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Tiki Central Forums » » Locating Tiki » » Hawaiian Hut, Honolulu, HI (restaurant)
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Hawaiian Hut, Honolulu, HI (restaurant)
msteeln
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2008
Posts: 283
From: Ka'a'awa, HI
Posted: 2008-11-03 5:39 pm   Permalink

The Hawaiian Hut is a great place for small rock concerts, the quasi-bizzare-ness factor ends when the lights go down and the music begins. I've seen a bunch there as well, but the best show this year went to Commander Cody at the very beginning of '08 - www.angelfire.com/hi2/sblack/CommanderCodyHawaii2008.html
Derek Trucks - www.angelfire.com/hi2/sblack/DerekTrucksBand2007pics.html
The promoters are great guys.

But, I wouldn't mind Martin Denny, Don Ho, or Alfred Apaka and His Hilton Hawaiian Serenaders dropping by...


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dogbytes
  

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 2242
From: seattle, wa
Posted: 2008-11-07 9:30 pm   Permalink

I called the Hawaiian Hut at the Ala Moana Resort to see if they were serving dinner. I was told, they have an All You Can Eat Prime Rib Buffet with Polynesian Floorshow ~ TODAY at 5:30. She said, except for special events, the Hawaiian Hut is usally dark in November ~ but today was a full show! holy cow!! This venue has been discussed on Tiki Central, but I haven’t read that anyone had actually been to the Luau.

At 5:20, the front doors were locked, and we were the only people in line. But I had talked to the hostess twice today, and we had reservations.






Promptly at 5:30 the doors opened and the manager warmly greeted us. “Don’t tell us, we’re the only customers” and he said “yes. The new owner shut down for 3 weeks, and all the tour guides are telling everyone we’re closed” but he welcomed us in and sat us right in front of the stage. an older Japanese couple came in, and were seated next to us.

Tapa lines all the walls. Wonderful carved moldings accents the railings.



And there is the most gigantic shell lamp I’ve ever seen. Huge conch and abalone shells hang from a (I’m guessing) 15 foot diameter ring. I couldn’t get a great picture, as it was up so high.


The food was, well, ordinary. A couple of pasta salads, Jell-O, fresh pineapple, yakisoba noodles, homemade cornbread and biscuits, salad bar, fried fish and fried chicken (both quite good). The prime rib looked beautiful, a full rack. Unfortunately, it was dry and stringy. . the drinks were god-awful ~ Frank Todd bravely ordered a Mai Tai (yes, it was indeed pineapple-y and syrup sweet). My virgin Pina Colada was undrinkable. It was thick, sweet coconut goo under ice garnished with fresh pineapple (to their credit) and a maraschino cherry that could not sink to the bottom due to the viscosity of the coconut goo.




But the floor show. OH MY GOD, the performers gave 100% ~ there was a 4 piece band, 5 dancing girls and 3 dancing guys ~ and one fire-spitting, baton-twirling, body tattooed, Maori Chief who gave an amazing fire dance. THEY FREAKING SET THE FLOOR ON FIRE!!! no kidding, they poured stuff down and lit up a river of FIRE on the ground, INCHES away from us. the heat and smell of kerosene was amazing.

Just like any luau, we “visited The Islands Polynesia through song and dance”. There were many costume changes. The 4 of us in the audience were up on our feet a few times. WOW! Crazy, all of this just for us!!

Of course, the “audience participation” portion of the show, ensured we all were onstage, with only the kids there for the late night poetry slam, to watch our antics. The older Japanese couple had a blast wiggling in their hula skirts. The MC lady thanked us profusely for showing up and for all our support. And one of the dancers came down to hug each of us. Frank Todd tipped 50% because we had such a fun time.

The choreographer, Kalo sat behind us for a while, and was called to the stage for a lei and flower presentation to celebrate her birthday!! mega doses of Aloha.






 
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GatorRob
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1771
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2008-11-08 06:21 am   Permalink

Glad to hear that they are still open. When we went, the place was filled with Japanese tourists. Sounds like they need to get that channel open again, but with the economy the way it is, tourism is way down in Hawaii anyway. I've told a number of people that the only floor show I've seen come close to the one at the Hawaiian Hut is the Mai-Kai show. Did they lower the metal screen when the fire dancer came on? I thought that was interesting, so he doesn't accidentally hurl a flaming torch at us. Unfortunately, it sounds like the food and drinks haven't improved any. I recall my Mai-Tai being so bad I couldn't drink more than a few sips. But... I'd go back for the atmosphere and the show any day.

 
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rargirl
Member

Joined: Mar 01, 2009
Posts: 1
Posted: 2009-03-01 09:10 am   Permalink

Disappointing Hawaiian Hut News...

I did not see the Hawaiian Hut listed on the Ala Moana Hotel's website any longer, so I sent email inquiring about visiting the Hawaiian Hut on my upcoming trip in June 2009 for a dinner or cocktail show. Below is the reply I received:

Aloha,
thank you for your interest in the Hawaiian Hut.
the Hawaiian Hut is currently closed. there is the possibility that it will reopen and resume the Polynesian Revue but no definitive news at this time. I would suggest you check back closer to your date of arrival. if the Hawaiian Hut is not operating I will be glad to refer you to a similar show. warm regards, Marty



 
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GatorRob
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2004
Posts: 1771
From: 3 hrs 33 mins to paradise
Posted: 2009-03-01 3:56 pm   Permalink

Sad, but not surprising. It's a great space. A time capsule. The performers give their all. But it's in the wrong place at the wrong decade. I wish them well and hope they can reopen, but I wonder who their audience really is.

 
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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2793
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2009-07-28 01:13 am   Permalink

Here's a vintage 1960s shot of the Ala Moana floor show.



The tikis in the background seem to be the same ones dogbytes saw on her recent trip:





Also, the carving that bamalamalu posted seems to be very similar to the one that used to sit on the roof:









_________________


[ This Message was edited by: Sabu The Coconut Boy 2009-07-28 01:15 ]


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11249
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-07-28 3:02 pm   Permalink

The Hawaiian Hut is one of the few remaining Tiki style time warps. Does anyone know its status? Phil?

One little factoid: It is the only place I know that used the carvings of Maui by Tene Waitere from the Maori meeting house at the Hamburg anthropology museum for a modern Tiki temple:


Hamburg Maori house with Maui catching a fish in the back







It was probably copied from the B&W photo in the classic book "Oceanic Art" which was used by many mid-century carvers, at Oceanic Arts, and for the Mai Kai, for example.

The photo of the guy with burning feet on page 54 in Tiki Modern is from the Hawaiian Hut show, I made the mistake calling it Hula Hut in the caption. Arrrgh!


 
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Phillip Roberts
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 09, 2003
Posts: 1611
From: OAHU/Seattle
Posted: 2009-07-29 12:29 pm   Permalink

Aloha,

Sven,

Yes I do know the status. I was there documenting just last week. It's pau; closed since Febuary '09. A brutal casualty of the recession, Kalo closed the show. The Moana Hotel has taked down the round plastic sign, and the outside chief. The entry A-frame remains and is in horrid weather beaten condition. The bench is still there, yet I doubt it will last long. It is questionable what remains inside, as the Moana Hotel will not rent it out for independent shows for the unforseeable future, or even open the doors to show me...


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11249
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2009-07-29 2:08 pm   Permalink

Scary...it smells like one of those situations where, if they ever re-open in the future, it will only be after "extensive remodeling".

 
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tikiyaki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 18, 2004
Posts: 2710
From: The Exotic Port of REDONDO BEACH, CA
Posted: 2009-07-29 3:16 pm   Permalink

PhillipRoberts....

You need to "rescue" that bench, and any other artifacts you can from there.

History needs to be preserved.

What you would be doing is "preserving" not "Stealing".




 
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Phillip Roberts
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 09, 2003
Posts: 1611
From: OAHU/Seattle
Posted: 2009-07-30 02:52 am   Permalink

Quote:

On 2009-07-29 15:16, tikiyaki wrote:
PhillipRoberts....

You need to "rescue" that bench, and any other artifacts you can from there.

History needs to be preserved.

What you would be doing is "preserving" not "Stealing".




I appreciate your sentiment but it simply isn't within my code. I take NOTHING but photographs.
_________________
Waikiki Tiki; Art, History, and Photographs.
Available now from
Bess Press Hawaii.

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Dustycajun
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Nov 16, 2007
Posts: 4401
From: Santa Barbara, CA
Posted: 2009-09-08 5:58 pm   Permalink

What an amazing place, I hope it re-opens intact some day. I have a couple of matchbooks from the Hawaiian Hut.

The cover.






Two Different backs, one with the South Seas review and the second with Tavana's South Seas review and a nod to Queen's Surf.





DC


 
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bkoahu
Member

Joined: Mar 19, 2010
Posts: 2
From: Pearl City, Oahu
Posted: 2010-03-31 12:44 am   Permalink

Sad to say tiki lovers, the Hawaiian Hut at the Ala Moana Hotel is now closed and being renovated for various venues. (Meet someone there who said it will be used as a Jewish church). New owners sold all artifacts/decorations(carvings, tikis, Oceanic weapons, even the rattan tables and chairs). ALOHA & MAHALO Hawaiian Hut for the fond memories!!!

 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11249
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2010-03-31 1:55 pm   Permalink

Sigh. One less place to experience the splendor and skill of mid-century artisanship in carved Tiki decor.

 
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Kailuageoff
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 27, 2002
Posts: 1504
From: Honolulu Lounge,Lewes, DE
Posted: 2010-03-31 2:11 pm   Permalink

Thanks to everyone who visited and posted photos of this place. When reading that another vintage tiki location that this board uncovered has vanished it is like hearing another of an endangered species being found dead by gunshot.

_________________
Where do you get those Hawaiian thing-a-ma-jigs? You know, those hula do-dads.


 
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