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Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee: The LineUp at Wai Kai

Restaurant Insider

January 21, 2024

Story By: Anne Lee |

Find delicious food, like the Kalua Pork Nachos (contact for cost), at The LookOut Food & Drink.

The LookOut Food & Drink, located on the second floor of The LineUp at Wai Kai, offers some of the best locally sourced and healthy dishes, plus a full bar and your favorite Coca-Cola soft drinks.

In addition, the restaurant also features live entertainment nightly and has floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the beautiful 9-acre waterfront venue.

This is the perfect place to grab a quick lunch, enjoy pau hana, have dinner with friends or watch a game on TV.

I met with director of food and beverage Mickey Lasater to try the popular Jidori Chicken Caprese Sandwich and some of the new burgers made by chef Nikki Takamatsu.

Find everything from wings to burgers at The LookOut Food & Drink.

AL: Do you have an executive chef? ML: Yes, chef Nikki Takamatsu. He was part of our opening team and previously worked at Roy’s Ko Olina. He is currently revamping our menu, adding burgers and wings in addition to his local twist on some new dishes. How he got into the industry is a pretty funny story — he used to work at a gas station pumping gas and his friend, who was a manager at Curry House, offered to pay him $5 more. He has enjoyed it ever since.

AL: For those that have not been to The LookOut before, can you describe the guest experience?

ML: We are a hidden jewel of the West side. There are so many water activities to choose from, and it’s a great place for date nights, family gatherings, celebrations and live music. You can enjoy signature items like our Kalua Pork Nachos (contact for cost), Roasted Veggie Bowl (contact for cost) or the “Wai Tai” cocktail (contact for cost), all while watching the local talent on the waves!

You can also enjoy our farmers market from 5 to 8 p.m. every Thursday.

We even have an in-house baker, Paul Alambatin. We have some amazing desserts, too. Paul’s Buttah Cake is pretty ono.

AL: Which burgers did you make for us?

ML: Chef Nikki made the Mushroom Swiss Burger ($19) with a housemade jalapeño horseradish sauce, and the Chipotle Burger ($20) with a housemade chipotle aioli.

AL: The Jidori Chicken Caprese Sandwich is so good. Tell me about this dish.

ML: Jidori chicken has ties to Japan in the sense that at least one of the parents are from Japan, if not both. The chickens are free-range and are fed all-natural grains, without meat byproducts, hormones or steroids. It’s $19 and features grilled chicken breast with a housemade basil pesto aioli, tomato, local greens and fresh mozzarella on a brioche bun. It’s served with a side tossed salad.

This sandwich is so popular we also make two entree options: the Jidori Chicken Cutlet ($18) — crispy jidori chicken breast with brown gravy, served with Okinawan sweet potato salad and a choice of white or brown rice — or the Jidori Chicken Dinner ($22). The latter features chicken breast, thyme Dijon cream sauce and is served with seasonal vegetables and a choice of white or brown rice or roasted potatoes.

AL: What other events take place out here?

ML: We have pau hana from 4 to 6 p.m. every day. Right now, our daily special is a Spicy Ahi Bowl (contact for cost) with sushi rice, furikake, kamaboko, edamame, fresh avocado, fresh cucumber, Da Kine Sauce (house special sauce) and nori strips.

We also have weekly events: Wai Kai Show (Mondays) is the first-ever show to incorporate live surfing on the 100-foot-wide Wai Kai Wave in the performance (you can make a reservation via opentable.com), Industry Night (Tuesdays), Karaoke (Wednesdays), Farmers Market on the Wai Kai lawn and a live band at The LookOut (Thursdays), and live music (Fridays-Saturdays).

AL: What is happening in the lagoon in March?

ML: We are launching our new attraction, a Wibit. It’s a massive inflatable obstacle course. Stay tuned for more details.

AL: Anything else you want to share?

ML: Our new menu should be launching within a couple of weeks! We are really excited about this.

Photos courtesy The LineUp at Wai Kai

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