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Cover Story Features

July 30, 2011

Story By: Dining Out Team |

Feel at home at Ocean House, located beachfront in the Outrigger Reef Hotel, where casual elegance epitomizes all things offered here. Within a relaxing setting, guests are greeted with the finest in breakfast and dinner cuisine prepared by executive chef Craig Yasaka, while soaking in the breathtaking views of Waikiki and Diamond Head. A perfect choice for those on their honeymoon or those enjoying a family dinner out, Ocean House caters to all.

  • Ocean House dining room manager Peter Dietrich
  • Uncle Moki's Chocolate Lava Flow Cake ($9.95)
  • Ocean House staff Peter Dietrich, Cindy Vicoy, Krisjen Nobriga and Jeff Santini
  • The Ocean House Cut ($32.50)
  • Seared Pepper Scallops ($12.50)
  • Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi ($ 31.50)
  • Goat Cheese Salad ($ 11.50)
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Dining Out recently visited this award-winning establishment, where we had the opportunity to sit down with dining room manager Peter Dietrich, who, over spectacular cuisine, revealed just what makes Ocean House the restaurant of choice for locals and visitors alike.

DO: What is the concept behind Ocean House and what can diners expect?

Dietrich: When it comes to Ocean House, we really want to make people feel at home. The atmosphere is very homey and welcoming, and we treat you as if you’re a guest of our house. We offer upscale, casual dining here — everything from prime rib, to steak, to seafood, to wonderful salads — island fare. In addition to dinner, we also have a great breakfast that caters to the healthy lifestyle.

DO: Executive chef Craig Yasaka has done a fantastic job with the food here. What are some must-have signature items on the menu?

Dietrich: Yes, our chef is very consistent. My favorite dish of the moment is the Parmesan Crusted Opah ($33.50), served with a lemon caper wine butter cream sauce and jasmine rice. The Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi ($31.50) is outstanding, with a coconut ginger cream sauce, sweet chili, and paired with jasmine rice as well. And it’s safe to say that a good quarter of our business comes from our prime rib entrees, such as The Ocean House Cut ($32.50), a hearty portion of juicy tender beef. All prime rib entrees are served with traditional English peas, creamy horseradish and Maui onion mashed potatoes. The Seafood Lau Lau ($31.50) is another highly requested item on the menu ($31.50), featuring an assortment of mahi mahi, shrimp, scallops, luau leaf and sweet potato sauteed with garlic soy sake, wrapped in ti leaf and served with jasmine rice.

DO: OK, now that mouths are watering, give us a glimpse of some of the delicious salads and desserts we can expect.

Dietrich: When it comes to salads, our Goat Cheese Salad ($11.50) is awesome. It consists of Mesclun greens, mango, candied walnuts and sun-dried cherries, topped with a champagne vinaigrette. As for desserts, Uncle Moki’s Chocolate Lava Flow Cake ($9.95) is a must-have — it’s a triple chocolate semi-sweet chocolate fudge cake served with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

DO: For the early risers, what are some remarkable breakfast items that will help ensure a great start to any day?

Dietrich: We have many great sunrise specialties, including the Eggs Benedict ($14), Granola and Fresh Fruit ($11), Outrigger Omelet ($13) and Belgian Waffle topped with bananas or wild berries ($14), to name a few.

DO: Ocean House recently has been incorporating new trends into the culinary experience. What can patrons look forward to?

Dietrich: The menu itself is designed to have a little something for everyone, and it really does. We’re offering various portion sizes to accommodate different styles of eating — a lot of people want to sample many different dishes and flavors. We also feature nightly specials, which are fantastic, showcasing a nice amount of seafood.

DO: Does the restaurant obtain any of its products locally?

Dietrich: Yes, we use a lot of local, line-caught seafood, and a lot of our vegetables and garnishes consist of micro-greens, sprouts and salads that are all grown here in the islands.

DO: Do you offer wine pairings to accompany specific dishes?

Dietrich: Yes, our servers are very knowledgeable about wines. Right now we’re pairing up our famous prime rib with the Robert Mondavi Private Selection Chardonnay, which is a seasonal wine. Our servers also attend wine tastings, and most of our servers have been here anywhere from five to 10 years, so they’re very knowledgeable about the product.

DO: Share with us something special about Ocean House that most people wouldn’t be familiar with.

Dietrich: Originally Ocean House was part of the Shorebird restaurant. It’s said the bar was where we are today. Then the hotel and the clientele of the area demanded a more upscale restaurant. The best thing that we have here that most people don’t realize until they dine here, is that we’re right on the beach, and our view and our ambiance are unmatched. Dinner is quite our forte here at Ocean House, and we serve more than 200 meals a night.

DO: Who are the majority of your clientele here?

Dietrich: Mostly tourists, I would say. But we are getting more and more locals dining here all the time despite the fact that a lot of locals aren’t traveling into Waikiki because of parking and the cost and such, but we have a lot of good deals on the menu. Our prices are very reasonable and below the real high-end, gourmet restaurants, but we still offer that same impeccable service and dining experience.

DO: Is there any advice you would give to first-time diners?

Dietrich: We do have a small dining room, so reservations are highly recommended. We do have tables right along the ocean that are even more in demand, so we also take requests for oceanfront seating.

Ocean House

  • Where
    • Outrigger Reef Hotel
    • 2169 Kalia Road
    • Honolulu, HI 96815
  • Call
    • (808) 923-2277
  • Hours
    • Breakfast served daily
    • 7 a.m. – 11 a.m.
    • Dinner served daily
    • 5 pm. – 10 p.m.
  • Website

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