For inventive Mexican cuisine, an extensive and creative cocktail menu and a wide selection of beer on tap, drop by Luibueno's Mexican and Latin Cuisine.
The ambiance is also great; a modern yet colorful blend of colors and art radiate, along with a good sound system and flat-screen television showing surfing and sports behind the bar.
Luibueno's blackened scallops niraga — Photo courtesy of Luibueno's
The restaurant serves both lunch and dinner, and while it's usually easy to grab a table earlier in the day, the restaurant really starts to get busy in the evening. Reservations are a good idea for dinner.
The menu utilizes fresh, local fish for dishes like the beer-battered burrito, blackened ahi tapas and ceviche. Vegetarians will find options at Luibueno's, too, with the mashed potato taco being the standout meat-free option.
But here's the thing about Luibueno's: they stray far from the standard nachos and quesadillas found on most Mexican menus.
The head chef gets close to gourmet, with dishes such as grilled filet mignon with corn risotto sautéed with red onion, tomato, portobello, gaujillio and a chili demi glaze. The chefs even ventured into other cuisines, with offerings such as filet mignon with garlic shrimp, goat cheese gnocchi, poblano, portobello and a chili de arbol red wine reduction.
Dessert includes an elaborate house-made churro dish and deep-fried ice cream.
The drink menu is quite extensive, and so is the on-tap beer selection, featuring several locally brewed beers. Although dinnertime really gets busy at Luibueno's, the happy hours are hugely popular.
The restaurant offers two happy hours, both with a solid menu of specials on food and drinks. One happens Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Then there's also a late-night happy hour daily from 9:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
It's the late-night happy hour that really gets the bar scene going and usually guarantees a solid gathering of people socializing and having drinks. Luibueno's consistently offers a lively bar scene later in the night.
Haleiwa's eclectic collection of shops is just steps away from Luibueno's, so lunch or dinner can easily fit in with a walk around town or a shopping spree. Favorites like Guava Shop, Kai Ku Hale and Global Creations are just right around the corner.