I've always thought of SKY Waikiki as a hip nightclub for twentysomethings. In other words, I'm too old for it. I'd never been there — not for pau hana, bachelorette parties or after-after parties.
That is, until I was recently invited for a media preview of SKY's revamped food menu (they had food all this time?). My experience completely transformed the way I think of Sky. Before I left Waikiki I was shout-texting a friend: "I HAVE THE PERFECT SPOT FOR OUR NEXT GNO!!"
From happy hour at Top of Waikiki, Sky's revolving sister restaurant right upstairs, I already knew about the parking: Free with validation (you need to purchase something) for the remainder of the night. It's the best parking deal in Waikiki.
Here's what I'm getting the next time I'm up in the club:
I’m a sucker for grilled cheese, so I know this is going to be love at first bite. The country bread’s made in house, stuffed with melted mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, housemade basil pesto and balsamic onions and grilled to a satisfying crunch. One bite takes you back to childhood memories of dunking grilled cheese pieces in tomato soup. This is slightly more grown up, thanks to the balsamic onions, but still comfort food at its finest.
Next, fajitas: Marinated, boneless short rib is sliced into bite-sized pieces, making it easy to inhale with or without the tortillas. The pasty red sauce on the side is gochujang, which you smear into the tortillas. It's hot, but it burns so good.
I love all things fried, and the tempura delivers. The king crab pieces are meaty and succulent, and the thin coating has a delicate crunch without being overly greasy. The platter comes with two creamy sauces — sweet chili aioli and kabayaki mayo. I prefer the mayo, but spice lovers will appreciate the sweet chili's heat.
Lobster rolls are something I truly miss from living on the Mainland. These sliders are as close as I can get to the East Coast summer staple. The chilled lobster salad combines lobster chunks with lemon juice, chives and celery, and a light touch with the mayo lets the Kona lobster shine. Sometimes simple is best, and these sliders are a prime example of that.
Executive chef Lance Kosaka says many customers were asking for shrimp scampi, and this twist features lots of garlic, parsley and lemon. Indulging in this is like visiting my favorite North Shore shrimp truck, but way less messy because the shrimp are peeled. You'll fight your friends for that last piece.
2270 Kalakaua Ave., 19th Floor
Tues-Thurs, Sun 5-11 p.m., Fri-Sat 5 p.m.-2 a.m.
Happy hour drink specials Tues-Sun 5-7 p.m. at the bar only
Validated parking available in the Waikiki Business Plaza and Waikiki Shopping Plaza