A Harmonious Blend of Great Food, Music

Columns Pupu Picks

February 27, 2011

Story By: Dining Out Team |

While most restaurants use music as an accessory to their menu options, Kani Ka Pila Grille in the Outrigger Reef on the Beach is all about showcasing award-winning, live Hawaiian music.

  • The Reef's Pupu Sampler ($16), a magical medley of coconut shrimp, Asian wings and Cajun-seared or raw ahi sashimi.
  • The Reef's Pupu Sampler ($16), a magical medley of coconut shrimp, Asian wings and Cajun-seared or raw ahi sashimi.
  • The aptly named Slack Key Sashimi, accompanied by a house-made cilantro-wasabi aioli for dipping.
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So important is quality live, local music to the eatery that Kani Ka Pila offers up a rotation of top-notch performers in its relaxing outdoor setting from 6 to 9 p.m., seven nights a week. According to Kani Ka Pila’s food and beverage director Dietrich Chillous, the ultimate goal of the restaurant is to blend entertainment with cuisine. “We’re about the food and Hawaiian music,” he says. “My goal is to get the food to match the music. That’s the key right there.”

Kani Ka Pila serves up plenty of pupu possibilities for one to enjoy along with the bountiful melodies. The Reef’s Pupu Sampler ($16) offers a trio of tastes as the combination plate comes with coconut shrimp, Asian wings and Cajun-seared or raw ahi sashimi. For those craving more sashimi, there’s the Slack Key Sashimi (available at market price), which comes seared or raw, and is accompanied by a house-made cilantro-wasabi aioli for dipping, along with a “kiss” of sliced pickle ginger and a row of finely sliced fresh cucumber.

In addition to its regular appetizer menu, Kani Ka Pila offers its Chef’s Happy Hour specials, served daily from 4 to 6 p.m. Items include Edamame ($4.95), Ginger Buffalo Wings ($6.95), Crab Cakes ($6.95) and Ahi Poke ($9.95) — all fabulous choices that lead into a night of great music.

Kani Ka Pila Grille

  • Where
    • Outrigger Reef Hotel
    • 2169 Kalia Road
    • Honolulu, HI 96815
  • Call
    • (808) 924-4992
  • Hours
    • Open daily
    • 6:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
    • 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.