First Look: The Hideout at The Laylow
Rooftop drinks, food and music offer a tempting oasis in Waikīkī.
The happy hour menu consists of flatbreads, a green papaya salad and various cocktail specials.
Photos: Michele Aucello
Fortunately for us, rooftop bars are the new black. Chic little bar and restaurant The Hideout is the most recent open-air eatery in Waikīkī. It appeals to locals as well as visitors.
The Laylow hotel is the newest addition to Marriott’s Autograph Collection. The décor is meant to suggest a low-key oasis in the middle of town. This boutique hotel is an easy destination for locals who hesitate to venture into Waikīkī. Valet parking, available on Kūhiō Avenue, is free for three hours with validation. Head up the escalator to the lobby and around the corner to The Hideout. On a recent Friday night, we walked in without a reservation and, after a moment’s wait at the bar, were ushered to a table. Cocktails run $14 to $17 and are in line with other craft cocktails around town, tweaking old favorites using fresh local ingredients. The No. 115 gets rave reviews from patrons—Pau Maui vodka, fruit juice, mango and boba. The Mai Taime begins with Old Lahaina Silver, Myers’ dark, lime orgeat, and adds Tiki Bitters and lilikoʻi foam. We settled on the Good Morning Waikīkī: prosecco with Pau Maui vodka, lemongrass and yuzu mint.
The Hideout features live music nightly from 7 to 10 p.m. and DJs on Friday and Saturday nights. The sandy-bottom fire pits in each corner looked inviting. They can be reserved for groups but, if they’re not booked for the night, guests are welcome to gather around them.
Our second visit was for a midweek pau hana, and we found plenty of seating at both the bar and in the restaurants. The happy hour menu consists of four flatbreads for $9 instead of $16, and several beer, wine and liquor specials. We asked for a refreshing cocktail with Old Lahaina Silver Rum as a base, and bartender Seth came through with a foam-topped pineapple cranberry concoction. We tried the green papaya salad with spicy chicken, peanuts and nuoc cham, a beautiful dish with a nice bed of greens underneath. We ordered it as an afterthought, but it turned out to be our favorite dish. It was hearty and ample for two to share.
Next up was the Tiki flatbread with sweet pineapple, kālua pork, macadamia nuts, goat cheese and a coconut crema sauce. We preferred this to the Korean flatbread with bulgogi, kim chee and pickled chili aioli. The guest next to us inhaled his Italian flatbread.
The dinner menu includes local fish, wagyu beef burgers, rice bowls, short ribs, as well as salads and hearty appetizers. We were told the must-have pūpū was the crispy pork belly with mac nuts and Brussels sprouts. The bartender tried to talk me into the chef’s signature panna cotta for dessert, served in a glass bowl with mango boba and an edible flower. The guava croissant/doughnut bread pudding, however, was impossible to ignore. It came with coconut gelato and a Kona coffee maple syrup. Unassuming, visually, but truly decadent.
Because the Hideout is situated on the mauka side of the hotel, it’s shady and cooler in the afternoon. And, because there is no high-rise directly facing it across the street, it has an open-air feel not found in other rooftops spots around town. The noise from Kūhiō wasn’t a problem at all—in fact, we hardly noticed it. Take a quick peek at the pool area (submerged chaise lounges!), cute gift shop and breakfast menu. You might decide The Laylow is a great spot for a summer staycation, too.
The Hideout at The Laylow, 2299 Kūhiō Ave., 922-6600, laylowwaikiki.com