Four Reasons to Head to Waikiki

Waikiki April2014
Photo courtesy of Top of Waikiki
Lobster, one of the kamaaina specials at Top of Waikiki

– A chocolate dinner at Hula Grill brings together Madre Chocolate, Big Island Brewhaus and Maui Wine. Graze at tasting stations featuring pan-seared scallops with lemon hibiscus chocolate curd; kampachi with roasted cacao nibs and pink peppercorns; pork belly on sunchoke puree and chipotle allspice chocolate; cardamom chocolate-braised short ribs. Big Island Brewhaus will be pouring its Red Sea of Cacao; Tall, Dark and Mandarin Stout, and others.
$65, Wednesday April 9 at 6 and 7:30 p.m., tickets at

– Remember how fun a revolving restaurant high above town can be? No? Then head to Top of Waikiki, which, for the month of April, is offering a kamaaina special: a grilled New York steak with sautéed mushrooms, onions and a soy shallot butter OR a steamed Maine lobster with drawn butter and veggies for $29. The lobster normally goes for $65, so I'd probably pick that. Another reason to go, all year long: the late night happy hour, which runs from 9 to 11 p.m. and offers specialty cocktails for $7.95 and appetizers such as Korean-style poke for $8.
2270 Kalakaua Ave., 923-3877,

– Not to be outdone, Japengo at the Hyatt also offers a kamaaina and military special—a four-course tasting menu ($49) by Jon Matsubara, who recently took over the kitchen. The highlights: chilled hamachi and ikura with shaved radish and jalapeño, an ocean cappuccino with lobster in a kaffir and lemongrass broth, and a Waialua Estate flourless chocolate bar with fior di latte gelato.
2424 Kalakaua Ave., 237-6180,

Mac 24/7 has one-upped its insanely large pancakes with dinner buffet. Yes, both buffets offer pancakes, but, no, they're not quite as large as Mac 24/7's famous pancakes big enough for a family of giants. The dinner buffet ($32.95), offered Friday and Saturday nights, features prime rib, seven-cheese mac 'n' cheese, and, of course, a pancake station.
At Hilton Waikiki Beach, 2500 Kuhio Ave., 921-5564,