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Simple Joy

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 24 reviews )
Contact 808-591-9919

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, Mon-Sun 5:00pm-9:00pm.

Category: Vegan, American, Take-out, Vietnamese

Reviews (24)

First Review by beve_luna

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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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 waitress 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.

Pros: Great Food, Friendly Staff, Clean

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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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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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Wonderful - Edit

This bright little restaurant in Honolulu is quietly attractive (date night quality) and the food is heavenly. Our order was received quickly and it was beautiful. The food was fresh, perfectly cooked and seasoned (and plentiful). The large menu ranges from italian favorites to vietnamese dishes. There's even a small selection of burgers and fries. All vegan of course. The prices are reasonable - lunch for two was $22 and we both had entree's. There's parking in the back as street parking may be tricky.

Pros: Excellent food, great value, pleasant ambiance

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Wonderful, wonderful! - Edit

Absolutely every bite was delicious, and all at a very affordable price. We are just visiting, so we won't be able to visit often, but I think my sister and her buddies will be new fans! I had the Vegan Feast, my sister the Pumpkin Soup and Vegetarian Sensation, and my husband the Pesto Pasta - and we all shared bites. Hope to go at least one more time while we are here!

Pros: wonderful food, simple ambiance, good value

Cons: service a bit spotty, bathrooms outside

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Good variety of mock meats - Edit

I'm so relieved that this turned out to be a good place. I normally don't take guests to vegetarian places I haven't tried before but I've only been here in HI for about a week, and I was tired of all the restaurants I've been taken too with the limited vegetarian options that turn out so bland and boring. So this time, I invited and treated my family and friends to this place. They looked really disappointed when they saw this place was vegan. But they were all a good sport and ordered a meal. And we all loved it! And one was very amazed at how the mock meats tasted so real. He never knew such existed and believed that vegans basically just eat bird food. This was a great opportunity to break that myth and at the same time, bring up the truth on the barbaric treatment to livestock animals. This is a great place to bring guests who normally love meat.

Pros: Great variety of mock meats, Easy parking, Reasonably priced

Cons: Portions a little small, Small dessert selection

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worth at least 2 visits - Edit

We were in town for the Honolulu Marathon and decided to try Pure Joy as Loving Hut was closed. Was surprised that parking (4 spots) were full and restaurant was nearly full on Sunday afternoon. We had heard they were affiliated informally with Loving Hut, but the waiter did not know anything about it. In fact, he could not even tell us whether their pasta was whole wheat or not, did not even know such a thing existed! We had the Eggplant Parmigiana with fettuccini and the "Clay Pot Sensation". The pasta was cooked al dente, slightly hard the way I like it. However, I thought the food, especially the clay pot tofu was a bit on the expensive side for the small portion. I would however like to go back and try their vietnamese sandwich and the curry noodle soup an earlier reviewer mentioned.

Pros: many choices, variety, parking

Cons: uninformed staff, portion size

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Great Vegan Restaurant - Edit

My husband and I adore this place. Great parking. Great menu. We have been here over five times, and we were always happy with our meals. They give great healthy sized portions. We have eaten here so much that the waitress recognizes us. I highly recommend the pot stickers and curry noodle soup. I really like how large their menu is and that they do not use any MSG in their food. I also think that the veggie meat is specially made by the cook because I have never tasted anything so tasty and real-like. It is great that Honolulu vegans have this place as another option.

Pros: Menu Selection, Food Quality, Food Taste

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ehh...no - Edit

I ate here for dinner and although it is a very nice atmosphere, the food i not that good. I had the quesadilla which had practically no daiya cheese in it. Then had the mushroom linguine with white sauce....lets just say that i was eating just pasta without any sauce. Everything was lacking, and they are tight with their servings.

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