Holoholo Bar & Grill in Moiliili
There’s been a bar-sized hole in this city (and in our hearts) since Eastside Grill left us six years ago. Moiliili’s bar options have dwindled, especially if you aren’t a college student who’s out to get loaded or if Anna O’Brien’s is just too, well, bananas. Perhaps the naming of new-bar-on-the-block Holoholo Bar and Grill was borne simply of practicality, borne of necessity. As in: I happen to be cruising in Moiliili and I’d really like some smoked meat and a cold beer—I’ll just go holoholo and see what I can find. At which point they found nothing that fit the bill, and decided to build a bar to fill the need. Just a guess.
But let’s say that’s you, looking for a place to end a long day or watch a UH game or, get this, have a meal without having to sit at a bar. Go Holoholo. (It works, right?)
The bar-and-grill, located on Beretania Street across from Longs Drugs, is really more of a bar, as well as a grill, with two separate eateries under one roof. The grill side, or the restaurant, is where proper meals are served. Lunch, dinner and even Sunday brunch is served in the dining room. And then there’s the bar, which features high-boy tables, beer taps, television screens … you know the kind. Both sides share the same menu, full of local-style dishes (fried rice, “Back Yard Style Smoke Meat”) and a few items that have been localized (sake-braised BBQ brisket, sweet with added pineapple and fish tempura and chips). All menu items are available in family-sized portions or in half portions, so sharing is encouraged.
The staff, which has been assembled from long-time friends and family, passes on to its customers their aloha for each other; and being on the receiving end feels good. Go once, and they’ll take a minute or two to get to know you. Go back, and they’ll welcome you like old friends. The vibe is right, and that counts for a lot. And they somehow managed to snake the recipe for the now defunct Punani’s Bar and Cafe signature spiked juice cocktail, now called Holo Juice. Ask for it, and then settle in. Because there will be no holoholo happening after a couple rounds. Trust us.
Lunch, dinner and late-night menu items from $5.95 to $17.95. Holoholo Bar and Grill, 2494 S. Beretania St., across from Longs Drugs, 369-7297, holoholobarandgrill.com.