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Buffet makes your day

Cover Story

November 10, 2019

Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO

Medley of flavors -Kalbi Chicken and Kona Mahi Mahi

Kamaaina and visitors alike continue to flock to Cinnamon’s at the Ilikai as a go-to spot for ono local comfort food near the gateway to Waikiki.

Cinnamon’s at the Ilikai is an ideal location for special events for up to 150 people with a dedicated outside seating area — a perfect setting to enjoy Friday fireworks in Waikiki — and a portion of the interior dining room that can also be utilized for parties.

Fresh Island Ahi Poke ($16, $15 during Happy Hour).File photo

Many guests prefer to hold events at Cinnamon’s at the Ilikai because of the ability to customize a buffet menu so guests can look forward to their favorites. For parties with 50-150 people, chef and restaurant partner Carsie Green creates special buffet menus based on input from the organizer.

“The menus are nothing fancy, but the choices are very popular with our loyal customers,” says Puna Nam, one of the restaurant partners.

Gingerbread Pancake ($12.95)

Popular choices that guests tend to incorporate include teriyaki meatloaf, baked salmon, roast beef with brown gravy, chicken marsala, steamed basa with ginger and green onion as well as garlic mashed potatoes, brown and white rice. A pasta bar is also available as well as potato macaroni salad, hot vegetables, and three dessert choices such as the famous taro bread pudding with haupia topping — a specialty of chef Carsie.

On Nov. 15, the restaurant will celebrate its fifth anniversary at the Ilikai location.

Pumpkin Crunch Pancake with Haupia Topping ($12.95)

“We’re very fortunate and blessed to have established ourselves in the Waikiki area and count on so many local residents visiting us — especially on the weekends,” says Nam. “It’s a very nice setting, and with the spectacular sunsets nightly and a relaxed ambiance, it makes for a very enjoyable experience.”

Cinnamon’s is known for its delicious pancakes, and just in time for the holidays, the restaurant is serving up its popular pancake specials available in November and December. Pumpkin Pancakes are available throughout November, and in December, Gingerbread Pancakes are on the menu at Cinnamon’s in Kailua and at the Ilikai. The special pancakes are $12.95 for two large pancakes — the “Short Stack” — during breakfast service, which is available from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kailua location, and throughout the day and evening at the Ilikai.

Carsie’s Crab Cakes ($13, 12 during Happy Hour). File photo

For a la carte diners, an array of ono pupu selections is available at The Splintered Paddle bar from 3 p.m. to closing. During Happy Hour served daily from 3 to 6 p.m., all pupus (excluding signature pancakes) and cocktails are discounted by $1.

Rib-Eye Poke ($15, $14 during Happy Hour) definitely brings the sizzle as a 6-ounce portion of rib-eye steak is cubed, grilled and tossed with sautéed mushrooms, garlic, onions and poke sauce. Carsie’s Crab Cakes ($13, $12 during Happy Hour) are packed full of flavor as the signature crab cakes are served atop spinach and topped with three sauces, while Fresh Island Ahi Poke ($16, $15 during Happy Hour) features fresh ahi cubed and tossed with sesame seeds, onions, green onions, garlic and poke sauce.

Cinnamon’s comfortable interior. File photo

Visit while in Vegas

For those diners visiting the Ninth Island, be sure to visit Cinnamon’s 702 in the Summerlin suburb of Las Vegas! For more information, log on to cinnamons808.com, or call (702) 478-7027. Nam’s son Alika operates the Las Vegas location, so when visiting, be sure to let the friendly team know that you read about them in Dining Out.

A little mood music

Be sure to order a signature cocktail to pair with one’s favorite appetizers, including Guava Mai Tai ($10, $9 during Happy Hour) with pineapple light rum, orgeat syrup, guava juice and dark rum float. Puna Blue ($10, $9 during happy hour) features a blend of vodka, Blue Curacao, grapefruit juice and lychee juice and is named a° er the restaurateur — so you know it’s good. Live traditional and contemporary Hawaiian music is featured from 3 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday and Fridays, and on Saturdays, Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning performers take the stage from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Cinnamon’s at the Ilikai.

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