Ex­otic cock­tails and quirky dé­cor make th­ese unique wa­ter­ing holes worth a visit.

Waikiki Magazine - - IDINE - By Chris Fleck

Pos­si­bly one the most ap­pro­pri­ate words to de­scribe the tiki bar at­mos­phere—whether in its in­fancy af­ter WWII or here and now in 2012—is care­free. Th­ese bars were cre­ated and de­signed as that off-the-beach, palm-thatched roof oa­sis where the drinks pour flu­idly and mix per­fectly with a trop­i­cal breeze ris­ing off the shore break.

Lately it seems tiki bars are be­com­ing a fad­ing breed, but not to fret, the Tiki cul­ture still has its fol­low­ing. Although slim, tiki lo­ca­tions in Waikiki are rep­re­sented in style.

Arnold’s Beach Bar & Grill (339 Saratoga Road, 808-924-6887) is just a short jaunt from Fort DeRussy Beach Park. An open-air dive bar decked with au­then­tic tiki dé­cor, Arnold’s de­liv­ers all that a tiki bar can and should of­fer.

“We get a big mix of peo­ple from young, old, hip­sters and surfers. Our hot dogs al­ways taste good when you’ve had too much and the pop­corn makes you drink more,” says Arnold’s bar­tender Kim Maxwell.

“Some­times I feel like we’re the last real tiki bar.”

Aside from their $2 mugs of beer served all day and their sig­na­ture Mai Tai, Arnold’s of­fers from-scratch Bloody Marys that are ap­par­ently not to be missed. A once rougharound-the-edges wa­ter­ing hole, Arnold’s has since ren­o­vated its ap­pear­ance and crowd tremen­dously. They are open daily from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. and livin’ up each af­ter­noon with live mu­sic from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Wailana Cock­tail Lounge (1860 Ala Moana Blvd., 808-955-1764), at­tached con­ve­niently to their cof­fee house has more of a se­cluded at­mos­phere, but does not lack in its ap­pre­ci­a­tion of old Hawai­iana as carved Tiki stat­ues and surf­boards line the walls. The dim light­ing and com­fort­able seat­ing makes it easy to stretch your legs, get com­fort­able and en­joy a drink or pupu (ap­pe­tizer)dish.

“Peo­ple come here specif­i­cally for our Mai Tai, I’ve had cus­tomers say ours out­does any at some of the high-end places,” says bar­tender Curt Sako.

If munchies are on your mind, Wailana has a hearty pupu menu, which in­cludes Chicken Wings ($4.95), Teriyaki Sticks (two for $4.50) and New York Steak served pupu-style ($8.25). Why not im­press or em­bar­rass your­self at Wailana as they of­fer karaoke nightly.

For more of a bustling am­biance in­spired by the gen­uine ar­ti­cle, Tiki’s Grill & Bar (2570 Kalakaua Ave., 808-923-8454) on the sec­ond floor of the As­ton Waikiki Beach Ho­tel is a col­or­ful de­pic­tion of the au­then­tic tiki bar. Over­look­ing Waikiki Beach and the Pa­cific Ocean be­yond, it’s hard to beat a sun­set view or in­stant south shore surf report from Tiki’s Grill & Bar. A full menu is avail­able for lunch and din­ner and they have a boat­load of sig­na­ture drinks for you to me­an­der through.

“Our 1944 Mai Tai is a huge success,” says Tiki Grill & Bar man­ager Sammi Sovde.

This trop­i­cal sta­ple drink is a mix­ture of light rum, dark rum, or­ange cu­ra­cao with fresh juice topped with a pas­sion fruit foam, which may have Mai Tai cre­ators Trader Vic and Don the Beach­comber beam­ing with ap­proval. Ad­di­tion­ally, Tiki’s has live mu­sic nightly start­ing at 5 p.m.

The bAr AT ArnOLd’s

ArnOLd’s hAs Au­Then­Tic Tiki dÉ­cOr.

Tiki muGs AT Tiki’s The cOck­TAiL LOunGe AT

WAiLAnA cOF­Fee hOuse

OPen Air AT

ArnOLd’s hAPPY hOur AT Tiki’s

GriLL & bAr

WAiLAnA’s POP­u­LAr mAi TAi

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