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Hula Hut, Austin, TX (restaurant)

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Name:Hula Hut
Street:3825 Lake Austin Blvd

Fantastic restaurant on Lake Austin.

The food is good and the dinner wait is always long.
I went at 8pm on a Friday or Saturday and the wait was 2hrs.!
Go early if you want to go - this place is popular. The food is a Mexican/Polynesian mix.

The inside is heavily decorated. Looks like Hawaii threw up in there - I loved it!
Awesome! Pretty large dining room with additional seating over the water on a skinny deck which is covered but can be open air. The deck has it's own bar at the end. I've only been at night and when it's chilly so the temporary "windows" are always down. Also has an outside bar (separate from the deck bar) with bar stools and tables.

Good drinks and lots of cute shirts to buy on the way out!

Hula Hut is owned by the Chuy's Mexican Restaurant chain.
Here's the site: http://www.hulahut.com/

Kenike posted on Wed, Jul 5, 2006 5:13 PM

Over the 4th of July holiday we spent a few days in Austin and I dragged the wife and kids to the Hula Hut for dinner so I could check it out. I didn’t have high expectations for this place so I wouldn’t be too disappointed. First, we were there at 5pm on a Sunday and the place was PACKED. Oh, and they DON’T take reservations so don’t even bother trying. Luckily we only had to wait 20 minutes for a table. Outside I spotted a few cool tikis and inside it kind of reminded me of Joe’s Crab Shack with some Hawaiiana thrown in. Lots of nautical and lots of Hawaiian themed décor. The outdoor section of the restaurant was packed with college-aged folks scarfing down beer and nachos…and no-one seemed to mind the rain. It’s a nice deck and right on Lake Austin. Music was mostly classic rock.

I took a look at the drink menu to see if they had a mai tai. They did, but the description was “a frozen blend of…” so I decided on something else. I can’t remember the name of the drink I ended up getting , but it was very similar to a Coconaut except with 151. It was real tasty…an excellent blend of 151 and coconut. I could taste both without one overpowering the other.

There were a lot of children eating so the place certainly appeared to be kid friendly. This is important if you’re like me and have kids that are very picky eaters. The kids menu seemed to have all the typical standby’s…hot dogs, chicken fingers, etc. so it worked out fine. I ordered the spinach and shrimp taco which I have to say was very, very good.

Now for the downers…all of the staff seemed very friendly and accommodating. That is, except for one who happened to be our waitress. The first irritating thing was our kids’ drinks (Sprites) were nothing but seltzer water. Obviously the syrup had run out. When I alerted our waitress to this she said “Oh, ok” took the drinks away and didn’t bring back new ones for over 10 minutes. No apology before or after, she just sat them down in front of my cranky and thirsty kids and walked away. When the kid’s chicken fingers arrived, it was obvious to us (and them) that they didn’t have nearly enough ketchup. I flagged down the waitress and said “I need another drink and the kids need some...” and she was gone. She came back with my drink and we asked her for the extra ketchup. This time, my drink was nothing but ice and rum, completely awful. I was going to send it back but Jackie (oops I said her name) was nowhere in sight. Ten minutes later I see her sweeping the floor…still haven’t received the ketchup. We call her over and said “the kids never got their ketchup..” and she looked at us like she had no idea what we were talking about. That’s when my wife chimed in with “Just bring us the check…and where’s the manager.”

Now, we are NOT complainers when it comes to restaurant service. Usually when it’s bad we just don’t go back. This is the 2nd time in my life that I’ve ever felt the need to complain to a manager. I also don’t believe that Jackie represents all of Hula Hut’s staff. Like I said, most were quite friendly…we just ended up with the lousy one. I have no idea what happened to my second drink…although my wife theorized that Jackie knew we were going to be difficult anyway and told the bartender to make a lousy one. Who knows…but the first one was definitely a winner.

On the way out I bought one of the mugs they were selling which was just a KC Hawaii mug not marked with the restaurant name. And while my wife was tearing the manager a new a-hole, I was busy filling my pockets with matchbooks and swizzles.

Would I go back? Probably yes…I’d give them another shot. If you’re in Austin it’s worth a look. Just know what to expect…and avoid anyone named Jackie.

Here’s a few pics:

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