Hale ‘Aina Happenings: Here’s What’s New With Hawai‘i Restaurants in January 2019

Throwback cocktails with a view, craft beer in Kailua, local chickpeas and a $5 burger.

Maui Brewing Co. Opens Second O‘ahu Location

Imperial Hemp Brown, brewed exclusively for the Kailua location of Maui Brewing Co.
Photo: Courtesy of Maui Brewing Co.


Earlier this month, Maui Brewing Co. opened a restaurant in Kailua—its second on O‘ahu and fourth in the state. Fans of the Waikīkī location will be pleased to find all of the same signature craft brews at this new spot—some at cheaper prices—along with the exclusive Imperial Hemp Brown and some new cocktails, such as the Cold Brew Martini (Kōloa coffee rum, Hawaiian vanilla cold brew, MBC’s Coconut Hiwa porter and Baileys, $10.50), Carpe Cruz Em (gin, green tea syrup and honey with a sugar rim, $10.50) and Reset Button (vodka and pinot noir mixed with raspberry-ginger jam and lemon essence, $12.50). There’s also a full menu of starters, salads, pizzas, burgers, big plates and desserts. Located in the new Lau Hala Shops complex, it joins the new Goen Dining + Bar and Down to Earth. Come in for twice-daily happy hours (3:30 to 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 to 10:30 p.m.) for $2 off beer, $3 off select cocktails, $10 pizzas and 50 percent off certain appetizers.

573 Kailua Road, Suite 105, Kailua, open 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily, (808) 581-BREW (2739), mbcrestaurants.com/kailua                                                         


SEE ALSO: Staying Crafty: How Maui Brewing Co. Expands its Reach While Staying Local 



Merriman’s $5 Restaurant Week Burger Now Available During Happy Hour

The Big Island grass-fed cheeseburger comes with a house-baked bun, caramelized onions, vine-ripened tomatoes and cheddar cheese. Fries are not included in the happy hour deal.
Photo: Courtesy of Merriman’s Honolulu


During Restaurant Week last November, Merriman’s Honolulu sold 1,450 burgers in 10 days. It’s not surprising, considering the Big Island grass-fed burger—with a house-baked bun, caramelized onions, tomato and cheese—was sold for only $5, rather than the usual $14. Now guests can get that same deal every day during happy hour (3 to 5 p.m.) at the bar or the Auahi Street lānai, along with 25 percent off all beverages and wines under $200.

1108 Auahi St., (808) 215-0022, merrimanshawaii.com/honolulu


SEE ALSO: 35th Hale ‘Aina Winner: Peter Merriman is Hawai‘i’s Restaurateur of the Year



Chef Mavro’s Winter Menu Features Locally Grown Chickpeas

Chef Mavro
Photo: Courtesy of Chef Mavro


Did you know UH’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources has been growing chickpeas in Hawai‘i for the past few years? The sustainable crop is now featured on Chef Mavro’s latest menu in the form of socca (chickpea pancake), in a dish with heart of palm, pa‘i‘ai, ali‘i mushroom, watercress and more. Other new dishes include poached Forelle pears with Waialua chocolate, tarragon and Périgord truffles; cocoa-nib-crusted foie gras with persimmon, pomegranate gelée and toasted brioche; and Elysian Fields lamb with vadouvan curry, date and coconut chutneys, roasted parsnips and cilantro. Dishes are available as part of four-, five- and nine-course menus only, but they’re worth it—Chef Mavro was a finalist for Best Tasting Menu in this year’s Hale ‘Aina Awards.

1969 S. King St., (808) 944-4714, chefmavro.com


SEE ALSO: Casual Bistro Meets Fine Dining at Merriman’s First O‘ahu Location



New Old Cocktails at Top of Waikīkī

Waikīkī’s revolving restaurant recently debuted eight throwback cocktails, crafted by director of mixology Jen Ackrill, to pay homage to the classics while updating them with modern twists. There’s the Gummy Bear Martini ($15), based on a White Gummy Bear but using lychee instead of raspberry; Murphy’s Mule ($15), adding Jagermeister to a Jameson and ginger; the Fitzgerald in the Lineup ($15), which is a Tom Collins with lemon and bitters; and more. The restaurant was a finalist in our Most Romantic category in this year’s Hale ‘Aina Awards, so if you’re looking to impress your date this Valentine’s Day with your drink knowledge, study the menu in advance.

2270 Kalākaua Ave., 18th Floor, (808) 923-3877, topofwaikiki.com