Cinnamon’s shares its Aloha in WaikikiFeatures Order of the Day
December 14, 2014
Story By: Phoebe Neel | Photos by: Nathalie Walker
For locals or adventurous tourists, Cinnamon’s restaurant has been a well-loved breakfast-andlunch establishment in Kailua for more than 30 years. Now, it’s closer to home for those of us in town hungry for this mix of well-priced, traditional Hawaiian favorites with a twist.
“We’re bringing the Windward side across the mountain,” says Alika Nam, who’s wrapping up the opening of Cinnamon’s within iconic Ilikai Hotel and Suites in Waikiki. With 12,000 square feet, it dwarfs the original eatery, and affords space for Cinnamon’s to comfortably seat 200 people, and expand into dinner and cocktail service. Now, patrons can enjoy Ilikai Mahi ($16.95) and Homemade Ginger Ale ($4.85) while being serenaded by strolling musicians and soaking in the energy of Waikiki.
Branching to Waikiki was not just a business decision; it arose in part from the restaurant’s pride in being an ambassador of local culture.
“In our opinion, the Waikiki of old has been lost to big corporations, outsiders and manufactured aloha,” says Nam. “We’re honored to bring a part true Hawaii to Waikiki, from a local, born and bred organization.”
Cinnamon’s is steeped in this belief in all aspects of its operation, from the coasters that showcase an avant-garde Hawaiian emblem, to a menu full of favorites, such as Boneless Kalbi Ribs ($14.75). Famous for its Guava Chiffon Pancakes, Cinnamon’s offers a unique culinary twist on many standards, and the restaurant’s Kalua Pig, Eggs Benedict Combo with Country Tots ($15.95) is absolutely unmissable. The cocktail menu is equally attractive, with flirtatious concoctions, including Lilikoi Mimosa ($6.50) and Guava Mai Tai ($8) doing their best to steal the show.
Cinnamon’s commitment to the people and culture of the Islands runs deeper than words, or the 10 percent kamaaina discount. It’s not unheard of for Cinnamon’s employees — “our kids,” as Nam calls them — to dedicate themselves to the restaurant for more than 15 years.
“I’m glad to expand out of Kailua, in part because being there for so long, we didn’t have much more room to grow. Now, we can bring more people into the fold, into the family,” he says.
With this affordably priced, island favorite now in Waikiki, loyal patrons and newcomers have the chance to enjoy a taste of aloha that’s down home and delicious.
Ilikai Hotel and Suites 1777 Ala Moana Blvd.
Daily, 7 a.m.-9 p.m