AfterWork: Duke's in Huntington Beach
Whenever I write about a restaurant or bar in downtown Huntington Beach, some wise guy inevitably will post a comment that chides me for suggesting that the place has a great view of the ocean.
According to these habitual cynics, there is always another place with a better view.
Well, I defy those wise guys to argue with this week's selection.
If you are one of those people who believe that the only two things that are more important in the restaurant business than location are location and location, then Duke's is probably the place for you.
Nearly 12 years ago, a California-based company opened Duke's (named after the legendary Hawaiian surfer and Olympic swimmer Duke Kahanamoku) at the foot of the Huntington Beach Pier. That company – TS Restaurants – now owns 14 restaurants, eight of which are in Hawaii. The other six are located in California, with two (Duke's and the new Sandy's Beach Grill) in Orange County.
Duke's offers a seafood-laden menu with an island flair, plenty of silly but potent drinks with umbrellas and a staff draped in Hawaiian shirts. And, of course, there is the view.
The dining rooms face the pier, the beach, the ocean, the volleyball players, the surfers and the seagulls. It's a nice view.
But, even if you are a grumpy old man who hates spectacular beach views, you can find something to pique your interest, including an unusual happy hour.
Actually, it's not even called happy hour. It is called "Aloha Hour," and it features discounts on seven entrees. That's right; I said entrees, not appetizers. The dishes might be slightly smaller than the full-priced entrees, but the discounts are not. Among the discounted items are parmesan and Panko-crusted fish, shrimp and crab Louie and a burger with a mango barbecue sauce. Those discounts are in effect Mondays, from 3:30 p.m. to closing time; Tuesdays-Fridays from 3:30-6:30 p.m.; and Saturdays from 2:30-5:30 p.m. There also are drink discounts on certain libations on Thursdays and Fridays.
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