Reeling in a Memorable Dining ExperienceCover Story Features
September 15, 2013
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: Leah Friel
As waves crash gently along the white, sandy beach below and light ocean breezes wisp through the open-air, plantation-style atmosphere, customers truly feel at home at Ocean House.
Situated in the Outrigger Reef on the Beach Hotel along an alluring expanse of Waikiki Beach, Ocean House has provided memorable dining experiences for kamaaina and visitors alike for more than 11 years. With stellar views of Diamond Head and Oahu’s south shore, spectacular sunsets are also served up nightly.
“The ‘Green Flash’ is back at the Ocean House,” says vice president and general manager David Nagaishi, when describing the brief phenomenon only seen during an unadulterated sunset.
Just like surfers carving up waves in the distance, diners are encouraged to “drop in” and enjoy the first-class experience that awaits. Whether simply enjoying a relaxing night out or celebrating special occasions such as birthdays or anniversaries, Ocean House opens the door to flavor and provides a window to one of the world’s most distinguishable seascapes.
In line with one of the distinct dining trends sweeping the culinary scene, Ocean House has taken a proactive approach by offering a host of gluten-free options. Amazingly, these selections taste even better than counterparts prepared with gluten — a protein composite usually found in foods processed with wheat and related grains.
“A lot of diners have dietary restrictions or are on gluten-free diets, so that should-n’t pose a penalty on taste or presentation,” explains Nagaishi. “Most of our dishes are gluten-free, and they taste just as good as or better than what were available originally. We’re really well-rounded, and aim to satisfy any diner.”
Executive chef Aurelio Garcia and his skilled team of culinary craftsmen have introduced an exquisite collection of island-inspired cuisine with a vast array of favorites geared to please any palate.
The “Ocean House Specialty” Hawaiian Sea Salt Slow-Roasted Premium Angus Prime Rib ($34.50) headlines a host of gluten-free selections as the hearty portion of juicy, tender beef is served with creamy horseradish and Maui onion mashed potatoes. New York Pepper Steak ($35.50) is another gluten-free option that’s bursting with flavor as the tender, juicy New York steak is prepared with a light brushing of Dijon mustard and served with a cabernet peppercorn demi glace and Parmesan truffle steak fries.
Ocean House also features Macadamia Nut Crusted Pork Tenderloin ($31.50) served with a Marsala sauce atop a blend of wild rice. Another new gluten-free addition is Curly Kale Salad ($11.50), which features strawberries, avocado and papaya tossed in a basil, papaya seed vinaigrette and topped with toasted almonds.
Seafood enthusiasts are right at home at Ocean House, and Nagaishi recommends Grilled Mahi Mahi ($32.50), as the tender fish is seasoned with garlic, olive oil and fresh lemon and topped with strawberry, lychee, pineapple and papaya salsa along with a pineapple whiteand wild-rice blend. Seafood Lau Lau ($33.50) is yet another gluten-free gem, and includes mahi mahi, shrimp, scallops, luau leaves and Molokai sweet potato sautéed with a garlic, tamari and sake butter sauce served over steamed rice and wrapped in a ti leaf.
Ocean House also features a gluten- and soy-free dessert option in Warm Banana Crumb Cake ($10) that is specially designed for the restaurant. The delectable dessert is served with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and strawberry coulis.
Dinner is served at Ocean House from 5 to 10 p.m. nightly, and the restaurant also offers a bountiful assortment of breakfast favorites from 7 to 11 a.m. Diners are invited to dig in to the “Award-Winning” Ocean House Loco Moco ($15), which includes a tenderloin beef patty served over white rice, two eggs any style and a house-made gravy.
“We offer a plantation-style setting that puts you right inside of ‘Aunty’s house,'” Nagaishi explains. “You become part of our family. With Hawaiian music playing in the background, and the sound of waves crashing in the foreground, it’s beautiful. This is it — it’s the whole package.”
Outrigger Reef on the Beach Hotel
2169 Kalia Road, Honolulu
Open daily for breakfast, 7-11 a.m., and dinner, 5-10 p.m.
Note: Validated valet parking is available. Reservations are recommended, but not required. Reservations can be made via phone, or through www.OpenTable.com.