Say Aloha to the eatery that everyone’s trying to book for its dangerously good tasting menu and hidden basement bar.
The bright spot is inspired by the early 80’s “pop up” parties that Hawaiian uncles used to throw after a day of sailing. Traditionally, a small-scale, informal “lūʻau” would feature grilled foods, music, ice-cold beers and a live band for anyone to enjoy. A small fee would be charged purely to cover the costs, allowing them to uphold what became a way of life. While Liholiho Yacht Club isn’t on a yacht or even near a marina, the concept has been carried through with a welcoming finesse that’s worth the 3-month wait.
Eat like Prince Kuhio at an Ohana Table
“Ohana” meaning family, is exactly the appetite size you’ll need to bring to this feast. You can expect Chef Ravi Kapur to serve up 10-12 Mmm-evoking, shareable dishes. The highlights include tuna poke, sesame oil, radish and nori cracker or duck liver toast, jalapeno with pickled pineapple. The meal will cost around $62 per person (excluding gratuity and drinks), with no less than 8 and no more than 12 guests. There are only two Ohana tables available which you’ll need to book 90 days in advance, so keep an ear to the ground.
Louie’s Gen-Gen cocktail room
While this highly Instagrammable spot, with brick walls, comfy turquoise sofas and hot pink sunsets, is below the main dining room, it has a completely different identity. By day it’s a bright brunch spot, and a vibey, boozy cocktail bar by night. You could sip on a “Last Mango in Paris” while you wait for a table or settle in and order a waffled grill cheese and local Dungeness crab, served with nori chips, while the DJ spins away the night.
As with the original parties, this trendy spot is hugely popular-with a 3-week reservation waiting list for a dinner table, it’s best to plan ahead. If you’re not the type to know what you’ll be in the mood for in a month’s time, then arrive at 4:30 just before opening time to secure a spot at one of the bars.
Featured image by Liholiho Yacht Club