Hau Tree: Same(ish) Name, New Chef, Better Bites
(Sponsored) The longtime Waikīkī restaurant has ditched the “lānai” and gained James Beard-nominated chef Chris Kajioka.
Tucked away on Kalākaua Avenue, away from the hustle-y, bustle-y buzz of the Waikīkī Strip, the New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel was always just off the radar for most of us. Now, with a major facelift, a modern tropical vibe and—best of all—a revamped restaurant concept, the newly rebranded Kaimana Beach Hotel might just be our new staycation goals.
Hau Tree may have dropped the “lānai” in its name, but don’t worry—Kaimana Beach’s in-house restaurant is still in the same breezy beachfront spot with a front-row view of the ocean. As with the rest of the hotel, the restaurant’s look was given an update. Additionally, and more importantly, the menu has been overhauled and elevated with the culinary finesse possessed by James Beard Award-nominated chef Chris Kajioka, most known for the inventive Senia in Chinatown, and his chef de cuisine, Alan Takasaki of the former Le Bistro in Hawai‘i Kai.
Kaimana Beach Hotel describes the new Hau Tree’s menu as casual and beach-centric. For dinner, “beach-centric” means fresh ingredients, plenty of seafood and bright dishes that don’t feel weighty, such as Kahuku corn salad, ginger-scallion steamed mahi and seared scallops with pickled grapes and butternut squash. At brunch, it’s much the same, with fish dishes replaced by, obviously, expected breakfast options such as eggs Benedict (one of the old Hau Tree Lānai’s most popular early-morning eats), lemon-ricotta pancakes and avocado toast made with grilled semolina bread and tomato jam.
Hau Tree currently serves brunch (10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday through Sunday) and dinner (5 p.m. to 9 p.m. nightly). For more information or to make reservations, visit kaimana.com. For updates, follow @thehautree on Instagram.