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Two Honolulu restaurants retain coveted AAA 5-diamond rating

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The dining room of Chef Mavro restaurant on King Street.

Chef Mavro restaurant and La Mer restaurant both have retained the AAA Five Diamond rating they first earned years ago.

La Mer at Halekulani in Waikiki was first awarded its Five Diamond status in 1990, and Chef Mavro has maintained its since 2008, while several other restaurants have fallen from the lofty height, often because the hotels in which they are located have closed for renovation.

Four Diamond winners and the year of their first rating are, Bali Steak & Seafood at the Hilton Hawaiian Village (1989), Hoku’s at the Kahala Hotel & Resort (2002), and Orchids at Halekulani (1995) on Oahu; Brown’s Beach House at the Fairmont Orchid (2011) and Manta & Pavilion Wine Bar at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel (2014) on Hawaii island; red salt at the Koa Kea Hotel & Resort on Kauai (2015) and Spago at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea (2010).

Restaurants undergo a thorough, unannounced evaluation for consideration of possible AAA approval and rating.

For a Five Diamond rating, restaurants receive the most extensive reviews with multiple unannounced evaluations. AAA employs full-time inspectors who review restaurants nationwide.

AAA Diamond ratings for hotels were announced in January.

13 responses to “Two Honolulu restaurants retain coveted AAA 5-diamond rating”

  1. allie says:

    Both are way overpriced.

  2. livinginhawaii says:

    Diehard foodies focus on the Michelin rating, not the AAA Diamond rating system. What would be their Michelin rating?

    • krusha says:

      Chefs now days are downplaying the Michelin guide, since the tastes of the critics for that guide now tend to favor younger chefs instead of established ones.

  3. Cellodad says:

    Have eaten at Bali several times. It’s expensive, no question. The views are incomparable, service is outstanding (asking the waiter for a recommendation usually starts quite a conversation), and the offerings are imaginative and beautifully presented. Oh yeah, the food tastes really good. (always a plus in an expensive restaurant)

  4. cojef says:

    Key to any good restaurant is ambiance! If you like the surroundings and choice of silver/dinnerware most food cooked decently taste good. Love kai-seki-o-ryo with about 14 courses from the sea served in small portions in private room facing a rock garden in town or overlooking a brook/gorge in a remote village high up in a wooded mountain-side.

  5. serious says:

    Obama, annually rates the basketball teams for March Madness—I wonder if he would give us his assessment of the eats here in Honolulu? And the $$$$ signs next to each??? Or, maybe $$$$$$$$$$$??

    • calentura says:

      He doesn’t rate teams, he picks winners by bracket. Also, as a smoker, his opinion of food would be suspect. And money is no object since he doesn’t pick up the tab. You do.

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