Located in the lobby of the Aqua Waikiki Wave on Kuhio Avenue in Waikiki, Da Big Kahuna is a refreshing change of pace from the overcrowded bars on Kalakaua Avenue.
With a welcoming staff to both returning regulars and first time guests, the large bar and restaurant offers a neighborhood bar atmosphere where old friends catch up and new friendships are fast formed.
Kahuna features entertainment for many tastes: nightly live entertainment from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., karaoke on Mondays and Wednesdays, and a DJ Thursday through Sunday nights.
We had the pleasure of meeting many members of the staff and they were an amazing bunch: bar manager Tiffany and bartenders Brandy, Kelly, Jazmine, and Brittany made us feel right at home. We sat down with Brittany to discuss what sets Da Big Kahuna apart from other area watering holes. The Cameron Park, California native has been bartending at Da Big Kahuna for about a year and a half.
OurBrewCrew.com: How did you get into bartending?
Brittany: When I first moved here, I started as a server waiting tables. I did that for about one year hoping to make the transition to bartending.
OBC: Did you have prior bartending experience, or did you go to school for bartending?
Brittany: No, I didn’t have any prior bartending experience or go to school. They gave me a list of recipes for both common and signature drinks to memorize. Then they tested me on making the drinks using liquor bottles filled with colored water until I had it down perfect.
OBC: What’s your favorite thing about bartending?
Brittany: Being in Waikiki – probably one of the most famous beaches in the world – we have customers come in from every part of the world. I love talking to all these different people from every walk of life and hearing about their experiences here. No one day is quite like the other, and it makes every day interesting.
OBC: What are some of the most popular drinks here?
Brittany: Well of course beer is always popular. Every day we have $3.00 beer specials. The beers rotate day to day.
As for mixed drinks, the Mai Tai is always popular, but if you want to be a little adventurous, you definitely have to get the fish bowl!
OBC: What’s in a fish bowl?
Brittany: It can be shared by up to four people and has three different types of rum, peach schnapps, and assorted fruit juices. It’s delicious!
OBC: What about food?
Brittany: The wings are always a hit and the Big Kahuna burger is very popular. It’s ½ pound of angus with swiss and cheddar cheese, Applewood bacon, pineapple, ham and a secret sauce. If you’re in the mood for a local favorite try the Loco Moco. It’s either two hamburger patties or pulled pork, with a fried egg over two scoops of white rice smothered in gravy. We have one of the best Loco Mocos around.
OBC: What advice would you give to someone just starting out bartending?
Brittany: I would tell them to be yourself, be confident and have fun with it. Yes, it’s a busy job but it also can be a lot of fun if you know your craft and work hard.