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Waikiki's Hidden Treasure
Inside Feature

Waikiki’s Hidden Treasure

Story By Kyle Galdeira Photos By Lawrence Tabudlo
April 10 - 16, 2011

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For those looking to catch a movie at the old Waikiki 3 Theater, unfortunately, the curtain has remain closed since the iconic building shut its doors in 2002.

  • For executive general manager Steven Matsuno, fresh lobster is one of Atlantis Seafood & Steak's specialties.
  • An array of dishes offered at the Waikiki-based restaurant.
  • Ocean Seafood Pasta ($24.95) includes a mountain of premium pasta smothered in a rich tomato cream sauce and brimming with fresh island fish pieces, Manila clams, tiger shrimp and leeks.
  • Diners may choose a live, fresh lobster from Atlantis' tank, where it is steamed and expertly cracked tableside. One- and three-pound lobsters are available at market price.
  • The Pacific Sampler ($14.95) includes jumbo oysters, Tiger shrimp cocktail and spicy ahi poke.
  • While known for its quality seafood, Atlantis also serves up delicious salads for those looking to tread lightly at lunch- or dinnertime.
  • The vegetable du jour and mashed potatoes are two of the popular accompaniments to a wide variety of entrees.
  • The Atlantis Garlic Rib Eye ($28.95) comes smothered with onions and garlic and is served on a sizzling platter topped with Boursin.
  • Passersby in front of Atlantis Seafood & Steak, site of the old Waikiki 3 Theatre.
  • The entrance to Atlantis Seafood & Steak, open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
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However, head down to the 2284 Kalakaua Ave. today and one may, instead, catch some of Waikiki’s freshest seafood at Atlantis Seafood & Steak. As its name suggests, Atlantis is a hidden treasure nestled in the heart of Waikiki, surrounded by numerous retail establishments that help make the trip into Waikiki worth the while. According to the restaurant’s executive general manager Steven Matsuno, “Waikiki is still Waikiki. It’s right in our front yard, and it’s an awesome place. Come check it out!”

The crown jewel of Atlantis’ bountiful menu also happens to be one of the better deals around town — both above and below the sea. Atlantis offers up its Seafood Lovers Special ($59.95) that includes a green salad, Pacific Sampler (complete with jumbo oysters, tiger shrimp cocktail and ahi poke), Vegetable du Jour, dinner rolls, rice or potato, coffee or tea, dessert and — best of all — a one-pound Maine Lobster fresh from the tank, where customers are able to select the crustacean of their choice. The Seafood Lovers package is one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes and, according to Matsuno, many of his guests order the decadent spread along with one of Atlantis’ signature steaks — including the Atlantis Garlic Rib Eye ($28.95) — and share the meal among small parties.

In addition to the juicy and tender steaks on the menu, Matsuno also recommends the Atlantis Lamb Chop ($28.95). The four chops come seasoned with a bold Kona coffee rub and finished with a rich demiglace. The Slow Roasted Prime Rib accompanied by creamy horseradish and au jus also is a popular choice among diners who can choose from the eight-, 12- or 16-ounce portions ($22.95, $27.95 or $36.95).

Matsuno also takes pride in Atlantis’ pasta dishes, which, as one might expect, come chock full of delicious seafood and other fresh ingredients. The Ocean Seafood Pasta ($24.95) offers diners a mountain of premium pasta smothered in a rich tomato cream sauce and brimming with fresh island fish pieces, Manila clams, tiger shrimp and leeks. The Shrimp & Sausage Pasta ($22.95) also is in high demand as diners have taken a liking to the dish’s combination of Italian sausage, fresh shrimp and mushrooms all over a heaping portion of pasta.

Atlantis also offers Early Bird Special items priced at $12.95 and are available for kamaaina all day and night — the dishes are discounted for non-residents from 11 a.m. through 7 p.m. The Early Bird dishes include the Sauteed Mahi with Lobster Sauce, Steak and Shrimp, and Chicken Alfredo Pasta. Each entree also comes with a choice of vegetable as well as either mashed potatoes or rice, and makes for a perfect combination of quality and value.

Atlantis is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and serves lunch from opening through 4 p.m. Some of the favorites off the lunch menu include the Pacific Rim Thai Curry ($9.95 for chicken, $11.95 for beef), Atlantis Fish & Chips ($10.95) and the Garlic Clams Pasta ($14.95), which includes Manila clams sauteed in a garlic butter broth and comes served atop a bed of pasta.

While Atlantis has established a loyal following with tourists, Matsuno hopes kamaaina will make the trip into Waikiki to enjoy the ambience, the electricity emanating from a revitalized Kalakaua Avenue and, especially, some of the eatery’s surf ‘n’ turf.

“For local people, if you haven’t come down to Waikiki in a while, a lot has changed,” Matsuno says. “You can get a little bit of everything right here at Atlantis. While you can’t catch a movie here anymore, you can catch some excellent fresh seafood and steak.”

Atlantis Seafood & Steak

  • Where
    • 2284 Kalakaua Avenue
    • Honolulu, HI 96815
  • Call
    • (808) 922-6868
  • Hours
    • Open daily
    • 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Notes
    • Kamaaina can enjoy the Early Bird Specials (selected entrees for $12.95) all day and night. Lunch served daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Kamaaina and military discounts available (10 percent off menu items). Call now and reserve your seats for the Mother’s Day Brunch Buffet ($26.95).