THERE WASN'T a lot of time to decide -- a friend from my college days was home for the holidays, but we weren't able to get together for drinks until his last night on the rock.
Unfortunately for this columnist, both of the bars I had in mind to review this week are a good 15-minute drive from town, so I scrambled to think of somewhere closer to his home on Ward Avenue.
"Ever been to Kincaid's?" I asked after we decided against a couple of different bars nearby. When he told me that the last time he visited the restaurant it was called Horatio's, I knew we had our pick for the night.
Kincaid’s Fish, Chop
Hours: 11 a.m. to midnight Sundays through Thursdays;
11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays
Location: Ward Warehouse, 1050 Ala Moana Blvd.
KINCAID'S FISH, Chop and Steakhouse is part of an eight-restaurant chain, with other locations in Arizona, California, Minnesota and Virginia. While you can call ahead and make reservations for a full meal, what makes this a good choice for drinks and pupus is its lounge-style seating near the bar and happy hour specials daily from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Over a dozen tables and about 10 barstools offer plenty of room in the lounge, and large windows along the makai wall provide a nice view of Kewalo Basin and Ala Moana Boulevard. More importantly, this part of Kincaid's doesn't require reservations; just walk in, grab a table to chill at and you're in business.
If you're hungry, and money isn't an issue, ask your server for the full menu. The fresh fish here is excellent, and you can get it brought to the bar to go along with one of the 20 different choices of single malt scotch that are offered.
For those of you watching your pennies, on the other hand, take a look at the pupu menu for a few choices that won't break the bank. Teriyaki tenderloins ($8.95) and ahi poke ($9.95) are a good way to start, and the macadamia-crusted brie ($9.50) goes great with a cold draft beer.
And don't forget about happy hour -- both drinks and pupus drop in price, and you can even get a three-course meal for under $20 from 5 to 6 p.m. Try the salmon ($19.95), garlic prawns ($18.95) or baby back ribs ($18.50) and you'll save quite a bit off the restaurant's regular prices.
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@ STARBULLETIN.COM|
Scott Sato, a bartender at Kincaid's Fish, Chop and Steakhouse at Ward Warehouse, pours some cocktails.
SO THE food is good, but what about the drinks? Just gaze upon all the bottles that reach towards the ceiling above the back bar at Kincaid's, and you can't help but feel that nice warm glow that goes with a feeling of, "oh my goodness, I could get really, really sloshed here!"
There are also entire pages of the menu dedicated to the different specialty drinks that are available, good for the more adventurous drinker who wants to try something new. I decided to take the Peach Derby Martini ($7.50) for a spin, and quickly decided that multiple glasses of this stuff would be the end of me. A mix of fresh orange and mint with bourbon, peach schnapps and lime sour, it went down fast and hit me even faster.
TOTAL COST for my friend and I that evening, including tax and tip, ran about $45. Not bad, considering we missed happy hour and could have saved more money if we had shown up an hour earlier. But it was also good to rediscover a place that a lot of people might not realize is more than just a restaurant. Keep Kincaid's in mind as an option when you're looking for a place to visit during pau hana or for a few drinks after catching a movie with that special someone.
How much for a Bud Light?
The Barfly drank a $3.50 Bud Light draft before stepping up to the hard stuff during his visit to Kincaid's. A number of other brews are available on tap, and remember to visit during happy hour from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. if you're looking to cut the price a little bit more.
Get things to do?
Other than a single television above the bar, there isn't much to do here during the week. Thursdays are the exception, however, with live entertainment generally scheduled from 8 to 10 p.m. Performers including Eight-O-Eight, H2O, The VP's, Darren and Ben, Guy Cruz and Cory Oliveros are scheduled for upcoming Thursdays; call the restaurant to inquire about entertainment on Fridays and Saturdays.
What about the grinds?
You really can't go wrong with the food at Kincaid's -- the dungeness crab appetizer ($12.95) is a favorite, and the gorgonzola-covered potatoes ($6.50) and linguini with seared ahi ($12.95) have also passed the Barfly's taste test. And since this place is a restaurant, a complete lunch or dinner menu is available as well.
And the help?
While it can be tough to order a drink in the lounge when it's busy, there are usually enough servers to keep the alcohol coming. It wasn't too crowded during our visit, so we had no problem getting our drinks or the pupus we ordered. Bonus points go to our server that night for not being pushy when she carded us -- being polite does have a direct effect on the evening's tip, and this woman was aware of that fact.
See the Columnists section for some past articles.
Barfly appears every Friday in Star-Bulletin Weekend.
E-mail Jason Genegabus at firstname.lastname@example.org with suggestions of neighborhood bars to visit.