Jimmy Buffett’s Restaurant and Bar (part of the Margaritaville nation-wide family) is one of those perfect places for an enthusiastic tourist: loud, upbeat music, relaxed island atmosphere, a large selection of drinks and bar food, and overtly kitsch décor so grandiloquent it somehow becomes charming. As they say on their website: “it's not just a dining destination, it's an entire change of latitude”.
Take your pick of seating from restaurant style table, to bar stool round-top, to bar side itself, just don’t assume that seating yourself at the “Hot Spot Bar” will in any way expedite the service. If there were a diploma in Island time these servers would be graduates, so don’t feel ignored if they take a while to notice you; they are very busy grooving to the music (perhaps they start work with a couple margaritas?). Instead, absorb the vibe, and if you are seated at the bar you are well positioned amidst the “volcanic rock” and can view first hand the “lava” flow beneath the counter top. Yes, Jimmy Buffett’s is one of those interesting places, and after a few margaritas it becomes even more so!
When ordering your margarita, bear in mind that this is no Mexican ‘hole in the wall’ with the traditional and best, like those found at Mexico (www.examiner.com/x-37554-Honolulu-Restaurant-Examiner~y2010m2d10-Take-a-trip-to-Mexico). You are about to experience Americanized margarita’s in their true form. Turn your head as they prepare your order – gaze out at the large screen images, or the band (if it’s a Saturday night), socialize, or dwell over a nacho order – anything so as not to witness your “specialty” drink coming straight out of a premixed icey machine. Oh America! Don’t worry, after two you really won’t notice the difference, and once your nachos arrive you will most certainly need something to sip on…
Mexican ‘Volcano nachos' is what they are meant to be.
American Monster nachos is what they are.
These are the hugest mound of tortilla chips I have yet to encounter, and very generously adorned they are as well - hot jalapenos, creamy guacamole, tomato salsa, sour cream and scallions, all smothered in rich melted American cheese and sneakily embracing a heart of what seems like chili (if you go with the beef option) - not for the faint eater! I have yet to witness anyone conquering theirs, in fact, I would recommend sharing them between two or three people. Priced around $20 (depending on your choice of vegetarian, chicken or beef), all three of you will have a mammoth meal, equally satisfying as it is unhealthy!
Nonetheless, Jimmy Buffett’s at the Beachcomber is worth experiencing, and be sure to take a peek over the balcony for an overhead view of the Waikiki strip, and try your best at hooking the string in the hole on your way out (a game I am convinced is utterly impossible!).
Last but not least, just like Bubba Gump (www.examiner.com/x-37554-Honolulu-Restaurant-Examiner~y2010m6d26-Bubba-Gump-for-electric-atmosphere), their brand’s store is all part of the fun. Head downstairs for souvenirs, t-shirts, island style furniture and much more. That way when you wake up a few pounds heavier after too many nachos and a few memories short after too many margaritas, you will have something to remember the evening by!
For a complete shoppers guide to the Margaritaville brand, a full menu, and an entertainment schedule, please visit http://www.jimmybuffettsatthebeachcomber.com.
Jimmy Buffet’s Restaurant and Bar is located at 2300 Kalakaua Ave, Waikiki.
Hours are 7am until late seven days a week, with the retail store opening its doors at 10am daily.
Free valet parking at the Beachcomber Hotel is available for four hours with a valid receipt from either the restaurant or the store.