Dinner near the Hale Koa
My parents are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary next month and staying at the Hale Koa. A special dinner is planned at a friend’s house, but I’d also like to arrange a more casual family dinner for ten within walking distance (1/2 mile) of the Hale Koa. A broad menu would be best -- some adventurous eaters and some grilled fish only types. Under $50/pp not including wine.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Thank you to everyone for your suggestions. We ended up at the Ocean House since we were able to secure golf cart transport from the Hale Koa for the older folks.
The menu worked well for the range of diners we had and the staff was very helpful. They do have a small private room, but we sat in the main dining area adjacent to the beach. Food was good, fish well prepared, not a destination restaurant certainly, but for this kind of event and crowd, I'd recommend it. Thanks again.
Ocean House Restaurant
2169 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815
It might be worth considering Sarento's at the top of the I...that is top of the Ilikai Hotel.
They often have a 3-course early-bird special which is reasonable, and their regular menu would probably fit your budget anyway, although their online menu has no prices listed. The view is fabulous, and while not as casual as some other recommendations, not particularly formal. As long as you don't wear shorts you should be fine.
1777 Ala Moana Boulevard, Honolulu, HI 96815
I think K-Man's suggestion of California Pizza Kitchen may deserve another look, as it fits the casual requirement, is reasonably priced, and has a fairly broad appeal to mainstream diners. They should be able to handle a table of 10, although at peak hours you will probably have to wait. There is a second location just a bit further away in Ala Moana Shopping Ctr...a few steps closer than Morton's would be, and most visitors work a stop at the mall into their visit anyway. The number 8 city bus goes practically door to door, but with 10 people, 2 cabs would probably be cheaper if the walk is too far for anyone.
1. Center of Waikiki
2284 Kalakaua Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96815
Next to Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel
2. Ala Moana Shopping Center
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96814
Kobe Steak House, right at the corner near the Hilton Hawaiian Village so an easy walk. Beef, chicken and seafood cooked teppanyaki style, also sushi available from the sushi bar downstairs. Casual and fun.
We had a family dinner there last Christmas and everyone enjoyed the food, from grandparents to grandkids, so something for everyone.
Clinton is on the mark on the Hale Koa offerings. I have had a couple of very nice meals there. There was a time i would have agreed about Todai as well, but the last time I went I was VERY disappointed. Saying that some of the offerings were not really fresh would be a generous comment.
Azure would be pushing the upper limit of your budget, but gets almost universal good reviews here. More downscale would be the grill at the Shorebird.
In the other direction is the Hawaii Prince Hotel. The Prince Court gets good reviews for it's buffets, as well as their prix fixe menu (three options from $37-$57)
Down on Beachwalk (not too far away) there are a number of places. Although a mainland chain, Yard House gets overall good reviews, one of my friends who works in Waikiki says it is one of the better values and the food is good.
At about the extreme of your walking distance would be Dukes Waikiki. Good to better food, within your price range, right on the beach open air. I haven't been for dinner in quite a while, but the fish, served Dukes Style is always good. Immediately above Dukes is Chucks Steak house. To me this is a better option than Chart House. This is not a top of the line steak place trying to compete with Ruth Chris or Mortons (there is a Morton's at Ala Moana) and would be within your price range.
Finally at the risk of raising the ire of chowhounds everywhere there is a California Pizza Kitchen on Kalakaua, 2/3 of the way towards Dukes, and (gasp) a Cheesecake Factory at the east/diamond head end of the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center. Long waits, etc.
Prince Court Restaurant
100 Holomoana St, Honolulu, HI 96815
Yard House Restaurant
, Honolulu, HI 96813
The last time I was at Todai in Waikiki was several years ago and it was IMO better than most Japanese AYCE places, even here in Southern Cal. Unfortunately, maybe they decided to cut back like many other places just trying to survive?
As far as the Hale Koa's Sunday brunches, the last time we were there was to celebrate some family occasion. By far, this by any standards was the best buffet spread hands down. There was only one other place here where we live that could compete but they have long closed down like many other places.
Another suggestion would be the Room Without a Key at the Halekulani. Been there a couple of times and enjoyed the outdoor by the sea ambience as well as the entertainment and food.
2199 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815
yes, it is sad about Todai. The fish used to be good quality, very fresh, everything was clean and bright. The last time I was there it looked like they weren't bothering to replenish about 1/4-1/3 of the items (and it wasn't that close to closing), but they also weren't bothering to take away the empty trays. The calamari salad, which used to be one of my favorites was actually starting to sour, one of the noodle dishes they were pouring more noodles into the hotpan, with a layer of crusty burned on noodle remaining underneath. It wasn't nice.
I believe that is the "House Without a Key" and I think getting a table for ten would be very difficult.
I don't think Morton's or Ruth's Chris would stay under $50pp when you add in the sides, etc. Chuck's vs Chart House, enh, it is like a contest between Nobu and Morimoto, neither is the best, but each has their fans.
Yes it is House Without a Key. I typed that in first but couldn't remember if it was right. I changed it to Room because it sounded better. Should have relied on my first choice it seemed? Been a while since I've been there. BTW, I love Ruth Chris near Disneyland here in SoCal but it is expensive as you mentioned. Great steaks though.
Check out the dining options at the McCully Shopping Center. They have about six or seven good Asian places.
You could also look at the Chart House, not usually a place I might recommend on Chow, but ten people changes the dynamic a bit.
I can't really recommend Todai, it is a fair to middling Japanese buffet restaurant.
Look at Roy's Waikiki prix fixe menu, it might fit the bill for you. The Kani Ka Pila Grille, poolside at the Outrigger Reef might be too casual, but it is fun and has entertainment.