I had been meaning to try the Top of Waikiki for a while, since chef Lance Kosaka relocated there. I had tried his food on sample plates at various fundraisers — he’s always serving the most popular dishes — and I knew that he’s been gradually revamping the restaurant’s menu.
He recently hired pastry sous chef Heather Bryan, who had created desserts at places from Aku Bone to Vintage Cave, and her additions to the menu are so good that the Top of Waikiki PR team invited media to the restaurant to try them. Well, her desserts made such an impression that we wondered what the rest of the menu had become, so we got a group of bloggers together to try Kosaka’s new offerings, too.
While a lot of the menu is still geared to please the visitor market, with basic salads, steak, and seafood, Kosaka has added dishes with local flair to attract Hawaii residents, too. It’s nice to know that locals can enjoy food with familiar flavors — elevated to match one of the best views in Waikiki.
Top of Waikiki
This seemed to be everyone' favorite: toasted hazelnut gelato pie. Hazelnut gelato (like Nutella flavor) is layered with chocolate mousse and Frangelico whipped cream with a chocolate chip cookie crust. It's supposedly served with bacon brittle and toasted hazelnuts, but Pam Davis (ahem) may have eaten them before I got to them. This is refreshing, and although the flavor is rich it is overall very light.
Top of Waikiki
2270 Kalakaua Ave. (Enter the lot from Seaside Ave.; parking is free)