For American-Fusion Fare That’s Done Right, Head to Tiki’s Grill and Bar
(Sponsored) Its tropical theme may be catered to visitors, but the Waikīkī restaurant’s delicious dishes will satisfy kama‘āina and out-of-towners alike.
On a sunny summer day like the ones we’ve been having, nothing beats a breezy patio lunch with a front-row view of Waikīkī Beach. And when you’re in the mood for some solid, better-than-bar food with a side of tourist watching (and, if it’s that kind of day, a pint of ice-cold Modelo), few spots are better than Tiki’s Grill and Bar.
Located on the edge of the Waikīkī Strip, on Aston Waikīkī Beach Hotel’s second floor, this indoor/outdoor dining spot’s flashy tropical theme might be catered to visitors, but whether you’re kama‘āina or just here a few days to soak in the Hawaiian sun, one visit and you’ll realize that Tiki’s American-fusion fare, which uses locally sourced ingredients, is food done right. Here are a few reasons to pay this award-winning restaurant a visit this summer.
Volcano Chicken Wings
It’s hard to go wrong with a plate of deep-fried wings. Tossed with the restaurant’s spicy Volcano sauce and served with sides of celery sticks and bleu cheese dressing, and you’ve got a classic dish with some extra fiery flavor. If you even mildly enjoy spice, don’t be deterred by this dish’s explosive name: I found the sauce to be quite mild. My mother, on the other hand, would be reaching for water at first bite.
Free Valet Parking
Let’s face it, parking in Waikīkī can be straight-up painful, and it’s something that keeps many of us locals away. Tiki’s offers free—valet!—parking that, with validation from the restaurant, gets you three free blissful hours of eating, chatting and gazing serenely at the blue Pacific Ocean. The hotel valet even offers a convenient service: about 10 minutes before you’re ready to leave, you can scan the QR code on your ticket and your car will be waiting for you at the porte cochère when you head down. Perfect if you’re in a rush, love efficiency or simply hate waiting.
Tiki’s coconut shrimp is fried crisp and golden. The result is a crunchy—not stringy or chewy, as coconut flakes can be if not fried appropriately—bite that follows with a delicately soft shrimp. The five pieces are served in a shallow pool of Thai-style sweet chile sauce (not unlike Mae Ploy), whose acidity adds a nice balance to the dish. A great starter to munch on while you pick your entrée.
Daily Happy Hour
Bottoms up: From 3 to 5 p.m. every day, Tiki’s celebrates pau hana with $6 pūpū and $1 off select drinks. Stay a bit after and you’ll be treated to some smooth live local music, offered nightly from 5 to 10 p.m.
Guava-Glazed Baby Back Ribs
If your group is four or more, consider getting this appetizer, which features a full rack of baby back ribs glazed with sweet barbecue sauce. The accompanying fries, which are unique—kind of a hybrid between homestyle fries and thick-cut potato chips—were crunchy, salty and positively addicting, and I found myself reaching for them compulsively.
Tiki’s Grill and Bar is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to midnight daily. For more information, visit tikisbarandgrill.com.