Welcome to Honolulu City Dates

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Good Fun at Tiki's Bar and Grill Waikiki

Tiki's Bar and Grill Waikiki

Tiki’s Grill & Bar, located across from Waikiki Beach launches a weekly club night called Pink Tiki on Friday, November 21, 2008 at 10pm. Building on its current success of nightly live music, Pink Tiki will be featuring a DJ in the Ocean Room, drink specials, VIP Bottle Service, dancing and a late night class on drink making.

A long time community supporter, Tiki’s has created a drink called “Pink Tiki,” and a dollar for every Pink Tiki drink purchased will be donated to the Queen’s Cancer Center. A unique pink ceramic tumbler will be featured on the daily menu to support the Queen’s Cancer Center on an ongoing basis. Tiki’s will also be giving the Queen’s Cancer Center, unlimited VIP cover passes to give out
to donors, volunteers, and cancer survivors.

The 10,000-square-foot, 380-seat Tiki’s Grill & Bar, featuring a South Pacific ambiance with a casual island theme, is located on the second floor of the ResortQuest Waikiki Beach Hotel at 2570 Kalakaua Avenue. Tiki’s Grill & Bar, open from 10:30 a.m. to midnight, serves lunch and dinner,
and is a popular venue for island entertainment. Free validated valet parking is available. For reservations or more information, call 808-923-TIKI (8454) or visit www.tikisgrill.com

We are anxious to check out Tiki Taco Tuesday Too. Stay tuned and we will let you know how it is. See on Friday night!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Oktoberfest 2008 at the Ala Moana Hotel

Do you do the chicken dance??

I must be the only person from the Western World who didn’t know the chicken dance.

Now I do…thanks to my good friend, Yolanda, who insisted we go to this year’s Oktoberfest at the Ala Moana Hotel. I was really tired as we headed out on the town. My plan was to have, “just one beer.” HA!

We arrived at the top of the escalators to the Ala Moana Hotel’s ballrooms that was bedecked in German tradition. We seemed to be the only ones there. Yawn, I was in for a boring evening...until Yolanda bought $50 worth of script for food and for our “pitchers” of beer and “shots.” Gulp. Onward ho…to experience my own culture that I know nothing about—Welcome to Germany in Hawaii.

About ten different German beers on tap were available, from the well knowns like Becks and Loewenbrau to Widmer. With our pitcher of Amber Bock, we entered the ballroom and were shocked to find it packed full of about 500 seated or dancing people, leaving us nowhere for us to sit.

The band playing Edelweiss seemed to have been sipping at pitchers already and the people on the dance floor were doing something akin to the square dance (must be the Polka). Others were doing the Cha Cha, the Salsa, and some German-Hispanic hybrid.

If you’ve been to an Oktoberfest, you know you are not allowed to just sit there. Between being beckoned to lift your glass and “brost” and act like a chicken on the dance floor, you also get to swap dance partners and watch people in blow-up St. Pauli Girl outfits shake their breasts at you.

Goldwasser, Rumple Minze, Jagermeister…you might know the rest of the names of the “Schnapps Bude” shots you’re encouraged to take. I collected a few of those little shot glasses around my neck, made chicken beaks with my hands, flapped my arms, did the chicken boogy to the floor, and talked with everyone at the table, while tasting an assortment of food: Brotwurst; sauerbraten, black forest cake, German potato salad, spaetzle (authentic German dumplings), pig knuckle. Yum!

Where: Hibiscus Ballroom 6 to 11 p.m.

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When: mid-October for a week

Cost of date: about $7 weeknights; $12 Friday and Saturday evenings: depends on how much beer you want to drink.

Do’s and Don’ts on this date: Do keep count of the number of shot glasses you hang around our neck. Do invite a bunch of friends…this is one of those dates that would be fun to share with a group.

Thursday, May 29, 2008



Driving over Kalanianaole Highway into Hawaii Kai the day before Memorial Day, one can’t help but notice the island of boats and bright colors of floating devices with people bouncing on them. Welcome to Hawaii Kai’s boat tie-up party. Cool waters, good food and drink (bring your own), and Koko Head and Diamond Head views provide a great way to spend the day with friends and family. Anyone up to boating, paddling or swimming out to the event is welcome.

You can tie up and tie one on around the island throughout the year: watch for flotilla boat tie-up parties off of Waikiki and at the Kaneohoe Bay sandbar on the Windward side of the island.

Cost: Free

Do's and Don'ts: Bring food and drink to share, a designated driver, a swim suit, and good balance to get you from boat to boat. Don't break up the tie-up by leaving in the middle of the day.

The next Hawaii Kai tie-up party is on July 4th http://independencedayatmaunaluabay.org



Honolulu's premiere French restaurant, Le Guignol, serves French cuisine in a comfortable, contemporary setting across the street from Thomas Square and cattycorner from Neil S. Blasdell Center. It’s the perfect place to start the evening before a concert or symphony.

Chef/Owner Travis "Ala" Sutton starts his days at 7 a.m. preparing lunch fare on Wednesdays and Saturdays and dinner on Tuesdays through Sundays. Sutton cooks everything that ends up on the table, including such classic French dishes as baked burgundy escargot with roasted garlic and parsley butter, cumin roasted leg of lamb with curry demi glaze and Serbian flageolet beans and caramelized onions, as well as a local favorite, pan-roasted Opakapaka fillet with anchovy and artichoke green puy lentils and Beurre Noisette.

The restaurant has an intimate bistro feel with only 12 tables inside and three on the lanai. Leilani (Travis' mom) greets you and, along with other wait staff, provides attentive service. Dress ranges from casual to dressy—whatever you plan to wear to the concert.

Cost: Roasted Opakapaka $28.95, Escargot $8.95

Do's and Don'ts: Don't forget your bottle of wine; it's BYOB. Do call early to make reservations to avoid settling for fast food before a concert.

Website: http://www.leguignolrestaurant.com/

Menu: http://www.leguignolrestaurant.com/files/15332750.pdf



Mokuleia on Hawaii’s North Shore is home to The Hawaii Polo Club, which holds matches at the Hawaii Polo Field on most Sundays during the six-month polo season beginning in May. The Club celebrated its 43rd anniversary in 2008 and is part of a nearly 140-year history of polo in Hawaii. Visiting polo teams come from as far away as England and Argentina. And the club has coined its matches, Polo by the Sea, hosting spectators to exciting matches with rolling surf and white sand beaches as a backdrop.

Open to the public, the polo matches are a great excuse to drive to the “country” and relax near the ocean while enjoying the matches and other opening, half-time, and post game activities, including hang gliding demonstrations, food, drink, and bands. Our visit featured the band Green Eggs n' Sam, dancing and dining. Bring your kids or date and check it out this Sunday!

Cost: $8 entry fee

Do's and Don'ts: Get there early for seating with umbrellas; Games start at 2 p.m. (gates open at 11 a.m.). Although food and drinks can be purchased, we recommend bringing a cooler with food and drink. Beach chairs and an umbrella or small tent for shade are good ideas as well. Don’t run across the field during a match!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008



Looking for a quick stroll in the forest or for a refreshing swim? This is the ticket. Right off the Pali Highway, just outside of Downtown Honolulu, the Judd Trail is an easy hike that runs along Nu'uanu Stream to Jackass Ginger Pond and then continues in a 1 mile loop, with minimal elevation gain. Jackass Ginger Pond is a great swimming hole with a 10 foot waterfall into the pond and a rope swing to jump from into the water, which is up to 8 feet deep in some places. Be warned that this pond is surrounded by boulders, which means there might be boulders in the water. Remember, "sticks and stone can break my bones," so jumping is at your own risk.

Those looking for more of a workout can take an alternative path to a higher elevation, Pauoa Flats, and finally Nu'uanu Valley Overlook (1600 feet) which has views of the Pali, higher peaks in the Ko'olau Range, the Wai'anae Range, Nu'uanu Valley, and Punchbowl.

Cost: Free

Do's and don'ts: Do consider mosquito repellent or walk fast. Don't try anything fancy off the rope.

Sunday, April 13, 2008



Need for speed? Sail on a Hawaiian Outrigger Sailing Canoe. SeaBreeze
Watersports in Hawaii Kai is the only outfitter in Hawaii offering ocean speed sailing. Na'ilima, a former Hokulea crew member who sailed between Hawaii and Rapanui using Hawaiian sailing methods, will take you on a sailing canoe for an invigorating site seeing adventure on Maunalua Bay. The sailing canoes seat up to six passengers, who will get views of East Honolulu's coastline and, if lucky, views of marine life including seals, turtles, and whales. Follow up your date with an early dinner at the Bluwater Grill, The Shack, or Cha-Cha-Cha Salsaria after you are done for the day. These are all located in Hawaii Kai Shopping Center right next to SeaBreeze.

Cost of Date: Speed Sailing $45

Do's and Don'ts: Do consider a Day on the Bay Package to fill the day out. Call before and get a free ride from Waikiki. Don't forget to bring a camera and a change of clothes for dinner afterwards.

Website: http://www.seabreezewatersports.com/hawaii-speed-sailing

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Hidden in the now blossoming Kaimuki in Honolulu is the Japanese Garlic Restaurant, Ninniku-ya, which means Garlic House in Japanese. Owner Chef Eiyuki Endo uses 5-10 pounds of garlic per day creating just about everything garlic: whole roasted Garlic Cloves, Garlic Spinach Salad, Garlic Soup, Garlic Avocado Ahi appetizer, Escargot, Ahi in a Garlic-Ginger sauce, Pasta with creamy Garlic-tomato sauce spiked with king crab, and Angus steaks served on a sizzling hot stone with Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Finish it off with Sorbet with light Garlic sauce. Anything without garlic? The Blueberry Martini, ahhhh.... Open since 1976 on Waialae Ave near Chaminade University, this little gem features indoor and outside seating, and casual dress code (where do you have to dress up in Honolulu, anyway?). We split the filet, escargot, spinach salad, avocado ahi pupu with a side of roasted garlic and were pleasantly stuffed.

Cost of Date: Most appetizers $12-16; Filet $38; Roasted Garlic $8; Blueberry Martini $8

Do's and Don'ts on the date: Do get there early to find parking. Don't expect anyone down wind (for the next 2 days) to not wonder where you've been.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2008



Big applause to the Honolulu Academy of Arts PR folks; they sure know how to put on a good event. ARTafterDARK, a premier event happening from 6 to 9 p.m. on most last Friday’s of the month draws attention to the Academy and its featured exhibits. We’ve never not had a good time at ARTafterDARK.

Show up, get food, get drink, see the exhibit and usually a lot of friends, and wander the beautiful grounds to see what is set up in every corner to entertain you. Then, dance to popular music in the open air courtyard at the Academy. The strict ending time of 9 p.m. is perfect—time to go off and hit the town, or, if you’re tired after a work day, head home.

This particular ARTafterDARK, entitled Dragon Thunder, featured the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan and exhibits from the region. The monks, in colorful robes, helped out with the event—painting surfboards with regional designs, demonstrating Mandala sand painting, and ancient Buddhist dances.

Cost of date: $10 cover charge (free for members), $4-7 per plate of food, $4-6 drinks

Do’s and Don’ts on this date: Plan to be surprised and entertained. Stay near the main courtyard at the start of the event if you want a good view of the entertainment. Or—hit the food booths while everyone else crowds to see the entertainment. Don’t fret the early closing time; this is a great ice breaker for the start of your evening.

Website: http://www.honoluluacademy.org



(In Koko Marina Center in Hawaii Kai)

There’s no better place to learn to wakeboard than the placid (okay, sometimes) water of East Oahu’s Hawaii Kai Marina. And there’s no better teacher than Cormac and his protégé’s at Hawaii Water sports Center at Koko Marina.

This is a great date if you don’t mind making a fool of yourself in front of your date. Although wipe outs can give you something to talk about and Cormac promises you will stand and succeed at wakeboarding (we did)!

If you can’t stand the thought of a “face plant” or manage to schedule a massage for the following day, you might want to try banana boat or tube riding—getting pulled and bounced around behind the boat. Many happy dates knock their heads together this way (a recent survey suggests they survive longer relationships).

This date isn’t complete without a stop at one of Koko Marina’s restaurants. We recommend Kona Brewing, where you can watch others about to partake in water play. And where you can watch a full moon rise above Koko Head on the right nights.

Cost of date: Wakeboarding $49

Do’s and Don’ts on this date: Board shorts might be nice. Don’t worry about big fish; there aren’t any. Take a change of clothes if you plan to dine in Koko Marina afterwards.

To see the full on board wakeboarding lesson go to:

Phone: (808) 395-3773 • FAX: (808) 375-1433

E-mail: info@hawaiiwatersportscenter.com

8:30am - 5:30pm Daily

Web Site: http://www.hawaiiwatersportscenter.com/


(In the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center in Waikiki)

If you want to freak someone out by showing them fish flakes that move around and look alive on top of pizza, this is the place to go. Your date may be impressed.

A traditional pizza-like dish originating from the Kansai region of Japan—specifically Osaka—Okonimiyaki consists of a fried batter and cabbage cake along with various ingredients. In this case—lots of garlic, shrimp, fish, and vegatables. Okonomi means "what you like" or "what you want," and yaki means "grilled" or "cooked"; thus, the name of this dish means "cook what you like."

You’ll feel like you’re in Japan as your chef—no matter what ethnicity—speaks Japanese and artfully handles knives as he/she makes your pizza to your liking. Side dishes like tofu spinach or bacon corn round out the meal in a tasty way.

Cost of Date: Okonomiyaki $14, Teppanyaki filet $23

Do’s and Don’ts on this date: Do order extra extra fried garlic. Yum! Do have mouth wash on you if you expect to meet or keep your date that night. Or the next day, for that matter.

Website(Japanese): http://www.chibo.com/shop/shop_detail.php

Monday, February 25, 2008



(In the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center)

We arrived at Doraku by following the board walk, up through the Waikiki Beach Walk, and out onto the sidewalk on Kalakaua. We were looking for a place to dance—Zanzabar (recommended by a concierge)—and, fortunately, followed a youthful crowd and ended up at Doraku’s instead.

Doraku Sushi features innovative Asian fusion cuisine/ sushi for lunch and dinner along with hand selected sakes from various regions in Japan, but on every other Saturday night Kevin Aoki's restaurant and bar turns into a night club featuring hip hop and contemporary dance tunes for a great time after all the other establishments in the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center close down. It looks like this will be a popular feature of Doraku’s, which opened January 2008 in the newly renovated Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center.

Doraku’s is cozy, with Japanese style booth seating as well as sushi bar and outdoors seating. Didn’t get to try the food, but the dancing was fun.

Thanks Kevin!

Cost: $10 per head cover charge.

Do’s and don’ts on this date: Call ahead to see if there will be dancing. Don’t worry about the blue cat stamp still on your hand for the next 24 hours. It eventually washes off. (Just worry if you can’t remember where you got it!)

TAPA BAR (At Hilton Hawaiian Village)


(At Hilton Hawaiian Village)

Never would have gone there if it weren’t for out-of-town (former Hawaii residents) who were staying there. But the Hilton Hawaiian Village is a fun place to hang out—complete with shops, art galleries, great dining, and even fire works (on Friday nights). The Tapa Bar, in particular, is a relaxing place to lounge with friends and listen to music by local musicians.

David and Kamuela were playing a pertinent song the night we visited the Tapa Bar called, “She’s Grumpy and It’s My Fault.” Given that Valentine’s Day had just passed, it was easy to spot which guys in the audience had screwed up—the ones sitting next to the girls pointing at them.

From the Tapa Bar, it’s a quick walk out of the Hilton Hawaiian Resort and onto the beach, where a board walk takes you over the sands, past the Hale Koa Hotel, towards the new Waikiki Beach Walk and alongside Waikiki hotels and restaurants.

Cost of date: Pizza split with numerous friends and one Mai Tai ($8.00 each) —not bad

Do’s and Don’ts on this date: Do kick your shoes off and take a walk on the beach. Don’t climb the fences or life guard stands.



Mariner’s Ridge Hike is a quick, yet moderate to steep hike. You drive half way up the mountain through Mariner’s Ridge (in Hawaii Kai) residential community on Kaluanui Road, which ends at a cul-de-sac and the trail head. Although a sign at the trail head sign warns hikers to keep out, the trail is marked with signs telling hikers which way to go.

The view from the top is awesome, showing the south-east coast of Oahu, from Kaneohe to Makapuu, yet close enough to the coastline to see the variegated green and blue waters off of Waiamanalo. The steep and jagged Ko’olau Mountain Range is also a stunning view at the end of this hike.

This hike takes about one and a half hours or less, depending on your cadence.

Cost of date: FREE

Do’s and Don’ts on this date: Do take some water. Hike on a week day if possible, as this hike is a more popular one. Don’t fret about the heat when you start trekking up through open terrain; there are enough trees—and possibly rain—at the top to cool you down.

Friday, February 15, 2008


(At The Aloha Tower Marketplace)

Chai's Island Bistro is one of our favorite places to go for Valentine's Day dinner because Chai himself makes it so special—with four course gourmet meals and wine pairings and his personal attention to his guests.

Valentine’s Day is one of Chai's Bistro's busiest nights, with two seatings, one at 5:30 p.m.; the other at 8 p.m., and a featured musician. In the past, it's been the Cazimero Brothers among others. This year, jazz diva Melveen Leed was featured.

We chose to have a cozy and romantic (not) Valentine's Day with two other couples. Parking was an issue and we arrived late, but everyone relaxed after the first drink and the pupus arrived. From then on, the food was impressive, from Almond Crusted Fresh Oyster with Crab Meat Bernaise Sauce to Tenderloin Wellington with Baked Foie Gras Mushroom Puff and Pan Seared Fresh Chilean Seabass. We also enjoyed the wine pairings- Domaine Chandon "Riche" first, followed by choices of White Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Shiraz.

The desert was as delectable as usual— Heart Shaped White Chocolate Amore Truffle with Fresh Raspberry Guava Puree; along with Dark Chocolate Mocha Pot de Crème with Chocolate Truffle Pop accented with fresh berries.

One thing I missed that was special in year's past, was the rose the hosts gave to the women and soap leis at the table for each couple.

Cost: $69 per head, plus drinks.

Do's and don'ts on this date: Don't sit right under the speaker (we love Melveen, but couldn't hear each other at our table). Do walk around the outskirts of Aloha Tower Marketplace dockside because you'll run into other happenings---like Kapena's CD release party at Gordon Biersch.

Full Menu: http://www.chaisislandbistro.com/events.html
Chai's Website: http://www.chaisislandbistro.com/home.html



On Waialae Avenue, across the street from City Mill, at the bottom of Saint Louis Heights in Kaimuki.

Unpretentious, with a casual ambiance, the Fat Greek is a place to go when you don't want to worry about a dress code and want to eat something good—and healthy. The menu is full of light fare---like hummus, lamb, and traditional salads. For our group of 14, the pupu platters which, included baba ganoush, hummus, clams, Greek salad, pita bread, and feta cheese were perfect. We brought our own wine and each couple selected their own entrée and paid for it at the counter—simple!

Owner, Francois, greeting people and talking with friends at the table adds a European flavor to the Fat Greek, inviting you to eat slowly and enjoy conversation. We'd like to suggest to him that he add some music in the background.



Pupu platter $36.00 each (2 for 14 people)

Shawarma $10.00
Souvlaki $10.00

Do's and Don'ts on this date: Don't park in the City Mill parking lot after hours or you'll have to move your car in the middle of dinner. If it's raining, suggest everyone at your table get up and move it so the awning doesn't drip on your head. Hmmmm…maybe we should also suggest to Francois that he extend the awnings…


(At the Ala Moana Hotel)

If you're into people watching and dancing, Rumours still holds a charm regardless of your age. Most people are just there to have fun—especially on '80's night, when the deejay pumps in 80's chart toppers. Although roving eyes and the number of men and women in clusters suggests that there could be some serious hunting going on.

Rumours wouldn't be the same without the entertainment value provided by the cages, in which anyone is invited to dance. And just about anyone who's had too

much to drink does.

A great stop for some exercise and fun—especially if you get there before the 11 p.m. crowd that formed a block long line at the door.


Cover charge $7.00

Beer $7.00

Do's and Don'ts on this date: If you're there for the hunt, don't plan to meet your perfect mate in the cage!!! Do park at Ala Moana Center; the Ala Moana Hotel, under new management, has jacked up their parking prices.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


The Ka’iwi Coast walk in East Honolulu to Pele’s Chair is quick and easy, and full of rewards. Named for the protruding rock that resembles a chair that the Volcano Goddess—Pele—could have sat in, the walk is a detour from the more popular walk to the Makapu'u lighthouse, where whales and WWII bunkers can be seen. By contrast, the walk to Pele’s Chair ends at a small beach and a swimming hole protected by reef.

Cost: FREE

Do’s and Don’ts on this date: Plan to get wet and relax!!! Take a picnic lunch.

The Lost Episode: http://www.lostvirtualtour.com/lost/filming_locations/kaiwicoast/index.html

Save Ka'iwi Coast: http://www.hawaiikaihui.org

Tuesday, February 5, 2008



Need something to uplift you or help you regain peace of mind? The Contemporary Art Museum in Makiki Heights can help you out. Walk on a path through a meandering garden of tropical plants.

Or sit in David Hockney's L'Enfant et les Sortil ges (The Child and the Enchantment), installed in the Milton Cades Pavilion. On the day of our visit, aerial beach and water scenes that were part of On the Beach: Photographs by Richard Misrach were on display.

The restaurant offers light fare and the Art Shop is the best place to find fun and unique gifts that anyone can appreciate. (Maybe!)


Entry fee: $5.00 or $45 annual membership for you and a guest

Restaurant: Sweet & Sour Soup $3.50, Grilled Veggies on focaccia $10.50 (we split one) and Freshly-Squeezed Lemonade $3.50

Do's and Don'ts on this date: As long as you're up in Makiki Heights, take a drive around Tantalus and Round Top for the most exquisite scenic views of Honolulu, and/or do a Tantalus Hike.

The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu

Café Menu

Monday, January 14, 2008



In East Honolulu, the Kuliouou Ridge Hike is a local favorite. In minutes you step from the residential streets of Aina Haina onto tree covered paths that zig zag to the top of the Koolaus. On the way up, you cover varied terrain, from pine forests to
multi-colored hills. The top is considered pristine forest, and the vegetation changes to tropical flora and Ohia trees. The ridge line offers spectacular views around the southeast end of Oahu, from Kaneohe all the way to Waikiki.

This hike takes all of three hours at a leisurely pace—and is guaranteed to take away your worries (especially if you're wearing a Trouble Hook...see Chinatown blog entry).

Cost: FREE

Do's and Don'ts on this date: Hike this ridge on a hot day, a
s foliage and elevation make it a cooler trek than some others.


Tequila…tequila…to kill ya! What more can I say about Señor Frogs? If you want to go to a happening party, Señor Frogs is the place. From the "party starter" deejay to the tequila shot-pouring dinosaur, Señor Frogs is non-stop activity. And if the drink, dance, and music don't appeal to you, you might get a laugh from the décor and sayings that speak to almost anyone.

This date comes on the heels of a hike up Kuliouou Ridge and ends with a beach walk. Why not? Mr. Frogs is right next to the newly
renovated Waikiki Beach Walk.

Cost: $3 Jello shooters, Tong Margarita $12 each, most pupus about $12

Do's and Don'ts on this date: Go before 10 p.m. to avoid the $10 cover charge and long lines.