A friend asked me for recommendations for seafood in Honolulu, I sent him the following. Comments? Did I mislead him, did I leave out anything important?
Nicks Fishmarket at the AlaMoana hotel is said to be the best, but it is going to run around $40 or more per person just for the entree, gotta figure $80/person for the whole meal, maybe more depending on the drinks.
I have never liked Sam Choy's in Kapahulu, been there 4 times, and it was never good. Two of the times my food was cold by the time it was served. One other time my Sister-in-Law's fish was so overcooked (I think they were keeping it warm) that she sent it back. it wasn't a whole lot better when it came out the second time.
Sam Choy's on Nimitz on the other hand is a pretty good value for what you get. A good variety, decent service, decent prices, above average food.
Hee Hing chinese restaurant on Kapahulu does a good job on Chinese Style seafood.
Duke's in Waikiki is overpriced at Dinner, but the lunches are much more reasonable. I have had fish there several times (usually "Duke's Style"), and it was always well prepared.
The following is a quote from a food website (chowhound.com): "Nico's at Pier 38 is an absolute must for seafood, local favorites and plate lunches with gourmet flare - very, very affordable and great value. If you like Kakaako Kitchen, you'll love Nico's."
They have a website as well: http://www.nicospier38.com/ It is across nimitz hwy from the Nimitz Buisiness Center (the one with the big green space frames), little bit ewa of home depot/costco.
Fisherman's Warf. I've never been. Never heard anything about it being special in any way, except that it has been there for a long long long time.
I've heard so many mixed reviews about John Dominis that I would hesitate to recommend it, the view is great, it is pricey. Out by Point Panic in Kakaako.
Monarch Seafood on Kalihi Street, about a block Makai of Dillingham has really good seafood plate lunch. I haven't been in a long time though. Get there by around 11 for the best choice.
I have heard that Bali-by-the-Sea at the Hilton does a very good job with seafood,but I have never been. Again on the pricey side.
The Crab Tank in Kapalama is really good for shellfish (near the DMV). Mostly a lunch or early dinner place (they close at like 7). Very much a down home place, not fine dining, very reasonable prices.
Kinkaids is very dependable. It is a large chain, and the Honolulu one is always quite good. (Ward Warehouse, near Spagetti Factory - Ewa end)
There are two new "Japanese" seafood restaurants on the upper level at AlaMoana (near Macaroni Grill). I have not heard good things about either one. (Tsukiji or the Kyoto Osho)