Simple Joy

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 33 reviews )
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808-591-9919
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1145 S King St, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, 96814

A family-owned vegan restaurant that serves a variety of dishes from pasta, burgers and sandwiches to Vietnamese entrees and noodle soups, rice dishes with mock meats. Opened fall-2010. Open Mon-Sun 10:30am-2:30pm, 5:00pm-9:00pm.

Categories: Vegan, American, Take-out, Vietnamese

33 Reviews

First Review by beve_luna

Delicious Asian food- definitely come here - Edit

Simple Joy doesn't look much from the outside but have an extensive menu and great tasting vegan food. We would highly recommend the edamame beans sautéed in garlic, they were divine! For main courses we had two different soups, one with wontons and another spicy one with fake beef. It was all perfect and good value. We'd definitely go back.

Pros: All vegan , extensive menu , delicious food

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great all vegan restaurant - Edit

Lots of alternatives, mainly asian dishes, a few american dishes as well. Fried goodies.

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Excellent, friendly and great food - Edit

Would highly recommend this place. The food was fantastic.

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Good option if you are in the area - Edit

There is a large selection of Asian, American, and Italian food. Honestly, I found the food a little bland but it was definitely nice to have so many options. If you are in the area, have tried other restaurants and are looking for something new, this would be a good option. Otherwise, I would suggest trying one of the many other vegan restaurants on the island first.

Pros: All-vegan menu. , Large selection. , Friendly staff

Cons: Highly processed.

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Awesome - Edit

Everything is 100% delicious and vegan

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simple joy! - Edit

I was here today for dinner and loved this place! Everything is vegan, the menu has a huge selection of all kinds of different foods including italian, the food tasted delicious, the atmosphere was very friendly and warm and the price extremeley fair! Humble friendly staff who is doing their job without bothering you all the time unnecessarily. Moreover free parking that belongs to restaurant.
So, when you are in town, check this place out!

Pros: huge menu selection, food tastes delicious, very fair prices

Cons: none

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great food and service - Edit

Everything we got was amazing!

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Simple Joy - Edit

Location: Makai side of King Street, directly across from Morio's Sushi Bistro (Precision Radio Building).

Parking: There are 4 spots behind Simple Joy, however, they are hard to get out of if they are full and you have a larger car. You will have to back out of the parking area as there is not enough space to turn your car around. There is also street parking as soon as you cross Pensacola Street.

Food: All vegan. No meat, dairy or eggs. They do use meat substitutes in some of their dishes. We ordered the Crispy Spring Rolls, Banana Lumpia, and the Fried Tofu (it is silken). All of the appetizers were tasty and the sauces were flavorful. I ordered the Philly Sandwich and my husband ordered the Sea Combination dish. My sandwich was really good, full of vegetables and a yummy sauce, and my husband loved his dish even with all of the sauteed onions that were on it (a lot of onions). We paid $2.95 ea for Fresh Lemonade and $3.95 for Pineapple juice (no re-fills and came with a lot of ice), but a pitcher of water and glasses were brought out as well.

Service: Our server for dinner was sweet, kind, friendly, helpful and as attentive as possible as well as the gentleman who seated us. There was a little bit of a wait for food as each order was prepared individually. I appreciated the fork and spoon that were wrapped in our linen to keep them clean.

This food was nicely prepared and flavorful. We are looking forward to visiting again soon.



Updated from previous review on 2016-04-06

Pros: Great Food, Friendly Staff, Clean

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Best Mock Meats - Edit

The Pho is the best. The broth and mock meats tasted exactly like the real thing but better. If you ever want your friend to go vegan and try mock meats go to Simple Joy. They will be wondering how it's vegan! Very affordable prices!!!!!

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Very tasty, though not every item is healthy - Edit

Simple Joy does excellent southeast Asian cuisine, and they make forays into other territories, too, with varying results.

My suggestion: Consider sticking with the Asian dishes, and balance your meal so not everything is fried. (Avoid the French fries.)

The Vietnamese Crispy Pancake is a good middle-way option combining a little fried yumminess with sprouts and greens.

Fresh juices (including carrot) are a plus, though the serving size is small for the price.

Enjoy!

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Mediocre Food - Edit

I really appreciate that their menu is entirely vegan, but this is the kind of vegan food that makes potential/transitioning vegans jump ship. Previously frozen Sysco fries and bland soup.

A menu with 5 different cuisines on it is just a bad sign.

Pros: Friendly staff

Cons: Food is bland, Ingredients not organic or local

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Favorite - Edit

Great place for people transitioning into veganism as most of the menu is veganized versions of popular items. The pasta dishes are on point!! I've had almost everything on the menu and it never disappoints.
Not a really great place for low fat vegans.

Pros: great service

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Delicious!! - Edit

I cannot express enough how scrumptious Simple Joy is! I ordered the Thai tea, Crispy spring rolls as an appetizer, and Yakisoba noodles for dinner. Everything had so much flavor and tasted amazing! I ordered the Marinara sauce pasta for my toddler and he LOVED IT! So did I :) the sauce was one of the best that I have ever tasted, honestly! My hubby ordered the Pad Thai and he ate the whole plate. Must visit!!!!

Pros: A lot of food options to choose from , Everything is delicious. , Easy to find and provides parking

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Many Choices, all Delicious, Reasable - Edit

I have eaten here many times, and always go to eat here at least once when on O'ahu. The menu is varied with many options, all of which are well made and delicious. The setting is inviting and clean. The staff are welcoming and friendly. The food is delicious and very reasonable!! I love this place!!

Pros: Delicious, Varied and Reasonably priced food!, Pleasant and inviting Environment , Welcoming and Helpful Staff

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amazing! - Edit

We got teriyaki kabobs and chicken nuggets and they were both great! We modified the teriyaki kabobs and they got everything right. The Thai iced tea is also great here!

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Delicious, quick, reasonably priced - Edit

Small restaurant (9 tables) that speaks to all pallets. They have Vietnamese and Thai, American and Italian. Their menu is also clearly marked for gluten-free options. I couldn't decide so I asked then nice young, quiet waiter and he suggested the Vietnamese rice flour pancake. Boy was he right! It was very tasty - crispy on the outside and warm and almost creamy on the inside. It was filled with tofu and broccoli. There was a homemade "fish" sauce for dipping, along with some salad fixings. It was filling, delicious, and well worth the short drive from Waikiki.

Pros: gluten-free, healthy, tasty

Cons: they don't have a location in Las Vegas :(

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Good food! - Edit

We really enjoyed this place! Interestingly enough, we found that we had a tough time finding really good vegan food during our recent visit to Honolulu. While there appears to be several places that offer vegan options in the area, we weren't extremely impressed with the menu items offered. In this case, we really enjoyed ourselves! We started with an order of their crispy spring rolls, and the buttered/garlic bread. My husband ordered one of their claypot options, and I had a delicious curry based soup. Overall, we really liked it. By no means is this the best vegan food we have ever had, but it was one of our favorites in Hawaii! We were actually really surprised that the place didn't get much business during the lunch hour + that we spent there. There were a few folks that came in for carry out, but literally, we were the only people in the restaurant for hours. This place should definitely get more business!

Pros: Primarily Vegan Menu, Tasty Options, Clean

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wow - Edit

You must try the hot & sour soup. It might be the best soup I've ever had. There isn't much to it, but the broth is amazing. They have a huge variety of fake meats, which scared me at first, but the tempura "shrimp" blew my mind, and every bite of their clay pot tofu was incredible. I'll be back!

Pros: food, fake meat

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Asian Classics - Edit

Nice place, but not much healthy choices. No salads, a lot of oil, fried stuff, a lot of salt. It's hard to find smth comfort. Service was dissapointing. We had to wait for every dish. There was only 2 other tables occupied. The waiter was coming to everyone with each dish and asking whose order was it.

Pros: The Only Vegan Place Open Sunday Night

Cons: Few Healthy Choices, Lousy Service

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Absolutely delicious! - Edit

I had one night in Honolulu before flying home, and I wanted to try Simple Joy after finding it here on Happy Cow. I'm so glad I did! I had the pasta puttanesca and my non-vegan husband had their version of a Philly cheesesteak. We loved both! We split the vegan ice cream for dessert, and found another winner. Had I had more time in Honolulu, I would definitely have returned, and my husband plans to have lunch there before he leaves the island. Simple Joy is wonderful!

Pros: Amazingly good food, Wide variety of foods, Very friendly waitress

Cons: Parking is difficult

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Good food if you can get past the menu - Edit

Good food, friendly staff. BUT This restaurant has the least friendly menu I have ever looked at. The photos are blurry and are not labeled so you have no idea what you are looking at. The font is hard to read becuase of color choice. The way it navigates it is really hard to figure out what to order. Seriously, I have never seen a menu this bad.

Pros: tasty food, 100% veg

Cons: Menu layout

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Nice Selection Of Dishes - Edit

Appears to be a fusion of Vietnamese/Asian and Italian foods, primarily. Definitely a transitional foods restaurant. Majority of menu items are based on meat substitutes. Very meaty. Portion sizes seem fair in my opinion. The minestrone soup is delightful. The Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwich) is very good. The "fries" on the side are shredded, fried, seasoned tofu instead of potatoes. Delicious and unique, but again, very meaty. The chocolate cake dessert is surprisingly good. So many interesting choices on the menu, you're certain to not get bored quickly.

Updated from previous review on Saturday February 05, 2011

[UPDATE] After eating here countless times, I think it's worth mentioning the service can sometimes be insufficient. The staff is friendly enough, just inexperienced and not trained in proper service. Just because you can carry a plate from the kitchen to the table does not mean you're qualified for table service. I've had numerous occasions where our orders were either forgotten, or mistaken. I suspect ESL as the culprit. If they're not certain about the order, just ask! Far less embarrassing then messing it up.

In a more recent example, the waiter told my date she was wrong and that she had in fact ordered the dish he was serving. While I know this to be incorrect ( I helped her choose the dish), at the very least the customer is almost always correct. To further illustrate, moments earlier the same waiter brought a spring roll appetizer to our table. After explaining to him we didn't order it, he proceeded to check with another table. Apparently they didn't order it as well. Back to the kitchen it went.

Now I don't mean to single him out, as there have been similar instances with other servers. Most involve absenteeism when you require their services (ie - water, check, etc). But accusing my date of being wrong, even if it's possible she might've been, gets you demoted to 3 cows. In his defense, he was remarkably fast to replace her fork when she dropped it. And so earned his tip for the night.

Pros: Meaty, Parking, but limited

Cons: Meaty, Service can be very spotty at times

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Vegan

  Contributions +108

Delicious - Edit

Nice staff, good food.

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in love - Edit

Plenty of choices an absolutely everything vegan! I had to reconfirm this a couple of times because there are some items that could fool your everyday omnivore.

Pros: variety, nice prices, parking in back

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Great Find - Edit

Was looking for something healthy while traveling and off the beaten path.
This restaurant was delicious - they had a variety of foods from pasta's to Japanese noodle dishes and the service was helpful and friendly. No problem with my requested modification to the dish - would absolutely eat here again.
Downside - their takeout containers are styrofoam - I mentioned my issue with this to the staff and she said she'd pass on the comment - maybe bring tupperware if you plan on leaving with food.

Pros: Variety, Flavor, Service

Cons: Styrofoam TakeOut

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Good, not great - Edit

First, the menu has a ton of selections, its a bit overwhelming. I think it would be better if they shortened the menu and made the selections tastier. The soup that came with my entree tasted the same as the noodle dish I ordered- salty, too much soy, nothing amazing. I splurged and ordered desert. I usually love anything with chocolate, but the cake was gross. It tasted old, like it had been in the freezer for a long time and I don't even know what they used for frosting. Simple can be good if you use the ingredients wisely. Unfortunately, Simple Joy missed the mark with me. The staff is super friendly though. Its a shame the food isn't great.

Pros: Friendly Staff

Cons: boring food, gross desert

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Me hoppy!! - Edit

This was a good first expereince to a vegan resturant. I will be back as they have a lot of things i'd like to try. There portions are smaller then average resturant servings but, I still walked out full and happy. Prices are very reasonable. Easy to find parking and seating. My non vegan hubby enjoyed it even though he grumbled thru thr door. Left quite happy:) I ordered putanesca it was okay Im not into mock meats but theres were juicey and I enjoyed chewing away on it. alot of seasoning and A LOT of capers. I havent had heartburn since I became vegan a year ago. I got heartburn today. Bf ordered mushroom pasta was sooooooo delucious.

Pros: Yummy choices, Lots of seating, Lots of parking at noon

Cons: Sticky bathroom., Coed bathroom, Tap water.

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