Oceans of fresh seafood, worldly cuisine to exploreColumns Foodie Fare
May 26, 2015
Story By: Christina O Connor | Photos by: Bodie Collins
In 1979, restaurateur H.T. Hayashi had a brilliant idea: build a giant aquarium and have it serve as a backdrop to a dining room.
“The concept came about because of (his) lifelong fascination for aquatic environments,” Pacific Beach Hotel director of food and beverage Patrick Faas says. “He set out to build one of the most advanced aquarium systems at the time, so guests would be able to enjoy the Hawaiian reef and experience an undersea excursion, while staying dry and enjoying a delicious meal.”
That lofty restaurantmeets- aquarium concept became Oceanarium Restaurant, located inside Pacific Beach Hotel.
Three stories high, 52 feet long, and home to more than 70 species of fish, the aquarium itself certainly is an impressive structure.
But that awe factor doesn’t stop just at the aquarium — it extends to the food, too. Serving up seafood and world cuisine in its a la carte menu, Oceanarium is known just as much for the the fish on its plates as it is for the fish inside of the aquarium. In dishes such as Seafood Linguine ($27), pasta is loaded with tiger prawns, Manila clams, green lip mussels and sea scallops — all sautéed and tossed with an aromatic basil cream sauce and served with grilled garlic bread.
Oceanarium presents more than just fresh fish — Pan-Seared Chicken Breast ($22) is a popular item featuring a 10-ounce airline chicken breast in a wild mushroom and caper sauce.
Just as important as the a la carte menu are the restaurant’s well-known, grand buffet spreads (ranging from $45.95 to $47.95, and $34.95 for brunch), which are available daily. The buffet’s culinary theme changes regularly and showcases a rotating selection of prime seafood, sushi, entrees, desserts and more.
With its dream-like setting, Oceanarium is the perfect place to celebrate any special occasion — like Father’s Day, coming up June 21. That day, the restaurant will feature brunch and dinner buffets. Both include a range of soup, salad and entrée options, as well as access to the seafood and sushi bars. There are several varied entrée options for both meals — as well as an omelette and waffle station for brunch and a roast pig station during dinner.
W H E R E
Pacific Beach Hotel
2490 Kalakaua Ave.,
C A L L
H O U R S
breakfast buffet: 6-10 a.m.;
brunch buffet: Saturday–Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.;
dinner buffet: 4:30-10 p.m.