53’s Bar Favorites Just Got Even Better

Columns Foodie Fare

February 2, 2014

Story By: Christina O Connor | Photos by: Rachel Breit

Upon your first step into 53 By The Sea, you know you’re in for something special. From the elegant dining area to the stunning oceanfront views, the fine-dining restaurant pulls you in immediately with its alluring ambiance.

And you’ll be drawn even more to 53 By The Sea once you try the food, which assistant general manger J.R. Hoffman describes as “new American cuisine.”

“It is very artistic and doesn’t hold you to one genre of cuisine,” Hoffman says. “Our chef is able to break out of the box and really create any style of cuisine. It is well-rounded, which is nice.”

The restaurant focuses on seafood, but the menu also boasts an assortment of steak, pastas and more. In addition to 53 By The Sea’s regular menu, it also offers a bar menu with drinks and appetizers. The bar offers great deals for happy hour, which runs from 4 to 6:30 p.m. daily.

“During happy hour, we feature select wines, beers and cocktails,” Hoffman says. Plus, 53 By The Sea has a menu of bar food favorites (50 percent off during happy hour).

Starting today, 53 By The Sea is rolling out a new bar menu that includes dishes such as Crispy Calamari ($10).

“This dish has a little spice with jalapeno and is finished with a lemonade aioli,” Hoffman says.

For more tasty bar treats, Hoffman recommends Tenderloin Mushroom Baguette ($15) and the Spinach Shimeji Mushroom Gratin ($15). The baguette is an open-faced sandwich topped with tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, and Hoffman describes the gratin as “cheesy, and rich.”

With the restaurant’s array of culinary influences, it also captures certain local-style favorites, such as Seared Hawaiian Ahi ($15), accented with ponzu, garlic and chives. For more fun at the bar, guests also can sit back and enjoy live music from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily, with late-night music from 9 to 11:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 53 By The Sea is constantly looking for ways to improve, and when it does, it looks to its customers. The new bar menu, in fact, is derived largely from customer suggestions.

“We also rely on chef’s creativity, seasonal ingredients, and just fun and new creative things,” Hoffman says.

On the Side

When 53 By The Sea opened in September 2012, many locals already were familiar with the location, as it was formerly home to John Dominis. But 53 By The Sea has taken that location and revamped it to create an atmosphere all its own.

“We wanted to create a more modern feel,” explains assistant general manager J.R. Hoffman. “The designers opened up the windows. We wanted to take advantage of the view.”

And, in the spirit of showcasing what the island has to offer, 53 By The Sea also utilizes local products when possible.

“We are stuck in the middle of an ocean, so a lot of of the fresher products are local,” Hoffman says. “I think doing that is definitely important.”

The restaurant does, however, source out for superior products throughout the world.

Contact Christina O’Connor at diningout@staradvertiser.com

53 By the Sea

53 Ahui St., Honolulu
Lunch: Daily, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Dinner: Daily, 5-10 p.m.
Happy Hour: Daily, 4-6:30 p.m.
Bar Hours: 4 p.m.-midnight (Sunday-Wednesday), 4 p.m.-2 a.m. (Thursday-Saturday)

Honolulu, HI 96813

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best