Sunday brunch at Hula Grill Waikiki
Left: Monte Cristo, right: lilikoi chiffon pancakes
Where to go in Waikiki for an affordable brunch with a view? I never had a good answer until a recent visit to oceanfront Hula Grill. A Sunday brunch menu is available until 2 p.m., with plates between $8 and $14. The Monte Cristo drew me here in the first place; I'm always on the lookout for these deep-fried French toast/ham-and-cheese sandwiches. Hula Grill's version comes with a smear of raspberry sauce for the sandwich's characteristic, salty sweet combination. It's no Disneyland Monte Cristo, but it's pretty good, and exactly what I want for brunch.
Lobster salad sliders
Also worth noting are the lobster salad sliders on taro rolls; generous strips of bacon and chunks of avocado make up for a slightly too mayo-y lobster salad. And if eggs on burgers are your thing, the loco moco brunch burger stuffs an egg, plus onion strings and gravy between a bun.
I might skip the lilikoi chiffon pancakes for plain pancakes off the regular breakfast menu (available until 10:30 a.m.). The pancakes are great, but the sauce tastes like a lilikoi-flavored hollandaise.
Another incentive to come earlier: a sweet potato chorizo hash served in a cast-iron skillet. But even if breakfast is over, there will always be half-price mimosas ($3.25).
Hula Grill Waikiki at the Outrigger Waikiki, 2335 Kalakaua Ave, 923-4852