Hard Rock Café offers a legendary experience that combines priceless music memorabilia and tasty American food for a rockin’ good time.
Envision yourself in the heart of Waikiki, cocktail in hand, while the sun begins to set over the city as you take your seat next to Elton John and prepare to indulge in a delicious meal.
It may seem a little surreal, but it is all part of the Hard Rock Café experience.
You may not be able to dine with Elton John himself, but in addition to a suit worn by him and another by Johnny Cash, other pieces of pop culture from legendary musicians line the restaurant’s walls.
“All the memorabilia that you see is from artists that have either performed in Hawai’i or are from Hawai’i,” says sales and marketing manager Jill Gilboy.
It’s a feature that contributes to the rock ‘n’ roll vibe that begins the moment you walk through the restaurant’s doors.
Rock music greets you at the entrance and continues to play while you walk through the first floor’s Rock Shop.
As you make your way up the stairs to the second floor dining room, take a moment to admire the ceiling. There, you’ll notice an impressive guitar wave that boasts 250 guitars including two ‘ukulele and one banjo.
“There’s nothing like this at any other location in the world,” says Gilboy, who elaborates that it was specifically designed for Hard Rock’s Honolulu location.
To the left is the Blue Wave Bar, aptly named as its design takes on the shape of wave and illuminates brightly blue at night.
Gilboy recommends trying the Hurricane Glass ($9.50) or the Mango Berry Cooler ($4), both of which are popular with customers.
The restaurant also offers happy hour specials twice daily from 3 to 7 p.m. and again from 9 p.m. to closing, except Fridays and Saturdays
when it begins at 10 p.m. During this time, selected beers are only $4, premium selected cocktails are $5 and house wine is $6.
Recently, the restaurant welcomed new executive chef Rey Baysa who will be unveiling a new menu in February.
Favorites such as the restaurant’s selection of burgers, ribs and steak items will still be available, but be on the lookout for higher-end items as well.
Two favorites will still be available: the Three Fresh Fish Taco ($16) and Legendary Surf Burger ($16.95).
The taco is made with fish caught locally, and Gilboy says it is one of the most popular items. It comes with two 6-inch warmed flour tortillas and is served with grilled seasoned fish, shredded cabbage, tortilla chips, nacho beans, Jack and cheddar cheese, pico de gallo, fresh lime and is drizzled with the restaurant’s guacamole chipotle ranch sauce.
The Legendary Surf Burger features 10 ounces of USDA choice-certified Angus beef, with blue cheese crumbles, seasoned bacon, BBQ sauce and grilled pineapple chunks, and is served on a toasted Hawaiian sweet roll. It is served with a side of furikake fries. For each burger sold, $1 benefits AccessSurf, a local organization.
While you wait for your food to arrive, immerse yourself further into the Hard Rock experience by catching live rock music which takes place daily from 5 to 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. to closing.
If you don’t happen to stop by during those times, the restaurant also has 11 TVs upstairs that play music videos from the past, and some from the present, to keep you in a rockin’ mood.