Restaurant Reviews

Restaurant Review: Hula Grill (Oahu)

Our flight back to the mainland wasn’t until 7:30 at night and so we basically had the whole day to ourselves in Waikiki. I knew that it would “behoove” us to eat one big meal while still on terra firma since we would get NO food on our eight hour flight to Chicago. (One really needs to have a thick skin to travel on American airlines since in their flawed and ridiculous logic, Hawaii is considered a “domestic” destination so no food is served on domestic flights even though one can technically travel to Europe in less time and be served food. Well, any who…)

One of our favorite meals on Maui was a breakfast we had at Duke’s, a restaurant named after Duke Kahnanamoku, one of the most iconic surfers of all time. Duke’s is actually owned by a company so in addition to other Duke’s locations on the other islands, they also operate other restaurants, one of them being the Hula Grill. Although we had originally wanted to dine at the Duke’s on Oahu, I saw that breakfast is only available as a buffet and while I’m sure the food would have been good, neither of us were in the mood for a buffet. So back to the guidebook I went, which is where I saw the Hula Grill.

It’s located in the Outrigger Waikiki hotel and literally overlooks the beach (it’s situated on the beach side of Kalakua Avenue). I read that they did take reservations and while it seems a bit silly to be making reservations for breakfast, I figured it couldn’t hurt. When we arrived they asked us if we wouldn’t mind waiting a few more minutes to have a table right by the beach area, to which we said yes. You don’t have any…okay none of those moments back on the mainland in a four season state. As you can see, the views were stunning and just another one of those quintessential Hawaiian moments you’ll always remember.

Even though I had been on Oahu for a week by then, I had not had any tropical, so exotic you don’t know the name, fruits yet. So when I saw Island Fresh Tropical Fruit Platter ($9.50) I knew that I would be starting with that. Although the one I had on Duke’s on Maui was a tad better, this still was delicious. All fruits that are naturally grown there and cost an arm and a leg when imported here.

For my entree, I selected the Two Fresh Ka Lei Local Eggs dish which came with your choice of bacon, link sausage, Portuguese sausage, or spam, homestyle potatoes, and toast for $9.50. Since I hadn’t tried too many island staples, I went with the Portuguese sausage for my meat selection. I had never had it before and while I think I still prefer bacon or “regular” sausage it was still pretty good. (Back at the turn of the last century, thousands of Portuguese immigrants came to Hawaii to work on the plantations, so many Portuguese cultural influences remain including those culinary ones.)

D went with the Stack of Banana Mac Nut Pancakes ($9.25) for his entree and being Hawaii, he ordered a side of Spam for $4.00 I did not try any of the spam but according to D and one of our tour guides, if you cook it “right,” as in you don’t just microwave it but rather cook it on the stove top, it’s pretty tasty. Spam was a staple on the islands during World War II since yes, it came in a can and its popularity remains to this day.

All in all, the service at the Hula Grill was perfect and the food delicious. A true Hawaiian send off if there was ever one.

More in this series!

Hula Grill Waikiki on Urbanspoon

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