...OK, I'd only eaten there once back in the day when it was out in the Kaloko warehouse district, but it was interesting. A friend of mine said I needed to go there for breakfast (same guy that recommended the double meat hot pastrami at Bianelli's the other month). I went there and it was really pretty good, a bit unusual by mainland standards (this was back in '99 when I was still relatively new to the island) as it was a plate lunch place. I had some kind of stew filled omlette if I recall correctly, quite tasty. The only reason I never went back was because I live way south, and I don't do breakfast or plate lunch all that often. At any rate, they closed their Kaloko restaurant several years ago.
Sam's an accomplished chef and has gained a bit of celebrity over the years, came out with some cook books, I think he's had a cooking show or two, was picked to design the food for an airline's in-flight meals, etc. Along the way he'd openend a restaurant in Honolulu that I hear good comments about. I believe all of the plate lunch places are closed and his new Sam Choy's Kona restaurant looks as though it will be more upscale.
It's moving into the old Wendy's Keauhou location. It was a Wendy's for years, but closed down several years ago. It arguably had one of the best views of any restaurant on the west side of the Big Island (others being the Coffee Shack Deli down in Captain Cook, and a couple of oceanside places). It's a prime location and there was lots of speculation/hopes over the years that some place nice would come in. Apparently this new venture has been in the works for quite some time, a couple of years maybe, but it's just started to really get up to speed in the last few months. They've expanded the old building and enclosed the patio. I thought I saw some type of sattelite dish on the roof, so they probably are putting in a bar section if I guess right (edit a half day later: Duh, if I'd actually looked through the website I'd linked earlier I'd have noticed the mention of the bar).
Kona's ripe for another nice restaurant to come in. Sam Choy the person is kind of a local institution, everyone knows who is. Hopefully it'll be another nice place to try after a great day of scuba diving in Kona Hawaii. I'm looking forward to it's opening.