Hy and Mighty

Features Inside Feature

April 3, 2011

Story By: Dining Out Team |

In today’s go-go-go society, where instant gratification trumps the well-earned rewards time and patience bring, the art of fine dining has nearly faded to a memory. But at Hy’s Steak House, the charm and splendor of tradition are alive and well. In fact, they’re flourishing. “One of a very few restaurants in Hawaii, Hy’s does lots of tableside preparations of salads, flambe desserts and carving of certain meat entrees right at the guests’ tables,” says general manager Bob Panter of those extra touches that elevate a run-of-the-mill dinner out into a full-out experience. What also adds to the meal, Panter emphasizes, is the décor of the restaurant.

  • Chef Zack Inouye
  • Half Rack of Lamb ($39.95)
  • Hy's assortment of steaks are made to order.
  • Tomato Mozzarella Salad ($9.95)
  • Steak Tataki Salad ($19.95)
  • Alaskan King Crab dinner ($85.95 for 25 oz.)
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“Hy’s dining rooms are quite unique, from our Art Deco Green Room, which is a quiet garden-like dining area, to our signature dining area that showcases our kiawe broiler,” he says of the downstairs Broiler Room, which houses a custom-made brass and copper caldron that serves as an open hearth for the house specialties. “We use the native Hawaiian kiawe wood to broil all the steaks,” Panter adds. “Steaks are king at Hy’s.” A personal favorite of the GM is the Peppercorn Steak ($40.95), a 9-ounce New York strip that has been pressed with cracked black peppercorns, broiled and topped with a house-made peppercorn demi glace sauce. Panter notes that if guests prefer a different cut of meat, they can accommodate the request. (Go online for a full menu listing of cuts and preparation styles.)

“Hy’s also offers many different kinds of salads, of which two — the Warm Spinach Salad ($11.95) and Caesar Salad ($13.95) — are done table-side,” Panter adds of Hy’s lighter fare. One of the popular salad choices is the Steak Tataki Salad ($19.95). A 5-ounce piece of prime filet mignon is first kneaded in a bed of cracked black peppercorns to make the meat tender, juicy and flavorful. The steak is then quickly seared over the crackling flame — done to cook the outside but keep the meat inside extremely rare — and sliced extra-thin, almost like carpaccio, before being plated with an assortment of baby greens dressed in a ponzu dressing.

Another noteworthy nosh is the Fresh Mozzarella and Vine-Ripened Tomato Salad ($9.95), a simple meal of OW Farm vine-ripened tomatoes and fresh mozzarella drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette.

Speaking of “wow,” Panter says that “Hy’s Famous” Rack of Lamb ($59.95) has alwaysmade a real impact on guests, but finishing the entire full eight-rib Australian spring lamb rack proved difficult to many.

“Knowing that it is just too much for many guests, we now offer a Half Rack of Lamb (four chops) for $39.95,” Panter reports. “The smaller portion has proven very popular.”

Also popular is the seafood selection, be it the Angel Hair Pasta with Tomato, Scallops and Basil appetizer plate ($8.95) or the filling Alaskan King Crab dinner (market price currently $85.95), which is a full 1.5 pounds of sweet steamed Alaskan King Crab legs served with drawn butter and lemon, as well as vegetables du jour and choice of any potato selections or rice offerings.

But back to that tableside service …“One of our most popular flambe desserts is our Bananas Foster, my personal favorite,” Panter says. “It’s a huge double scoop of vanilla Haagen-Dazs ice cream that is topped with our bananas cooked in our Foster sauce created from scratch at the table. The finale is the dark rum flame and sparkle of cinnamon before the bananas are placed over and around the ice cream.”

Meant to be shared by two or more people, the dessert costs $13.25 per person and has been voted one of the best desserts on the island. Cap off the evening in style with a glass of wine
from Hy’s award-winning wine list paired with live music by Audy Kimura (6:30-10 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday).

Hy’s Steak House

  • Where
    • Inside the Waikiki Park Heights Hotel
    • 2440 Kuhio Avenue
    • Honolulu, HI 96815
  • Call
    • (808) 922-5555
  • Hours
    • 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.
    • Monday – Friday
    • 5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
    • Saturday – Sunday
  • Notes
    • Reservations are highly recommended.
    • Valet parking available.
    • Proper attire is required (no tank tops, baseball caps or swimwear; collared shirts preferred for men).