About a week ago I received an e-vite in my inbox that caught me by surprise. It was for a party at Hula Grill Waikiki to celebrate their 9th birthday. For us O’ahu residents getting to Waikiki is a bit of a drag, and I had not been to Hula Grill in a while. I was also very curious to find out how I had ended up on their invitation list, so I was doubly happy to accept and, in turn, invited my friend Kim to join me. I guess you have figured out by now that Kim is one of my food buddies.
I am really happy I chose to deal with the Waikiki traffic last Thursday afternoon, as the Hula Grill’s birthday celebration was really a fun party, with scrumptious pupus (appetizers, bite-size food), lots of friendly people, and lovely live music by Henry Kapono, one of Hawai’i’s most beloved performers.
Extra kudos go to Hula Grill who also used this occasion as a way to do a good deed: all the bar proceeds from the party were donated to benefit Paepae o He’eia, an organization dedicated to the caring for the He’eia Fishpond in Kaneohe, in partnership with Kamehameha Schools, who are the landowners.
I had my camera with me, of course, so I took photos of some of the delicious food. I did not manage to photograph everything as the food was going as fast as it was laid out. I did not try everything either, as it was quite an abundant display, but I really enjoyed what I did have: the vegetable tempura (an all time favorite), the lobster salad roll, the maple candied bacon (OMD, that was so good), the mini quiches and the quinoa salad. After all, I did need to eat something to be able to enjoy my Mai Tai without getting tipsy!
This is not a review per se, just a sharing of a celebration to get your mouths watering. I have only been to Hula Grill BB (before blog) and it is on my list to go and enjoy a regular meal again, camera and assorted equipment in hand, and then post about it here.
And here I need to give credit where credit is due. The smart BB (before blog) and AB (after blog) expressions are not my own. I have adopted them from the amazing lady who came up with them: Lorraine Elliott, who is Australia’s most famous and most read food & travel blogger with her wonderful Not Quite Nigella blog.
Credit sidebar aside, let me say that, along with Duke’s, Hula Grill – located inside the Outrigger Waikiki Hotel – the Hula Grill is one of the classic Waikiki dining experiences.
And after all the lovely food, below are a couple of pics of people: Robert McConnell, GM of the Outrigger Waikiki, with the lovely greeter Mata. Further below is Hawai’i’s own Henry Kapono, who is also one of my favorite Hawaiian musicians.
Oops, I almost forgot! All my wild guessing as to how I had gotten invited to the party turned out to be completely off track. It happens that one of my hu-moms (human mommy) of the wonderful dogs I photographed for a calendar project earlier in the year is also the Marketing Coordinator and Beverage Manager at Hula Grill Waikiki. It was wonderful to see you again, Lindsay. I wish Rusty boy could have been there, too! Thank you again for inviting me.
2335 Kalakaua Ave. #203 (inside the Outrigger Waikiki) – Honolulu, Hi 96815
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This article was originally published on June 11, 2013 in my Food Journey blog, which is now integrated into this one.