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Trump Waikiki Eats: BLT Steak

A few nights ago my girlfriend and I reserved our belated Valentine’s Day dinner at BLT Steak in the newly opened Trump International Hotel & Tower in Waikiki.

The restaurant is located on the ground floor to the right of the tower’s main entrance on Saratoga road.

While at first impression you might think their name stands for “Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Steak Sandwich”, as you see by the sign, the “BLT” part stands for ‘Bistro Laurent Tourondel’. Learn more about Chef  Laurent Tourondel here.

Of course being where it is, BLT Steak’s decor and ambiance is elegant and high class. While at the same time it feels cozy, casual and relaxed, and not pretentious or snobby at all. The wait staff’s uniforms further project a laid back atmosphere, as they’re not in suit and tie or dress shirts, but very casual-looking “Polo” style shirts.

Here’s where we were seated in a very romantic and rather private booth towards the back…

“Window” tables…

There’s also a private room in back near where we sat, which had a very large screen TV, so you can host a business meeting or watch the Winter Olympics as these folks were doing…

If you prefer the cool Waikiki breezes, there’s also outdoor seating…

Being on the ground floor and a bit away from the beach, there’s not much of a view, except for Fort DeRussy across the street, although I hear on Friday nights you can see the fireworks that are launched from nearby Hilton Hawaiian Village.

The kitchen is also visible through windows from the main dining room area…

The Wine cabinet…

The bar…

Now let’s check out the menu, starting with the Raw Bar…

Notice in extension of BLT’s relaxed concept, the menu isn’t bound in fancy presentation, but merely a printed sheet of paper. A sheet of paper! It kinda’ throws you off, thinking “am I really in a Trump Tower?” lol

Anyhow, moving on we have the Prix Fixe Blackboard Menu…

The Dinner Menu…

Finally the Cocktail & Wine List…

Starting our dinner off, we each ordered a glass of  Kenwood “Jack London” Cabernet Souvignon, which arrived at the same time with the complimentary dinner bread and their famous Popovers…

Their complimentary dinner bread is toasted Ciabatta, while taking it to the stratosphere is this most delicious Chicken Liver Pâté it’s accompanied with…

Also complimentary are their famous Popovers…

Here’s the Popover “popped open” and the toasted Ciabatta bread spread with some of that awesome Chicken Liver Pâté…

The Popover tastes and has an airy texture similar to a Croissant, except it’s much more glutenous and chewy, with a mildly flaky and crisp crust. The top side of it where it “pops-over” is covered in baked Gruyere Cheese…

While the baked-on Gruyere cheese didn’t add much, except a little more saltiness to the top and additional texture contrast, never-the-less, it did make it a little more interesting to eat through.

That Chicken Liver Pâté though? Man, that is some good stuff! I used it to spread on both the Popover and the toasted Ciabatta, where talk about DYNAMITE!

Here it is spread on the Popover…

While I’m not a fan of Pâté or particularly liver for that matter, I really enjoyed this. It’s more savory and salty in a complex way, while the liver flavor came across as subtle to me.  Notably, a bite of the Chicken Liver Pâté toast and popover, then a very small sip of the Cabernet was just a wonderful pairing. So delicious!

Overall, I give their Chicken Liver Pâté and Popovers with Gruyere a very solid 4 SPAM Musubi.

We weren’t in the seafood mood on this occasion (a rarity for me), and knowing the steaks were going to be massive, we went light on apps, starting things off (as if it hasn’t already happened) by sharing a Roasted Beets, Endive, Walnuts and Mauna Kea Goat Cheese Salad…

My plate…

I’m also not really a beet fan, but the way it’s assembled here was fantastic. The dressing tasted like a simple Vinaigrette, which let the beautiful marriage of the Goat Cheese and Roasted Beets, Walnuts and Endive shine through that much more instead of overpowering it.

For its simplicity, freshness and wonderful marriage of ingredients, I give BLT Steak’s Roasted Beet Salad a very solid 3 SPAM Musubi.

I swear, it always sounds so funny when I give fine dining dishes and restaurants a “SPAM Musubi” rating. lol

Finally the moment of truth where we’re presented with BLT Steak’s 14 oz. Boneless Ribeye…

The white cattle tag indicates this steak is done to MEDIUM doneness. A tragedy I tell ya’!  Notice it’s topped with a dollop of Herb Butter, which you can either swipe off or swipe all over it…

Oops. I missed getting the shot when it first arrived, which the steak also includes a whole head of roasted garlic…

As advertised, here’s a slice of that ribeye showing off its medium doneness…

For the life of me, I didn’t get a shot of my 14 oz. medium-rare Ribeye as it arrived in its serving dish. Ack! Oh well. Here’s half of it plated with some sides…

Sliced up, you see it’s done PINK ‘N PERFECT!…

Speaking of sides, we ordered the “Hen of the Woods” Mushrooms…

The Potato Gratin…

and the Leek and Potato Hash Brown…

Back to the steaks, you can request as many different sauces as you like. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout! We chose three: The Roquefort, Peppercorn and Red Wine Reduction…

Now before I go dippin’ that beautiful, 1700º broiled, prime grade, dry-aged USDA Angus Beef Ribeye steak in sauces, let’s taste it as is…

OMG. Oh —— My —— God. OMG! OMG! AWWWWWWWESOME! Possibly this could be the best steak I’ve ever had. It’s so melt-in-your mouth tender, I could actually cut through it with the side of my fork…

I swear on my life, I did not precut that slice with my steak knife and put the fork to it. I really did cut that piece of steak using my fork as shown. Amazing.

Then just look at that flavor-packed blackened seared crust from the 1700º broiler. Topping that, it’s seasoned simply with what I think is just Kosher salt and pepper to perfection, with the flavor-enhancing salt slightly permeating throughout the tender fibers of the rare beef inside, making each juicy bite SCREAM OUT “I’m one kick @ss piece of meat!”

OK, let’s try it in the Roquefort Sauce…

The sauce itself is delicious, and would make a great salad dressing, but a little to pungent and overpowering with the steak, pretty much masking the wonderful beef flavor of that prime aged ribeye and defeating the purpose.

Now let’s try the Peppercorn Sauce…

That’s much better. Their Peppercorn sauce tastes very similar to The Colony in the Hyatt from what I remember (who is another FANTASTIC steak house by the way). This sauce has enough character on its own, yet is tame enough to enhance the steak without dominating it.

Now let’s try the Red Wine Reduction Sauce…

Another winner. Yeah, I really like this one. I’m guessing this is made with either demi glace or veal stock, red wine and butter. At least that’s what it tasted like. Kinda’ buttery, kinda’ fruity, kinda’ savory. Again enhancing the char-grilled flavor of the ribeye without dominating it.

Our server was also kind enough to bring a bottle of BLT Steak Sauce…

Their signature steak sauce kinda’ reminded me of my favorite store-bought brand, A1, although it was a little more mild. Great though. I’d buy a bottle of this stuff to take home for sure!

Now about the sides, the texture of the “Hen of the Woods” Mushrooms, which were served with their stems attached to each other, were under-sauteed, turning out tough and rubbery…

Flavor-wise, they were just OK, but not as good as the Mushrooms I remember from The Colony at The Hyatt. For the $14 price of admission, I expected much better. Still, when eaten with that amazing steak, it found redemption.

Now for the Leek and Potato Hash Brown…

It was cooked perfectly, being super-moist inside, with a wonderful golden brown crust on the outside, but flavor-wise, straight-up just didn’t “wow” us. Now maybe if they gave me some sour cream, bacon bits and chives to top it I might change my mind! Ha ha! . Honestly though, like the “Hen of the Woods” Mushrooms, I can’t recommend their Leek and Potato Hash Brown.

On the other hand we really enjoyed the Potato Gratin…

Creamy, cheesy, fork-tender delicious medalions of potatoes. This was “money” with the, again, AMAZING steak. Definitely a recommended side.

Really though, I just can’t explain in words how STELLAR their steak is. You’ll have to dine here and taste it for yourself what the hype is all about. 5 SPAM Musubi for sure. Shoots, I’ll send it off the charts and give their Ribeye alone TEN SPAM MUSUBI, it’s that good (I did that for Roy’s too).

Next we move on to the dessert…

It wouldn’t be a Valentine’s dinner without chocolate, therefore my lady chose the Warm Chocolate Tart…

This is served with Pistachio Ice Cream…

And to our delight, our server brought us these complimentary Mocha Chocolate Chip Brownies…

What, you don’t see any chocolate chips? That’s because they’re melted inside, and when you cut into it, it comes oozing out…

Ooooooooh…. ahhhhhhhhhhh. Yummmmmm. lol

No, but seriously, both these desserts were fabulous. I’m not a chocolate person, but my girlfriend is, giving that Warm Chocolate Tart a solid 4 SPAM Musubi. I was diggin’ the Pistachio Ice Cream though! I’ll give that 4 SPAM Musubi! We both also really enjoyed this melted chocolate chip brownie thingy. Definitely solid 4 SPAM Musubi for that.

Our server Rachel was wonderful. Very knowledgeable about the menu, friendly and attentive without being too intrusive. Also honest in her opinions of certain dishes, which we appreciate. Don’t you hate it when the server sounds like a sales person saying EVERYTHING’S GOOD!? Come on now, be real. Rachel gave us her opinions on each menu item that we asked about just like we were old friends, and we dig that.

Of course being in a hotel with the name ‘Trump’ in front of it, then topping that off being in Waikiki, unless you’re here in care of a business expense account, you’re probably not going to wanna’ look at the check…

Should I open it and look? Really, should I? I’m just gonna’ pop my card in there, squint and sign my name and let my girlfriend figure out the the 20% gratuity lol…

Ah, that’s not bad considering the occasion. About what you’d pay at competing Morton’s, Ruth’s Chris and Wolfgang’s. Of course the wine is what will get ya’.

I heard if you sign in the wrong employee ID and password on this data terminal in the restaurant, a message pops up on the screen with “Uncle Don’s” mug on it that says, “YOU’RE FIRED!” lol! j/k

Summing up our belated Valentine’s Day dinner at BLT Steak in Waikiki, between my girlfriend and I, we both unanimously give them 4 SPAM Musubi. Subtracting points for their two lackluster sides, only to be redeemed by their AMAZING 1700º broiled, dry-aged prime beef ribeye STEAKS, which gets a TEN!

BLT Steak
Trump International Hotel & Tower
Waikiki Beach Walk
223 Saratoga Rd.
Honolulu, HI 96815
Tel. 683-7440

The Tasty Island Rating:

(4) Excellent. Worth another visit or purchase. (Winnahz!)

Related links:
BLT Steak (Waikiki) – Yelp user reviews
The Colony at Hyatt Regency Waikiki – The Tasty Island
Waikiki Valentine’s Eats: D.K Steak House – The Tasty Island

P.S. A look inside our BLT Steak “Doggy Bag” (leftovers) that we GLADLY finished later at home after catching that “second wind”!

First her medium-done ribeye, a slice of the leek potato hash and potato gratin….

My medium-rare ribeye, “Hen of the Woods” Mushroms, Potato Gratin, and two roasted garlic heads…

And a Popover…

25 thoughts on “Trump Waikiki Eats: BLT Steak

  • February 20, 2010 at 6:25 pm
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    I now know where I’m going for steak on my birthday.

    Reply
  • February 20, 2010 at 10:15 pm
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    Thanks for the menu shots! I love steakhouses…my favorite “type” of dining out and it’s nice to see the menu beforehand to mull over. Particularly interested in the ciabatta & chicken liver bread plate! Looks yummers! Really appreciate the thoroughness of your posts.

    Reply
  • February 20, 2010 at 11:35 pm
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    I would go there just for their ciabatta, popover and liver pate – very different starters than other places! Now I need a special occasion to go there…LOL

    Reply
  • February 21, 2010 at 6:30 am
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    Deanna, backing up my claim, if you read the numerous Yelp and other reviews about BLT Steak (they’re all over the country), you’ll hear how just about everyone raves over their Chicken Liver Pate and Popovers. You certainly won’t leave this place hungry or disappointed thanks in part to that.

    Michele, yeah, the menu shots should help future diners at BLT Steak in Waikiki, as their own website doesn’t provide a menu at all (what’s the deal with that?).

    Kat, it was!

    Dave, I think I worded that fairly accurately.

    Marvo, any chance something from a restaurant will make it on your product review site? Perhaps the Popovers! I’m not sure if BLT Steak sells their bottled steak sauce over-the-counter. Forgot to ask.

    Reply
  • February 21, 2010 at 7:51 am
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    ho brah, the way you used your fork to ‘slice’ the steak? that was outstanding!!!!! wonderful write-up again, looks like you and your sweetheart had a very lovely valentines. hehe the wine was expensive…but looking from the doggie bags, i think the price is well justified–looks like the leftovers could be two more meals!

    Reply
  • February 21, 2010 at 8:54 am
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    Whoa! My wife and I had Valentine’s dinner at Wolfgangs and it was 250 with tip and we had less food than you folks had. It seems that BLT may be a better value. Thanks for the heads up!

    Alan from Makiki

    Reply
  • February 21, 2010 at 9:34 am
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    Makiki, my girlfriend had dinner at Wolfgang’s recently with some friends and noted that their sides tasted better, yet BLT Steak’s STEAK is WAY BETTER than Wolfgang’s. Looks like BLT’s a better value to compared to what you paid. How many ounces were the steaks you ordered? Unless you racked the price up from a bottle of wine. Easily done at places like this.

    Raph, oh the portion is definitely enough for 2 meals. Even with the 14 oz. steak. The 22 ouncer would have been way too much, although probably perfect to share between two.  Although we can’t do that ’cause she doesn’t like steak rare and I DETEST steak that’s medium or more!

    I was amazed when my fork cut through it like that. I never attempted to do that at steak houses in the past, but when I recently seen it done on the Food Network, I thought I’d give it a shot. And it worked! That could never be done on anything less than that prime, dry-aged cut of ribeye.

    Reply
  • February 21, 2010 at 2:05 pm
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    I will try it out with my wahine. Wonder they do oyster shots there? My date might like some soup didn’t see on menu?

    Reply
  • February 21, 2010 at 2:21 pm
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    Definitely need to try that restaurant now! My mouth was watering reading your blog and now I want a big hunk-a-steak!

    Reply
  • February 22, 2010 at 5:37 pm
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    Aw, what a nice Valentine’s dinner you and your girlfriend had. Although my first, pake, instinct was to yell, “$15/glass for the wine?!!!” I must admit that the total seemed quite reasonable for a special-occasion meal, especially as you appear to have 2-3 more meals in the leftover tins alone.

    I love pate and would have been tempted to make a whole meal out of that, the bread and the beet salad. :)

    Reply
  • February 22, 2010 at 10:08 pm
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    hehe pomai–i’m with you on the medium rare stuff–it’s gotta be that way. although pomai, beggars can’t be choosers—so if there is *any* steak available..you know i’ll be gnawing on that :D

    Reply
  • February 23, 2010 at 1:21 pm
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    um… omg wow.
    droooooooooolllll.
    You know its a good steak when knives are optional!

    Reply
  • February 24, 2010 at 8:01 pm
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    Julia, words and pictures can only go so far in conveying how INCREDIBLE this steak is. That “fork cut shot” is the best I can do, virtually.

    Raph, I’ll have to agree to disagree with you on that thought. “any” steak just won’t cut it. Not after the “BLT Steak Experience”. No way. Anything less will always be that. Inferior. And I haven’t even tasted their Japanese Kobe yet!

    Jenny, check out this article.

    Jean, if/when you do, get back and let us know how it went!

    Kimo, they indeed do Oyster Shots. See the ‘Raw Bar’ menu.

    Reply
  • March 12, 2010 at 11:52 pm
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    Now that’s a forking cut steak I’ve been looking for! Love liver pate and
    the popups reminds me of yorkshire pudding at Neiman Marcus Marisols!
    Njoy all your articles, well said and true color photos! Keep it up Pomai,
    I appreciate your knowledge in food art and cuisine.

    Reply
  • March 13, 2010 at 7:52 am
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    Howzit Maui Ohana. Who’s the most reputable steak house on Maui? The list on Oahu seems to be growing more rapidly than one might expect, especially considering this “down” economy. First  Hy’s, then Colony at the Hyatt, then Ruth’s Chris, and now in more recent years we have Morton’s, Wolfgang’s and BLT. All of which serving prime, dry aged beef that cuts with a fork.

    Moooooooooooo. lol

    Reply
  • November 20, 2010 at 8:50 am
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    Thank you for always having such a comprehensive review! I’m headed there tonight with my family for Restaurant Week and looking forward to the potato gratin and ribeye!

    Reply
  • December 28, 2010 at 4:37 pm
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    the corking fee is $25…..my dad said it was the best filet he has ever had. We dine there tonight.

    Reply
  • April 19, 2011 at 6:48 pm
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    It is my pleasance to say you that your entire spots are superb and I actually love the agency enlisted each of the sentences . You will be rated 8.5 out of 10. Brainy oeuvre , Get going. Carry on the good work. I have book mark your site.

    http://en.wikipedia.org

    Reply
  • November 9, 2013 at 3:27 pm
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    What a wonderful eating experience…our wait staff treated us like royalty. It was a spur of the moment decision to try this restaurant, and it proved to be the main memory of our trip to Hawaii. So many special touches to our meal…from the huge, delicious popovers, to the surprise dessert of two little brownies. The ceasar salad, hangar steak and gigantic baked potato, were all made to perfection. Thank you for this memorable time; can’t wait to return…someday!

    Reply
    • November 9, 2013 at 3:41 pm
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      Jeg,

      If you haven’t already, please your stellar review of BLT Steak at Trump Tower in Waikiki the same review on Yelp. It really matters!

      Reply
  • November 12, 2013 at 8:17 am
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    I been try to have my date take me there for special question he might ask me. My last date question was “How much money you make?” To ask a woman that make him for sure a gold digger. I toss him to the curb after that date which he paid for it for sure.

    Reply
    • November 13, 2013 at 6:46 am
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      Wow that posting was almost 4 years ago.

      Reply

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