Nice dinner out

Discussion in 'Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa' started by glassslipper2004, Jul 4, 2018.

  1. glassslipper2004

    glassslipper2004 DIS Veteran

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    We'd like to have a nice dinner out in Waikiki to celebrate an anniversary - any recommendations? I've heard that Duke's and House Without a Key are both good, on the water, with lots of great atmosphere - we're looking for that more than a stuffy/elegant place.

    And if you've been to both places like this in Waikiki and the restaurants at Aulani, how do they compare? Should we just stay on site?

    Thanks!
     
  2. southerngirl528

    southerngirl528 Dreamin' of Maui

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    Both House Without a Key and Duke's have great views toward Diamond Head, which of course is an iconic Hawaiian view. HWAK is at the legendary Halekulani Hotel, and they often have a former Miss Hawaii performing hula with live music.

    Duke's is also iconic, just for different reasons. They also have great live evening entertainment, often one of DH and my favorites, Maunalua.

    As much as I love, love Aulani, I think it's good to spend a little time in Honolulu/Waikiki. If you want to make a day of it, you could do Pearl Harbor early in the morning, or instead, spend the day at the Bishop Museum and Iolani Palace, the only palace on U.S. soil! I do recommend reservations for wherever you decide. Happy planning! :flower3:
     
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  4. glassslipper2004

    glassslipper2004 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for this! Can you tell me more about the different reasons each is iconic? Is it the entertainment that is different? Is one more upscale or fancy than the other? Thank you.
     
  5. corgi_monster

    corgi_monster DIS Veteran

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    HWAK is much fancier than Duke’s. Local people will dress up, aka khakis and an aloha shirt lol, to eat at HWAK. It’s a popular restaurant for celebrations. I’d have no problem wearing shorts Andalusia T-shirt to Duke’s.

    IMO, Duke’s is the Hawaiian equivalent of Tony’s Town Square - great location and atmosphere, crappy food. When we have visitors from the mainland, they always seem to want to try Duke’s and most leave disappointed. The fresh fruit portion of the salad bar is seasoned with fruit flies and they drown their pasta salads in oil/mayo. The macadamia nut crusted fish and desserts are good, although you can get much better versions elsewhere for less $. The food at the bar tends to be better and might be cheaper.
     
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  6. corgi_monster

    corgi_monster DIS Veteran

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    Also, if you’re looking for a restaurant on the water, consider Hao Tree Lanai, Beachhouse, or Michel’s.
     
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  7. Toreby

    Toreby Mouseketeer

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    We had lunch at Duke's recently, and it was a bit mixed. I had the fish and chips which was very good and my daughter had the Korean style tacos, which she said were excellent. My wife and MIL had the buffet, which was disappointing (we told them not to do it).
     
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  8. glassslipper2004

    glassslipper2004 DIS Veteran

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    Thank you, this is exactly the information I was looking for. Has anyone been to Tommy Bahama's? A friend liked it but I'm wondering if it is similar to Duke's.
     
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  9. southerngirl528

    southerngirl528 Dreamin' of Maui

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    Ewwwww. :crazy2: Duke's Kaanapali is MUCH better than that! And no salad bar. Thanks for the scoop on Duke's Waikiki! Folks on TA talk about it like it's pretty good.

    Thanks for the additional rec's Corgi_monster! I am a great deal more knowledgeable about Maui than Oahu. :cutie:
     
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  10. pjacobi

    pjacobi DIS Veteran

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    Note that there is no A/C in Duke's Waikiki. We tried there on a weekend and it was too hot, crowded and loud. We went back later during the week and it was cooler and much less hectic.

    You might also like Kirin for Dim Sum and Peking duck. Obama and George W both ate there. We found it excellent! The bill was in both Chinese characters and English.

    -Paul
     
  11. kyton

    kyton Mouseketeer

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    We tried Tommy Bahamas on our April trip. It was quite nice. The restaurant is over 2 floors with the second being the open air terrace. Not a massive menu but everything was delicious with great cocktails.
     
  12. rocketriter

    rocketriter DIS Veteran

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    We ate at the Hao Tree Lanai. It's one of the most beautiful restaurants I have ever eaten at, entirely outdoors under a gorgeous tree, on the edge of Waikiki. The food is quite good, but not the best in town. When we were there, we watched a photographer take photos of a wedding couple as the sun set. It was lovely!
     

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