Pau Hana Patrol: Bar 35
BY ELIZABETH KIESZKOWSKI / email@example.com
There’s a lot to recommend at Bar 35. It’s serious about offering a great array of beer and cocktail choices, stylish and dependably welcoming. Honolulu people know this — they pack the joint on First Fridays, from happy hour onward. But what about a midweek pau hana? I stopped in to find out.
The big disappointment for me is that happy hour applies only to drinks after 6 p.m., though Bar 35’s website prominently announces “Happy Hour until 10 p.m.”
35 N. Hotel St.
I took this to mean that food would be on special too, because food is usually a happy hour draw for me. This was going to be a big deal — but when I arrived at Bar 35 shortly after 6, I learned that there was a cutoff.
OK, the food is not superexpensive here by any means, but I’m one of those people who are always looking for a bargain. What can I say?
Just know the long-lasting happy hour at Bar 35 is certainly still an attraction, especially if beer or cocktails are your primary objective.
There’s a good martini selection, and Bar 35 offers more than 200 beers. You can score a cocktail for as little as $3.75 during happy hour, too — no mean deal.
The bar is urban chic, with a dimly lit room up front. There’s a small stage for music or comedy, and a large screen for special TV/movie viewings (Bar 35 recently hosted a “Mad Men” party). There are couches along the wall for lounging.
Move farther back, and there’s a side room with deep couches and beaded curtains. Though it looks like it would be reserved for VIPs, it’s usually open to all.
Keep heading out the back to the patio, and you’ll find some bench seating and a back bar (not always open during happy hour).
Bar 35 is all about beer, with 200-plus varieties from 20 different countries. I like knowing I can come here for an organic IPA or a strong Belgian brew.
Some beers are offered at $3 for happy hour, too.
On the evening I visited, though, the attraction was martinis.
Bar 35 offers $3.75 cocktails made with Three Olives vodka — a very nice option.
I chose the Ginger or Maryanne? — incorporating vodka, peach schnapps, ginger syrup, cranberry, sweet and sour and a fresh lemon press. It was completely satisfying.
A full array of liquor options is available. At full price, $9.50, I’m interested in trying the cocktail dubbed Satan’s Whiskers — made with Tanqueray gin, sweet and dry vermouth, Grand Marnier, orange juice and Angostura bitters. Next time.
I was wanting to eat healthy, so I chose the Smokey Heaven, with smoked salmon, red onions, capers, cream cheese and gorgonzola cheese. It was tasty, but it was also actually pretty rich — I should have realized that it was no low-cal offering.
Next time, I may try the Deep Forest, with imported prosciutto, fresh mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, with a touch of extra virgin olive oil.
Pizzas are $13 for a racetrack-shaped, personal-sized pie, and $17.50 for a pie big enough to share.
My drinking buddy and I rounded out the meal with spicy edamame ($6), incorporating some green into our scheme.
Didn’t try them, because they’re new, but Bar 35 has just added a couple of (deep-fried) things to the menu. Lumpia — deep-fried, pork-and-vegetable-filled rolls served with a sauce of your choice — comes eight pieces for $9.
The Big Daddy — deep-fried Polish sausage wrapped in bacon and topped with cheese and sauce, smoked bacon-wrapped with more than 1/4 lb. Polish sausage, topped with three cheeses and sauce and served with fries — is $10.
Like good beer and well-priced martinis? Want to grab a simple bite to go along with the sips? Appreciate a bar that keeps it both dark inside and relatively classy, has couches for lounging and a courtyard to escape the air conditioning? You’re going to like it here.
Pau Hana Patrol is on the hunt for happy-hour finds on all parts of Oahu. Share your recommendation — and tell us why you like it: firstname.lastname@example.org.