of the newly opened Four Seasons Oahu at Ko Olina. However, the Four Seasons is only in soft opening now, and the restaurants are not yet available to the public. What I do know is that there will be 3 restaurants, a pool bar, and a lobby lounge. One of the restaurants will be based on seafood, the other a fusion restaurant, and the third is an Italian restaurant.
While the wife and I can’t afford to stay at the Four Seasons, we certainly will sample some of the restaurants. The resort’s grand opening is on the July 4th weekend, so I expect the restaurants to open to the public after this point.