There’s Always Time For A ‘Mac’ AttackFeatures Inside Feature
March 29, 2016
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: Anthony Consillio
Judging by the creative energy emanating from its kitchen and bar all day, every day, it’s easy to see why kamaaina and visitors alike enjoy the MAC 24/7 experience around the clock.
Situated on Kuhio Avenue in the lobby level of the inviting Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel, MAC 24/7 serves up “modern American cuisine” and comfort food infused with local flavors and influences amid an upbeat, contemporary setting. While local diners may be wary of venturing into Waikiki, MAC 24/7 is located near the quieter Kapahulu end of the area and offers $3 validated valet parking — one of, if not the best, rates available in the area.
MAC 24/7’s menu is fueled by the culinary creations of executive chef James Aptakin, who, along with his team of experienced chefs, continues to add new, exciting options designed to keep the dining experience fresh and engaging.
“With my 26-year background, I take the schooling as a foundation — you’re constantly studying the trends and incorporating what’s hot,” Aptakin explains. “When you listen to your crew, you’re unstoppable. You put together all those different ideas along with so much passion, and that allows me to have fun, and the food showcases that. Local ingredients are better than anything you could get from the mainland and they’re available to us 24/7, just like we are for diners.”
MAC 24/7 has developed a reputation for serving up plentiful portions, and that is indeed the case with MAC-Aloha ($25), appropriately dubbed the “ultimate Hawaiian combo.” The large plate includes “a little bit of everything from the Islands,” including huli huli-style grilled chicken, kalbi short ribs, sashimi-grade seared ahi tuna acquired fresh daily from the auction, fried rice and wakame garnish.
The MAC Loco Moco ($17) is another customer favorite, and includes a house-made mushroom gravy, eggs and hamburger patty over jasmine rice. The signature aspect of this dish is the gravy that takes hours to make from scratch, and as Aptakin explains, his heart-of-the-house team “can cook eggs better than anybody I know.”
On the lighter side, Aptakin recommends Thai Grilled Kalbi Steak Salad ($17). The salad is light and refreshing yet filling, and highlights ‘Nalo greens and iceberg lettuce, Maui onions, Thai basil, mint, Hauula tomatoes, locally grown papaya, cubed avocado, crushed peanuts, fried shallots, cucumber, cilantro, sesame seeds and a tangy Thai lime vinaigrette.
One of the best things about a 24-hour restaurant is that one can order eggs and breakfast-style food around the clock. Some popular choices include Chicken Fried Steak & Eggs ($15) with country gravy, two eggs any style and breakfast potatoes, as well as House-made Biscuits & Gravy ($15) with a locally themed Portuguese sausage country gravy.
“Everybody can do biscuits, but our claim to fame is fresh-made biscuits right out of the oven, along with our amazing Portuguese sausage gravy that we also make fresh from scratch,” Aptakin says. “When I came on board three years ago, we wanted to serve the best Chicken Fried Steak on the island and we went through 16 different recipes until we found the best house-made gravy.”
Mac 24/7 Bar and Restaurant
Hilton Waikiki Beach,
2500 Kuhio Ave., Honolulu
Open 24 hours daily
Valet parking available for just $3 with Mac 24/7 validation