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please help narrow my 3 romantic dining options [oahu]

howzit!

travelling with the fiance next week for a short blitz trip. will hit up our old haunts (and side street in -see below post haha)

but it'll be his bday when we're there, so i want to take him to a nice yummy romantic resto.

i usually do hi on a budget, so the fanciest i've been to is hy's or chai's. both of which i like. =)

anyway,

my choices are:

1) pineapple room
2) indigo
3) 3660

i gotta make a reservation too. =)

i saw john dominis but that's out of the budget. it seems these three are slightly less... =) and no on pretense... =) i think i read somewhere last year that chef mavro's makes it like they are doing you a favor by letting you eat there? i dunno if that was true or not...

mahalo nui loa =)

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  1. I wouldn't really consider any of these "romantic". Have you considered Hau Tree Lanai?

    Of the three you picked I would probably pick 3660, then indigo, then pineapple room. Just a personal thing, I just can't think of a food service place inside a department store as romantic. Great food, yes, romantic no. While I like indigo, i don't think the food is quite on par with the other two, so that leaves 3660 in top place of those three.

    You will have a really good meal at any of them.

    5 Replies
    1. re: KaimukiMan

      ok..

      romantic is more of an afterthought. hahah not really a lot of romance after 11 years with the dude =) but it would be a bonus. hahahah

      so foodwise, what about these rankings?

      1) hau tree- looks yummy!
      2) 3660
      3) pineapple room

      ???

      does the ranking change? =)

      mahalo nui loa! =)

      i can't wait to be back! =)

      1. re: kinipela

        hau tree has good food, but it is not as good as pineapple room or 3660. You can get great food all over the world. Where else can you sit 5 feet from the beach under the hau trees and see waikiki spread out in front of you?

        1. re: KaimukiMan

          We've always had nothing less than exemplary service at Chef Mavro but it's defnitely in a different budget league than the other three. Foodwise, 3660 would be the best bet but it's busy and noisy. Food at Hau Tree is so-so, nothing you can't get other places, but the setting is wonderful...we like it for a relaxed lunch *in town* in a nice setting.

          (How about the Orchid Room at the Halekulani? Ask for a table outside and enjoy a wonderful view plus quality food and service.)

          http://www.halekulani.com/dining/

        2. re: kinipela

          Hau Tree has always treated me well, and the scene is usually great. Still, 3660.

          And, hey, I still look for "romantic" after 37 years of marriage. Tell 'em that it is a special occasion, and they'll get you to "romantic."

          Hunt

        3. re: KaimukiMan

          I felt the same, until we did Mariposa at the Neiman-Marcus. Great meal on the lanai, with excellent service, food and wine. OK, we did overlook Ala Moana, but the view was more of the basin, the park and the ocean.

          Based on the OP's criteria, it might be a tad more expensive, but I found it to be a great deal.

          I'm a big AW fan, but Pineapple Room is a bit sterile for me.

          Still, I'd look at 3660, but that is just me.

          Hunt

        4. La Mer!

          Definitely not Pineapple Room, 3660 is romantic, but not super romantic, Indigo is cool, but again, not what I would consider ultra-romantic.

          4 Replies
          1. re: torta basilica

            Torta - Aloha! Where ya been? I agree that Pineapple Room would not be a
            romantic choice. Although at night with the lights dim the sad weary chairs and worn out menu covers would be less noticeable as well as the threadbare rug.
            I like their food however, great for lunch.

            Mariposa might be more romantic as well and if they go on a Friday they could see the fireworks too.

            1. re: manomin

              Aloha! Not in Hawaii, sadly :(

              Mariposa is a good idea - I like that!! Especially now that I know they have a separate entrance and you don't need to be tempted by things in the store on the way in...

              1. re: torta basilica

                I love their Neiman Marcus martini's (sake, absolute, pickled ginger and a cucumber slice)! delicious delicious delicious!

                Well hopefully you'll be out here again soon! Always good to see you post! :-)

              2. re: manomin

                Does anyone else wonder why the Pineapple Room is so worn and in need of a renovation (or at least a floor sanding) while Alan Wong's King Street seems like it's redone every year?

            2. Reconsider John Dominus. it is one of THE most special restaurants in Honolulu.

              1 Reply
              1. re: easily amused

                The thing I remember most about John Dominis is the fabric on their lounge seats are the same fabric as the comforters at the California Hotel in Vegas.

                JD was one of _the_ restaurants in the 80s, don't think I could recommend it in 2008.

              2. While kind of touristy (but plenty locals filling the room) Top Of Waikiki was
                spectacular from per-sunset to the dark of night. We ate there last Saturday and
                had a fabulous meal. The chef uses so many local products and has a great spin
                on the traditional/classics as well as innovative concepts. There were lots of cozy
                couples taking in the view, we had a party of 4 so romance wasn't in the cards!
                I really enjoyed it to my surprise and delight and a friend of mine told me she'd been there that week too and was "blown away by the food surprisingly."

                1 Reply
                1. re: manomin

                  hahah i love the line about party of 4 romance wasn't in the cards... ahhahaha

                  i've always thought TOW would be too touristy, so i've never been...didn't want touristy actually....

                  but if locals go there too, then it's not that bad? i spend most of my time in the bay, so cal, and hi... and so 'cause of the bay influences, i'm a HUGE fan of the local fresh food...

                2. Had great meals at Indigo, but I'd opt for 3660 On The Rise, based on many experiences at both.

                  Enjoy and aloha,
                  Hunt

                  1. ahhh!!! =) so many choices =)

                    i love it.... =)

                    so i was thinking hau tree and perhaps orchids...

                    hmm maybe wie'll look into orchids too then.. and bill hunt.. 37 years of marriage and you still have the romance? =) i LOVE it! i want to be like that, it's pretty awesome =)

                    if the food is so-so at hau tree, but the overall package and ambiance is worthwhile, i think we'll stick with that... =)

                    mahalo nui loa =) i'll have to remember to post a review when we return =)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: kinipela

                      Only problem that I have with "romance" and Hau Tree is the proximity of the tables. It is, in and of itself, a "romantic" locale, but other patrons WILL be close. Ask for a seat/table on the railing. Tell them the occasion. Ignore the other diners. We've always had good food and great service.

                      As for the years of "romance," I still look forward to those little extras. I first visited Hawai`i in the early '80s. I was offered a condo on Maui for an extra week, by my client, and only had to get my wife to the Islands - unfortunately, she had to defend her budget and could not come, plus it was going to be our anniversary during that time, so I declined the gracious offer. It was not until late '80s, that I finally got her to Hawai`i, and we've been back once, or twice, per year since then. Since I make the dining reservations about 6 mos. out, I also order flowers for her (to take back to the room), at each table. The flowers are lovely, and she really gets a kick out of it, even after all these years with me. Feel pity for the young lady.

                      Though they let me down last time there, La Mer still sets the bar for "romantic" for me. We were so depressed that on the last "quickie" trip, wife did not even want to go there. Amazing what really poor wine service can do, even if one has dined at a restaurant dozens of times and had great meals and service. Like hospitals, restaurants should have a "mortality review." If I were a restaurant consultant, I'd use that earlier La Mer trip as an example of "what NOT to do, to retain clients." Still, they are very good, and quite "romantic."

                      Most of all, enjoy!

                      Aloha,
                      Hunt

                      PS Yes, you are required to do that follow-up post. Even though I still owe a bunch of reviews...