View for a Thrill
Want to set the mood with a stunning view of Waikiki Beach? Check out these restaurants with views that will take your breath away.
Many culinary masters have expressed that we eat with our eyes before anything else. The presentation, ambiance and atmosphere of where we enjoy a meal all contribute to the overall dining experience. When dining in Waikiki, we are at a uniquely privileged advantage when it comes to visual pleasure. With world-renowned Waikiki beach as the pathway of paradise, it is no wonder this stretch of sand and sea has grown from a small beach town to one of the most notable getaways throughout the world. Whether we are on the outskirts of Waikiki to the east or west or find ourselves in the pulsating tourist center, there is always a surreal view to behold, many of which we are able to enjoy while dining on a standout meal.
d.k Steak House
Ten years ago, owner and chef D.K. Kodama and his team took advantage of a location opportunity, which has been paying off wildly, mostly for the guests who get to dine in this unique paradise steakhouse. A lover of dry-aged steak, Kodama traveled to some of the finest dry-aged steakhouses in both New York and Chicago to gain a complete culinary education of dry-aged steak preparation. Kodama and staff have grown d.k Steak House into one of the premier steakhouses in the entire state.
Although the steak dishes are probably enough to win a diner over, what puts d.k Steak House over the top has to be the view. Three floors above Kalakaua Avenue, d.k Steak House provides unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean ahead.
“Combine the food, conversation and atmosphere, and your dining experience can be top notch. During the winter months … I think we have the prettiest sunset. The way the sky and clouds turn scarlet and purple puts you in a great mood,” says general manager Ivy Nagayama.
Sarento’s at the Top of the Ilikai
The 30th floor of the historic Ilikai Hotel—where Sarento’s is located—has been a Honolulu hot spot for decades. Elvis would rent out the entire floor after concerts back in the 60s and 70s. Mickey Mantle loved to throw huge parties at the scenic venue. The original Hawaii Five-O cast and private investigator Thomas Magnum (Tom Selleck) would mix it up in the evenings, where, from the floor-to-ceiling glass window view, Honolulu seems as still as the ocean below. For the past 20 years, Sarento’s has established itself as a fine dining experience rich in character and history. Recently chef Paul Feng has made his impact on the menu, offering guests a wide selection of comfort favorites along with many modernized choices that are growing rapidly in popularity. One of Feng’s favorites is Sarento’s Pan Seared Opah prepared in a healthier fashion with braised kale, macadamia nut romesco, grilled fennel and crispy chickpeas.
Top of Waikiki
Top of Waikiki is a revolving, pedestal of a restaurant located on the top floor of the Waikiki Business Plaza. Constructed in three tiers, the dining room makes a complete 360-degree revolution each hour, guaranteeing guests an opportunity to see all of Waikiki and beyond.
“We like to think of our set up as an extension of the experience as far as what we try to present in great food, great service and a phenomenal view,” says general manager Jay Sakai.
A restaurant with a view would merely be just a view if not for incredible taste. And, Top of Waikiki is certainly more than just their view. Chef Lance Kosaka has decades of culinary experience gaining knowledge from some of Hawai’i’s finest chefs, including Alan Wong. Since being with Top of Waikiki, Kosaka has re-conceptualized the entire menu, adding more local ingredients and flavor into his dishes.
A few popular menu favorites to enjoy along with your revolving view are the Yukari and Bubu Arare Crusted Onaga and the apple-curry glazed Kurabuto Pork Chop served with local mango chutney.
Walking into Hula Grill is like taking a step into old Hawai’i. Designed in classic plantation home fashion with wood paneling and white moldings, Hula Grill nests just above Waikiki Beach on the second story of the Outrigger Waikiki Hotel. The library has a cozy, intimate feel where couples or smaller parties can get lost in private conversation. The Plantation Bar is livelier, with live music and hula performances that can be seen from any bar section seat.
“A lot of elements bring old Hawai’i to life here. Our decorations and paintings give the feeling as if you’re in someone’s home,” says general manager Dianne Vicheinrut.
No matter where you dine, each dining room table has a picture perfect view of Waikiki Beach with swaying palm trees and the ocean beyond.”
With a traditional Hawai’i ambiance, the menu includes a Hawai’i regional theme with many ingredients from around the islands featured. Most notably, the Localicious salad is mixed entirely with ingredients from Maui, O’ahu and the Big Island.