Featuring nightly entertainment, the ‘Ōlelo room is only open in the evenings and serves pupus rather than entrees. We went on a Saturday night, arriving just in time for the 5pm opening. There are roughly 15 tables, most of them seating up to 8 people and within 10 minutes all the big tables were full and only one four-seater was still open.
Most of tables are outdoors and since the area is not large, they all have a good view of the stage where the entertainment sets up behind glass panels. The entertainment started around sunset, in this case, about 6pm. By then a few of the tables had finished and cleared so there was still an empty table or two available.
Perhaps it was because we arrived at opening so things were a little chaotic, but tables that were seated after us were served quite a while before us. It was a good 10 minutes before anyone even came by to give us water and take our drink order. After this initial glitch, the service was timely, so we’re going with the opening chaos idea. Menus are provided by QR code stickers on each table.
The drinks menu is basically a standard Disney bar menu, but most of the drinks have a Hawaii twist to them. Many mixed drinks use alcohol produced in Hawaii, or mixers that are common here such as lychee, coconut, and chili-pepper.
We tried the “Li Hing Rita” (Sauza Tequila, Triple Sec, and Sweet and Sour with a Li Hing powder rim) and the “Tropical Itch” (Don Q Pasion Rum, Jim Beam Bourbon, Orange Curacao, Liliko’i (Passion Fruit), and Pineapple Juice with a float of Whaler’s Dark rum). The Tropical Itch came with a souvenir back scratcher. Our child got milk which was served in an 8oz glass.
We found both of them to be on the sweet side and lacking in alcohol, like most mixed drinks around the resort. We liked the Tropical Itch better than the Li Hing rita but they both had a nice blend of flavors.
Our food arrived not much longer after the drinks. We tried the Popcorn Fries ($9, Buttered Popcorn, French Fries, Green Onions, Wasabi Oil, Furikake, Kabayaki Kewpie Mayonnaise, Mochi Crunch), Kalua Pork Gratin ($16, Kālua Pork, Cream Cheese, Maui Onion, Reggiano Parmesan Cheese, Lomilomi Tomato, Naan Bread), and Hawai‘i Ranchers Hōlua Sliders ($16, All Natural Beef Burger, Applewood-smoked Bacon, Aged-Sharp Cheddar, Avocado, Maui Onion Marmalade, Sweet Roll).
The fries sounded rather weird but to our surprise it worked and we all enjoyed it. However, the standout winner was the gratin. If you order this, be aware you can ask for more naan, we ran out of the naan way before the dip, but there was no extra charge for the additional naan and it held us through the end of the dip. The sliders came as a group of three and were disappointing, rather dry and lacking in flavor. Definitely not worth the money and we won’t be ordering that again.
For general information about this restaurant/lounge, go to https://alohaaulani.com/dining/the-olelo-room