Tiki’s Grill and Bar, Waikiki, O’ahu

Larry L. Medina

“Hello, so you are reporters doing a story on Tiki’s?” said the beaming California gal warmly as she came up to our table. She was Sarah Mendoza, manager of Tiki’s Grill and Bar (NOT “Bar and Grill,” as most places would have it). This was after Chris’ plate of miso butterfish and a Volcanic Sunset, and my order of ginger soy grilled salmon with a Miller Lite. Adam Lapenita, food and drink staff writer for the blogsite Thrillist, wrote in a review that tiki bars are all about three things: exotic drinks, delicious food, and warm hospitality. Tiki’s, the quiessential Waikiki stereotype of what a tourist expects a tiki bar should serve up and look like, met all these requirements, and more.

Chris, one of our writers, and I were seated at the far wall of the restaurant (and Tiki’s IS a restaurant, with its vast oasis of tables and chairs taking up the second floor of the Aston, and while by no means intimate and snug like the much more smaller bars I’ve visited, tiki-themed or not, its atmosphere is quite laid-back). There IS a bar in Tiki’s, and I could see it a distance away from where we sat.

No matter: the decor was decidedly (and stereotypically) Polynesian, in that 1950’s-style middle-class American vision of the exotic Pacific: bamboo-framed scenes of tropical shores hung off moss rock walls; gaudy tiki statues representing no god in particular, backlit by lamps emanating shades of deep orange and thick red, conjuring a facsimile of lava; large netted glass fishing floaters; glossed wooden tables matched to plantation-style padded wooden chairs, and I think I spotted some rattan ones as well near the bar (hey, isn’t rattan Asian?); and ginormous sheets of lauhala that subtituted as a false ceiling. The restaurant is ringed with gas-lit torches on the corner of Kalakaua and Paoakalani Ave’s for everyone NOT to notice.

To Tiki’s credit, the place is not overly-immersed in the tiki bar kitch. Looking round, I was relieved nobody had been served a drink out of a coconut (I found out later that they do, using a facsimile of one). In fact, I don’t recall seeing anything alluding to a coconut. Instead, Chris and I were rewarded with a line of coconut trees growing along Kalakaua Ave in our line of sight toward Waikiki Beach, as the restaurant squarely faces the south shore of O’ahu. There was no live music the night we went (perhaps the musicians were off that nite). Both our server and the general manager were NOT bedecked in plastic lei, nor were they wearing any Hawaiian print clothing ala Magnum, P.I. – thank God for that, and I say this as a local.

Our server did speak to me a bit in Hawaiian, once he found out I was studying the language (he had taken classes through the UH system and spoke better olelo Hawai’i than me). The manager was also a product of UH, and had even played volleyball for the school (yes, THAT Sarah Mendoza – 2014, remember?) They spent minutes talking with us when they clearly should have been attending to other patrons, but I will hazard that, we being all from the UH ohana, they were happy to give us more than the time of day.

The food’s good. The drinks are good. The place is reasonable and inexpensive for the average struggling community college student putting in 19 hours a week at an on-campus job (or a tired professor putting in 60). The employees are solid. The decor isn’t overkill. The dining area has space to stretch out without bumping into the next table over. I say, go for it. It’s a place for us locals to play tourist in our own backyard.

Location: 2nd floor Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel
Cuisine: American and Asian-Pacific fusion

Environment/Decor: casual; aloha wear

Price: $$
Contact: sarahm@tikisgrill.com
Website: http://www.tikisgrill.com
Phone: 808-923-8454
Address: 2570 Kalakaua Ave. Honolulu HI 96815
Parking: 3-hour free valet

6/8/17 This is a thorough and informative review that has actually convinced me to try out Tiki’s, and hardly anything can get me to Waikīkī these days. I enjoyed the descriptions, and I am impressed at how much information you embedded in a good story. Nice work, Larry. EPS
Mahalo nui, doc. I would not have been able to write at this level had it not been for a good ass-kicking when I took your WI class – LLM

6/8/17 Good read. Well definitely check this place out once I step foot back on the rock 😆😆 and of course I’ll be drinking something from a Coconut lol
Annette, next time you in town, we will BOTH order something gaudy and ridiculous out of a coconut – LLM

6/7/17 If you haven’t already done so, you should quit ATS and become a journalist
Actually, I quit journalism to become a counselor, because it pays more – LLM

Cholo’s Homestyle Mexican

From HawaiianBeachRentals.com
Cholo’s has been a favorite North Shore gathering place for nearly twenty years, famous for their margaritas, mojitos, and homestyle Mexican cooking. Owner Nancy Salemi is enamored with all things related to Mexican culture and cuisine, and has traveled extensively throughout the Mexico to collect authentic art and other items for the colorful, eclectically-decorated restaurant.

The North Shore has become known as the surfing capitol of the world, and is a popular tourist destinationparticularly during the winter months. Cholo’s is conveniently located in the North Shore Marketplace in the lively, bustling town of Haleiwa, just a short drive from Sunset Beach and the Bonzai Pipeline. North Shore Marketplace is also home to several shops, art galleries (including Wyland’s) and a popular coffee shop (Coffee Gallery,) and within walking distance of most of the rest of Haleiwa town.
At a Glance:
With thirty premium tequilas to choose from, Cholo’s margaritas are one of the most popular items and fresh squeezed juices add a local twist to the traditional drink. Steaming platters of fajitas, sized-to-share nachos loaded with meat and cheese, extra spicy chili verde, and many more traditional and island-tweaked Mexican dishes round out the menu. Indoor and outdoor seating is available, and if there is a wait, guests can grab a drink at the bar and enjoy it on one of the outdoor benches while waiting for a table. A daily happy hour offers drink and food specials.

Haleiwa (North Shore Marketplace)
930AM to 9PM
Casual, family friendly, colorful Mexican decor
Most Popular Menu Items: Taco Salad, Cholo’s Nacho Special, Cholo’s Fish Tacos
Staff recommendations:
Fish Burrito, Ahi Taco Salad, Tamale Plate, Chili Verde
Link to menu:

Food Menu


Website: www.cholos.mx
Phone: 808-637-3059
Address: 66-250 Kamehameha Highway, Haleiwa, HI 96712
Parking Tips:
Free parking is available throughout the North Shore Marketplace.

Get involved: Student government looking for new leaders

By Steffanie Sobitz
Ka Lā staff writer
For the second straight year, HonCC has started   off without a working elected student government.  It has been more than two semesters since there has been an active SG, but the good news is there is plenty of opportunity for those who want to get involved.
HonCC currently has all student government positions available for the upcoming school year, and the next group of leaders has a unique opportunity to re-imagine what the future of the school’s student government will look like.
Think about what you see or don’t see on our campus.  Do you have fresh ideas about changes that need to be made?  Do you discuss campus issues and inadequacies with your friends?  Do you want to be a major voice and decision maker about these campus issues?
If you answered yes to any or all of the above questions, a position in student government may be just what you are looking for.
In addition to making changes at the school, other benefits of joining and being an active member of student government include meeting new friends and like minded-students, adding leadership skills to your resume and college transfer applications, experience with the varied aspects of government, and a sense of accomplishment for all your hard work.
For more information about joining student government at HonCC, contact Student Life and Development in Building 2 (the same place you get your student I.D. card) or email them at hccsld@hawaii.edu.

Pokemon has students on the Go











By Cameron Cole
Ka LĀ staff writer


With over 10 million downloads in the first week of release, Pokemon Go has reached worldwide pop culture status. Even if you have never played Pokemon Go personally, you’ve seen it on social media, on the news, or even on the phones of fellow pedestrians.
Pokemon Go is played through compatible phones (Android, Apple) via an app. It involves searching for creatures called Pokemon, which appear in a virtual reality map displayed on the screen. The object of the game is to find and collect these Pokemon by searching oneʻs surroundings. HonCC student Kaitlen Daoang found herself unable to resist joining up, telling us “I didn’t think about downloading the app until I saw my two younger brothers playing it. They were talking about who caught the most “eevees” (a type of Pokemon), and me being the competitive person that I am, I had to download the game so I could catch more Pokemons than they could.”
Based on the extremely popular Pokemon videogames where players explore a virtual world while capturing, training, and battling Pokemon, Pokemon Go allows fans to take that sense of discovery and excitement out into the real world. Prospective Pokemon masters must physically walk around to find wild Pokemon, which will appear on the map once close enough. Once clicked on, the player will get a chance to flick a “pokeball” to capture and contain the Pokemon.

Read more