We've had Ohana on our shortlist of restaurants at Walt Disney World for years...it was inevitably cut off by more veggie friendly spots over and over again. Its not that we didn't want to eat there...it was just never a huge priority. However, as our list of restaurants got smaller and smaller, we finally made our advanced dining reservation AND WENT TO OHANA FOR DINNER!!!!
O'Hana is located on the second floor of the great ceremonial house of Disney's Polynesian Village. This table service restaurant is very popular, and we recommend getting your advanced dining reservations far in advance. One reason we had never been prior is the lack of availability...so if you want to eat here, make reservations a priority.
The atmosphere here uses the rest of the resort as a jumping off point. Obviously its neither actual Polynesian themed...nor the over the top kitsch of mid-century tiki restaurants...but a whole other thing specific to this resort. Its so hard to explain what it is. It's just special and nostalgic and perfect.
The meals at O'Hana are served family style, with an emphasis on grilled meat and seafood. As vegetarians, this lead to a lot of apprehension. Would we get enough variety of quality food to justify the cost of this (not cheap) restaurant?
Our meal started with O'Hana's famous pineapple coconut bread and a mixed salad. While I'd like to say that this bread lived up to the hype, it was fine, and totally unforgettable. A very soft sweet bread, but nothing all that special.
The salad is another thing all together. All Disney family style salads are the same, and there isn't very much in them to make them special...but I love them none the less. In the same way that I love the salad at Hoop Dee Do, I love the salad at O'Hana. Iceberg lettuce for life.
The noodles and stir fried vegetables are also included as part of everyones meal as well. The noodles were cooked well, and very lightly seasoned with teriyaki and pretty basic. The perfect carb for a meal like this.
The veggies were super bright and fresh. They included tons of broccoli, which weren't over cooked at all. I was happy to see the inclusion of American Chinese food veggies as well...think baby corn, water chestnuts, and mushrooms. I could make an entire meal off of these veggies alone.
As vegetarians here is where our meal differed from the rest of the table. While everyone else was getting skewer after skewer of different grilled meats, we were given chips and dip. Yes. Chips. And. Dip.
Don't get me wrong. At this point in the meal, between the salad, noodles, and veggies I was pretty stuffed. However, I think its pretty silly to present something like this as an entree. I would absolutely love to see grilled tofu or something along those lines. This exact dish is served at the nearby Tambu Lounge as an appetizer for $6.00..so I think its ridiculous to present it here as an entree, considering that we are paying the same price as meat eaters. Anyway, it tasted fine I guess.
Thank god the O'Hana bread pudding actually managed to live up to the hype. Served a la mode, with bananas and caramel sauce, this bread pudding was totally decadent. As it came out we weren't sure we would be able to finish it...but had no problem at all. In fact, we ordered a little extra. This is the kind of dessert that Disney does right. Simple and sweet, totally unpretentious, nothing fancy at all. A Seriously yummy treat.
In addition to the whimsical and perfect interior, entertainment is provided in the way of Auntie. She is an angel sent from heaven to lay you and flirt with your dad. Between her, the strong tiki drinks, and the relatively good food, this was one of my favorite Disney World meals. The only downside would be the very lazy vegetarian option...but with atmosphere like this its hard to harp on something so little. We really enjoyed our time at O'Hana.