Small Plates/Apps or Pupus on Oahu and Maui
We'd rather have some drinks and a variety of apps or pupus a few of our nights. Are there any places where the view, drinks, food and atmosphere are particularly appealing? Even lounges in nice hotels with a little music, etc.
We were thinking of L'Aperitif at La Mer and Duke's but would like some Maui and more Honolulu/Waikiki recs.
House without a Key, in Waikiki, for sure. Perfect for sunset hula and drinks. Go heavy on the pupus and skip the entrees. Then a slice of coconut cake. We went twice during a short five day trip. Beautiful place.
Also note that L'apertif has a dress code. Long-sleeved collared shirt or jacket required for gentlemen. I don't recall it having much of a view, really.
On Maui, the point bar at Merriman's Kapalua around sunset. Great food, gorgeous view. Get there early. They don't have the full dinner menu though. Excellent cocktails. Some of the best on the island. People get there early to stake out the seats closest to the ocean.
I have spent more time in South Maui so the rest of my recs are for there.
Excellent but pricey cocktails at the Lehua Lounge at the Andaz, and very pricey food. Faces the ocean and their infinity pool. Live music, as well. Menu is by a Hawaiian ex pat now living in NYC who is an award winning mixologist. Fresh juices, macadamia nut orgeat, high quality liquors. Get one of the loveseats by the fire pit. A little noisy due to the restaurant behind it, but cozy.
Morimoto at the Andaz has great ambiance too as it's next to the bottom of their infinity pool. I'd go around sunset and sit outside, or at the outside bar, and share the smaller plates (cooked items mostly, as sushi / sashimi oddly isn't his strong point). You can definitely make a good meal out of apps here. The top and sides of the outdoor seating by the pool are retractable. Look up and you'll see the stars.
The bar at Amasia at the Grand Wailea doesn't have much of a view, but if you order carefully for food and avoid the drinks, you can come in at a fairly reasonable price point. Everything is small plates on the menu anyway. The view is of a koi pond/Japanese garden. No outdoor seating.
It does get breezy and chilly after the sunset in Hawaii. Bring a wrap/shawl if you want to sit outside.
Also your outdoor drinks and pupus can occasionally be caught in a few rain sprinkles.
Here also is cobpdx's report on bar dining in Wailea:
Kathyrn is on the money with the House Without a Key. Make sure you are there at sunset for the music and the hula performance. Truly memorable.
If you want to go a little more downmarket then Side Street Inn is the place to go. I wouldn't exactly call them small plates, but good eats local style. The Kapahulu location is a bit more upscale, Hoapaka (the original) is fun, but not a place to go for atmosphere. Ryans at Ward Center is pretty good, but for the most part nothing you can't get lots of other places. Another that's not on a lot of people's radar is the bar at the Hau Tree Lanai. They have nice pupus and a great view. They also have entertainment sometimes.