WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

I know. Going into Waikiki is a no-no for many locals. It’s congested, parking sucks, everything is expensive, etc. But here’s a reason to visit the area: the Hideout Waikiki Brunch.

The Hideout Waikiki is The Laylow Waikiki’s signature restaurant and bar.  Since its opening, it’s become a hotspot for pau hana drinks and pupus.  After all, their drinks are good, if a bit pricey, while small bites like their poke and Crispy Pork Belly with Brussels Sprouts are well-loved too.  But their brunch is on the newer side, kicking off sometime in 2018.  And, yes, the menu that served on Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm is different from the standard breakfast menu.

Hideout Waikiki
The Laylow Waikiki

THE VIBE

The Hideout Waikiki has a few different zones. There’s a small, semi-enclosed dining room that’s somewhat air-conditioned. Off of that is an open-air, semi-covered space to give you a bit of a Vitamin D boost while you eat. And then, there’s the bar area with full-on outdoor seating across from it. Oh, and in the evening, they have two fire pits surrounded by sand. It’s a fun space to hang out, but its either communal seating or reserved for an exorbitant fee. Oh, and there’s live entertainment from 10 am to 1 pm. So expect more of a lively atmosphere here.

Hideout Waikiki
Outdoor seating at Hideout Waikiki

THE MENU

The brunch menu at the Hideout Waikiki reads almost like a list of their greatest hits. On it, you’ll find their Poke Tacos, Pork Belly with Brussel Sprouts, Breakfast Fried Rice Skillet, and more. But, what you won’t see, oddly, is their French Toast or their bougie crab cake and prawn benedict. And while I think it’s a shame you can’t get the French Toast at brunch, perhaps you shouldn’t anyway?

TO START

I’m not much of a morning drinker, so I kept things simple and ordered a POG ($5), while my wife got a virgin Sip on Somethin’ Special ($14). Her drink is the restaurant’s signature Bloody Mary, and man is it somethin’ special! Just look at it, with all its chunks, shichimi rim, and a skewer of veggies and bacon.

Hideout Waikiki drinks
Left: POG ($5), Right: Virgin Sip on Somethin' Special ($14)

For an appetizer, we decided to get the Poke Tacos ($15). Crispy wonton shells pair nicely with a fresh shoyu-style poke and sweet mango salsa. It’s a beautiful, refreshing dish that won’t weigh you down too much.

Hideout Waikiki Poke Tacos
Poke Tacos ($15)

But, if we were here for a more lunch brunch, I might opt to add the Pork Belly with Brussel Sprouts ($13). Yeah, it’s mainly vegetables, but it is a bit oily, so not exactly what I want first thing in the morning.

Hideout Waikiki Pork Belly with Brussel Sprouts
Pork Belly with Brussel Sprouts ($13)

THE FOOD

My go-to item on the Hideout Waikiki’s morning menus is always the Breakfast Fried Rice Skillet ($17). After all, fried rice is one of my favorite foods ever, and the version here is damn good. Chock-full of Portuguese Sausage, Spam, Maui Onion, and topped with two sunny side eggs, it’s a deeply satisfying meal. I love the meaty, umami-ness of it, which is offset by the sweetness of the caramelized Maui Onion. Add a splash of their chili pepper vinegar, and it’s heaven.

Hideout Waikiki Breakfast Fried Rice Skillet
Breakfast Fried Rice Skillet ($17)

On our last visit, though, I had a dining credit at the hotel, so I splurged on the Lobster Frittata ($24). Now, I’m not gonna lie; I was apprehensive ordering this, even if I wasn’t paying for it. Would the lobster be rubbery? What about the eggs?  Or even worse, both? But, it was neither. Chef Bryan Byard knocked this one out of the park with perfectly cooked chunks of lobster, creamy eggs, rich Boursin cheese, a slight kick from chili oil, and a nice oniony note from scallion ribbons.

Hideout Waikiki Lobster Frittata
Lobster Frittata ($24)

On this visit, my wife decided to keep things light and got the Smoked Salmon Toast, which is the Hideout’s version of avocado toast ($17). Yeah, that’s expensive even by avocado toast standards, but the toasted slice of boule comes topped with avocado puree, a poached egg, and a mountain of smoked salmon. A caper & cilantro pesto drizzled around the plate helps to tie everything together. And, no, it is not an easy dish to eat, though it is tasty!

Hideout Waikiki Smoked Salmon Toast
Smoked Salmon Toast ($17)

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you’ve been keeping tabs on the running total, then you likely figured that brunch for two here can easily cost around $100. And that’s with only one drink! But the food is excellent, as is the service (mostly). So, to me, it’s a worthwhile, occasional splurge, and a good reason to head into Waikiki.

Hideout
The Laylow Waikiki
2299 Kuhio Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96815
Ph: 808-628-3060
www.hideoutwaikiki.com