Music to your taste budsCover Story
April 28, 2019
Story By: Caroline Wright | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO
Anybody who’s ever spent any time on the Windward side of Oahu likely knows about the magic of Cinnamon’s.
Since opening its doors in 1985, the charming country-style restaurant has been Kailua’s favorite brunch spot. It’s the sort of place where simply everything — from service to decor to menu — is friendly and familiar.
When Cinnamon’s opened a new location at the Ilikai Hotel and Suites in late 2014, locals wondered how its quaint country charm would translate to Waikiki’s bustling scene.
Just a few years later, and it’s clear that Cinnamon’s at the Ilikai has become a much-loved fixture. Kamaaina and visitors fill the place, happily rubbing elbows and eating pancakes and other Cinnamon’s treats, deeply enjoying the experience.
How could they not, in a setting that features such gorgeous views?
“On Easter Sunday, we hosted about 1,000 people. We were just packed!” says owner Puna Nam. Without a doubt, every customer left that day with a happy smile and a bellyful of the treats for which Cinnamon’s has become famous.
In Waikiki, Cinnamon’s menu features items like the Poke Ribeye Steak ($15), a broiled steak sliced into pupu-sized pieces, topped with sauteed onions and mushrooms, served on a sizzling platter. “It’s a Mainland version of poke, with steak rather than raw ahi,” says Nam. Between the irresistible aroma and the sound of the sizzle, this is a serious crowd-pleaser.
There’s nothing like a decadent Prime Rib Dinner, and Cinnamon’s at the Ilikai offers prime rib cut to order in three sizes: 8 ounces for $21.95; 12 ounces for $25.95; and 16 ounces for $31.95. The beef is accompanied by fresh asparagus and your choice of starch. And the Chicken Cordon Bleu ($18.95), with bearnaise sauce, wild rice and fresh asparagus, is an elegant and satisfying meal.
Ask for a couple spoons — or just one, if you don’t want to share — when you order the Brownie Sundae ($7.95).
Created by Nam’s wife, Bonnie “Cricket” Nam, it’s a homemade brownie topped with premium vanilla ice cream and Cricket’s own glorious chocolate sauce, with chopped macadamia nuts on the top.
Mother’s Day will be a delicious celebration at Cinnamon’s. Cost for the restaurant’s famous breakfast buffet (served from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.) is $35.95 ($31.95 for seniors 60-plus and keiki 6-12). Cinnamon’s dinner buffet, served from 5:30 to 8 p.m., is $39.95 ($35.95 for seniors 60-plus and keiki 6-12).
Everybody get happy
Live traditional and contemporary Hawaiian music is featured prominently and regularly at Cinnamon’s at the Ilikai, with performers like Doug Tolentino, Hoku Zuttermeister, John Feary, Malia Gibson and others. The restaurant’s bar is a wonderful place to spend happy hour, with $1 off drinks and pupus from 3 to 6 p.m., seven days a week.