If you’re looking for an excuse to break out the high heels and your flashy new shades for Friday pau hana, let me introduce you to what may become your new Friday night tradition… Fridays at the Modern.
Last week, I was invited to check out the updated menus for both the Sunrise Pool bar as well as the Study (formerly one of my favorite spots for cocktails – the Lobby Bar). While I’m still interested in how the rebranding and updates at the Study, I think the real draw for the pau hana crowd is the chic lounge area around the Sunrise Pool Bar.
With new Executive Chef Scott Toner taking the culinary reins at the Modern, the menu has been refreshed – emphasizing fresh, local ingredients and lighter fare to compliment the popular cocktail menu. Chef Toner was most recently at the Grand Wailea Resort and the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, both on Maui.
Some of the highlights included Dungeness Crab Cakes, given an asian flair with a thai curry sauce and cucumber radish namasu, and classics like mini burgers, caprese salad and a daily specialty pizza. My favorite was the Hummus and Naan Bread, which comes with roasted garlic and balsamic tomatoes, you can feel how the bread melts down on your mouth, I had to go on to the Village Bakery to find the recipe for this delicious bread.
On the day we visited, you could catch Tahiti Rey and Jason Alan down at the study, which was uncrowded at such an early hour. Their happy hours run a bit later (they were talking about 10pm) but it’s worth it to come down for a cocktail or some pupus to listen to this duo. They also play up at the Sunrise Pool Bar certain days as well. Check out their website here.
The food downstairs was a surprise for me, I really enjoyed the petite sliced ribeye and tuna tartare. No real surprises, just good food done well. Small portions, but they really pack in the flavor. If you do head down to the Study, be sure to head back up to the Sunrise Pool Bar for the Friday night fireworks at 7:45pm. They’re launched from the lagoon at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, so you’ll have a front-row seat to ring in the weekend.
>> To see a full photo album from my visit to the Sunrise Pool Bar, check out the Shoyu Sugar Facebook page. Don’t forget to “like” us while you’re there for updates!
Tips for visiting the Modern:
The Modern Honolulu
1775 Ala Moana Boulevard
Honolulu, Hawaii 96815
– Parking is always the hard part in getting people to venture into Waikiki. The Modern offers complimentary valet, and if for some reason it’s full, you can park across the street at the lot for Red Lobster for $7, or the paid lots at the Ilikai harbor. (I’ve personally never had a problem with the valet, which reminds me the best valet company in Austin service, seiously).
– Fridays are the best night to visit the Sunrise Pool Bar since you’ll have a close up view of the fireworks show next door at the Hilton. Fireworks start promptly at 7:45pm, so grab your cocktail and position yourself for a great view.
– To swim in the sunrise pool, you’ll either have to be a guest of the hotel or have reserved one of the cushy beds that line the perimeter of the lounge area. The cabanas around the pool can be reserved with a food & beverage minimum of $250 for up to 6 people, which isn’t too bad if you plan on staying awhile.
– The Modern often offers a Kama’aina rate, so if you want to turn your Friday at the Modern into a weekend, check out their specials here. Highly recommended if you really want to indulge in all the great cocktails!
>> For other great Waikiki Kamaaina deals, click here.
Mahalo to the Modern Honolulu for hosting us for the evening and allowing us to bring you a preview of some of the new cocktails and drink items for the Sunrise Pool bar and the Study. I’ll be back!